UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

A Team Or An Individual’s Blog?

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 23 January 2007

If you are thinking about providing a blog service for your project, your department or your service should you set up a team blog or should the information be provided by an individual or group of individuals, each with the own blog?

If the blog is intended for formal announcements or as a news service, then possibly an anonymous blog would be sensible. Similarly if the task of creating content is to shared across a group, then a team blog would seem desirable.

However a team blog may lack a ‘voice’ or personality and can be difficult to maintain a dialogue and ongoing discussions with the readers of a blog if there are multiple authors. Also asking all team members of a group contribute to a blog could well be counter-productive as writing a blog is not necessarily a skills that everyone will have or will feel comfortable with.

The approach taken at the JISC-CETIS service is to provide a blog environment for CETIS team members to use in ways which reflects their personal preferences and also the areas of work they are involved in and the needs and preferences related to those areas of work. In addition postings which are felt to be of wider interest can be aggregated by the CETIS editor.

Another approach to the aggregation of postings from a number of individual blogs would be to make use of a blog aggregation service, such as Planet, which enables individuals to blog according to their own preferences and for their particular target audience, whilst allowing readers to subscribe to either an individual’s blog or the service’s aggregated blog.

A sensible compromise?

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3 Responses to “A Team Or An Individual’s Blog?”

  1. We’ve been having this discussion internally on and off for a little while now. I think we’ll probably end up with a team blog – a single location for both reading and creating content (effectively informal announcements).

    The other option we’ve looked at was aggregating individual blog posts marked with a certain tag (so you don’t get everyone’s much more frequent cat posts drowning out the constructive content), but then you’ve got the overhead of someone maintaining the Planet (or whatever) config, and we just can’t be bothered.

  2. I’ve just come across the How you SHOULD and SHOULD NOT use blogs in education posting which has links to Blogsavvy postings on how you should and how you should not use blogs in education.
    In particular it says:
    Group blogs are a bad idea and don’t work: Sure there’s a place for collaborative/ group blogs but that place is not in education. Blogs work well for individuals… they are tools of centred communication and pretty far removed from community management systems like Drupal. Just don’t go there!
    Now although I work in higher education, I’m not sure I’m involved in education in the way this extract suggests. The postings are worth reading (and I do agree with the comment “Ignore RSS at your peril!”.

  3. Yeah I remember reading that at the time. In the context of the post, James later goes on to expand “education” as “teaching and learning”.

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