All entries for Thursday 26 August 2004

August 26, 2004

Community encourages blogging?

Writing about predictable process of personal blogging? from Kay's stuff

Just to follow up the last few comments on the referenced entry…

I started playing with blogs not too long ago, just to find out what they are all about, and what they did. Having got a blog, I posted a few things to explore the capabilities of the system, but then stopped.

Why? The community to which I was posting was just far too big. I had no hope that anybody would spot the blogs of a complete newcomer, let alone respond and produce a conversation. So I had no incentive.

WarwickBlogs has been different. At the moment there aren't that many of us, so there is an obvious community feel. It is easy to read all posts, because of the low volume. So, if you blog something, you know it will be read. And everybody here so far is very friendly and encouraging, as has already been said. All of this gave me an incentive to blog. So I do. I'm not the most prolific blogger (and some of the stuff I blog isn't that interesting:-) but I'm feeling my way, and I've written a lot more than I expected I would.

This is why I've said in other places that I think the sense of community is very important, and if possible we should make sure it doesn't get diluted when the masses arrive in October. The only way I can see that this will work is by having the ability to create micro-communities. By year, by course, by tutor group, by hall/floor/place of residence, by Union Society, by anything people can think of that will create a forum they feel will be useful to blog for. I know the technical work to support this is being done. I do think the publicity, documentation and help for Warwick Blogs needs to encourage it.

There are, I'm sure, students who will want to blog for their own consumption (Arts PhD students, perhaps:-), but many will only blog for an expected audience, at least to begin with. And if that audience isn't there…

And finally, perhaps those of us who have built the initial Warwick Blogs community could usefully put some effort into maintaining it and encouraging the newcomers when they arrive? Just a thought…


Gmail

Writing about web page http://www.gmail.com/

I've been playing with Gmail for a little while, and actually I quite like it. I've never before taken to web-based email systems, but I can see me sticking with this.

Anyway, I've been given the opportunity to invite a few friends. If there's anybody out there that hasn't got a gmail account already and wants to give it a go, the address to send the bottles to is…

But seriously, drop me an email and I'll send you an invite. First come first served – I only have three to give away, so be quick!


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