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Please Welcome Google to the Public Policy Blogosphere

June 18, 2007 - 1 Comment

SAN JOSE, CA – I got an e-mail today from Adam Kovacevich of Google’s PR team. He handles tech policy PR for the team and is based in Washington, DC. The e-mail announced Google’s new public policy blog. The “official” first entry is from Andrew McLaughlin, “head of global public policy,” who states, “We hope this blog will serve as a resource for policymakers around the world — including legislators, ministers, governors, city councilmembers, regulators, and the staffers who support them — who are trying to enact sound government policies to foster free expression, promote economic growth, expand access to information, enable innovation, and protect consumers.” Wow! Did he leave anybody out?Having started Cisco’s tech policy blog in February of 2005 (and thank you for linking to us, by the way, Google), I feel I can offer a modicum of advice…here it is: aim low. It may be counter-intuitive, but your stated goals are very high, and that is to be commended, but it is an awful lot of pressure to put on a blog…and your team. You have great policy experts on the team (as we do on ours) and the best thing you can do is not to advocate your position with every post, but to educate and share your knowledge and points of view. If you try to use the blog to engender grassroots or “user” support, then all you’ve done is turned the blog into a marketing device. Sure, marketing your ideas, but still.So, take or leave my unsolicited advice. Don’t try to do too much. And, feel free to let your team “talk out of school.” After all, if all the blog does is push Google’s stated policy goals, then how “real” is it? Which, of course, is the true measure of a blog. Put a disclaimer on your site that says that the posts are the ideas of the author and don’t necessarily represent Google’s views. THEN, you’ll let your team spread its wings a bit. IMHO.Anyway, welcome. And congratulations for joining in the public policy blogosphere effort. It is to be commended.

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  1. Thanks for the warm welcome and sage advice, John. I definitely want the Google policy team members to talk out of school. In particular, I've warned the team to resist the overwhelming temptation to lavish praise on me and my enlightened leadership (it's so embarrassing!); I keep saying that as long as everyone adheres to our rigid doctrines and parrots back our fixed talking points, it's all going to be OK -- that's what blogging's all about, right?Your long-time reader, first-time commenter,--andrewEarnhardt note: Okay, McLaughlin has a good sense of humor.