Where do YOU blog?

An interesting tweet exchange from @briankelly caused me to revisit an earlier post to this blog. The question is whether it’s good practice to host your blog off-site as in Brian’s UK Web Focus blog, or Andy Powell’s Eduserv Foundation blog, or whether if you’re blogging with the explicit support and encouragement of the organisation you’re working for, it shouldn’t be from an on-site platform, after all that’s what No 10 does – not to mention eBay and Yahoo – they all use the WordPress blogging platform.

That is not to say that you shouldn’t be using an engine such as Typepad or WordPress, but rather whether you should be running it in-house. Thus we (in Cardiff University) currently look both ways. On one hand we have a WordPress Blog for a Library site, and support for our website authors is also provided off-site; on the other hand we’ve been working hard to develop an industry strength blogging platform using Roller to support “enterprise/corporate blogging”, and Confluence for our wiki platform.

Is this a waste of time/resource? I think not! I believe we are very much following the IBM example of the multi-tiered approach to blogging.

From the enterprise, to the collaborative developer, to the marketeer, to the individual, IBMers express their thoughts and make pronouncements. All on different platforms, but it is clear that the first-one is where the official message from the organisation emanates.

Thus watch out for Cardiff Blogs, not to mention Cardiff Wikis (which will be kept as an internal collaboration environment and blogging platform for staff and students), it’ll be appearing in a browser window near you shortly!

3 thoughts on “Where do YOU blog?”

  1. Hi David

    Yes I agree that this is an interesting issue. At one stage, as you know, I used to highlight the availability of externally-hosted services as a challenge to IT Service departments who might not be interested (for a variety of reasons, some legitimate, some less so) in hosting such services.

    But over the past couple of years I’m beginning to wonder whether the externally-hosted services aren’t actually better – for the user, for the institution, for the IT Services department (which can free effort for services which can’t be outsourced) and even, possibly, for the planet (the centralised services as providing a more environmentally solution to the energy and global warming problems).

    We discussed these issues at a UKOLN event on wikis a couple of years ago. The (outsourced) notes are at:
    http://wiki-workshop-2006-11.wetpaint.com/page/Discussion-group-B3
    and the local copy is at
    http://www.ukoln.ac.uk/web-focus/events/workshops/wiki-workshop-2006/discussion-groups/discussion-group-B3-summary.php

    “Is this a waste of time/resource?” My colleague Paul Walk has recently highlighed some of the new dangers, related to the economic troubles –
    http://blog.paulwalk.net/2008/08/17/did-google-just-make-me-look-like-an-idiot/

    But I suspect the answer will be much more nuanced that in-house vs outsourcing – we still, for example, have the approaches based on the individual (buying server space and Web-based admin can now be done cheaply and you don’t need to be a skilled geek), the department, the national service (cf. the JISCMail discussion) and the global.

    1. Anne Marie, all you need to do is contact insrvConnect and ask to be enabled for – blogs.cf.ac.uk – they’re public so you can just go and look first to see what others have started. IMHO the blogging engine (Roller) is not a patch on WordPress, but there you go! As for wikis, there is a wiki service now live (Confluence) – this is internal only and again you can ask for registration. Confluence is “good” and worthy of looking at if you want to do collaborative working NOW within the university. On the otherhand, on the horizon and coming to a department very near you (I’m reliably informed – speak to Joe Nicholls) – we have Connections + Quickr. You going to Trydan next week, if so – might bump into you.

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