June 10, 2004

Why blog?

Over the summer vacation, we'll be preparing BlogBuilder for wider use than its current pilot; every first year will be offered a blog, and other students will also be able to request one if they wish. In preparation for that, we will be working on a whole bunch of supporting information to make sure that everyone knows what a blog is, where you find them, how you work them, and, crucially, why you might want one. I'm working at the moment on some notes about this last point, and I'd be interested in any comments from other users, especially students:-

Why would I want a blog?
  • It's a way to share things with friends, family and peers. Ideas, events, words, photos, available to anyone you want to share them with.
  • It's a way to reflect on your work and life at university, rather than focussing solely on the work that's part of your course.
  • It's a record of your time at university that you may find useful at various points. Extracts from your blog may be relevant when you're looking for a job, considering your options, talking to your personal tutor, etc.
  • It's a way to become part of a community and to find people with similar interests or viewpoints to yourself.
  • It's a way to develop a different style of writing – an authorial voice, if you like. Writing a blog is not like writing for course work or exams; blogs can be interesting, amusing, thought-provoking, charming or insightful – not all of these stylistc traits are necessarily developed or required in course work!
  • Your blog could be something which might benefit other students, either now or in the future. Your experiences at university, how your course works out, the choices you make while you're here, could help to inform and guide other students when they come to university.

- 3 comments by 3 or more people Not publicly viewable

  1. I think that's a good list.
    But it should include warnings. Eg, "Extracts from your blog may be relevant when you‘re looking for a job" – fine, unless your blog contains lots of entries about getting pissed or going out on the pull, or cramming for exams the night before, etc. It's been noted that googling for people who blog here tends to lead to these blogs.
    I think that some emphasis on the gallery thing might be useful – that is functionality that is in my opinion wanted by more people. If you draw them in with that, they may experiment with the rest of it…

    11 Jun 2004, 08:57

  2. John Dale

    > But it should include warnings

    Agreed. We're going to need to work hard to explain how the combinations of categories and permissions let the user create many different views on to their blogs, and that not all views will necessarily be appropriate for all audiences.

    11 Jun 2004, 09:11

  3. Robert O'Toole

    It's a way to develop your own unique perspective on the world and your subject. I'm speaking as a soon-to-be PhD student, for whom having a sense of 'what i'm about' academically, a sense of me having some unique perspective, is very important. That uniqueness seems to be a big part of what an arts based PhD requires. And increasingly, PhD students are expected (by funders) to show that what they are doing has some relevance.

    11 Jun 2004, 09:38


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