To Blog or Not to Blog

About the author: Jeffrey Levy is the Greenversations Editor.

Yesterday, we observed completing a year of EPA blogging by asking whether you’ve been inspired or surprised, or learned anything from our blogs. As usual with our questions, we got some thought-provoking answers. I’d like to thank everyone who’s commented so far. We really do appreciate hearing your thoughts, both positive and negative. Without anyone criticizing, we lose the nudge to keep trying to improve.

The comment that started me writing this post was from “Seagul,” who asked how much time the blog takes, wondering whether it was a waste. I could spend some time developing an estimate of how much time we spend on the blog, but to what purpose? Even if it was only one hour a week, someone would still think it was wasteful. The good news is that we’re getting more efficient at managing the blog.

A more important point is that this blog is part of a much broader exploration of how best to use available tools to carry out our mission. Our regulatory, enforcement, and science staff continue with the important work they’ve been doing. Here in the communications area, we contribute primarily through education and outreach. Aside from the blog, we’re looking at podcasting, wikis, photo and video contests, etc. Admittedly, we’re a little slow compared to some of the private sector, but we’ll get there. And you’re helping us with your feedback.

Over the past year or so, we’ve launched a bunch of new things on our Web site. Have you seen our widgets? We’re looking at widgets as a way to get information to people who might never come to our Web site. The one that provides a daily environmental tip was seen 363,000 times in June, which is more than any single page on our site other than the home page. An example of new blog concepts is that last week, we launched Science Wednesday in the blog.

Reasonable people will always disagree as to whether a particular project is worthwhile. But rest assured, we’re looking at the least expensive, simplest way of doing all of them, to the point we won’t do a lot of stuff. Some of what we do try will work, and some won’t. That’s how it works when you try new things.

The upshot is, we’ll continue to learn and explore new options. And that, I think, isn’t a waste.

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