What is brookesblogs.net?

brookesblogs dot net is a social-media service for Oxford Brookes University staff and students.

Where is brookesblogs.net?

brookesblogs dot net is hosted in the same development environment in which we are running support and synthesis services for a number of JISC-funded national R&D programmes (Emerge, Create). These sites are on the public Internet.

What do you mean the public Internet?

brookesblogs dot net and the other sites serving the JISC projects mentioned above are not hosted in the brookes.ac.uk domain on Brookes web servers. The web servers are hired from professional web-hosting companies. They are not “behind the Brookes firewall”. Being on the public Internet means that potentially anything you post on brookesblogs.net can be seen by anyone in the world who has access to the internet. This service is different to other learning and teaching services like Brookes VirtualĀ for Staff or Students, or PebblePad. Those sites are private and protected. No one can even read them without logging in and being given either course-related or personal permission to read them. Brookes Virtual and PebblePad are “walled gardens”; brookesblogs.net is in the wild.

So can I say anything I want?

Well yes and no. The site is run using the Oxford Brookes Regulations as a policy framework:

The use of this site is an academic courtesy provided by Brookes, which can be withdrawn. Please use your common sense: think before you publish. Terms and conditions of your enrolment or employment apply here, as they do anywhere else. The site is not moderated, but it is monitored. Anything illegal or defamatory will have to be removed.

How do I get an account?

Accounts are available for Brookes students and staff. Enrolment is automatic on request for people with .brookes.ac.uk email addresses. Click here to register.

Can I have more than one blog?

Yes you can. That is why we have chosen WordPress Multi User (WPMU) as our platform. You might want a different blog for different modules. Or you might want one blog for academic thoughts and another for sports. It is up to you.

What happens to dormant blogs?

Blogs that have been dormant for a long time (say a year, we are not sure about the detail yet) will initially be archived and made invisible. They may be deleted. We will write to your last known email address before doing this. You should try to be tidy. Don’t leave inactive blogs lying around. People might find them and form an opinion about you that you wouldn’t want them to have.

What is WordPress Multi User?

WordPress Multi User (WPMU) is the open source WordPress.com platform developed and run by the lovely people at Automattic (one of the reasons why the Internet is a good thing), which can be run by anyone.

Why WordPress MU?

Because it is really easy to use, it is very widely used, and it is easy to move your blog from one WordPress service to another. Say you leave Brookes and want to take your blog with you. You can export it. Then set up a blog on WordPress.com (they are free) and import your brookesblogs.net content to your new account.