UCC students blogging

Damien Mulley has the scoop about the latest development at University College Cork. All students will be given blogs!

While that’s great news for blogging in Ireland, I’m disappointed that they didn’t choose WordPress Mu. I had a quick look around a few blogs and noticed a few things:

  • They do have permanent links, but links to articles are only in the sidebar “Recent Posts” block. The title of each post is not linked, and neither is the timestamp.
  • Permanent links aren’t very descriptive being of the form “/blogs/Username/item_x.htm” where x is a number.
  • It looks like trackbacks and pings aren’t supported so it will be just a little harder for blog owners to participate in blog conversations with others.
  • What will happen when a student finishes college? Will they be able to export their work? On another level, who owns the work? Student or College?

I have to disagree with Bernie’s comment about what value for money colleges get from hosting blogs. Bebo and MySpace are only two of the many companies offering their own proprietary website platforms. A college weblog has an unbreakable link to that institution. Colleges are places for learning which is quite different from the profit motive of any and every commercial company out there. The more exposure students get to blogging the better they will be at dealing with this phenomenon in the future. Not to mention the older students who are not in the demographic targeted by commercial interests.