The staff at Office for Coastal Management get a lot of technical questions and provide a lot of answers, but those answers don’t generally get published even if they might be common issues. Sounds like material for a big page of frequently asked questions. However, a big FAQ doesn’t allow other people to add comments, clarifications, or new ideas. In addition, there are times when we’d like to put some ideas out there for the community to chew on without requiring or implying the corporate seal of approval.
After thinking about a number of options, like the aforementioned FAQ, forum, or listserve, we’ve decided to go with a blog. We think the blog offers the flexibility we’re looking for and we’re willing to dive in and give it a try. So, what will this look like and what are the rules of the game?
We expect there will be a number of different authors of blog posts covering a range of topics. Many of the topics will be in some way geospatial, including programming tricks and trends for dealing with geospatial data, but we’ll also delve into broader areas. Authors will be identified individually so you’ll know where to start if you want to contact us on a topic. Posts will have some basic spelling and grammar checks, but don’t expect the kind of polish you would find in our usual outreach material (we’d never get a post finished). We also look for some interesting posts from outside the organization too, including from partner organizations and other federal agencies.
You’re encouraged to provide comments. Especially comments that add to the discussion or let us know of topics you’d like to see discussed. Since we’re a government site, we’ll have to have some sort of moderation to eliminate inappropriate posts. Civil discussion is appropriate regardless of whether or not it agrees with blog, as long as it is on topic. All the topics should be of some technical nature, so that shouldn’t be a difficult bar to get over.
Hope you’ll be joining us.