Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Singapore Police Force in YouTube (or "Should our SPF have a blog?") - Part 2

[From Part 1]

Police agencies and Blogs
Speaking about the police force and new media, I always like to cite the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) blog -

I remember LAPD as one of the first (and maybe the only?) police force to use a new media platform in support of their official website.

The tone of the blog is NOT conversational. It doesn't speak to the reader. In fact, the blog posts are the same as their official news release (compare this, with this).

But the blog allows comments (whereas it might be distracting to have public comments peppered all over the official LAPD website).

The LAPD blog was very focused on publishing crime updates. Which meant I could subscribe to the feeds and get the latest and complete list of alerts and updates without having to visit their website every other day.

I also saw the value of the LAPD blog as an additional channel to solicit feedback, and to extend their reach.

In fact, I visited the LAPD official website AFTER I discovered their blog.

Should our police force (SPF) have a blog?
I used to think that our Singapore Police Force (SPF) should have a blog like LAPD's.

But that was before they revamped their website, as I just learned. I remember their site used to have a flashy landing page, where I had to click Enter, and then it brought me to a homepage that was cluttered looking. I didn't know where to start.

Now the SPF website looks like this:
Singapore Police Force

Less clutter, loads faster, and easier to find my way around.

Their center page really looks like a blog post that featured headlines and introductory sentences. Click on the headlines to read more. Works like a blog within the main official website.
Singapore Police Force

The "article link" is really a link to the individual press release:
Singapore Police Force - Media Information Centre

SPF ought to create a RSS feed for this section. It would make it really "blog-like".

And if they add categories (like "Missing Persons", "Unsolved Cases", "Public Information Needed") for each "post" or news release, that would facilitate browsing of information.

Oh, add a search engine too.

Those features -- the RSS feeds, the post categories, the search engine -- they can be easily incorporated .

So, I don't think SPF really need to have a blog per se.


Suppose SPF really does start a blog? What should it blog about? I have some ideas to share at the next post.

[Next: Part 3 - Ideas for a SPF Community-Engagement blog]

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