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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

UMass Boston Blog Network a Reality

As part of UMass Boston’s expansion of technology, IT services has rolled out with the UMB Blog Network, a UMass Boston blog service for students, faculty, and staff.

A blog is a personal journal. A place for your thoughts. Your memos to the world. In other words, a blog is a website where you can write entries on an ongoing basis. Readers can then comment back to you.

In addition, a blog can be shared by a group, club, department, or organization. In that case, a shared e-mail account, which can be requested, must be used.

Apurva Mehta, Director of IT Client and Education Technologies, spoke about the new blog service and how one might use such a resource.

“The UMB Blog Network was created to offer students, faculty, and staff with tools to express themselves.” said Mehta. “Individuals will be able to share their take on a variety of UMB related topics from those that personally concern them to those that affect us as a community.”

Thoughts and opinions will not restricted by text. The UMB Blog Network accepts a variety of formats from photos to short videos. In the case that you already have a blog on a different service, the UMB Blog Network is able to import entries from a wide range of other services, said Mehta.

Eileen McMahon, Senior Instructional Designer of IT Education Technologies and supervisor of the project discussed blogging for educational purposes.

“Blogs are an important tool. As one of the most demanded services from faculty, the UMB Blog Network opens new opportunities for interactive teaching that would not be otherwise possible through static sources,” said McMahon. “We hope that through blogging, we will be able to engage the student base in both learning and communication.”

McMahon also spoke enthusiastically on open source software such as WordPress, which provides the backbone of the UMB Network.

“The use of WordPress and open source software in general is very beneficial for the UMass Boston. Free and open software allows students to develop viable skills and a sense of personalization that they would not otherwise achieve through proprietary means,” McMahon said passionately. “Through the adoption of open source software, UMass Boston is embracing innovating trends that will lead the way to less bureaucratic and more democratic methods of thinking. It is through open source software that we will be able to contribute as a community rather than be restricted by the constraints of proprietary software.”

While the UMB BlogNetwork is still within a pilot phase, the network itself is up and running and is available to those who wish to participate. You only need a UMB username and password to get started.

“Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to participate in this project. Through comments and suggestions, we hope to iron out most of the kinks and improve on the overall blog service,” said McMahon.

Sushant Bhosale serves as the blogging administrator.

To begin blogging away, visit the UMB Blog Network on the web at http://blogs.umb.edu