My school has leapt into blogging in a big way. We have blogs for every academic department, the heads of the lower, middle and upper schools and each K-4th grade teacher uses a blog as their class news page. I was worried about overwhelming teachers/administrators with yet another thing to do, but most of the responses have been very positive.
We are using Google free Blogger to power all of our blogs. We set them up to publish directly onto our web server, thereby allowing the blogs to be password-protected and just for our community. Eventually I would love to see the blogs become open to the public, but we wanted to start small (concept-wise) and build up.
I think that blogs could easily replace fancy, professionally-designed school websites. Many independent schools hire serious web-design groups to build flashy sites to attract potential families. I subscribe to the Cluetrain Manifesto philosophy which talks about how most marketing is seen as just that by your audience, canned marketing. The book argues that visitors to fancy sites know that it is all marketing and they read them with skepticism. Blogs however give off an air of authenticity. The writing is informal and honest. The topics are micro level instead of macro. People feel like they are getting a real look into the happenings of the school instead of a carefully-crafted image piece. It will take one school to start using their blogs as the public face of their Internet presence and the rest will surely follow. Ok, maybe not surely.
So who will be first? Is it your school? Share the link below so we can all show them to our admins.