I suppose this venture into the blogosphere is in response to Executive Member for Transport Jon Rogers' call for more "openness and transparency" but these seem to be concepts that our consultant friends have some trouble with. On the one and only post of the blog we are told -
Welcome to the Bristol Cycling City cycling advisers' blog! This is the online home of Bristol’s first team of Cycling Advisers, who will be doing their bit to help the Cycling City project double the number of cyclists in Bristol by 2011.So the number of cyclists is to double by 2011 is it? Thats only a little over a year and a half away! That's quite a tall order by any standards, but who are we to question the words of such reputable consultants as Steer Davies Gleave? Oh, but Steer Davies Gleave have already questioned it for us. On the very same page the blog sidebar announces -
Bristol is the UK's first Cycling City - an opportunity for Bristol to double the number of cyclists over the next three years.So now it seems the target is to be met over three years, not one and a half years as we are told on the blog post. Or does the blogpost supercede the sidebar? Who knows? Not Steer Davies Gleave for a start, since they are obviously in two minds about it. Still with such an eminently flexible approach to the time scale we can be a little more hopeful that the target, whatever it is, will be reached. No doubt the details of the target will be made public in good time, presumably after they have decided it has been met.
Steer Davies Gleave must be blogging newbies because they seem to have overlooked certain blogging conventions like, for a start, not altering blog posts after some criticism has been made of it in order to invalidate the criticism. Their original post was titled Good Morning Bishopston and referred to their "elite team of cycling advisors". Now, after I posted a mildly critical Tweet about it, we find it altered to "Good Morning Bristol", and "our first team of cycling advisers".
No problem about being unsure how to spell adviser, or even changing Bishopston to Bristol, but trying to invalidate my reference to elite isn't really on, although I suppose they redeem themselves slightly by leaving in the other reference to their "crack team of cycling advisors" in the sidebar. All the same they might be well advised to drop references to "crack" when doorstepping in certain areas of Bristol.
But even worse than altering posts to invalidate subsequent criticism is not to allow comments to be posted (yes, I made one, perfectly civil it was too), especially when the format adopted actually invites comments. The comments system is a vital part of blogging since it allows others the opportunity to question and criticise blog posts, so ensuring that a fair degree of that fabled "openness and transparency" so highly valued by the Executive Member, who is of course no stranger to these conventions himself.
Since preparing this post Steer Davies Gleave have now gone and pulled the blog completely! So that's GBB 1 - SDG 0 so far in the blog wars. For the sake of the historical record I've recreated the SDG blog here. This is exactly as the blog appeared, bar a few minor details like the posting date (was 30th April), for its brief life.
The pics by the way have nothing much to do with the story but are my little contribution to the Bristol Cycling Chic theme.