Here, partly as a thank you to those listed for being so thoroughly excellent, but also as a way of pointing readers to great sources of content, are some of my favourite bloggers.
Dan is a phenomenon. He seems to literally give away everything he knows on his blog. He’s a great one for lists, which is always a great framework for a post. Ten ideas for innovating in cold weather? 42 (count ‘em!) ideas gleaned from a conference? 16 lessons for councils using Flickr? Dan has it covered. The best kind of blogger – he innovates, and then tells the world how it went, and what he’ll do differently next time.
Catherine writes with considerable knowledge and verve about democracy, localism and the internet. Part Phd research notebook and part public service, her blog provides neat summaries and ruminations on what she has been reading lately, along with perceptive coverage of events – she attends these things so we don’t have to.
There are some bloggers who don’t post as often as you like, but that’s only because when you see they have written something new, it makes you smile. Steph is one of those. He’s not just full of insight and practical ideas, but he’s a great writer too, with a neat turn of phrase and a ready wit. Steph’s also willing to hand out praise to those that deserve it, as his recent series of digital heroes shows.
It’s easy for those outside of government to take the risk of putting one’s head above the parapet, but much harder for those working inside the machine. Ingrid’s relentless blogging has paved the way for others to follow in her footsteps – the Policy and Performance blog highlights good stuff happening elsewhere, promotes good work happening throughout local government and shares the considerable knowledge that resides in Ingrid’s head.
It’s fair to say that Public Strategist sees things that I would never see, and explains other things in ways I never could. Clarity of writing when discussing hugely complicated topics of public service delivery is guaranteed. A must read.
A relatively new addition to my list of favourite bloggers, Kate works as a technology-focused civil servant, who most recently has been focused on innovation and her blog has been full of great stuff on how to innovate in government. It will be interesting to see where her career takes her next, and therefore what her blogging will be about. Am sure the engaging writing and diverse style of posts will continue, though!
Michael Coté, or just Coté as everyone seems to refer to him, is a tech-blogging machine. Huge lists of interesting links, regular audio and video podcasts and interviews and in-depth coverage of the tech issues of the day all regularly feature at People over Process. Whilst he doesn’t cover specific government topics, a lot of the things he does discuss – like big data, social enterprisey technology, and open source – are very relevant. You won’t understand everything he posts, but that’s your fault, not his.
How sycophantic is it to choose my boss for this list? Probably very, but there’s a recession on, so, you know. Anyway, I’m lucky that my boss is such a great blogger so I don’t feel too much of a suckup to include her here. Mary’s blog is mostly about people, and sometimes about cats. It’s about the people she meets on her travels, many of whom are genuinely interesting – or at least, that’s how she portrays them. What I like best about Mary’s posts is that I always know I’m going to learn something from them.
Can’t not mention Carl in this post. His is a great practitioner blog – he writes about what he does, and what he thinks about what he does. Often Carl throws out ideas without ensuring they are 100% polished, often resulting in fresh ideas popping into your own head as you’re reading his stuff. Great coverage of topics too, including internal social collaborative tech, local authority web strategy, big enterprise IT and local community stuff.
There are loads of others, of course, and I’ll do another post like this soon. Thanks to all those mentioned, though – you’re doing great, important work.