You’ll have to get your Blog Hui Abstracts in in the next week or so, please do… it’s gonna be a corker of an event I reckon, just small enough for some really good conversations and just large enough for a real breadth of experience.
Here’s my abstract, building on recent Blogsavvy publications:
Multi-User Blogging in Organisational Contexts: How, Why and Wherefore?
The development of blogs can be traced as far back as 1994 and the creation of the term weblog to 1997. However, while for pioneers of ‘logging the web’ the process of hand-coding pages with regular updates was of little consequence, for the majority this was and remains to be a difficult and tiresome experience. Consequently, it was not until the development of hosted and streamlined blogging tools that that the popularity of blogging became more widespread. In the present day this popularity has led blogging to become in many (often informal) organisational respects a key educational, professional development and communicative activity and resource.
However, in an organisational context the generic hosted blogging services offered by ‘blog providers’ such as Blogger, Live Journal, WordPress.com and Typepad do not meet key requirements. Universities want ultimate control over the content that might be published on student (and staff) sites, businesses want commercially-in-confidence information to be blogged securely on the intranet and most corporate and institutional users want greater degrees of customisability, control and flexibility than these services are able to offer. In this context there has been a surge in the development of open source and for-profit multi-user blogging tools which allow organisations to provide, develop and control the use of blogs as a business exercise.
This paper examines the development of these tools from a technical and practical perspective. It asks which elements of these tools have developed in importance over time, which have ceased to be used and which have been added. It explores current and future possible applications of these tools in light of existing and developing functionality and asks what the future holds for the uses of organisational and institutional blogs and blogging as a whole in education, communication and business.