Monday, March 10, 2008

"Terrorists Evolve. Threats Evolve. Security Must Stay Ahead. You Play A Part."

I decided to type "Blog" into a Google News search to see what came up and the first thing that did was an article from the Mercury News on how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now accepting complaints via their blog. (See for the original article).

The blog, entitled Evolution of Security, lets the TSA share information on security and safety with the general public and lets the public respond to the articles or with any complaints they might have. What I found the most interesting was the Delete-O-Meter located prominently on the right hand side which tracked the number of user comments that had been deleted (125 when I was on the blog). In the explanation of this feature, the TSA notes that it wants to be transparent - and then goes on to explain what will get a comment deleted.

We talked in class about how transparency leads to greater acceptance on the Web. It seems that the TSA has embraced this philosophy (I can imagine a poster, being angry at finding his comment deleted for no stated reason, spamming the TSA wall and railing against them in other forums....). I posted a while back that the link to the YouTube video below my post seemed to be broken. A classmate of mine pointed out that the video is once again accessible. I thought about changing my post to reflect this.... I may go back and strike through it, but other than that, I don't feel a need to edit it out. All of this goes back to the issue of transparency on the Web. Because it is so easy to change things, people may feel a blog that is constantly edited loses some of the informality that makes a blog great.

It seems to me that the TSA has recognized the need to keep their blog informal if it wants it to be relevant. However, it also recognized the need for moderation of the content. The solution - a Delete-O-Meter!

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