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February 01, 2006
Chicago Transit chair got blogging inspiration in a bar
I was on a panel in Chicago yesterday with Carole Brown, a senior official at Lehman Bros., and also chair of Chicago's Transit Authority, the second largest urban system in the country. She said that while she waited for a friend in a bar during a CTA funding crisis last year, she was reading on her PDA all the caustic comments about her in an online forum. One person called her the "angel of death." That was when she decided to blog. Lots of important officials would set up a meeting and ask a tech team to search out the right blogging platform. Carole just set up her free blog on Blogger. She doesn't post that often. But there's dialog and the comments are good.
Also at the panel, hosted by The Executives' Club of Chicago, was John Iwata, head of worldwide communications for IBM. (I planned to link to this Forbes bio of him, but you spend about 45 seconds clicking through ads and welcome screens...) He talked about IBM's blog guidelines, which were created on a Wiki. They're worth a look, if you haven't seen them yet. I'm thinking we could adapt them for BusinessWeek.
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I think Carole Brown is a pioneer, and more elected officials should follow here lead. Blogs are the perfect tool for dialogue with constituents about important public policy issues. Every local government should implement a blog to inform AND involve their citizens.
Posted by: Bob at February 1, 2006 10:34 AM
What a wonderful idea! She read about customer concerns and used a blog to quickly connect with people. She could have just as easily written a snarky, aloof op-ed in response, then ignore the rabble. But Carole Brown engaged the critics and had a conversation with them.
Posted by: LB at February 1, 2006 08:26 PM
She's certainly earned the respect of a lot of us here in Chicago, for her unusual candor at her blog, and her willingness to let critical comments appear.
Posted by: Jason Pettus at February 10, 2006 07:41 PM
I haven't noticed things improving at the CTA just because Ms Brown has a blog. I wonder how much we're paying someone to blog for her.
Posted by: Cheryl at March 12, 2007 01:44 PM