Saturday, 31 May 2008

Blogs as online exhibitions

Blogs can also be used as a tool to present a particular collection or document from the repository as a form of online exhibition. Using blogs in this way allows those repositories without the IT resources to host online exhibitions to achieve a similar effect.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Blogs - organisational

When I first looked at organisational blogs for my dissertation last year I could find few examples of archival organisational blogs and almost none in the UK apart from the Archives Hub. Possible reasons for this scarcity could have been a general lack of knowledge, the fact that it is harder to organise an institutional blog than it is to blog personally and organisations do not have time to blog and many are unsure of what a blog should contain or its purpose.

However, in the last year I have discovered many new organisational blogs which is encouraging as when done correctly an organisational blog can provide a secondary public face for an organisation, one that may be more accessible and less formal than the official website.

Some examples of organisational blogs include:

An organisational blog gives a repository the opportunity to promote collections and provide interesting and useful information about the repository. Some organisations use their blogs to announce new accessions, an archival item of the month/week and showcase digital images.

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Blogs - personal

So there are lots of blogs out there but within the archival community there are two main categories of archival blogs - personal blogs by archivists and repository blogs.

Personal blogs are used by archivists either to document their daily working lives and studies or to give themselves a platform to discuss archival issues that they feel are important and sometimes both. This blog falls into the category of personal blogs as I'm writing for my own specific purpose to help with my conference presentation.

Personal blogs by archivists are written for the same reasons that anyone writes a personal blog which in turn are similar to the reasons why people keep journals and diaries.
A closer look at why people blog examines the motivations behind blogging in more detail.

Some examples of personal blogs by archivists include:

However, the type of blog that I think it most useful to readers are those that primarily discuss archival issues, one of the best examples I've found is Archives Next which introduces and discusses new web technologies and how the archival profession can interact with them. Other examples of blogs discussing professional issues include:

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

Blogs part 1

It seems natural to start this introduction of Web 2.0 tools with blogs as they have become one of the most popular and pervasive technologies. Statistics provided by Technorati show that as of April 2007, they were tracking 70 million blogs and had recorded a growth of 120,000 new blogs every day and 17 new posts per second.

So, there's a lot of blogs out there but what is a blog?

Oxford English Dictionary defines a blog as: "a frequently updated web site consisting of personal observations, excerpts from other sources, etc., typically run by a single person, and usually with hyperlinks to other sites; an online journal or diary."

Blogs are used to discuss different topics from the personal to the political. The community of bloggers is known as the
blogosphere and there's a healthy archivist presence out there, with a mix of personal blogs and professional organisational ones. Through these blogs, issues are raised and discussed within the blogging community, such as professional duties, digitisation, improving services and in some cases Web 2.0.

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