Blogging, as I’ve indicated before, is nothing new to me. I’ve been tinkering around with them for some time, although it was only recently – with the launch of my DVD Bits Blog – that I found a focus for my often meandering though processes. That focus is something that is particularly important when beginning any blog endeavours. As McAfee points on in his Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of the Emergent Collaboration piece, there are serious considerations on using these forms of social communication in the workplace. Where a memo or intranet may have been the single voice of the management, blogging and similar social networking practices are by their very nature all about the voices of many. So in the interest of maintaining that focus, this initial post on blogging is considering its application in the workplace. More specifically, the library workplace. If you want to narrow it down even further, a particular library workplace: UNSW Library.
Walt Crawford recently conducted a survey of library blogs (LiBlogs) and found that a number of Library blogs had experienced some recent ‘downtime’. That is, there were fewer blogs being created, fewer posts being added but overall library blogs were “doing better than blogs as a whole”. McLean and Mercieca found that the best use for blogs in the CCLC study, was “a means to easily publish and disseminate content to be delivered to library users” (Evaluating Web 2.0: user experiences with public library blogs). With that in mind, UNSW Library recently switched to blogs as a means of disseminating library news, as they were more visual and had the ability to be updated via email alerts and RSS feeds. RSS feeds have become a bit of an ambassador for the whole Web 2.0 thing, and along with blogs, have “become perhaps the single most widely deployed web service because of its simplicity” (O’Reilly, 2005). In the case of the UNSW Library, the blogs were used for three distinct purposes: Library News, New Resources and Status Updates. All this information was directly related to how users can access content at the library. However, they avoided the issues that McAfee raised above by disabling the user comments. While this does reduce the ‘noise’, it also misses a valuable opportunity to have a dialogue with the user base. However, they have
The ‘Blogosphere’ is huge, and even in a course such as INN346, the sheer amount of material being generated is enough to make your head explode. (Perhaps a topic for the next blog: ‘Cranial Injuries Sustained Through Blogging: A Call for Head 2.0’). For my own part, this course calls upon me to find new ways of assisting other people in the course find out about the information contained within each of these 83 or so blogs that will be updated every week. So I’ve created the INN346 Meta Blog, something I hope to maintain with my fellow INN346 students.