Volume 13, Number 8 December 2, 2005

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U of S now open for blogging

Blogs have arrived in a big way on the U of S campus, with Information Technology Services (ITS) just launching software that offers fast, easy online ‘blogging’ to all students, faculty and staff.

Kevin Lowey, manager for blog services, says the University recently adopted the Movable Type blog software and makes it available for use at: blogs.usask.ca. Already there are more than 100 blog sites using this new software and Lowey expects that number to rise rapidly.

“Blogs are essentially a system for managing announcements,” he says. “A lot of Universities have chosen Movable Type because it’s so flexible.”

Some campus people have started their own blogs in recent months, using Movable Type or other software programs. But now, with ITS hosting Movable Type, people don’t need to find their own software. “This now allows people without the technical expertise, who don’t know HTML, to manage announcements on the web,” Lowey says.

Blogs can be used to regularly post articles for the world to see – and a site could be a personal log about a trip or conference, a journal for family and friends, a discussion area for a U of S class, or an online newsletter for a campus department. Lowey says that at this point all U of S blogs are open for viewing by anyone on the internet, although there may be private viewing features in the future.

He says the beauty of Movable Type is that it provides a number of flexible templates and style sheets, making it easy for beginners to create customized blog sites. It also includes handy article archives and categories. ITS offers free courses on using Movable Type. There is also online information at http://blogs.usask.ca/.

Lowey says existing U of S policies set out allowable uses for University websites and the personal websites that have been available to campus people since the mid-1990s. Blogs will be governed by the same policies, which prohibit use, for instance, for non-University business operations, for spreading hate or sexually harassing material, or for any copyright violations. ITS or Campus Safety will investigate reports of possible violations and may close down offending sites.

Lowey says if people have technical questions or would like some help on the new blog service they can send e-mail to: blog_support@usask.ca.

For more information, contact communications.office@usask.ca

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