Blogging with the Coast Guard

Now that my presentation at BlogWell is done, I’m listening to Commander Ron LaBrec talk about what the U.S. Coast Guard is doing with blogging and social media.

One of the best quotes, from one of his superiors: “You’re already in the social media environment. If you choose not to engage, you’re assuming all the risks with none of the potential benefits.”

Coast Guard engaged a consultant to help them find ways to listen to the relatively small portion of the blogosphere concerned with the Coast Guard. The consultant developed a dashboard in Pageflakes to pull the feeds together.

Here is iCommandant, the Coast Guard’s main blog, authored by Admiral Thad Allen.

The Coast Guard also has a Flickr account and a YouTube channel, as well as a Twitter presence. Here’s some video from the US Airways crash:


iCommandant has helped set the agenda for some many non-Coast Guard blogs concerned about some of the same issues.

Instead of just using social media for PR and communications, they’re now looking at how these tools can change the way the organization works.