As detailed in its About page, the blog is designed to serve two purposes, consultation and demonstration,
1. The team needs to consult with site visitors to ensure the Guide will meet their needs. This consultation will be done via traditional focus groups and through the use of a project blog. The blog will provide a valuable source of user feedback to inform the redevelopment of the Guide.AGIMO have chosen to use a Wordpress blogging platform - which minimises the cost and time required to get such a site up-and-running (as do several similar services such as Blogger and Typepad).
2. The Guide provides practical information and examples on a range of different topics relevant to website design and maintenance. The team will use the Guide in order to model practical examples of the guidance contained within the Guide. The blog is an extension of this principle. It will provide an example of both a redevelopment project and a blog, demonstrating the processes and governance of each.
The blog is using a post-publication moderation approach (comments are moderated after appearing in the blog - except for those detected as spam or inappropriate which are pre-moderated), which stimulates active conversation. This also indicates that AGIMO is trusting public servants and other web professionals to engage appropriately, which I expect they will.
I hope that this step into the world of online engagement helps other government agencies feel more comfortable with the medium, get past the apparent 'newness' of blogging and focus on the value they can derive.
This value includes being able to connect with constituents and stakeholders and participate directly in conversations, as well as providing agencies with a direct and authentic voice online, ensuring that their views are heard - rather than reinterpreted, or ignored, by the media.