UC&R – New Ways to Communicate workshop

I am at this moment at the University College & Research Group’s workshop on using RSS, blogs and wikis to communicate with your users, being held at Birmingham University in the UK. There are about 50 of us here and we are all having great fun playing with ePop. Poor ‘Trevor’ who is at the end of a video link is being bombarded with questions from us in the training suite. He can show us presentations, answer questions and take over our computers to help us find things (scary!). And he is on a completely different part of the campus – now we are sharing whiteboards. Brilliant session from Debbie Carter of the Univeristy of Birmingham.

The earlier part of the day was taken up with RSS, blogs and wikis. I kicked off with a general introduction to the subject and Alan Cooper from CILIP’s web team talked about how Web 2.0 is being used at CILIP. Rupert Mann from Oxford University Press looked at the technology from the publisher’s, and user’s, point of view and had some pretty scathing things to say about other publishers’s approach and attitude to RSS and blogs in particular. A memorable comment on one US university’s attempt at RSS was “No fun at Harvard any more”.

Jane Somerwell, University of Worcester, talked about blogging in her organisation and then we had the first of the practical sessions. I am pleased to report that we have significantly increased the membership of the blogosphere with at least a dozen having been set up in the last hour, and the number of RSSaholics in this room is beginning to reach alarming levels. “Stop reading your feeds and pay attention!!”

A fantastic day, great fun, and every one of us learned a lot.

Must stop… time to comment to some of the new blogs 🙂