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Creating and maintaining a blog: the Archives Hub Blog

An introduction to blogging for archivists, presented at the Sharing Made Simple training course, 5 June 2007

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Creating and maintaining a blog: the Archives Hub Blog

  1. 1. Creating and maintaining a blog - and - the Archives Hub experience Jane Stevenson & Amanda Hill
  2. 2. What is a blog? <ul><li>Short for Weblog </li></ul><ul><li>Diary-type commentary </li></ul><ul><li>Individual / topic based </li></ul><ul><li>Personal reflections, news, events, reviews, analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Typical blog: text, images, comments, archive, links to other related sites, feed </li></ul><ul><li>Part of Web 2.0 – social, collaborative </li></ul>
  3. 3. First thoughts <ul><li>It is easy to set a blog up… </li></ul><ul><li>but: </li></ul><ul><li>What is its purpose? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the advantages of doing it? </li></ul><ul><li>Will you make regular entries? </li></ul><ul><li>Over 70 million blogs; large number not used </li></ul>
  4. 4. Why create a blog? <ul><li>Raise awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Build connections </li></ul><ul><li>Articulate your thoughts </li></ul><ul><li>Enable feedback (comment) </li></ul><ul><li>An accessible means of communication that takes very little time to set up </li></ul><ul><li>Keep in tune with current technologies </li></ul>
  5. 5. Why not create a blog <ul><li>Nobody will read it…? </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure to blog </li></ul><ul><li>Need to keep up with…everything </li></ul><ul><li>Danger of indiscretion </li></ul><ul><li>Other avenues of communication are more effective </li></ul><ul><li>Better not to have a blog than one you hardly use </li></ul>
  6. 6. Blog approaches <ul><li>Formal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>repository news; organised events; announcements; critique </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Informal </li></ul><ul><ul><li>general news; comments; anecdotes; humour; discussion; personal experiences; raise ideas </li></ul></ul>
  7. 10. Setting up a blog <ul><li>Easy to create, edit and publish </li></ul><ul><li>Use of blog hosting service </li></ul><ul><li>Keep blog files on own system (FTP) </li></ul><ul><li>Maintenance usually through browser-based interface </li></ul><ul><li>Set up: register; choose template; a few settings …that’s about it for a basic blog </li></ul><ul><li>Proofread, spell check, cite sources, add plenty of links </li></ul>
  8. 11. Blogs and RSS <ul><li>RSS/Atom feed for your blog </li></ul><ul><li>Syndication (process) </li></ul><ul><li>RSS/Atom (technology) </li></ul><ul><li>Feed readers display new posts </li></ul><ul><li>New items automatically discovered and downloaded </li></ul><ul><li>Many feed readers (Netvibes) </li></ul>
  9. 12. Maintaining a blog <ul><li>Group blog </li></ul><ul><li>(works well with more informal blog) </li></ul><ul><li>Guest bloggers </li></ul><ul><li>Blog entries that encourage comments (may increase motivation!) </li></ul><ul><li>Visit and comment on other blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Check reactions to your blog (Technorati) </li></ul>
  10. 14. Archives Hub Blog
  11. 15. Why? <ul><li>Part of Hub mission is to act as a centre of expertise on electronic cataloguing </li></ul><ul><li>Pride ourselves on being quick to react to new developments in technology within the service </li></ul><ul><li>Means we keep an eye on interoperability issues, new reports etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Mechanism for updating each other and Hub contributors on items of interest </li></ul>
  12. 16. How? <ul><li>Set up blog using Blogger in February 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Very easy to do </li></ul><ul><li>Blogger offers option of hosting blog on our own website: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.archiveshub.ac.uk/blog/ </li></ul></ul>
  13. 17. What happened next… <ul><li>Experimental service </li></ul><ul><li>Announcements about Hub developments </li></ul><ul><li>Reports on conferences attended, reviews of publications </li></ul><ul><li>Special features </li></ul>
  14. 18. Benefits <ul><li>Helps to build team spirit – a joint effort </li></ul><ul><li>RSS/Atom feeds of posts come as standard – content can be presented in ways that best suit the users </li></ul><ul><li>Sometimes get conversations going </li></ul>
  15. 20. More benefits <ul><li>Raises awareness of Archives Hub beyond our usual constituency </li></ul><ul><li>Starts up new dialogues </li></ul><ul><li>Makes us more thoughtful about what we’re doing and why </li></ul>
  16. 21. Own hosting has some issues
  17. 22. Control freakery <ul><li>See who is linking to your blog </li></ul><ul><li>See how authoritative your blog is </li></ul><ul><li>Even see how much it’s worth! </li></ul>

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