Sunday, June 03, 2007

Local Boy/Girl Makes Good

I'd like to draw attention to the newly elevated profile of two of my L.A.-based blogging colleagues.

Kevin Roderick is going trans-media with a series of new collaborations with national public radio stations. I met Kevin two years ago, when we were both on a panel about the conflict between knowledge and information in the era of blogging. He had already left the print media by then and had founded L.A. Observed, where he managed to find plenty to write about his old employer, The Los Angeles Times, particularly since the Times has been failing to survive in the age of digital news. Perhaps they should have kept Kevin aboard.

VP-reader Nedra Weinreich of the social marketing blog Spare Change, who teaches at UCLA's School of Public Health, has joined the blogging team of the Pandemic Flu Leadership Blog for the Department of Health and Human Services. Unlike the much more Web 2.0 savvy Centers for Disease Control, HHS has been slow to embrace the potential for social media and peer-t0-peer knowledge sharing practices over the Internet, so it is good that they've asked Nedra for her ideas. Ironically, her most recent post seemed aimed more at clueless government policy makers rather than the general population, but I thought that her first entry on Preparing for Persuasion was a great civics lesson on the basics of risk communication and social marketing that recognized the rhetorical character of public health messages.

(Speaking of risk communication, my own university is now developing a system to use instant messaging on cellular telephones called zotAlert, in the event of a campus crisis, such as the one that took place recently at Virginia Tech.)

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Blogger Nedra Weinreich said...

Hi Liz,

Thanks for the shout-out! I'm just catching up with my feeds, so missed this when it came out, and for some reason my ego feeds didn't pick up the post either. You're right to pick up that my posts are aimed at the policy makers, because I'm seeing this as an opportunity to influence the direction they take with their policies related to communicating with the public. It's been fascinating watching the dynamics of the blog, with clueless bureaucrats stepping into a hornet's nest of grassroots activists who think the government is downplaying the need for preparedness for nefarious reasons. I'll be writing about this on my own blog soon.

1:25 PM  

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