This week the United States Federal Government launched a group blog. The United States Department of Health and Human Services, the team that oversees CDC, NIH, CMS and other health organizations, has begun a discussion leading up to a summit meeting in DC on Pandemic Flu.
(disclosure: this is a client and something we worked on with them)
Michael O. Leavitt, the Secretary of HHS, kicked off the discussion. Each week a group of bloggers from different community sectors will blog on a topic that will then be framed up at the live summit. This morning features a post from Pierre Omidyar from Omidyar Networks (and founder of eBay).
Why is this exciting?
First, it takes commitment from the Secretary and the others in his organization to be willing to have this discussion out in the open. The ultimate goal is to get the country prepared for Pandemic Flu. It's important. But there is not a lot of history with the government using social media to host such a large discussion.
Second, look at the comments! Only 4 posts so far and one has 31 comments as of now. Clearly, this was a conversation waiting to happen in this way.
Third, this is also co-creation. These bloggers are coming together to co-create the agenda for the in-person meeting. They and many others will continue on to co-create other elements of a communications plan that will ultimately help all of us prepare for the all-to-real threat of pandemic flu.
Here is the blog:http://blog.pandemicflu.gov
Here is government information on pandemic flu: www.pandemicflu.gov