Choosing a blogging system for education?
Here at Warwick University we have 6 years of experience with blogging. Here's some stats on our Warwick Blogs system:
- 5914 blogs
- 120209 entries
- 22396 tags
- 199204 comments
- 122105 images
We built our own system for three reasons:
- At the time, there were no other systems suitable for very large scale deployment.
- We could evolve it's features in parallel to our users' growing understanding of what they could use it for, and to meet our own specific requirements.
- People blog most effectively within a clearly identified community. They might broadcast to the world, but they need to know that they are writing for a specific audience. We could design our own communities so as to help our bloggers to get a sense of audience. We provide aggregation pages at a whole institution level, as well as for smaller sub-groups. Bloggers can also set permissions, so that entries are only viewable or 'commentable' by specified groups.
That last point has been the most important lesson for us. A strong and certain sense of audience (narrowcast, broadcast, scattercast) is the key to getting people to write online. If you're choosing a blogging system for education, then make sure you can help people to get the right sense of audience.