NELINET IT Conference 2006–Sharing Knowledge, Creating Community

Sharing Knowledge, Creating Community

Karen Mellor
Rhode Island Department of Adminstration

Sharing Knowledge, Creating Community

The environment
works at the Rhode Island state library agency
adminsters grands, coordinat multi-type network, provides support and consultation, continuing ed
12 librarians with various expertise

needed a content management system

Answer was a blog
Define purpose   (content, audience)
Draft writing guidelines (allow analysis and commentary, less formal than website)
Create disclaimer

The Name
did not want to call it a blog
Tagline:   Library news and information with a Rhode Island Accent
no one needed to know it was a blog

Blogger experience
–slow, somewhat klunky interface
–no categories
–atom feeds, not RSS
–Content and blog stored on external server
–external URL
–blogger excellent for many blogs, but not for their purposes

they later went with WordPress
–easy to install
–large user support community
–highly configurable

Refining the concept
–developed more content
–refinded and formalized writing guidlines (on the presentation CD)
–developed comment guidelines (we might want to look at these for our purposes at OU)
–presented to administration
–upon arrival, invited staff to view and participate

Promoting Rhodarian
–Latest two posts are on the OLIS homepage
you can use RSS to javascript, which might be a great way to incorporate Business Blog posts into the “Latest Posts” feature of the Biz Wiki

Getting noticed
–picked up by LibraryStuff,, and Information Wants To Be Free
–showed technorati and how blog is being utilized in the community

Signing up authors
–created log-ins for web team members
–one on one sessions to demo how easy it is

Creating community
–comments are enabled   (very intersting discussion on MySpace post)
–spam issues
–internal contributers
–external contributers
–request to post items from the community
–feedback and conversations in the field

Keeping it fresh
–8 writers contribute on a regular basis
–hopefully at least once a week
–content sources:   listservs, email, blogs, local news media
–get other people to write
–post topics tath engender discussion
–explore new uses

Lessons learned
–not everyone loves blogging
–don’t expect instant or total adoption
–complement and integrate with existing sources
–be prepared for spam–find anti spam tools
–update WordPress regularly

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