Raising Awareness

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Addressing Barriers to Blogging

About This Document

This document gives advice on addressing possible barriers you might face when setting up a blog in a cultural heritage context.

Piloting Your Blogging Service

Libraries will often trial a service to test the product and to gauge the response of their library users. Developing your blog as a 'pilot' project provides a low-risk, comfortable environment to experiment with the service, and gather feedback from your library community. Setting up the service as a trial allows bloggers and their managers or colleagues to see exactly how much time or resource support is required. It also provides an exit or withdrawal strategy if needed.

Small-scale Activities

Experiment with blogs by supporting a small-scale activity, such as a special event or occasion. This negates the need for ongoing support or commitment, but it gives a taste of the strengths and opportunities of blogs.

A blog for an internal working party or committee is another way to introduce blogs. Inviting library staff to join a closed membership blog gives the opportunity to experiment with the blog and add posts and comments without it being exposed to the general public.

Policies To Soothe Institutional Concerns

Many organisations are reluctant to release material to their library users until it has been vetted by a publications group or similar process. This may be presented as a barrier to establishing a blogging service. To counter this argument, it may be wise to develop a robust set of policies outlining the quality processes to which the blog style and content will be subjected (see briefing paper no. 5 on Developing Blog Policies [1]).

Include a statement in your blog policies to welcome feedback and notification of errors, and that any identified problems will be addressed as quickly as possible. A fundamental advantage of blogs is that they allow for immediate alterations or changes.

Low Cost, Minimal Resources

Many conventional communications have associated costs (paper, laminating, etc) but setting up a blog can be a low cost solution. Popular blogging sites like Wordpress, Typepad, LiveJournal and Blogger allow for template modification to match organisational themes for no outlay. Little knowledge of HTML or design principles is needed to create a professional-looking blog.

Demystifying Blogs With Best Practice Examples

Your library colleagues have likely come across negative as well as positive coverage of blogs and blogging in the press. Blogs have been described as vanity publishing and as a platform on which anyone can relate excruciatingly detailed minutiae of their lives.

Responsible blogging offers the opportunity to engage with your library users using a format with which they are familiar. There are many great library related blogs available and it may help to build these into a collection for circulation amongst your colleagues. Look at the blogrolls on your favourite blogs for new leads or keep an eye on your library association literature for pointers to new blogs displaying best practices.

Participating On Other Blogs

It will help to advocate for a blogging service if you are familiar with blog processes and have actively engaged or participated in blogging. Build your confidence by participating in group blogs, or set up a blog outside of work. If you are part of a society or organisation, start a blog to highlight the group's events or activities. Use a blog to record your professional development, such as library association chartership.

Demonstrating Value

Hosted blog services all contain built-in statistical reporting, providing information on number of views and popular posts. It may be useful to read the 'Evaluating your Blog' Briefing Paper [2] for more information on demonstrating the value of a blog.

Encouraging Enthusiasts

Seek out blog 'champions' or colleagues who are supportive of blogging activities. One approach for creating interest may be to add a 'Learn to blog' session to your staff development activities. Invite colleagues (or better yet - users!) who are blog enthusiasts to share their activities.


  1. 1. Developing Blog Policies, Cultural heritage briefing document no. 5, UKOLN,
  2. Evaluating Your Blog, Cultural heritage briefing document no. 10, UKOLN,
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