Monday, August 27, 2007

Fountain of shame: Blog posts photos of vandals

The Portland Water Bureau's "Water Blog" is using a new tool to combat an expensive nuisance in the City's fountains: shame. Posting a mugshot of the nineteen-year old accused hooligan, the blog goes on to describe the sudsy problem -- 75,000 gallons of water dumped at a cost of about $1000 for each incident. (Who knew?!)

According to the Bureau, the blog is alone among the nation's municipal water utilities and blogs everything from water main breaks to whether or not simultaneous flushing during a Super Bowl half-time wreaks havoc on the water system.

Back to the detergent drama, for those wondering, the blog reminds readers that the "pictures, names and addresses of people who are charged are public record." Chalk this up as yet another creative way blogs are being used to disseminate information to the public -- and discourage unlawful behavior. Does your blog encourage civic responsibility?

28 Aug @ 15:30 -- Update:
There's been follow-up on this story, and the use of blogging as a means to shame those caught commiting crimes. The Water Bureau lists various media outlets reporting on the story, and New York Times blogger Mike Nizza says, "Don't Mess with the Portland Water Bureau" (including a reference to this post).

Stay tuned for more information on the power of blogs -- including a wrap-up of the KATU Blogger Meetup -- throughout the week, right here.

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