Cabinet Ministers Who Blog?

Neville Hobson tells us that David Miliband, Britain’s Minister of Communities and Local Government, has started to blog. His blog is tied into his Ministry’s website. So, he is clearly posting as the Minister, not as a Member of Parliament.

In Canada, where we changed federal governments early in the year, we have several Members of Parliament who are bloggers. However, the one blogger MP who became a Minister in the new government, shut down his blog within days of entering Cabinet. His final post said, “I think this is going to have be my last blog entry for some time. As the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration I’m coming to realize that blogging just might have to take a back seat to Ministering.”

It’s refreshing and positive that Miliband is willing to open his policies and actions as a Minister to debate in the blogosphere. If only the Canadian government would follow this lead. (Highly unlikely given the government’s moves to reduce the Parliamentary Press Gallery’s access to Cabinet meetings and Cabinet Ministers.)

Does anyone know of other Minister-level bloggers in any Canadian provincial governments or in any Parliamentary democracies elsewhere (Hello Australia)?

PubSub Problems

Media Orchard has pointed out that the PubSub stats are wildly inaccurate.

I noticed a few weeks ago that ProPR’s own stats on PubSub were wonky. In fact, PubSub stopped registering any entries or outlinks on February 24.

I wrote to PubSub about this and last week received the following response:

Hi Joseph:

We have pinpointed the problem.

Thank you for alerting us to this issue with LinkRanks. You have indeed stumbled on a problem with our rolling historical data, which are maintained in separate tables to help off-load our database. Somehow an error has snuck into those tables. We plan to just rebuild those convenience tables from our daily information and the error(s) you are seeing with historical counters should go away. This will take about a week to fix

We are also currently experiencing high loads as a result of explosive growth. Thus, some inlinks may not show up as expected. We are working hard to solve the problem and expect to have it resolved as quickly as possible.



Constantin Basturea’s PR List is a great way to help build a sense of community. But to do this, it has to be based on reliable traffic stats.

Let’s hope that PubSub is able to resolve this problem – and quickly.

Search Engine Optimization for WordPress

I’ve come across a couple post that I found very useful in understanding how to optimize my WordPress blog.

DYI Search Engine Optimization
Soup to nuts advice from Lorelle on WordPress covering the basics of optimizing code, keywords and extending through promotion and analysis of site traffic and competitors.

Ultimate WordPress SEO Tips
Nifty coding tips for better permalinks, page titles and post titles from seventeen year old(!) Fintan Darragh

Are there other sources of useful advice on SEO for WordPress that you would recommend?

FeedDemon 2.0 is released

FeedDemon 2.0 has been released and can be downloaded as a free trial off the FeedDemon site.

I’ve been using FeedDemon for almost a year and I love it. It allows me to organize my feeds into groups, post directly to, email and save entries. Version 2.0 also synchronizes feeds with Newsgator Online, allowing me to switch freely between my office and home computer, knowing that my feedreader will reflect all of my recent feedreading and subscription activity, regardless of which computer I last used. Views can be easily be formatted to reflect personal tastes through and intuitive interface.

Congratulations to Nick Bradbury for a great job on this upgrade.

mesh me in Toronto, May 15 and 16

I’ve just registered to attend mesh.

mesh is Canada’s Web 2.0 conference, being held in Toronto on May 15 & 16. You will hear from thought leaders, connect with peers, and get a better understanding of the impact of new developments online. mesh brings together people who are passionate about the potential of the Web to change how we live, work and play. Meet the next generation of Web ideas, leaders and companies at mesh.

Some great speakers: Om Malik, Michael Geist, Tara Hunt, Paul Kedrosky, Steve Rubel, Jason Fried, Andrew Coyne, Chris Messina, Amber MacArthur, Stewe Boyd and David Crow.

Should be a great conversation. So, if you’re in or near or able to get to Toronto on May 15 and 16, let’s mesh!

Thanks to David Jones for the heads up.


Connecting inputs to outcomes
Angela Sinickas on where to start with measurement, how to connect what we do to outcomes, and how to take the right amount of credit for communication’s impact versus other things the organization is doing to achieve the same outcome

Video From NewComm Forum: Speakers and Attendees Share Top Takeaways
New Communications Review links to Dan Karleen‘s video interviews

Will your PC run Vista? Don’t ask Microsoft.
From Engadget

CIRA’s Public Letter to ICANN
Michael Geist reports that the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) has suspended voluntary payments to ICANN and calls on ICANN to follow accountable, transparent and fair processes (transparency: my company has worked for CIRA)

It's fair to disagree. But please be sure you've read what was written before you criticize

The Blog Run has written a critical response to my post on Blogging and PR Career Advancement. Blog Run states, “One PR firm is having everyone at its firm blog … but is missing the bigger point: passion. Don’t force employees to blog to “understand” the blogosphere, as it defeats the whole purpose. Blogging comes with passion, and without that passion, it’s astroturfing and forced and … well, crap.”

Blog Run should read my post again. If they did, they’d discover that I said:

I believe that, as an employer, my company has an obligation to encourage all of the practitioners in my firm to explore blogging. As a minimum, everyone must be familiar with it as a communications channel. And those who have the inclination, passion and viewpoint necessary to express their own voice must be given the tools to explore active participation in the conversation.


We’re making these blogs available behind our firewall so that anyone who has the inclination to test their voice can do it in the safety of our corporate environment. We’re encouraging people to use their blogs to share project information, to express opinions on business issues, to entertain, whatever they want.

I know that many people will not post to their internal blogs. That’s OK. Active blogging isn’t for everyone. But we’re making the tool available in the same way that we offer all our employees media monitoring services, media list generation databases and word processors and spreadsheets.

So, Blog Run has failed to accurately portray what I said. In fact, their point of view isn’t really out of line with what I actually wrote. Active blogging isn’t for everyone. Bloggers must have inclination, passion and viewpoint.

As for making internal blogs available to be used by each of our employees? I’m sure not going to apologize for giving my employees the tools and resources to explore a new communications medium that I believe will revolutionize the practice of public relations.