by Jennifer Hilder (PhD Intern)
Dr Yunhyong Kim tells us about her experience working with the BlogForever project and how it has changed her opinion of social media.
When Dr Yunhyong Kim thinks about a blog, the first question she asks is, where is it going to go? What does the College of Arts have planned for this blog in the long term? Despite not writing a blog herself, she finds the subject of blogs very interesting, especially now that they are not just texts but pictures, videos and other forms of media too. People have begun to recognise that blogs are important, and the BlogForever project she worked on coincided with that growth in interest as well as with the explosion of social media. As a result, ‘traditional’ blogs are being used differently, more purposefully, like this one. But blogs are all about communities, and the project sought to work out how that community and its activity could be preserved too.
The project was a community in itself, with twelve partners from across Europe, and Yunhyong’s experience of working with them was very positive. Yunhyong says that the people involved helped to make this project one of the most dynamic she had been involved in and that there was a lot of collaboration, feedback and document sharing. This interaction happened through the website (where, of course, there is a blog), through Skype meetings, video conferencing, email and, every six months, face to face meetings. Everyone was enthusiastic and dedicated as well as being flexible, able to adapt and tackle problems head on, which helped the project become a success.
Yunhyong thinks of herself as a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to social media, but this project has helped her to see how central it has become. She now recognises that social media is a valuable tool – just like television. If we use it in the right way, it is a medium for communication, for engaging and informing people, and for learning. Social media sites are already being preserved as, for example, the Library of Congress is archiving tweets, but Yunhyong has started thinking more about how the line between an archive and a library is being blurred by the way we use information. People still want to interact with the information so rather than being preserved in an archive, it is better for it to be curated, like in a library. The BlogForever platform can help with that, and institutions like the University of Glasgow can benefit from it too.
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