Last week, the DOE debut they new “Energy Blog”. In the blog’s first entry, Energy Secretary Steven Chu explained the purpose of this new outreach format, stating “While the act of starting a blog is hardly novel, it is a first for us and part of our commitment to achieving the level of transparency, engagement, and accessibility that you should expect from your government.”
Some of the promises are what you’ve come to expect when a new social media campaign is unveiled: a Facebook page, a YouTube Channel, photos on Flickr, and the ubiquitous Twitter feed. On the other hand, it does appear that the DOE plans to use the blog itself as both news repository and as a forum for user interaction with key members of the DOE. For example, the Energy Blog hosted a Q&A with Assistant Secretary for Policy and International Affairs David Sandalow (via Facebook and Twitter) about the Clean Energy Ministerial.
Although in its infancy, the blog includes a healthy dose of entries related to those areas of energy efficiency often covered in the pages of Distributed Energy. Here is a sampling:
• Seeking Greater Influence in the World of Low-Energy Buildings
• Cool Roofs Lead to Cooler Cities
• Energy Innovation Hubs and the Quest to Turn Sunlight Into Fuel
So what do you think? Is this blog (and extended social media campaign) an effective tool for the promotion of energy efficiency? Is the content complex enough to whet the appetite of big energy users, or so you think the emphasis on social media indicates that this blog is intended for the general public? And if that’s the case, is the DOE hitting the right audience?