City of Seattle Citylink Standard


CityLink is a network of blogs hosted by the City and posted on department Web sites, aggregated into a single Citywide web site, delivering immediate information about City services and activities.

Department blogs

  • Departments that want to participate in CityLink will make a request to the Mayor's office. If approved, they will receive a WordPress blog instance hosted by the City, and will prominently place a CityLink widget on their departmental home page.
  • All entries will be aggregated to the Citywide CityLink Web site.
  • Each department blog under the CityLink brand must follow CityLink standards. The department may submit additional guidelines that are unique to its blog.
  • In addition to its own standards, CityLink will adhere to the following City of Seattle policies:
  • All blogs will follow the same naming convention: (blog name)

Site administration

  • Blogs must remain current and have entries posted within the past two weeks. All blogs are approved and continue at discretion of Mayor's communications director.
  • All entries are to be published and approved by a department's public information officer (PIO), or designated alternate. Other staff members may draft, but not publish entries.
  • Passwords will be issued and maintained by the DoIT Citywide Web Team.


  • For postings that affect City department other than the one originating the blog post, the department PIO will coordinate with the other department(s) before posting.
  • For postings that affect multiple departments or directly involve a mayoral policy, the department PIO will coordinate with the Mayor's office and the department(s) involved.
  • During activation of the Emergency Operations Center, the department PIO will coordinate with the Joint Information Center on any postings that are related to the activation.
  • Video links will stream content from the Seattle Channel. Links to external video will be included only if it is deemed necessary and not feasible to host video from the Seattle Channel.


  • All CityLink formats including graphics, categories, blog rolls, calendars, etc. will be set by the DoIT Citywide Web team at the discretion of the Mayor's communications team.
  • All blog entries will follow AP style. Headlines will be upper and lower case.
  • When there is new information on a previous posting, the entry may be updated. Standard format is to put the word "Update:" in italics before the new text.
  • Links to external sites outside should be made on a limited basis, and open a new window.
  • Comments and trackbacks will be turned off. They may be turned on for a moderated comment thread on a case-by-case basis with approval of the Mayor's office and following the City blogging policy.
  • If comments are allowed, the following disclaimer will follow the comment boxes:
    (name of blog) is a moderated blog. We welcome your comments, which will be reviewed before posting during normal business hours. Under the City of Seattle Blogging Policy, the City will not post inappropriate comments including those that have obscene language or sexual content, threaten or defame any person or organization, violate the legal ownership interest of another party, support or oppose political candidates or ballot propositions, promote illegal activity, promote commercial services or products or are not topically related to the particular blog article.

    Any comments submitted to this blog are public records subject to disclosure pursuant to RCW 42.56. Public disclosure requests must be directed to the (insert department) public disclosure officer.

Fourteen initial launch blogs

SPD Blotter (SPD), On the Move (SDOT), Fire Line (Fire), Power Lines (SCL), The Scoop (Animal Shelter), Bottom Line (OED), At Your Service (SPU), Building Connections (DPD), Nickels Notebook (MO), Art Beat (Arts), Alerts (Joint Information Center), Parkways (Parks), Center Spotlight (Seattle Center), Employee blog (InWeb).


All content including postings and comments shall be archived in their original format on City servers.

Bill Schrier, Chief Technology Officer, City of Seattle
October 2, 2009