For more technical information, please check out the UThink Technical FAQ Wiki.
According to Donna Wentworth, Web Publications Editor at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, a weblog or blog is:
"... a website updated frequently with links, commentary and anything else you like. New items go on top and older items flow down the page. Blogs can be political journals, news digests, and/or personal diaries; they can focus on one narrow subject or range across a universe of topics. The weblog form is unique to the Web, highly addictive, and may be changing how we communicate with one another." (http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/about/)
Libraries believe passionately in intellectual and academic freedom, and our role as advocates for those freedoms. Blogs are an excellent tool whereby students, faculty and staff at the University can let their opinions be heard. Blogs offer a way to rapidly discuss opinions, issues, and ideas, and allow people from across the country, and campus, to connect with each other through these ideas.
The Libraries are also excited about the opportunities blogs will provide the students, faculty, and staff of the University to build communities of interest. Blogs are an excellent collaborative work environment tool through which people can write about their research interests, and encourage others in their field to comment on these writings or even create their own blog to share their own thoughts.
In addition, blogs are great tool to promote discussion within classes on campus. Through this service, professors and TAs will easily be able to create blogs for specific classes and give the students in those classes access to post articles and opinions. Some classes on campus have already started to use blogs in this fashion. We hope this service will encourage other classes to take the leap!
Finally, one of the functions of the Libraries is to retain the history and cultural memory of the institution. Currently, we perform this function through our collections, such as the University Archives. Blogs are another way we can perform this function, and provide researchers of the future with access to the rich content blogs are sure to provide concerning the University.
In summary, the Libraries have numerous goals with this project: to promote intellectual freedom, to help build communities of interest on campus, to investigate the connections between blogging and the traditional academic enterprise, and to retain the cultural memory of the institution.
The University Libraries offer this service to the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Minnesota. Anyone with an active U of M Interent Account may login with his or her Internet ID and Password (your email ID and password) and start blogging! Guest authors may also use UThink. If you have a friend that would like to participate on your blog, encourage them to create a guest Internet ID and then attach that Internet ID to your blog.
Of course, there is a cost for the University Libraries to provide and maintain this service. However, the service is free to the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Minnesota.
Good question. You are free to use whatever blogging system you want, however you may want to check out what our system offers:
People around the world are using blogs in a myriad of ways, but an academic setting provides some unique usages for blogs:Faculty and Instructors
For more information on how faculty from around the world are using blogs check out this Chronicle of Higher Education article: Scholars Who Blog.Students
These are just some of the usages for blogs in an academic environment. If you are using blogs in a way we haven't listed, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Currently there is very limited support for users of the system. If you have any questions or comments about the service please email email@example.com. The libraries also hope to offer training sessions in the future. Please also try to find answers to your questions using the Movable Type Support Forum.
The Libraries are also more than happy to give a presentation to any group that wants to learn more about UThink and how to use the service. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
You have complete control over your blog(s). You may add, edit, or delete any entries you make into your blog. You may also delete your entire blog if you feel that is necessary. You may also change the appearance of your blog including adding or editing any of the HTML, CSS, or graphics.
The University Libraries intends to provide access to a blog as long as the blog owner has an active U of M Internet Account. This means that a user could have access even after he or she graduates.
There are many things you can do to increase the readership of your blog. One way is to tell your family and friends that you have a blog. Blogs are an excellent way to keep your loved ones informed about what you are up to. Another way to get people to read your blog is to link to other blogs you are interested in. Then tell those blog owners that you have linked to them and ask for a reciprocal link. They don't have to if they don't want to, but sometimes they will link back to you. You could also submit your blog to search engines (like Google) for indexing although they will eventually find it on their own. You should defintely add your blog to the blog directory Blogarama. Finally in your blog's administration interface click on Weblog Config > Preferences > and click on the checkboxes under "Notify the following sites when I update my blog." This will alert blo.gs and weblogs.com that you have added new content on your blog.
Blogging takes dilligence. Don't expect hundreds of visitors and comments just because you started a blog. It takes time to build an audience. Start a blog for yourself, to practice writing or to track an important topic you are interested in. Eventually, if you want them to, people will start coming to your blog.
There is a way to block a site through a directory wide password. Please read this UThink Technical FAQ Wiki post for more information.
U hink: Blogs at the University Libraries is governed by the same rules, guidelines, and policies that govern the student, faculty, and staff web space provided by OIT. For more information please see Service Guidelines and Description.
The UThink home page features a modified version of a picture of the crowd at a U of M Golden Gopher Football game in 1938. The original picture is available from the University of Minnesota Libraries Images database. The creators of UThink wanted to use a picture that conveyed a lot of people letting their voices be heard. What better way to illustrate a large number of people expressing themselves than a picture of a crowd at a football game? Incidently, the 1938 Golden Gophers finished 6-2 winning the Big Ten Conference. They ranked 10th in the country in the final AP Poll.