U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

EERE Communication Standards & Guidelines

Blogs

Here you'll find the requirements and best practices for creating and maintaining a blog on the EERE website. For a description of what a blog is, how they can benefit your site, and some things to consider before starting one, see the overview of blogs on HowTo.gov.

Requirements

These are the requirements for developing a blog.

Receiving Approval

Before you start work on your blog, you need to fill out a copy of the EERE Blog Charter .

This charter should be submitted to theĀ Web Governance Team for review. Once the Web Governance Team has reviewed your charter, contact Alex Clayborne to set up your new blog.

Hosting

For security purposes, all blogs must be hosted at EERE's internal blogging service at eereblogs.energy.gov. Do not host a blog on an external, third-party website.

Designing a Blog

Like all websites, developing a new blog will require some new graphics. While EERE has a standard template for all blogs, you will need graphics for your new blog.

The EERE Logo and DOE Seal

The banner must include the EERE logo with the DOE seal. Contact Chris Stewart for a copy of the DOE seal. For an example of the logo used with the seal, see the Communication Standards blog.

Additionally, all blogs must specify the initiative, program, or overall mission that the blog supports on their blog's front page. This information is usually included in the "About this Blog" section:

This blog supports the (Office/Initiative/Etc.) of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

Include a link back to your program's website.

Standard Blog Disclaimer Text

All blogs owned and managed by EERE must use EERE's standard blog disclaimer text. This text describes EERE's approach to privacy, linking, and commenting. You must create a page on your blog that includes these disclaimers and link to this page from somewhere on your blog.

Maintenance Costs

Any EERE employee who wishes to maintain a blog should plan time and funding for the following tasks:

  • Time to research, write, edit, and code blog posts.
  • Time to moderate comments. Though this depends on how many comments your blog receives, it can take up to an hour a week to moderate blog comments.

Oversight of EERE Blogs

EERE Program Directors are the owners of all blogs maintained by their programs. They must be aware of all blogs within their jurisdiction and assure the appropriateness and quality of the content being posted on them.

EERE Program Directors should maintain oversight of their blogs in the following ways:

  • Know how much time is invested regularly in their program's blogs
  • Hold quarterly reviews of the content to make sure it is appropriate and accurate
  • Periodically review all blogs to determine if they are active and still relevant.

Best Practices

This section lists the best practices for maintaining a blog on EERE. When developing a blog, all programs should consider how they will approach writing and responding to content on their blogs.

Content and Professionalism

Blogs are not official publications of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. However, blogs associated with EERE should be accurate, fair, and unbiased.

Additionally, all communication should be professional and courteous. Blogs must fit the mission of EERE and not interfere with the primary mission of the organization. Any EERE staff or contractor who participates in an EERE blog, whether by posting content or leaving a comment, should:

  • Limit blogging to factual issues (research and development topics, etc.), rather than in-depth discussion of Administration or Departmental policy
  • Avoid discussion of confidential information
  • Use professional standards in language and decorum
  • Withhold personal opinions on office, departmental, and administration policy
  • Assure that all content is accurate, and inform readers if content is changed, updated, or corrected
  • Be aware that bloggers represent the U.S. Department of Energy with their posts
  • Understand and adhere to the policies explained in the standard blog disclaimer text

Comments

By default, all EERE blogs have "moderated comments," where comments are not visible until one of the blog's writers approves them. Moderated comments are encouraged in order to avoid automated spam and inappropriate content.

EERE bloggers should not use the ability to moderate comments to suppress disagreement or negative comments. While it is up to the discretion of every individual EERE blogger to determine the level of civility required to participate on their blog, comments should normally only be removed if they are disruptive, contain spam, do not follow the guidelines in EERE's standard blog disclaimer text, or contain content that violates state or federal law.