I know it’s kind of annoyingly navel-gazing to blog about blogging, but I’ve been wrestling with our department’s blog so it’s on my mind.
I’d read before about the benefits of having a departmental desk blog, but it wasn’t until Kate Hall at Park Ridge generously opened hers up to the YLA Managers to see that I realized just how useful it could be. With a staff of eleven, we generate a fair amount of email traffic, and at Summer Reading time the volume becomes unbearable. Just one program can generate 5 emails as details get straightened out. You must make a decision with each email of Do I save it? Do I file it? Do I print it out? Do I delete it? Lots of times you don’t feel like making that decision at the moment, so the email stacks up and eventually you get the polite but threatening email from Computer Services that your emailing privileges may be cut off if you don’t whittle your mailbox down to a manageable size.
With the blog, it’s all kept, but it’s all searchable. You can give things categories and tags so you can turn up everything on a particular subject. You can add comments to the original post rather than writing a whole new one. And you can have a sidebar with all those pesky wiki URLs and the other info that becomes so hard to track.
The hardest part is going to be getting everyone to check it routinely. An aggregator is only helpful if people remember to check THAT. So if anyone has a brilliant idea for how to build that into everyone’s memory, I’d love to hear it, and I’d love to hear about how you are using your desk blog!