One of the examples of a well done government blog I often point clients and students to is from the Transportation Security Administration, TSA, the folks who screen you at the airport.
One of the examples of why the blog works is the MacBook Air incident. Apparently when the MacBook air was first introduced, a traveler was stopped at a security checkpoint because according to the screening processes in place, when looked at, it didn’t look like a laptop, specifically because there was no mechanical drive inside. The full story is here along with the link to the original story in Engadget.
The story demonstrates why this blog works. Many of the reasons why are laid out in a great article from Slate, Christopher Beam, which says, “The Transportation Security Administration’s blog, Evolution of Security, is everything the TSA is not—lighthearted, informative, responsive, and devoted to the needs and concerns of its customers. It may also be the best model for government to engage citizens over the Web.”
Other reasons the article outlines include:
- Genuine reader interaction
- It sounds like a blog (i.e. it’s personal and written by an identifiable person)
- It has real power to impact policy
- It takes on hot issues and takes action quickly
I’m going to keep pointing clients both in government and in the private sector to TSA.gov/blog as a great example of how to do it. It’s not perfect, but it is way out in front of just about everywhere else.