UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

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IT Service Blogs

Posted by Brian Kelly on 10 Feb 2008

In a post last month entitled UCISA Award for UK Web Focus Blog I mentioned that I’ll be giving a talk on blogging at a UCISA workshop an Innovation and Communication which will take place on Thursday 14th February 2008.

I’m currently finalising my slides – which, incidentally, are available on the event’s Wetpaint wiki. On a discussion on the wiki Sue Cunningham asked: “One of the reasons people in our dept don’t want to start blogging is that they don’t think they would keep it up. Do you find it takes a lot of your time – is it difficult to post on a regular basis?

I would suggest that (a) blogs can be used to replace or complement existing communications channels and provide greater functionality (b) IT Services need to give greater priority to engaging with their users, otherwise the users will stop using their services and (c) we don’t have to work in isolation and sharing experiences and resources, such as blog policies, scripts, etc. and discussing best practices will benefit the wider community and is something that UCISA is good at.

My questions then:

  • What IT Services blogs are available (I’m aware of the Tech Services blog at Edge Hill University, Michael Webb’s at Newport and John Dale‘s at Warwick) ?
  • What experiences and best practices can be shared. Have any IT Service departments produced guidelines on the scope of their blogs, avoiding problems, dealing with spam comments, etc.?

The current version of my slides is available below (although this may be updated).

3 Responses to “IT Service Blogs”

  1. Mike Nolan said

    IT Services at Edge Hill actually offer four different blogs. In order of activity level: Web Services, Core Services, Tech Services and “IT Services Local”. When I get some time (!) I’ll post something about our blogging setup and how it’s working out for us – it’s nearly a year since we moved to a central blogging platform so that might be a good time to review.

  2. Jane said

    I know that our blog is completely utterly not an IT Service Blog, but certainly I have found that writing for the Archives Hub blog has been a great means to share experiences and discuss best practice, as Brian says. This topic interests me because you are talking about blogs aimed at ‘users’. However, the Hub blog does not appear to be something that users engage with – it is rather something that other archivists read and through the blog I have made connections with people, particularly in the US. I wonder how successful IT Service blogs that are actually aimed at users are? It seems to me that blogs are particularly successful as a means to have debate and discussion about your area of work – in our case archives and in particular data standards and new technologies. Users just want basic news updates and appreciate some nice images of archives.

  3. annewelsh said

    Looks like a good presentation – I’ll definitely reference your email suggestion (IWR Info Pro of the Year always a good source)!

    Your IT guys might be interested in Karen Harker’s blow-by-blow account of how they used a blog to save time and raise tech services’s profile at UT Southwestern Medical Library. Synopsis here and presentation here (Can’t find the page with the fast forward button, which is annoying as there’s a long explanation of why the blog is called “Duck Soup” at the start that’s not so relevant – sorry).


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