Buoyed by media hype, popularity of Internet startups, and some interesting success stories, Weblogs (more commonly referred to as "blogs") are burgeoning across the Internet as a means to improve social conversation and networking. Strategists should assess business, organizational, and technological implications of "blogging" (and social computing in general) before chasing another tool under the allure of improved information/expertise sharing, collaboration, and community building.
I can't see what the Blog is adding to the already excellent LonsonSE1 site. The news could be posted in the news section, and the comments in the forum - unless I've missed the point somehow, I don't think we need this duplication.
As evidence for this, I offer the lack of blog comments so far. After its first week, there have been only two, by the same person. One of these is an exact duplication of text that's been put on the forum, and the other has been removed.
I think we've all grown used to and love the way things are. That's not to say it cant be improved, but for me the blog doesn't do it.
We've long felt that we needed an outlet on the site for odd news items that come our way that don't quite merit a full news story.
There will also be more photo-stories in future.
Think of it as the online equivalent of a 'news in brief' column, but with a bit of opinion/commentary thrown in.
There is also a lot written every day about the SE1 area in the so-called 'blogosphere' - there are lots of people who live/work in this area who blog about local places/events/things - and by having our own blog we can link to some of the more interesting observations.
As for the lack of comments - until yesterday it was necessary to register with Blogger.com to post a comment, which I suspect was a deterrent. This need has now been removed.
The deleted comment was a duplicate of Michael Salkeld's comments.
Alternatively we could turn off the comments feature and encourage response in the forum to avoid duplication.
As I say, it's an experiment. If it doesn't work, we'll drop it.
Its certainly worth a try, and it would be interesting to link to other sites as you say, and I quite like the more lightweight stories too. The thing that doesn't work (for me) is having yet another 'page' to look at, in addition to my usuals, and then finding when I get there that its much the same as what I've already seen. On the other hand, what does work (for me) is looking at the discussion forum or my Monday morning mailing, and seeing links to other parts of the site eg. news stories. Thats my feedback - for what its worth (should this all be in the feedback forum?)
I expect I'll like it more once its had a chance to get a bit more developed.
I quite like the Blog - as Jo says, there are some nice lighweight stories in there and it's fun to dip in and out of.
I don't think much of what is in there is really suitable for the News Section (the Andy McNab story being a case in point).
What I didn't like at all initially was having to go to an external site and then register with them as well in order to leave my comments (partly because of this particular site's purchase by one of the big name search engines last year ).
I've now discovered that you can leave comments anonymously which isn't ideal, but will encourage me to comment (with my name) when I have something to say.
It was discontinued because we had a deluge of spam comments (dozens of them) with links to undesirable websites. As the system we are currently using doesn't offer an easy way to prevent this from happening, it was easier to switch off the facility.
There will soon be a link on every blog post directing people to the forum for any follow-up discussion.
The blog has been a little neglected of late. We will put more effort into it in the new year.