Whenever I am asked to give an example of a successful senior government executive blog, I tell people about Mike Leavitt, who is currently Secretary of Health and Human Services in the U.S. Federal Government. What makes it so different from other government blogs? Sec. Leavitt’s Blog is real. He takes the time to post at least once a week, albeit usually it’s from planes and hotel rooms. Sometimes he misses a post, sometimes he doesn’t answer comments, but you you know what, rather than just ignoring the issue, he’s honest about it and writes about how busy he is. Even though we all inherently know this already, him being open and honest about it adds a GREAT DEAL to the “real conversation” factor. His readers feel a true conversational relationship. He’s even written a post evaluating his blog by summarizing feedback he has received over the last few months and what he’s going to do to improve. Thanks to his willingness to experiment with social media, he has opened a door for regular citizens to talk with him one on one. Compare this with trying to arrange a personal meeting with someone of his stature in the “physical” world…
Why should he even bother you may ask? Is it not just more work? Well, my answer to you is that if you have that kind of stance and you work for the government (where service/program delivery based on citizen needs should be your prime concern), you are in the wrong job. That’s my two cents for the day…
Mike, I followed your comment at the HHS blog to find your blog. I agree that Leavitt’s work is groundbreaking.
I am manager of the new blog DemocracySpace.org, a project of the Study Circles Resource Center (soon to be renamed Everyday Democracy). Like you, I am very interested in learning of examples of public officials who blog. Click my name for a post I did last month on the subject. If you or your readers can suggest other examples of public officials who blog regularly, please send them my way (or post them in that thread).
I will subscribe to your site.
Hi Julie, you should have a look at “point 5” in a blog entry I wrote last month regarding public sector bloggers. http://mikekujawski.wordpress.com/2007/09/
The IBM report that I made available for download will give you lots of great examples.
Very cool. Thanks. I will check it out.
[…] had a departmental or work blog (as is widely prevalent in the U.S –> see my post on Mike Leavitt), and had to respond to reader comments, they “theoretically” would have to send it to […]
Comments are closed.