One of the greatest things about a blog is the casual manner (however manufactured it maybe) in which they are both written and read. It allows for a level of candidness (on the parts of both the reader and written) that do not come across the same way in a press release, campaign speech, or corporate statement. As we have seen lately, however, that does not mean that blogs can go unchecked. Those fabulous lads over at The Bivings Report tell us that Deborah Howell makes a number of good comments about this in relation to the recent blog by William H. Arkin. The short story of it is that in his capacity as a blogger for washingpost.com, Free Willy published a piece referring to American soldiers as "mercanaries." While it is not for me to decide whether this is warranted or not, what matters is that that this kind of commentary is frowned upon by the editors at The Post. As another Post blogger points out, blogging is like dealing with "live ammo." Because of the immediacy with which things can be published and the fact that blogs are often not as tightly edited as traditional media,
What we can learn from this is that although blogs can have a slightly casual manner, they should never be mistaken for an off-the-record fireside chat. An organisation's blog must be monitored as well as any other publication. Amanda Marcotte (Pandagongate, anyone?) reminded us that even if you try and delete something, it will still haunt you.