Whitehall Watch today passed a milestone – over 100,000 hits.
I have to confess that when I started this blog-site just over 3 years ago I had no idea what sort of ‘audience’ it might attract, or whether it was worth the effort. At Christopher Pollitt’s recent retirement “do” at Leuven he quipped that “Public Management academics rarely make it into the media” – and he is right. But he also added, “except of course for Colin” which was a tribute not to me but the readers of this blog and the knock-on effect it as. All I’ve done is what more of us should be doing – engaging.
Indeed, I started out thinking of WW as my alternative to shouting at the radio in the morning. Of course it was more than that – it was part of the importance of engagement, something academics ought to see as part of their duties but too few do. Speaking truth to power is not something easily done through the pages of top academic journals or books – you need something more like a megaphone. That is available to us now through the wonders of the internet – more of us ought to be using it. A brilliant example to us all is the LSE’s Policy and Politics and related blogs.
Of course, the success of Whitehall Watch (WW) is not to be judged just by numbers of hits on the website. Also important is who is reading it. The readership is mainly UK, but we also has readers in over 60 countries. I also know that significant numbers in the media and public policy in the UK regularly read it, including inside 10 Downing Street, the BBC and elsewhere.
My only real disappointment is that WW has attracted less comment and discussion than I would have liked. I personally enjoy nothing better than a good debate about ideas, evidence and values.
So, I think on balance the experiment has been a moderate success and I’d like to especially thank all my regular readers. And take this opportunity to ask you all to help build WW’s engagement by making more comments and also by recommending it to friends and colleagues.
For those of you for whom Easter is a significant time, Happy Easter. And for everyone else, be happy and well anyway.