I see that a few people have been on the site as a result of this post about Owen Barder.
I was a reader and noticed that it’d gone at some point over the weekend after noting that she’d become a regular read of a number of journalists. As with Owen, the papers have picked up on some of the more sensational phrases, but unlike the story about him the papers haven’t twisted the facts to make their story. It was always clear – from the title on down – that this was someone using the internet to vent about a job they had mixed feelings about.
The trouble with this is that once the story goes from being one that we the relatively small audience of internet readers and transpose it to the mass audience of the mainstream media then it becomes difficult for employers to ignore. I think that Jeremy gets it right.
The blog was interesting because it gave you an insight into the frustration of being a middle ranking civil servant; the mundane and bureaucratic approach of departments, why it’s difficult to get the attention of senior colleagues on your issue, and how politicians can seem an irritation rather than a vital part of the cog of government. But interesting isn’t always safe, so while I hope the writer is okay I’m more bothered with the set back this might create for other civil servants using online tools for communications.
The Times reports:
Sir Gus O’Donnell, the Cabinet Secretary, is to set out new guidance to civil servants to cover blogging and online social networks following the demise of the “Civil Serf” blogger, The Times has learnt.
Sir Gus will shortly issue guidelines to tell officials whether they can start up blogs or use social networking websites such as Facebook and YouTube, and even if they can change details on Wikipedia.