EPA Greenversations Slide Makeover (original)


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This is the original slide deck that was presented by the EPA at a Web 2.0 workshop. I then took this deck and gave it a facelift. For my article on this slide make-over, visit http://mike-pulsifer.org/2009/06/slide-make-over-epa-greenversations/

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  • Bloggers are educated in and work on topics they blog about which means the science has a conduit for getting back to the commenter via the bloggers monitoring their post and replying to comments
  • QOTW Coordinated campaigns or general questions thrown out for folks to ponder and exchange thoughts about. Receive the most comments More publicity via EPA press release to more than 50,000 people. In fact, in response to several of these questions, we posted follow-up blogs summarizing the comments we received. Don’t do press release for all due to complaints SPAM SW Posts are coordinated and submitted by out Office of Research and Development. BiLinqual “ Testing the water” for a Spanish blog
  • And wouldn’t take no for an answer 3. cropped, but he didn’t like it 4. which then led to the idea of having an EPA-wide blog focusing on everything EPA did and everyone in the Agency. 5. Current bloggers are permit writers, scientists, lawyers and everything in between which creates multiple avenues of communication on all sorts of topics.
  • 1. we invited the State Department to come to talk with us about their blog, DipNote, 4. (for example, URLs in posts or mentioning a specific product)
  • Reporters are asked to send questions to the EPA Newsroom through their normal channels and to refrain from submitting questions here as comments.
  • which would include - corresponding with the bloggers, - working with OGC for legal clearance, - formatting and scheduling into the blog software the Agency uses. There are several other team members who have the ability to moderate comments, as well as prepping and scheduling the blog posts. OPA web team manages the homepage and the top layers of the EPA web site About 500 people are involved in EPA website. Throughout the program offices, and the 10 regions
  • 1. EPA has their own server which is located at EPA’s National Computer Center located in Research Triangle Park, NC 2. because HHS had a good experience with it and it was a small purchase (about $1,000) 3. when Greenversations was launched, we really wanted to have it in-house.
  • EPA Greenversations Slide Makeover (original)

    1. 1. Greenversations at a Glance Blogging at EPA
    2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Learn about the concept, development and implementation of the Greenversations blog. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Agenda <ul><li>Content Development Process </li></ul><ul><li>Process/Protocols for Comments/Replies </li></ul><ul><li>An Acceptable Way of Communicating </li></ul><ul><li>Legal/Policy Issues to Consider </li></ul><ul><li>Comment Policy </li></ul><ul><li>Staff Time Required </li></ul><ul><li>Server and Security Details </li></ul>
    4. 4. Overview <ul><li>Gain an understanding of how all of the pieces of fit together to make blogging successful at EPA </li></ul>
    5. 5. Greenversations: Why? <ul><li>Put a human face on the big blank box </li></ul><ul><li>Share personal stories of environmental thinking (e.g., buying a car, gardening) </li></ul><ul><li>Clue readers in re: breadth of EPA’s work </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Emergency response </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Partnerships </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Speak in a new way </li></ul><ul><li>Supplement, not replace, other channels </li></ul>
    6. 6. Content Development Process <ul><li>Get approval from the Communications Director(s) (CD) </li></ul><ul><li>CD’s submitted names of possible bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>A Blogging Guide was developed to help train the bloggers and define responsibilities </li></ul>
    7. 7. Who Does What? <ul><li>Office of Web Communications </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinating blog posts </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Coordinating review through OGC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Proofread, format and upload the posts, and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Moderate comments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Supervisors </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commit staff time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Commit to obtaining approvals from management </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. <ul><li>Bloggers </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Complete training about blogging </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Write a short introduction about themselves </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Submit blog posts with suggested links and images </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review and Reply to comments posted on their blog post </li></ul></ul></ul>
    9. 9. Process/Protocols for Comments/Replies <ul><li>Since the blog posts are usually inspired by something related to the bloggers work, the author has first hand knowledge of the subject, and are encouraged to reply to the comments posted to their blog. </li></ul><ul><li>This encourages an ongoing dialogue… in fact we have a blog post from last May that still receives comments, and has resulted in a follow-up blog post. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Song of the Coqui Thursday, April 23rd, 2008 <ul><li>Resulted in two follow-up posts: one last May resulting in 78 comments, and another this past January as an update </li></ul>
    11. 11. A little more about ongoing dialogue… Currently we have several regular features in the EPA blog: <ul><ul><li>Three weekly features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Question of the Week (Monday) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Gets the most comments: usually at least 50 and have been over 650 at times </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Advertised to 55,000 news release recipients </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Science Wednesday </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Run by research/development office </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bilingual Thursday </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>English/Spanish were in same post, now split </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managed by our Hispanic Liaison w/three writers </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Bottled Water Follow-Up Post <ul><li>Follow-Up: Why Do You Drink Bottled or Tap Water? Tuesday, August 26th, 2008 About the Author: Dominic Bridgers was a summer intern in the Office of Public Affairs. I usually drink whatever is convenient for me. If I’m in the house I will fill the glass up with tap water, but if I’m on the go I think bottled water is more convenient. </li></ul><ul><li>I collected data from the July 7th Question of the Week, “Why do you drink bottled or tap water?” The majority of the bloggers responded that they drink tap water primarily because they have easy access to it, you think it’s healthier, it’s cheaper than bottled water, and it tastes just as good as or better than bottled water. However, some of you prefer bottled water over tap water because it is more convenient, it tastes better and you think it’s healthier. Thank you for taking your time in responding to “Why do you drink bottled or tap water?” </li></ul>
    13. 14. An Acceptable Way of Communicating? <ul><li>Marcus Peacock, EPA’s former Deputy Administrator wanted to do a blog </li></ul><ul><li>He picked the name “Flow of the River” and wrote a blog with links </li></ul><ul><li>Submitted a photo of himself near a river </li></ul><ul><li>Invited guest bloggers to his blog </li></ul><ul><li>Current Greenversations bloggers vary from across the Agency </li></ul>
    14. 15. Legal/Policy Issues <ul><li>We did a lot of research… </li></ul><ul><li>Keeping politics out keeps the blog fresh and less dated. </li></ul><ul><li>Blogging Guide meant everyone “blogged by the same rules” </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Agencies are often at a disadvantage, and need to make sure there is no implied endorsement </li></ul>
    15. 16. <ul><li>POLICY </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of topics would we cover </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>You have to take comments and allow criticism or the blog becomes biased </li></ul></ul><ul><li>LEGAL </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid ongoing enforcement actions and regulations under development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Disclaimer issues (bloggers personal views) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment policy was based on other comment policies on already successful blogs </li></ul></ul>
    16. 17. Comment Policy <ul><li>No vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms that target specific ethnic or racial groups </li></ul><ul><li>No promotion of services or products </li></ul><ul><li>Comments must be on-topic </li></ul><ul><li>Do not make unsupported accusations. </li></ul><ul><li>Reporter questions will not be posted. </li></ul>
    17. 18. Staff Time Required <ul><li>The EPA Office of Public Affairs web team has recently doubled in size. The plan is to operate with overlapping teams. There is one staff member who has the lead in managing the blog </li></ul><ul><li>All in all, about ½ FTE is used in the management of the Greenversations blog. </li></ul>
    18. 19. Is the Blog Hosted on an Independent Server? <ul><li>EPA has their own server </li></ul><ul><li>Much of Marcus’s initial blog was hosted on Typepad.com </li></ul><ul><li>We had to go outside of EPA because the Chief Information Officer’s shop didn’t have the capability in-house at that time to host a blog </li></ul><ul><li>The CIO did a requirements analysis and chose WordPress as EPA’s blog software. </li></ul><ul><li>The CIO set up a blog server. We used it knowing any security issues had already been addressed through the CIO’s office. </li></ul>
    19. 20. Summary <ul><li>When trying to implement a blog, it is beneficial to talk to others about their experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in mind the desired end product…who’s your audience, what are you trying to convey. For us, we wanted to put a face on EPA, convey the breadth of what we do, and create a conversation around the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Do the “legwork” upfront to avoid problems, establish your policies and guidelines and enforce them, and rob others blind . Use what’s already out there and working and tweak it to your liking. </li></ul>
    20. 22. EPA’s Greenversations at a Glance <ul><li>Content Development Process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Identify bloggers, develop blogging guide </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Process/Protocols for Comments/Replies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bloggers monitor and reply to comments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop a comment policy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Legal/Policy Issues to Consider </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it fresh by keeping politics “out of it” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implied endorsement </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid ongoing enforcement actions and regulations under development (OGC review) </li></ul></ul>