A quick thought about Jiscmail…

Do you administer a JISCMail? I administer two: asexuality-discuss and socialmedia-discuss. Though I’m shit at administering them and, partly for this reason, nothing much happens on them. This is a shame because my initial motivation still stands: I thought there was inadequate dialogue taking place on both topics and I wanted to try and help bring such dialogue about, connecting with others who were interested in these topics in the process. I assume this motivation is true of many others who setup Jiscmail lists. But I grew up with vbulletin and mailing lists have never really done it for me.  I assume this also applies to others. So a proposal: if you want to consolidate a research network around a specific topic, don’t setup a mailing list. Instead setup a wordpress blog. Create an account for anyone who asks for one and lay down no editorial restrictions whatsoever. Ask those who take up an account to do the same. Let a thousand flowers bloom. Don’t see the blog as a collective product but seem it as an open publishing platform, a clearing house, which serves the same purpose as a mailing list might have done but does so in a much more effective way. Thoughts?

2 thoughts on “A quick thought about Jiscmail…

  1. I share your feelings on this really. Jiscmail lists I follow are more active when they connect those who are solving technical issues or sharing info. – the moodle users group, vle users group, ALT and AULC lists are always very active. Their users are in diverse roles but united in the need to sound out others using technology, share tips, get suggestions.Essentially there is a good fit between the aim of communication, means of communciation and the medium. For academic discussions I see more engagement when it is possible to see more about the person blogging and engage at a more in depth, personal level. So it seems to me this is a case of “horses for courses”.

  2. I like this idea and would love to hear from people who had made it work! We have that set up at work (oxford careers service) with WordPress and I am pleased with the collaborative efforts- but of course that is our job! I wonder if people would be proactive enough to contribute – probably people are if the theme is of interest and they are comfortable with blogging as opposed to writing in a closed community. As a research student myself and others tried a shared tumblr for this project http://newresearchtrajectories.net/website/. We intentionally didn’t have a theme other than sharing research as a work in progress and this perhaps didn’t help in getting contributors. Mainly the blog was used to disseminate information from the organising team about our events and I have to admit I wasn’t proactive enough in contributing so can hardly expect others to join in! We also chose tumblr as we thought it would be easy for people to use but of course we couldn’t set up multiple accounts so shared one password and had to identify oneself in your post. so, a few lessons learned! Hopefully I will try again at some point and be more successful!

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