Question o’ the day: Should universities provide a free blogspace for their students, faculty and staff?

I’ve been asked to ponder this question and write a recommendation for the University of Texas at Austin. My response is, “Of course! Blogs are part of the new web culture…the interactive web…where individual voices can be heard. Blogs are part of a new social network, an online community that shares ideas freely.” To which my boss replies, “You’re just currently infatuated with blogs. ” “Am not!” “Are too!”

And he asks:

  1. How do blogs benefit students and faculty in pursuit of higher education and research?
  2. Why don’t we just advise faculty/students where they can set up a blog on a non-university server?
  3. Why is a blog better than email or a regular web page?
  4. Will blogs still be around in 5 years?
  5. If we do provide blogs for students, what happens when they graduate? Do we force them to move their blog?

And while I’ve only been active in the blogosphere for a very short time…I’ve already learned the value of thinking out loud…or should I say, thinking out blog…so that I can hear what others are thinking all around this wonderfully diverse planet.