September 26, 2004

Harvard and Minnesota celebrate blogging milestones

Harvard weblogs have been running for around 2 years now I think and have had great success. There was recently an entry celebrating how far they have come. Harvard now have 581 blogs. They have every right to celebrate, they were the first University to really embrace the concept of academic blogging on a large scale. Dave Winer was the man behind Harvard blogs and the man behind popular blogging/cms software Manila. This is the very same software that powers Harvard blogs.

Minnesota's UThink project has been live since April and have also had great success, rapidly clocking up 583 blogs according to their recent celebratory entry. Shane Nackerud has been the driving force behind getting Minnesota's blog system up and running. He has put together a MovableType system run by the Minnesota Libraries.

So, then we come along. Having looked at the success of those two projects, we have been hoping to provide an even better system, making blogging even more engaging and easy to use. We've not hit the 583 blog mark just yet to overtake them, but I don't doubt we will. However, that is not the real measure of success.

How will we measure success? Number of entries, number of comments, number of blogs, number of page views? Number of students who say they enjoyed using their blog? Number of academics who say that it improved their teaching or their communication with their students? Number of people who like our funky fridge magnets? I'm really not sure yet. The experiment really begins this week and into the coming term and year.

Hopefully we will get plenty of feedback from people, letting us know what they love and what they hate, and given that we can refine Warwick Blogs into an integral part of the Warwick community. Big dreams, too big? Maybe.


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  1. Robert O'Toole

    455! I can see it increasing every time I look. And that only includes the blogs that are in the directory.

    26 Sep 2004, 23:45

  2. Robert O'Toole

    On November 1st 2004 the stats show:

    Blogs: 1885
    Posts: 7895

    01 Nov 2004, 21:02

  3. marvan

    but how many of these blogs are updated regularly? looking through the directory seems to reveal that a not insignificant number have no entries at all.

    02 Nov 2004, 14:09

  4. That's a very good point, and indeed looking at the stats, there are a lot of empty or not very active blogs. I'm sure this is the case with every blog system. I know from uThinks published stats that we are more active overall, but there is no way of telling with Harvard.

    Time will tell though, I don't doubt people will get excited at first and then get bored, I just hope that the eventual steady state is reasonable.

    02 Nov 2004, 14:12

  5. Trying not to be too rivalrous about this – but, last time I checked out Harvard Law blogs from their directory, I couldn't find one that had been recently updated, and many had never had any entries. As you say, without some system to direct the visitor, there is no way to find the active blogs there. Where I think they really do score is the number (and seniority) of the academics that have major blogs. We have nothing to compare.

    02 Nov 2004, 14:35

  6. is there a guinness world record to be won here?

    07 Nov 2004, 00:40


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