Mar 11 2008

More on Civil Service blogs – and Civil Servants blogging

Published by at 9:37 pm under Comms,Digital,Media,Politics

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Tom Watson MP, Minister for Transformational Government, has kicked off a very interesting discussion around what a Code for Civil Service Bloggers might look like. Given the Times’s (hyperbolic, perhaps?) suggestion of a “Whitehall Crackdown” in response to the Civil Serf episode, Tom’s decision to get involved – and publicly – can only be a good thing.

Of the many comments on Tom’s original post, Paul and Matthew’s contributions are, I think, particularly relevant.

Paul Canning, like me, doesn’t write about work, for reasons I can wholeheartedly identify with. Matthew Somerville, like many others, wants to clarify the distinction between civil service blogs, and civil servants who blog. I’m definitely the latter but, in the presence of sufficiently clear and understandable guidance, would try my hand at the former.

As a very crude distinction, I’d venture that the former should stick to their own (and related) policy areas, and get the lines right whilst contributing to the debate. The latter should stay clear of their own (and related) policy areas – not always easy – but are then free to contribute to whatever other debates float their boat.

I’ve tried to address this myself, both in my ‘about’ page (complete with disclaimer), and in a post entitled ‘What this blog isn’t’ just over a month ago.

Tom, if you, or any of your team, would like to discuss further – or, indeed, if you fancy convening for the purpose a virtual forum for civil service bloggers, and civil servants who blog, I’m in.

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