Movable Type Blog Hosting

Library Systems has recently acquired and installed a limited license for the Movable Type blogging software. Guidelines for use as well as a variety of background information are provided below.

Background:
Since Jenny Levine's presentation on blogging in March, several groups have asked for blog capabilities in the Library. "Blogging" has been around for years, but has become a popular means of posting serialized content on the web, such as news, announcements, diaries, rants, raves, and reviews.

Blogging's current popularity stems from several factors, chiefly:

* Most blog systems have built in subscription/syndication features based on the RSS and/or Atom standards.
* Creating and posting to blogs is very simple, requiring only a web browser and no technical knowledge.
* Free stable blog sites abound.

For the first example of Movable Type at our Library, take a look at the Scholarly Communications site's "SC News" at http://www.library.uiuc.edu/blog/scholcomm/ .

Guidelines:
A Library-hosted blog can be requested for official use by library groups as a part of their official web site. Content and design will of course need to adhere to campus and Library guidelines. Qualifying groups are formal library Units, Committees, Working Groups, and established Initiatives (such as Scholarly Communications).

Individual faculty and staff who wish to create blogs can make use of non-Library services freely available on the Internet. (See "More Information" below).

Details about the Service:

The Movable Type software is installed on our primary web server (www.library.uiuc.edu a.k.a. Cooper). Inquiries about its capabilities or requests for the creation of a blog should be made like other requests to Library Systems:

* Online: From the Library Systems Office web site, click "Log a Work Request", OR
* By Email: Send an inquiry to Library Systems Office

NOTE: When requesting a blog please include the name you want your blog to be called, a short name of your blog (i.e. www/blog/your_short_name), and a list of the users' netids.

Caveat: Blog tools are useful but they are fundamentally limited in scope of features. We're viewing Movable Type as a stopgap measure to tide people over until a full web content management system (CMS) is implemented for the Library. We believe that we will be able to migrate the content created in Movable Type to a similar facility within the CMS when the time comes.

John Weible, Head of Library Systems
& Sharif Islam, library service manager for Movable Type.

More Information:
You can learn about using RSS by attending the July 21st joint briefing by ISCC and the Staff Development & Training Advisory Committees (announced on LibNews-L June 10th).

The Wikipedia has some thorough articles on Blogs, RSS, and Atom.

There are many free, easy-to-use, stable blog sites. Some of the most popular are:

* http://www.blogger.com/
* http://www.livejournal.com/
* http://www.typepad.com/ and
* http://www.xanga.com/