Who was that Masked Man?

That title (a hat-tip to the 1960’s Lone Ranger tv series) might date me, of course!

I spend breakfast-time most days listening to music and reading up on the latest on social media, plus links stored up from the previous day. It kickstarts the brain. Well, it does mine, anyway. However, today, my reading was tinged with sadness.

Out of the blue, the bloggers at We Love Local Gov announced they were closing the site down. No more will there be piquant, thought provoking, occasionally hilarious daily chapters from people who have always “got it”, to send me on my way once the final dregs of tea have been drained.

The news came just hours after the end of the #lgovsm tweet up about encouraging more blogging in and about local government. Particularly from within it. That made the We Love Local Gov news all the more of a shock, though I have to say I was quickly in agreement with this blog post from Dave Briggs of Kind of Digital.

I posted on the final WLLG blog my thanks to them for setting what I described as “the gold standard”  Three years of a solid, well-written and well-argued daily blog is one hell of a legacy. I hope that, as Dave Briggs said, they do end up being an inspiration and encouragement to others, and that others will want to, as it were, carry the torch from here. That is, of course, what the WLLG bloggers hope for, too.

The #lgovsm session suggested that although there are many local government bloggers, there are even more would-be ones who are being held back, or are feeling held back, by poor IT infrastructure at work, or (more commonly) by fear of what senior management might think, say or do, the moment the blog goes in some way “off message”. This is desperately sad, of course, especially as the view is often based on an un-tested assumption about that management reaction.

This is leading many to blog anonymously and outside their work context, but is leading many more to conclude that blogging is just too risky at a time of highly politicised, cash strapped local government. I understand that, of course, having been on the receiving end of my fair share of idiocy and knee-jerk reaction in my time. WLLG contributors remained anonymous, of course, but in their case, it enabled them collectively to convey a far broader context and content than any one blogger doing one job in one local authority could ever do.

So, thank you WLLG. All power now to the likes of Comms2point0  and Weekly Blog Club and a gauntlet thrown down to the rest of us.

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