Blogs and wikis

The University offers centralised support for postgraduates and staff who wish to use blogs and wikis to aid their research and other work. The service is open to all postgraduates and staff, and can be applied for by emailing the IT Help Desk.

Blogs

Blog is a truncation of the term "web log", and refers to a website or part of a website where authors publish regular text-based content. A blog usually has one author, but can have a team of contributors. Blog content typically comprises of commentary, opinions, news updates or articles.

Most blogs are interactive to at least some degree, usually by allowing visitors to leave comments on posts, and this interactivity distinguishes them from other static websites. They also typically offer the chance to produce slightly less formal and more personal prose for the internet.

You can find out more about how blogs work at this useful Introduction to Blogging page by Wordpress.

We've also put together some advice on what makes a good blog post.

Why you might want a blog

Blogs offer a very quick and simple way for anybody to publish content to the web without having to establish or maintain an entire website. They are incredibly visible in search engines, as their content is picked up and indexed much quicker than that of regular websites by services like Google. Blogs are ideal for publishing project news and updates, for commenting on external events and issues, and for linking to and interacting with content on other blogs.

Wikis

A wiki is a website that allows the creation and editing of any number of interlinked web pages via a web browser using a simplified markup language or a simple text editor.  They also usually allow the uploading and sharing of documents.

Wikis are typically powered by wiki software and are often used to create collaborative works. Examples include community websites, corporate intranets, knowledge management systems, and note services. The most well known wiki is almost certainly Wikipedia.

Why you might want a wiki

Because wikis are fully user-editable, they are an excellent tool for collaborative online work. You do not have to have any particular technical skills beyond basic internet usage to be able to contribute to a wiki. The University wiki system is also customisable so that wikis can be kept completely private, enabling only people who are part of a particular project or group to see or edit content. Wikis can be used to share documents, plan events, store information, and much more.