UK Web Focus

Innovation and best practices for the Web

Policies For This Blog

Posted by Brian Kelly on 31 January 2007

I suggested recently that there’s a need to define the role(s) of a blog if any meaningful measurements of the effectiveness of a blog are to be carried out.

I’ve therefore published a Blog Policy page on this blog’s Web site which includes a summary of the aims of the blog together with descriptions of policies covering use of the blog.

In brief:

  • The contents of the blog should address issues related to the Web, including Web standards, innovative Web developments and best practices in providing Web services.
  • The blog will also provide a test bed for experiments and for testing new services and provide access to discussions about the experiment.
  • The blog will provide an opportunity for me to ‘think out loud“: i.e. describe speculative ideas, thoughts which may occur to me, etc. which may be of interest to others or for which I would welcome feedback.
  • The blog will seek to both disseminate information and encourage discussion and debate.
  • The target audience includes Web authors, developers, designers and policy maker and the wider digital library and Web research community, in particular those in the UK higher and further education communities and cultural heritage sectors, together with key players in the international community.
  • A set of procedures will be published which will aim to ensure that the blog implements these policies and that the blog is widely accessible, functional and interoperable.
  • The writing style, grammar and design of links will seek to make the blog readable.
  • Minor changes to blog postings and comments may be made to fix errors.
  • Comments which are felt to be spam or are inappropriate will be deleted.
  • In exceptional circumstances, postings and comments may be deleted.
  • The scope, policies, target audiences and procedures may be subject to change in light of experiences, resource implications or changes in external factors.

Do we need such policies  or is this too bureaucratic?

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4 Responses to “Policies For This Blog”

  1. Let’s review those:

    You will aim to “discuss” your “thoughts” to a “target audience”, but reserve the right to change the type of discussion, the thoughts you have and who the target audience is.

    Hmm.

    Other than being a useful set of guidelines to help yourself keep on-topic I don’t really see what the point is.

  2. Paul Ayres said

    Hi Brian,

    While I appreciate the enthusiasm with which you’ve come to the world of blogging, despite being a rather late convert to it. To me talk of metrics, policies and guidelines seems to run against the whole free form of the blogging ethos, where expressing yourself via quick and easy web publishing is a key driver. To me it’s all about the writing.

    In terms of policies, when we set up the SOSIG blog a couple of years back, I came up with a policy document for it. Despite having a potential pool of over 20 contributors, my heavy handed approach put them off and only a few wrote anything for us. When I ‘removed the shackles’ many more gave it a try.

    Though I must confess that I have recently written up some ‘guidelines’ to try to promote blogging to economists, which was published by the Economics Network, but I hope these won’t put people off!

    Cheers,
    Paul

  3. Scott Wilson said

    Hi Brian,

    I think when you blog within an organisational context this starts to become important. At CETIS we have a policy document for just this purpose – it only applies to blogs.cetis.ac.uk blogs, not personal blogs, and is partly policy and partly practices (e.g. so that entries flagged for the main page fit the overall style). The main thing is to provide some guidance for staff who are fairly new to blogging, and to support our approach to selective aggregation of posts for our front page.

    At the TenCompetence workshop in Manchester last month, Paul Hollins and Tore Hoel presented a paper addressing some of the specific issues of organizational blogging (aka “workblogs”). However, its still in review so sadly no link yet! Give me a shout if you’d like a (private) view of the policy document and the paper.

    -S

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