Iain Dale yesterday brought us this intriguing item, a Parliamentary Question from David Ruffley.
David Ruffley: To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how much the Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform’s blog has cost to administer in each month since its inception; what the budget for the blog is for 2007-08; and how many unique visitors to the blog there have been since May.
Jim Murphy: The Welfare Reform and Child Poverty blog was launched on the DWP internet site on 16 October 2006. Costs to develop and administer the blog were met from existing resources, and current staffing levels. Ongoing maintenance equates to half the time of one member of staff. From October to date this has cost £1,487 per month.At present no funding decisions have been made about the financial year 2007-08.Since it was launched it has attracted 1,987 unique visitors resulting in 4,731 hits
Now, if this blog has been up for three months, and is costing £1,487 per month, this means that the blog is costing over £2 per visitor. And the subject of the blog Child Poverty! As Mr Littlejohn would say, ‘you couldn’t make it up’. If you look at the blog, in the last months, there have been just 4 posts (which read like press releases…). And they are paying half a member of staff to maintain it ?
I cannot add anything to Iain Dale’s comment except to say its nice from an ego polishing pov to know that a government funded and maintained website dealing with a very important topic gets as many hits in three months as Boggart Blog gets in a week but as a taxpayer it makes me puke.