Federal Computer Week has listed this blog in a piece on 10 top bloggers focusing on government IT. Thanks! For anyone new to Municipalist, please check out our collection of Q & A's with local, state, and federal bloggers and creators of smart Gov 2.0 projects.
Yesterday we were quoted in an article by Greenwire, a Washington, D.C.-based news service that covers environmental issues and policy. The headline is "Federal agencies find a voice in the blogosphere." The reporter asked me about a number of issues, including the Department of Transportation blog called The Fast Lane.
Craig Colgan, editor of "Municipalist" and an advocate of public sector blogging, envisions the possibilities for a large agency such as the Department of Transportation.
"DOT could have plenty of public blogs, each addressing an important issue or initiative, aiming to produce a continual dialogue with the public, as well as with select publics such as trade media, the issue advocacy community, etc.," he wrote in an e-mail. "Why just have one?"
Greenwire is a subscription-only site, alas. Municipalist addressed The Fast Lane here.
A piece I wrote in 1998 is referenced in a new book that is getting a lot of attention this week, the 40th anniversary of the death of Robert Kennedy.
Thurston Clarke's "The Last Campaign: Robert F. Kennedy and 82 Days That Inspired America" notes by name the piece I wrote about Hugh McDonald, a press aide for the campaign. McDonald's life more or less ran off the rails in the 10 years following Kennedy's assassination. McDonald was present in the Ambassador Hotel pantry moments after the shooting, and was up close to the horror of that event. As were dozens of others, but something snapped inside Hugh.
Some witnesses said he seemed frighteningly dazed the rest of the night and the following day. In the years to follow, Hugh held then lost several top jobs in journalism and media relations. He died alone in 1978 mysteriously, officially of a heart condition, following several suicide attempts in previous years. Many of his former colleagues believe he was successful in taking his own life. That part of the story is unclear. What attracted me to the story is that Hugh is from my hometown of Jackson, Michigan.
The excerpt from Clarke's book referencing Hugh McDonald is here. Clarke sources my article in the book's notes section.
A photo of a distraught McDonald following Kennedy's death can be found in the new book by Life Magazine photographer Bill Eppridge, "A Time It Was: Bobby Kennedy in the Sixties." Read an excerpt and see photos in Vanity Fair here. I interviewed Eppridge for my piece 10 years ago, and the guy is personable and full of dazzling stories. His blog is here. Audio of Eppridge's appearance today on WNYC is here, (though lazy host Leonard Lopate is not prepared: "So, were you there when Kennedy was shot?").
The roster of contributors to this book is impressive, so I am very happy to be a part of it. The title is "Current Controversies: Blogs," one in a series of books by Gale Publishing and Greenhaven Press on controversial topics. [Amazon listing is here.] Here is the table of contents. We're on the fourth page. The topic is blogs in the culture, the impact of blogs on mainstream media, blogs and free speech issues, etc. Terry Teachout, Nicholas Lemman, J.D. Lasica, Andrew Keen, Byron York, etc. Wow. A heady list. These are top thinkers and writers. The piece by me is here. More of Craig Colgan's published writing is here. More on this soon. I need a drink.
This new podcast features an interview with Susan Reynolds and Craig Colgan, regarding Colgan's Washington Post article focusing on the Frozen Pea Fund. As of tonight, the podcast had 94 downloads. Give it a listen.
More about the Frozen Pea Fund, a spontaneous community on Twitter that created itself in days to support a woman recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Twitter is a social media site that is much more powerful than it looks, and many of its users connect it to their blogging. This is from a comment to my Washington Post story that speaks volumes about how it all works, at least in the eyes of one Twitterite:
Twitter is the kind of community you wish you lived in offline. Where you can choose your neighbors, and those neighbors are informed, insightful, caring, and supportive.
That's the argument, anyway. But Municipalist watched very nice things happen through this type of lighting-fast community creation, including raising actual dollars for the American Cancer Society. Now, another similar effort is underway.
Federal Computer Week "The blog is an expansive collection of posts about government’s use of Web 2.0 at the federal, state and local levels, and it is worth a look for the contacts and projects lists alone."
Personal Democracy Forum "If you haven't yet, check out Craig Colgan's Municipalist blog which claims it is 'Fearlessly investigating the dark and mysterious world of public sector blogging.' And indeed it is, with over two-dozen profiles of public sector bloggers. I didn't even know there were that many!"
Slate "Municipalist, a blogger who blogs about, um, blogging, ..."