To blog or not – let’s try an experiment

Hello there! Thanks for reading my first-ever blog post on my own, as opposed to writing for EPA’s blog, Greenversations.

I’m pretty active on Twitter @levyj413, talking about social media (aka Web 2.0) and esp. social media in gov’t, but I’ve never blogged in a normal-length format. I’m enthusiastically learning and exploring various social media tools, but blogging seems so … weighty. Like I’d better be sure I can keep going before I start. But, in the spirit of allowing even failures to teach me, I’ll give this a shot.

Here’s where I fit into the gov’t web ecosystem:
1) I’m the Director of Web Communications at US EPA. The team I lead includes 8 energetic, enthusiastic, intelligent folks dedicated to using the Web on behalf of anyone who cares about the environment. We run certain pieces of EPA’s Web site, like the home page and blog, but within EPA our main role is leading the web content charge, working closely with our partners in EPA’s CIO’s office and colleagues across the country.

2) I represent EPA on the Federal Web Managers Council, which includes top content managers from cabinet departments and several agencies. This is the group that wrote some great white papers on online gov’t and social media, and maintains the gov’t web best practices site, webcontent.gov. Oh, and it manages the Web Content Managers Forum, a group of (currently) 1500 gov’t folks involved in web content. If you’re in gov’t, join us!

3) On behalf of the Council, I co-chair the Social Media Subcouncil. We’re just getting started, but we’ll be creating all kinds of good stuff to help our colleagues dive into social media to support their agencies’ missions. Because its not about cool tech, it’s about accomplishing the mission using the right mix of tools, and social media offers exciting new opportunities.

So – got any specific topics I could cover?

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Adriel Hampton

You can cover my pet issue, attribution in social media, esp. in the Gov 2.0 context! … Really great to see you blogging, and looking forward to further papers – you and the Web Council are doing great work.


Great post. I agree – the idea of having a blog sounds weight and heavy at first. Sounds like a lot of work. Plus, it seems weird that people would care about what I would have to say. But I tell people to just start and go with it. Commit to do 1 a week for 4 weeks to start and see how it goes. And I notice that I get an inspiration at least once a week about something and then can write a post in 20-30 minutes.

I think you have a great perspective that I’d love to hear your thoughts on the evolution of social media in the government. I’d like to hear your ideas on how change happens and comparison with web 2.0 evolution in gov’t with web 1.0 evolution. I’d love to hear more about the common problems people in the web community are running against. I’d love to hear what is working and case studies. I’d love to hear your ideas on how social media projects REALLY work – not just the hype but what problems have you run against and how have you worked through them – we all know but don’t talk about the fact that for every blog created each day, one fails and dies each day. Let’s talk about the nuances – how successful gov’t blogs work, not just everyone get one.

I could go on and on. But you have a great perspective. A curious mind. And I think people would love to hear your ideas.

Marilyn Clark

I think it would be cool to hear about how you are experiencing the transformation of government services with the incoming administration. I think the pockets of innovation are going to expand and connect and you will be leading the way! I’m happy to be working with you on the Subcouncil.

Kimberly Hughes

If you do decide to blog (my vote is yes), I have a recommendation for a topic. I’ve read some articles that reference the use of wiki’s and how they might be good tools for government agencies and am curious if you know of any that are being used and how it’s going. Or, is this just a private sector thing and not easily transferrable to government?

Marcus Peacock

You’d better blog or I’ll come after you.

I met Chris Kelly the Chief Privacy Officer of facebook at a function this morning and he mentioned that a lot of the barriers to govt using social networking to do it’s work are on the verge of coming down. I’d love to hear what those barriers are and how they are being tackled. I think you are well positioned to tell that story as it happens