New UK Ministerial blog on climate change

Who needs David Miliband? Word reaches me of a new blogging initiative coming out of Defra. There’s a new server located at only one blog on there so far, but the use of the plural noun has been noted.
Launched last week, the Bali Diary – led by junior environment minister Phil Woolas (with others in due course?) – sets out to describe preparations for, and proceedings at the big UN climate change conference in Bali next month. With climate change so high on the public agenda, it’s an ideal topic to be covering; and the tone of the minister’s initial items is perfect blogging – very down-to-earth, passionate and not a little outspoken. Several of the early items, for example, lambast the mainstream media for missing what he sees as key developments. (In fact, he seems to be claiming personal credit for a new carbon trading system in the US Mid-West?)
The biggest catch, I suppose, is the lack of comment functionality: ‘We are not currently inviting comments on diary entries,’ they say on the About page, ‘but we may in the future.’ Why so shy? I can only assume they’re scared of hearing from hundreds of conspiracy theorists.
A quick peek at the site’s feed – only appearing in Atom format as I type this, despite what the page ‘About RSS feeds‘ – reveals it’s running on WordPress… a departure, then, from the Community Server platform used to house Miliband’s blog (and subsequently shipped over to the Foreign Office). Of course, I make no secret of my preference for WordPress (of which more, possibly, later). Plus of course, with Defra facing serious budget cuts, it does the web team no harm to be seen to use open source.
PS: I should have something more to say about Ministerial blogs later in the week… 😉

One thought on “New UK Ministerial blog on climate change”

  1. Hi Simon. The effort with Phil Woolas is clearly barely a blog, yes I can track it in my feed reader – which I can also do with pages from BBC News – but I can’t comment, it wont accept track backs.
    No social web here, much more the ministerial web.

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