Start a University of Bath blog

Posted in: Digital transformation

The staff and students here at the University of Bath are doing great work on a daily basis. Blogging is a fantastic way of talking about that work, in a way that is timely and engaging.

The Digital team wants to make it as easy as possible for people in the University of Bath to blog about their area of study or research or other contributions to the running of the campus. We already have a great network of bloggers and we want to add to the numbers and range.

With the recent upgrade to blogs.bath.ac.uk complete, there's been no better time to get started on University of Bath blog. We want people from campus who are new to blogging to start, and we'd like to encourage those already blogging elsewhere to begin contributing to the University's network.

Who gets to blog?

Blogs can be run by staff or students of the University, either as individuals or (even better) as teams.

The blogs that people will find most interesting and useful are those which focus on a specific purpose. For example:

We want blogs that contribute something distinct and valuable to the University’s digital domain on a regular basis. What we don’t want are generic or highly personal blogs, where the proposition to the reader is vague or the relevance to the University is dubious.

Blogging in a network

Each of our blogs is a blog in its own right and is also part of an overall university network. This means that each blog should be relevant to the University and help people to understand its activities and inner workings.

We have produced a set of categories to help our users understand what each blog is about and find related blogs and posts. Every current and future blog must fit into one or more of these categories:

Research topics

  • Business

  • Economy

  • Energy

  • Environment

  • Health

  • Materials

  • Society

  • Technology

  • Theory

  • Transport

Organisations

  • Faculty of Engineering and Design

  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

  • Faculty of Science

  • School of Management

  • Institutes and research groups

Studying

  • Applicants

  • Student experience

  • Alumni

Corporate

  • Governance

  • Services

As the University develops over time our blog network will move with it, meaning that categories are likely to drop off, be renamed and new ones added.

What bloggers are responsible for

Every blog must have a named owner, who’ll be accountable for the blog and be the main point of contact with the Digital team.

The blog owner is expected to:

  • Ensure the blog is updated at least monthly

  • Co-ordinate, schedule and quality assure blogposts

  • Help contributors publish their work

  • Make sure comments are moderated and responded to

  • Evaluate blog and post traffic and engagement to make sure that it is developing and is worthwhile

  • Promote the blog and get it out to relevant users in the University and beyond

  • Keep track of the blog development roadmap and suggest new features based on insights from analytics and user feedback

Every contributor shares a responsibility for the blog and is expected to fully support and deputise for the blog owner.

How we support the blog network

The Digital team will support the blog platform and each of the bloggers in the following ways:

  • Set up new blogs and accounts

  • Maintain the availability and security of the blogging platform

  • Manage and prioritise requests for additional functionality and design

  • Produce and maintain guidance and policies related to usage of the blogs

  • Advise on good blogging practice

  • Support the promotion of blogs and posts

  • Archive finished or inactive blogs

Closing blogs

It may seem odd to talk about closing blogs in a post that is trying to start more blogs, but it is a reality of blogging that some blogs naturally have a limited shelf-life or the momentum goes out of them and they fall silent.

We are happy for people to start blogging even if they know that they only need the blog for a short period of time, for example to cover the duration of a placement or the delivery of a research project.

As a minimum, we expect a blog to last for at least 6 months; for anything less it is not worth starting up a new blog, and we will instead try to match you up with an existing blog as a guest contributor or suggest an alternative channel.

If you’re not regularly updating your blog, we’ll archive it. If we see inactivity of longer than a month, we’ll flag your blog; if it’s still inactive after 3 months, we’ll try to help you get it back on track; and if it’s still all quiet after 6 months, we’ll close it up. Archived blogs with published content will be viewable for posterity purposes, but it will not be possible to reopen them.

Making your application to start a new blog

If you think you’re part of something interesting that others would benefit from learning about and, after reading this, you think a University of Bath blog is a good way of capturing it, then we’d love to hear from you via http://go.bath.ac.uk/blog-request

In your request, tell us who you are and what the blog will be about, including which categories it falls under. If it’s going to be a group effort, tell us who else is involved. And, if it’s a short term arrangement, give us an idea of duration you want it for. Also give us a preferred title and URL for the blog.

To ensure that we are fully supporting you and your blog gets the best possible start in life, please give us and yourself at least two weeks notice to get things up and running. This will give everyone enough time to handle the technical aspects, make sure that the blog is a good fit for the network and that it is something that you can feel proud of.

We look forward to seeing what you come up with.

Posted in: Digital transformation