I have been thinking about blogs recently. I have been thinking about them rather a lot. In fact you could probably say I have been thinking about them too much. My editor in chief will probably be grateful when I’m not thinking so much about blogs!
Currently I write for two blogs, this one and the Tararua District blog, which will normally be enough, but also I’m thinking and writing and editing my Conference presentation which will be on, you guessed it, blogs. I also have a large number of blogs I like to read.
Part of my presentation will dwell on planning and objectives, which leads me to today’s post. Event blogs.
Now to me one of the important parts of a blog is to build an online community, and event blogs tend to be one shot wonders. They build a community up until a point, then the event finishes and the blog shuts down. Either the blog stays up but isn’t updated and thus becomes a “cyber ghost town”, or worse still the organisers delete it and all that writing is lost.
Take for example the blogs for our LIANZA conferences. For the last four years we have had four different blogs, with four different addresses and with two different blogging programmes. In 2006 and 2007 the conference blog was hosted on the LIANZA server using WordPress as their engine, which I think was in the right direction. Then last year the blog was set up as a Blogspot blog, and hosted there. This year we are back to using WordPress, but hosted on the WordPress servers.
What I would have liked to have seen, which I think would have made a wonderful resource and maintained the virtual conference community, would have been one blog with one address that was handed over each year to the next organising committee. That would mean that instead of four blogs that build up to a point and end, we would have one continuing blog. After conference the blog would have responses to conference and start to post new items building to the next conference.
My suggestion for the current organisers and next years is that maybe we could import and merge all the previous blogs into one that could be then handed on to the next committee, and then we can have that continuous LIANZA conference blog and that continuing virtual community.