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Dear Secretary Chertoff,

You’ve created a blog. Good for you. Nice job making a move to enter the conversation.

But I don’t think you are the one writing the blog.

If I were you, I would heed the advice of National Journal’s Danny Glover:

Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine think it’s a bad idea for politicians to try to adopt in the blogosphere the same “false voice” they have employed in ghost-written columns and press releases for generations.

I agree. This is a new media era, Washington. Your readers expect you to behave differently than you do in old media, and you only irritate us when you send your flacks into the blogosphere on your behalf.

Bottom line — it sounds like your public affairs shop is writing your posts. Don’t claim you are writing them if you are not. I’d love for you to prove me wrong and say that you are indeed writing the posts.

But I doubt it.

I think having your press folks write the blog in your name is why I think your blog doesn’t work — and why the State Department’s DipNote does.

Steve

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Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff has stepped into the blogosphere.

He is now authoring “Leadership Journal,” a blog under the official banner of the department. So far, he has posted once, on Wednesday, asking whether 9/11 was fading.

The blog has a very detailed and clear comment policy, and it appears that, after only 6 comments on the blog, the site administrator has already deleted one.

Kudos to DHS for putting themselves out there. I still have doubts that this will truly be a transparent conversation, or that Chertoff will keep up the blogging, for that matter (if he is indeed wrote his post himself).

My advice: Do more than censor comments; respond to them. Ask questions of your readers. Promote the existence of the blog with key online influencers who blog about national security — I know there are one or two out there… or a few hundred.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Mr. Secretary.

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