The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T +44 (0)1227 764000
The blogs.kent service is primarily for University staff and teams, to promote and enhance their work. Staff and research postgraduates can apply for a blog.
Types of blogs available
- Standard blog: is unofficial in that it does not display the University logo, and has a disclaimer 'The views expressed are not necessarily those of the University':
- It’s quick and easy to setup your online blog and start posting immediately
- Pick from a range of customisable templates: personalise your design using the options offered within the selected template. No design skills needed.
- Kent Official blog: for content that is the official voice of the University, it uses a template which includes the University logo and some custom styling within its design (eg, banner images and colours).
- News feed/staff profile snippet: display full blog content within your own website via an RSS feed and snippet.
- Custom-made blog: fully designed to your requirements (costed on application).
- are interactive: in-built functionality allows readers to comment on posts or tweet your article (comments can be open or approved, and certain words can be filtered)
- offer usage statistics: find out how many people are reading it
- are easy to update online via a smartphone, tablet or PC
- created at http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/myblogname. The name you choose is subject to approval, and cannot be the name of an existing blog.
- See how others do it: visit blogs.kent for a list of all University blogs.
Apply for a blog
What is appropriate to write?
Be aware of the public nature of blogs, the association of Kent blogs with the University, and the implications for what should be posted:
- Internal University issues should not be aired on a public blog. It is not a substitute for using the University’s structures of governance or its grievance and complaints procedures.
- Attacks. Blogs should not be used to mount a public attack on a person (rather than a position), whether or not that person is a member of the University as this will either infringe the Regulations either in terms of abuse or bringing the university into disrepute.
- Privacy. Blogs should not be used in a way which makes public what should be the private activities of another person. For example, it would be wrong for staff to comment in a blog about something said by a student who was identifiable; even if only identifiable by the student themselves.
- ‘To publicise and to enhance the activities of the university and the academic life of its members’. This is the purpose under which the Kent blog service is provided. ‘University activity’ and ‘academic life’ are open-ended and flexible concepts. There is no need to agonise about where their boundaries should be drawn but some individual judgment is needed about what it is appropriate to post to a university blog and what should go elsewhere. To give a couple of indicative examples, it seems entirely sensible for a member of staff to blog about a particular interest in film even if not attached to Film; but less sensible for someone to use a Kent blog to upload home videos only of interest to their family abroad. It would be good to have a Kent blog about coaching a University sports team; less good to have a blog about a sports interest unconnected to the University.
- Tiredness and emotion. As with email, it is obviously foolish to go public with your thoughts on any blog when tired and emotional; you need to be fresh.
Comments and moderating your blog
Dialogue with readers is a central part of blogging and Kent blogs have a built in comments facility. Each blogger can decide whether they wish every comment to be approved by themselves before being posted or for the first comment only to be approved - all users have to register to comment.
Unwelcome comments can be a real problem in blogging. Mostly the problem is
spam, especially pornographic links and adverts; there is no reason why people
should not post comments which disagree strongly with the blogger or express
However, each blogger is responsible for keeping a regular eye on all comments
which have been made on her or his blog, and for removing any which infringe the University’s regulations or blog.kent conditions of use.
There is a button alongside each post and comment giving the opportunity to ‘Report this post’ if a reader thinks it should not have been posted. ‘Report this post’ emails the owner of the blog and the Information Services Quality and Standards team.
In most instances, which usually need investigation or clarification, the IS Quality and Standards will discuss the post/comment with the Blog owner and suspected breach will be handled according to the University’s usual procedures. The Procedures necessarily include wide investigatory powers and provision for disciplinary action in serious cases – but their normal emphasis is on advice and guidance and (if necessary) warning.
Bloggers are expected to regularly check the comments on their blog themselves and respond to ‘report this post’ emails and to immediately remove any post or comment that obviously contravenes IS regulations or the Blog conditions of use. If such posts have not been removed when an investigation begins the IS Quality and Standards team may have to remove them in cases or emergency or urgency and will notify the blogger.
Support and advice
Wordpress, the blog software that we use, is pretty intuitive. For an introduction to Wordpress and advice for using all its features, search or browse their support site (bearing in mind that not all of the software's features are available in blogs.kent):
- Getting started with Wordpress
- Explore the Dashboard
- A-Z of Wordpress terminology
- Introduction to blogging
- Wordpress lessons
- User forums
- Examples of good external blogs: daily featured posts in Freshly Pressed
Follow IT and Library services on Twitter: @UKCLibraryIT