Local blogging

The Guardian has a piece on Stuart Bruce who they say has become the first local councillor to set up a weblog.

I don’t want to nitpick and I could be wrong but I thought that Lib Demmer Iain Coleman was already a blogging councillor?

Anyway, Stuart’s blog has an interesting post on what he is trying to do with the technology.

Basically he makes a very good case for blogs being an alternative or compliment to the tired old ward newsletter.

The problem with newsletters is that they take too long to produce, are expensive to print (local political parties of all colours are by and large skint!) and are hard to distribute (needing activisits with spare time on their hands – a dying breed).

In other words blogs cut out the middleman. It is the same with the rest of us of course. I suppose I would have been one of those bores writing letters to newspapers and magazines in the past but now I don’t need to get someone’s approval to express myself.

I can see blogs catching on for councillors, although there is still the problem that a large number of constituents aren’t online, especially the elderly, so they can’t be a total replacement for old methods of communication.

To work well they will need to block out the wider world, not get dragged into the ‘blogosphere’ debates and focus on those local issues. Stuart is doing this – his second post is about the opening of a tip.

Oh yes, I note that he is using a new British blogging programme 20six which seems to be a UK version of blogger.