Several months ago, the College Station City Council almost heard my presentation on blogging, which I’ve been dead-set on bringing to this organization since I arrived last October. Ultimately, the item was removed from that meeting agenda to give me time to develop a policy that not only laid out the rules for both the blogger and those who comment, but also for the city’s entire approach to social media. I think we’re finally there.
College Station is officially launching two blogs: One will feature a variety of city staff voices, and another will feature willing members of your city council. Blogging isn’t a new idea, but cities blogging — and allowing comments on the blogs, which we will do — is a legal department’s nightmare. In fact, there may be another city out there taking our exact approach, but I’ve yet to find it. It’s been a long road to get us to this point.
Why is CS blogging?
It’s no secret that we have an image problem. Some of it is entirely deserved, while some of it isn’t. But if you don’t know us, have a relationship with us or feel like you can trust us, you’ll never be willing to give us the benefit of the doubt. So, these blogs hopefully will allow our council and staff to share what’s on their minds and interact with you in meaningful ways. Believe it or not, they really do care, want to listen and even respond. Here are a few of our rules: To comment on any of our blog posts, you must register with your real name and a legitimate e-mail address. Sorry, but we’re not going to be blindfolded during our exchanges. If you want to remain anonymous, there are other fine options available elsewhere. Here, though, let’s both be respectful and credible, no matter if we find ourselves agreeing or disagreeing. Your comment must remain on the posted topic. If a particular blog post is on, say, Northgate parking, posts will not be allowed on Christmas in the Park. Make sense? Be courteous. It’s fine to disagree with us and offer criticism, but name-calling or obscenities won’t be published. Your comment may not be posted immediately. To ensure you’re a real person, it might take a little time to review and publish your comment. But I promise it will be handled as soon as possible.
>> Our complete Blogging Policy can be found here
One more thing: These blogs aren’t meant to replace any other means of communicating with you, but I think it’ll be a great addition. If you have topic requests or other questions and comments, feel free to send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Director | Public Communications