April 2004 Archives
April 12, 2004
UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries
The University Libraries are proud to announce the unveiling of UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries. What is a blog? A blog, or weblog, is typically defined as a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically. The content of blogs varies greatly. Some blogs contain links and commentary about other web sites. Other blogs contain frequently updated news about a person, company, or idea. Blogs can also be an online diary, or contain photos, essays, project updates, fiction, rough drafts of papers, really the potential is endless. Blogs are also very easy to use. There is no need to know HTML, and you can be up and running in minutes. Take a look at the UThink FAQ link to the left and familiarize yourself with blogs and the service in general.
UThink is available to the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. All you need to login and start blogging is your U of M Internet ID and Password. You can create as many blogs as you want, and attach as many authors to those blogs as you want. A faculty member could have a blog for every class he or she teaches, and attach the students in those classes to his or her blogs as authors to encourage discussion and debate. A student could also have a blog for every class, or just use blogs to express opinions and viewpoints about world events. A student could also create a club blog, or a blog for his or her friends, and also attach as many authors to those blogs as he or she deems necessary. Faculty could also use the blogging system to track a research initiative, or even publish the drafts of papers they are working on. Other colleges and universities across the country are already making use of this new publishing tool, and the Libraries are excited to finally offer it at the U of M.
So, go ahead and give it a try! This is day one of this new service so if you find any bugs or would like to make a comment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Let us know what "UThink!"
April 05, 2004
I just wanted to share some details about the release of UThink last Wednesday. Technically the release was a "quiet release" meaning we only shared the unveiling with a handful of people, about 35 if you'd like to know. Word of mouth has undoubtedly made that number increase, but we kept it quiet so that early adopters could give the system a try and report any bugs or difficulties they encounter. So far so good on that front. In the coming weeks we will start advertising the service more. We haven't even linked it on the libraries' home page.
That hasn't stopped people from checking the site out, though. One of the suggestions we received almost immediately is allowing blog owners to see statistics for their blog(s). I can assure you we will definitely look into this possibilty. For those of you that have already started blogs let me just say your sites are getting hit a fair amount. For example, the blog Nine Tenths of the Universe has been hit 228 times since Wednesday, while the photoblog Typically Late has been hit 341 times. Again, I realize statistics are important, to new bloggers especially, so I'll try to speed things along on that front.
Finally, given that this is a site about blogs, it is only natural that other blogs start blogging about it. So far, a bunch of different blogs have written about UThink including Rawbrick.net, LibraryStuff.net, Many 2 Many, Figoblog, eCornell Research blog, and a humorous post from a student that doesn't have the pleasure of attending the U of M. There are others, but you get the picture.
If you haven't given UThink a try, what are you waiting for? Give it a try! You've got nothing to lose!