The University of Kentucky School of Human Environmental Sciences has launched an innovative web log that focuses on issues and policies affecting Kentucky families and communities.
“Our school has always provided excellent research and factual information on family issues for citizens and policymakers,” said Dr. Leigh Ann Simmons, assistant professor of family studies and leader of the effort. “The blog gives everyone clear and convenient access to this resource.”
Weblog, or “blog,” is an Internet website with dated entries that gives readers the ability to comment on those entries. Readers can interact with blog authors and other readers by starting online conversations through the comments.
“Citizens and legislators have a unique opportunity to form a dialogue in a very public way,” said Dr. Ann Vail, director of the UK School of Human Environmental Sciences. “The facts and research we provide will add value to the policy discussion, and the blog will give citizens and policymakers another way to reach each other.”
The blog, which can be found online at www.kyfp.org, provides information about existing and emerging programs in Kentucky communities. The authors do not advocate a particular political ideology or point of view, but offer research and programming information that will enhance current family policy debates ongoing in the state legislature.
The authors hope to use this blog as a model for others to follow nationwide. Topics are broken down by both county and issue to make it an easy-to-use tool. “By spreading the word online, we can generate more interest in family policy and in the people who develop it,” said Janet Johnson, Family and Consumer Sciences Cooperative Extension Agent in Allen County. “People can visit our blog to learn more about what’s happening both in their home counties and in Frankfort, and they’ll have a chance to share their thoughts as well.”
“Blogs are great tools to share facts quickly and get instant feedback,” said Dr. Simmons. “We’re really looking forward to supporting Kentucky’s family policy discussions and serving the citizens leading them.”