If ever you wondered whether blogging was really ubiquitous, wonder no more. It has reached HHS Web site.
HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt sought the free-form, often incomprehensible opinion mosh pit as part of a campaign to engage Americans and their leaders in preparing for a potential influenza pandemic.
Government alone cant prepare the nation for a pandemic, Leavitt writes on the site, blog.pandemicflu.gov. The blog summit is an innovative and efficient forum for bringing together leaders for a lively discussion on the pandemic preparedness movement.
Well, he asked for it.
There is some seriously wonky stuff on the blog. Michael Coston, the founder of another blog called the Avian Flu Diary, writes in a 2,700-word post: One of the best reservoirs of talent available to the government today are members of flu forums, sometimes called flubies, who already are well-informed, passionate and ahead of the curve on pandemic preparation.
There is also some high-minded commentary that may not exactly reflect current HHS thinking. Albert Ruesga, the founding editor of yet another blog called White Courtesy Telephone, writes: I applaud the efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services to help Americans prepare for an influenza pandemic. But as I see it, the most effective way to help those in the lowest-income brackets prepare for this tragedy is to urge this and all administrations to bolsterrather than dismantlethe safety net for the poor. The presidents 2008 budget proposed deep reductions in domestic discretionary spending to continue financing tax cuts for those of us who are well-off.
You have to give credit to HHS for opening itself up to such commentary, and wonder if the effort will be repeated.