Government IT leaders should blog more

When I talk to city and local government technology leaders about their challenges and lessons learned, I’m often surprised they don’t openly and regularly share their experiences with the civic technology community or, in general, the citizens they serve.

Reasons include time or political constraints or that they don’t have an outlet to do so. There’s either no official platform for them to blog or they lack the resources to create one. While there are some chief technology officers and chief information officers who occasionally write for established government IT publications, there is an unfortunate lost opportunity in the lack of regularity here.

Federal agency CIOs have an official site ( dedicated to this. Locally, there are a handful, such as Seattle CTO Bill Schrier, who keeps a personal blog focused mostly on government technology issues.

There are a number of local IT leaders doing fantastic work that should be openly presented and discussed from a first-hand perspective. If more did this, it would not only help validate their work, potentially help increase their political clout, but also encourage others to follow suit or, even better, have a point of reference for launching similar initiatives.

Whether it’s on GovFresh, your personal blog or official government website, set a regular schedule, create a content strategy and take the initiative to share your experiences. Your colleagues and the citizens you serve will appreciate the effort, and I can assure you your influence and leadership within the government IT community will grow exponentially and immediately.

If you’re a city or municipal government IT executive interested in sharing your ideas, questions, projects or lessons learned on GovFresh, please feel free to email me at

About Luke Fretwell

Luke Fretwell is the founder of GovFresh, co-founder/CEO of ProudCity and co-host of the podcast, The Government We Need. Connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn or email at

1 Response

  1. This is an awesome post Luke and I completely agree with your points. 

    I find myself sometimes frustrated in my city of Baltimore – the city that created OpenBaltimore – that we lack transparent leaders who talk about their challenges and goals publicly.  It’s a bit ironic.  But, after digging around and putting some pressure on our leaders, I have come to find that the challenges are so great that the thought of spending a minute away from solving those challenges to talk about them is viewed as a waste of time.  So, maybe they should be aggressively fighting those fires and building new infrastructure and let someone else act as communicator.

    I’d like to see more cities follow the lead of Mayor Bloomberg and create public-facing cabinet positions that address this need.  NYC’s Chief Digital Officer, Rachel Sterne, does this. She’s transparent, visionary, and as engaging as you can get.  Not necessarily because she’s just that way, but because the job description requires her to be those things.  I think it’s time for cities to follow NYC’s lead and invest in transparent officers that engage online and off, and can act as a two-way connection between the slower moving bureaucracies and the much more agile and dynamic communities within.


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