The blogs.kent service is for University staff and teams, to promote and enhance their work and should be used for blogging purposes.
Staff and research postgraduates can apply for a blog.
- 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
- can be updated on a smartphone, tablet or PC
- created at http://blogs.kent.ac.uk/myblogname. The name you choose is subject to approval, and has to be unique
- have a minimal Kent navigation bar to show that they are part of the Kent blog service
- have a footer disclaimer: The views expressed are not necessarily those of the University.
- See how others do it: visit blogs.kent for a list of all University blogs.
Choose your blog type
Standard (unofficial) blog
- will not be the official voice of the University
- select from a range of supported themes
Official Kent blog
- is the official voice of the University
- uses a Kent-styled theme with some custom options (eg, banner images and colours).
Displays blog content within your own website via an RSS feed and snippet.
Apply for a blog
You will need to read and abide by the blogs.kent conditions of use:
Get started using your blog
We will email you with login details - you can log in and start posting immediately. The software that we use, Wordpress, is fairly intuitive:
- you can pick from a range of templates (if appropriate).
- different templates offer different personalisation options.
No design skills are needed, and there is lots of online help and tips about how Wordpress works - see below.
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:
- Don't air internal issues on a public blog. Use the University's structures of governance and grievance/complaints procedures as appropriate.
- Don't attack: do not mount a public attack on an individual (rather than a position). Follow University Regulations on abusive behaviour, and don't risk bringing the University into disrepute.
- Respect privacy: don't make something public that should be private, especially if about another person. Eg, don't write about something someone has said that can be identifiable, even if only by the person themselves.
- Be fresh: don't publish when tired and emotional.
- Judge what is appropriate: your blog should enhance the activities of the University and the academic life of its members. Judge what is appropriate. For example, it might be ok to blog about your interest in film even if not attached to Film; it's not appropriate to share home videos only of interest to family.
Comments and moderating your blog
Kent blogs have a comments facility. You can choose whether you want to approve every comment before it's posted. All users have to register to be able to comment.
Unwelcome comments can be a real problem, including spam and potentially pornographic links and adverts. There is no reason why people should not post comments which disagree strongly with the blogger or express controversial views.
As a blogger, you are expected to:
- keep a regular eye on all comments to your blog, and remove any which infringe the University’s regulations or blogs conditions of use
- respond to Report this post emails and immediately remove content that obviously contravenes IS regulations or the Blog conditions of use. The Report this post option on each blog post enables any reader to alert us of potentially abusive or offensive material. It triggers an email to the blog owner and the Information Services Quality and Standards team.
In most cases that need investigation or clarification, the IS Quality and Standards will discuss the post/comment with the blog owner. Suspected breaches are 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.
If potentially offensive posts/comments have not been removed when an investigation begins, the IS Quality and Standards team may have to remove them. They will notify the blogger of such action.
Using Wordpress: training and support
Wordpress, the blog software that we use, is pretty intuitive and offers online support (bear in mind that not all of the features and options are available for Kent blogs):
- 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
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