Photo: Phil Bertolini, CIO of Oakland County

Blogging novices got a quick tutorial in Oakland County, Mich., over Labor Day weekend at the region's annual Arts, Beats & Eats festival. The county Department of Information Technology created a "Blogin' Café," in which 2,300 of the festival's 1.5 million attendees blogged on bLOGINCafe.com. The county created the site for the festival.

"The blog itself was really to see if there was a need by the public to blog. Many of them didn't even know what a blog was, and many rounds of applause were given for those that were first-time bloggers," said Phil Bertolini, CIO of Oakland County. He said the project revealed that blogging is a useful way to collect citizens' feedback on government issues.

Utilizing the county's community server to host bLOGINcafe.com, the three-day event offered 15 outdoor computers, 20 indoor computers and a volunteer team of county IT technicians to provide instruction on blogging.

"We had people coming from our court and our clerk's office to volunteer," Bertolini said.

Oakland County mostly used its existing resources to establish the bLOGINcafé, and that kept costs down.


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Andy Opsahl  |  Features Editor