Blogs (or Weblogs)Brief Description:HistoryWhen to Use:Who can blog?Why should an international research organization care about blogging?How can a blog work to your advantage?What are my alternatives and when should I use them?How to use:Key steps to starting a blog include:Key elements for effective management of blogs.Blogging policies, ethics and codes of practiceBlogging Tools You Might UseHow to promote my blog?How to measure the impact of my blog?Tips and Lessons LearntExamples&StoriesExamples of blogs in international NGOs or on development topicsSome CGIAR BlogsSome FAO BlogsWho can tell me more?Related Methods / Tools / PracticesResourcesTags:Photo Source: Blogs (or Weblogs)
Adapted from the ODI Toolkit: A blog (shortened from weblog) is an easy-to-publish web page consisting primarily of periodic articles posted by date, usually with the newest entry at the top. Blogs can give the world a window on your work. In places where there is access to the Internet, blogs provide an easy way to communicate knowledge. Blogs have the power to help you foster relationships with colleagues, partners, stakeholders, donors, and the community you belong to. And relationships are the much-needed ingredient for effective impact, but only to the extent that they are managed effectively.
Blogs are rapidly being adopted in international development. SANGONET has created a blog toolkit with good advice on how to start a blog.
Here is a brief video explaining blogs.
Blogs in plain English: http://www.commoncraft.com/blogs
“Early blogs were manually updated components of standard websites. However, the evolution of tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of web articles posted in a chronological fashion made the publishing process accessible to a much larger, less technical, population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognise today.” (ODI)
People have been publishing their journals online for many years, but the advent of blogging meant it was easier. Blog software allows anyone to create a blog without having to know how to program or write in computer code. It allowed researchers and academics to learn, share and collaborate, all at a fraction of the time such activities used to take. Beyond the obvious time-saving, researchers gained from a wider network of peers.
Blogging celebrated it’s 10th anniversary in December, 2007.If we think beyond technology, there are examples of blog-like things that people have created offline… so there is precedence for this practice. The image of the blackboard blogger of Monrovia is from a great blog post - take a read at
Blogs are often associated with amateurs and popular culture. Many examples tell a different story, be it social activism (e.g. Global Voices) or raising awareness on global issues (e.g. blogs.worldbank.org).
Based on what we see happen on the web, is there a case for blogging in agricultural research? Let’s consider this:
A blog can help you ensure more interaction and increased visibility around your work.(From Blogging for Impact by ICT-KM)
Alternatives to Blogs?
You can promote your blogs by:
No matter which method you use, try to monitor the usages statistics of your blog to ensure that each of these methods, especially if you are paying for it, is bringing the right audience to your blog.
A great starting guide for measuring traffic generated by social media can be found at HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics. Another article about reputation monitoring focuses on the tools you might want to set up to find out what is being said about your organisation, project or initiative so that you can participate in the conversation. (From: Social Media: how do you know it’s working? by ICT-KM)
Photo by Wicho