The Houston Chronicle is reporting that Metropolitan Transit Authority, the public transportation agency of Houston, is launching a blog. George Smalley, the VP for Communications for the agency, and former communications director for Shell Oil is one smart guy, and certainly understands the value of “joining the conversation.”
A blog in this case is particularly appropriate since the agency is in an intense public debate over the development of a light rail line through Houston. Bloggers who are opposed have been having their say for some time and now Metro will be joining in and making certain information is correct, rumors are addressed and the public gets their questions answered.
The Chronicle article indicates that a number of other government agencies are looking to get their own blogs. Great idea. I think they should keep a close eye on what Metro is doing as Smalley and company will no doubt lead the way with appropriate and effective use. (Full disclosure: I think a lot of George because he was one of the pioneer purchasers of PIER, the online communication management technology I created and which is now used by many government agencies (including Metro) as well as leading companies. No wonder I think the guy is smart!)
Best of luck, George with your blog. I’ll be watching.