Monday, April 20, 2009

A year is a long time in blogging

UoL Blog Network Do you remember the University of Leicester blog network? No, I didn't think you would. Just over a year on, most of us are still there, although a few blogs have moved location and a few titles have changed. More interestingly, the number of UoL blogs has more than doubled:
not to mention various Posterous, Tumblr, etc spinoffs, and not including project blogs that we now seem to throw up as a matter of course:
Yes folks, we really like our WordPress here at UoL :-)

Although the UoL Blog Network died a death, blogging is flourishing at UoL. Can you impose organizational structures on bloggers from above? Seemingly not. So how do you grow a blog network? In the way that we have over the past year, by talking to each other, online and offline. We meet and talk. We eat cake. We write grants. And the institutional culture slowly starts to change.

Is Twitter a barrier to blogging? Not in our case. All these bloggers are also active Twitters. I'm not sure if that argues that Twitter supports and is complementary to blogging, or if these self-selected individuals (OK, I bullied a few of them ;-) just can't help themselves, writing on whatever medium is available.

And in time (and a year is a long time in blogging), the institutional culture slowly starts to change. Project blogs with public discussion as a matter of course. The UoL Library Blog. And people come up to you at meetings and comment on the "culture of openness at Leicester". At Leicester? I thought we were just bloggers. And again last week "you certainly know how to market yourselves at Leicester". Marketing? Us? We're just blogging. And the institutional culture slowly starts to change. I don't think we are campaigning, and I'm pretty sure we're not trying to big up UoL. We're doing this for us, and to a lesser extent, for each other. But the rest of you are welcome to come along for the ride. In fact, we couldn't do it without you.