As the president prepares to take his annual look ahead in the State of the Union, I thought I might do the same for this blog and get feedback from readers.
Our friends at DipNote (the State Department’s official blog) did just that a few weeks ago:
Since launch, we have made a strong attempt to get you on-the-ground blogging and will continue to strive for more of this in 2008. Also in the new year, we plan on addressing design/redesign issues, upgrading the design and functionality of our photo gallery, launching a micro blogging effort via Twitter, and embarking on joint partnerships to provide further opportunities for an interactive user experience. And, of course, we will continue to provide as much behind the scenes content as possible.
There is nothing like a little collegial inspiration to keep things fresh and relevant, right?
In that spirit, I do want to be a better blogger in 2008, posting more interesting content and peeling back the curtain even more.
I’d also like to inveigle one or more co-bloggers into the fold. Yes, it eats away at me when I’m able to post only sporadically.
There are some design enhancements I hope to see, for instance, useful features such as “most recent comments” in the sidebar and a more thoughtful approach to blogrolling.
I’ve also been mulling an actual name for this blog. “Library of Congress Blog” is about a tautological as it gets, no? I’m open to ideas, but the leading candidate in my mind is “The Fourth Door.” There are three magnificent bronze doors entering into the Great Hall of the Thomas Jefferson Building representing three communications revolutions: oral tradition, writing and printing. Around here, we often say that our Web site, which gets tens of millions of visits each year, is a metaphorical “fourth door” through which we help impart knowledge and wisdom. As far as I can tell, though, no one here has actually taken that name, so I might have to call squatter’s rights.
Finally, like our nation’s diplomatic corps, I have been giving some thought to Twitter. The indispensable Justin Thorp recently showed me the Twitter ropes and dispelled a few of my more, shall we say, cynical notions about microblogging. Granted, answers to the question “What are you doing?” might be more interesting coming from a DipNote blogger tromping through the jungle in Burundi than from a guy like me dodging the traffic on Second Street to get a cup of coffee.
Still, we’re learning more and more about social media each day, and we’re putting our toes into the water wherever it seems to make the most sense.
What do readers think can or should be done better with this blog?
And to a previous commenter who asked when we might have a YouTube page, I will just say: Stay tuned.