I have only been something approximating a regular blogger for about three years now and so I rather casually thought that blogging must be, oh, perhaps six or seven years old. But the term ‘weblog’ seems to have been coined by Jorn Barger at the end of 1997 and the noun and verb ‘blog’ surfaced in 1999 by Peter Merholz. So blogs in something like their current form have been around for well over ten years.
So it is no surprise that there is by now a significant amount of good ‘stuff’ sitting on academic blogs in and around UK colleges and universities created by students, researchers, lecturers and others. But much of this material sits outside of institutional records, archives and information management systems.
If this information is not to be lost, copies of blogs need to be captured as records of business, institutional history and the deliberations of individuals. The UK Web Archive follows a practice of preserving blogs along with other websites, by harvesting their web versions in the form of HTML pages.
Jisc is currently working on a low cost way to collect blog posts from across a college or university. A Jisc funded project at the University of London is looking at how to archive blogs by creating plug-ins for WordPress that will enable it to work as a blog archiving tool, allowing people to search and reuse the content from this central system. The project has also built a useful blog archiving bibliography
Despite the plethora of Jisc blogs elsewhere we have now introduced a blog into our web presence for the first time. We hope that this will be the start of a new conversation, somewhere you will return to and hear from the people behind our work, that it will be a way to hear more informal voices and opinions talking about what we think, what we are working on, why we are doing what we are doing.
Come back and talk to us, comment on what we say, challenge us and use the comment facility here on the blog.