With the Foreign Office’s recent embracing of the blog, I’m reminded that a couple of Ambassadors in the field have been blogging for Britain for a long, long time. Alan Goulty, our man in Tunis has been writing a ‘blog’ for close to two years; and John Duncan, head of the UK’s Permanent Representation to the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva (known, understandably as UKDIS) joined him at the start of 2007.
UKDIS is a particularly appropriate candidate for a blog-based approach: it’s a tiny office, usually only five people, which few will have heard of, and even fewer will understand. And much respect to both Ambassadors for doing it at all: the Foreign Office’s superheavyweight CMS solution certainly wasn’t built with blogging in mind. I did hear of the Tunis blog when it first launched, but I’m afraid I assumed it would be quietly dropped: too much effort to keep up long-term.
In both cases, the content is certainly bloggy: first person stuff, a mix of the professional and the personal, the serious and the sociable. But they don’t have permalinks, don’t have proper comments (although both offer workarounds), don’t have RSS feeds… etc etc. So do they still qualify as ‘blogs’? Probably not, in all honesty… which is all the more reason for the FCO new media team to do the decent thing, and bring them over to the new platform. They are already doing the hard part.
I’m spending most of my time convincing people to use a blog tool for content management needs. Messrs Goulty and Duncan are using a big CMS for blog purposes. Ying and yang. 🙂