One complaint that is often made by postgraduates and academics alike is that there is just not enough time in the day to manage and write content for blogs on top of everything else. The same is true wherever you look. Archivists and librarians tend to join together in institutional blogs and academics are increasingly doing the same, to spread the load. That is not to say that individual blogging is not worthwhile (for it can be very much so) but shared blogs offer an alternative way to maintain a blog and to do something interesting with it. A blog with various views and an assortment of interests can be much more interesting and exciting. Each poster might learn something from the other and the general reader may find it more interesting for that reason also. Shared blogs:
- Share the workload
- Bring to the table different viewpoints and interests
- Make blogging a collaborative project
- Can be more interesting
- Help to maintain a regular schedule of blog posts
Shared blogs are varied in terms of who is involved and what their purpose in existing might be. Sometimes they are institutional (such as History Matters; The National Archives blog; and UnTold Lives). Other times they might be a collaboration between individuals with related interests (as in the case of the Russian History blog). Alternatively they might be based around a project or event such as a conference (see the IHR’s Novel Approaches blog or History and Biography blog).
There are dangers with shared blogging. It requires a certain level of commitment from all those involved and, like any collaborative project, can lead to disagreement and/or annoyances. Generally one or two people must take the lead – acting as managers of the blog and every now and then pushing other members to post something. At The National Archives and British Library, for example, the blogs are run by a specific project manager (or two) who makes sure that it runs smoothly and is maintained.