Setting up and maintaining a blog
What you need to consider when starting a blog and how to make it a valuable addition to the University's network.
Who can write a blog
Blogs can be run by staff or students of the University, either as individuals or as teams.
The blogs that people find most interesting and useful are those which focus on a specific purpose, for example:
a student on industry placement reflecting on their experiences while giving others an insight into what it is like being on a placement or working in a particular sector
a group that works on innovative research in a crowded field posting regularly on their findings to keep themselves in the public eye and explain why their research matters
a central team that provides services across campus posting updates about performance and demonstrate how they are taking on board feedback from users
If you’re working on something that others would find interesting or benefit from learning about, a University of Bath blog may be a good way of capturing it.
We want blogs that contribute something distinct and valuable to the University’s digital domain on a regular basis. We don’t want generic or highly personal blogs, where the proposition to the reader is vague or the relevance to the University is dubious.
Applying to start a blog
You can request to start a new blog online.
To make sure we can fully support you and that your blog gets the best possible start, please give us, and yourself, at least two weeks notice to get things up and running.
This will give everyone enough time to handle the technical aspects, make sure that the blog is a good fit for the network and that it is something you can feel proud of.
Blog roles and permissions
When you apply for a blog, tell us which level of access you need. The levels of access are:
- subscriber - can manage their own profile
- contributor - can write and manage their own posts but cannot publish them
- author - can publish and manage their own posts
- editor - can publish and manage posts including the posts of other users
- administrator - has access to all the administration features within a single blog
Blog name and category
Naming your blog
Blog titles are fixed once created, so make sure you are happy with your decision before placing your request.
Titles should be descriptive of the purpose of your blog and help readers decide if the blog is relevant to them. This does not mean they can't be creative.
Your blog URL (its unique web address) will usually be based on the title of your blog and is also fixed once created. Like your title, the URL should be descriptive enough to help readers decide if the blog is for them. It should not clash with any other University blogs or web pages.
Your URL should contain full words, not abbreviations, separated by hyphens. All characters must be alphanumeric and lowercase.
We will suggest changes to your blog's title and URL if needed before creating the blog.
Selecting a blog category
Each of our blogs is part of the University network. This means that each blog should be relevant to the University and help people understand its activities.
We have produced a set of categories to help our users understand what each blog is about and find related blogs and posts. Every blog must fit into one or more of these categories:
- Faculty of Engineering and Design
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- Faculty of Science
- School of Management
- Institutes and research groups
- Student experience
As the University develops over time our blog network will develop with it. This means we are likely add new categories and remove or rename old ones.
Writing an About page
Create an ‘about’ page describing the purpose of the blog and who you are. This is in addition to the front page of your blog, which lists your posts.
The ‘about’ page should contain the necessary detail to help readers understand why you are qualified to be posting on the subject. It should also provide context to the posts you are publishing.
We don't recommend creating additional supporting pages except in rare circumstances. If you feel you might need any additional pages, talk to us about your needs.
Adding a header
You can add an image to your blog header. To be consistent with University branding, your image should be:
- a maximum of 2000 pixels wide by 848 pixels high
- set to a resolution of 72 dpi
You can use Photoshop or free online tools such as Pixlr to resize your picture.
To upload the image, you need to:
- go to your blog's dashboard.
- select 'Appearance' followed by 'customise - blog header options'.
- select your image (under background image).
- Upload the file.
Taking responsibility for your blog
You are accountable for the things you write. If your name appears on a post, you must be prepared to respond to comments and engage in dialogue both on your blog and on other social networks. Read our Comment moderation policy before requesting a blog.
Never post anything on your University blog that you wouldn’t say in public in a physical setting.
Like with anything you post online, you should always get someone to proofread your text before you press ‘publish’. They’ll probably spot a few mistakes that have slipped your notice, but they might also be able to offer useful feedback as they are reading the post with fresh eyes.
Acceptable use policy
Before requesting a blog, you should read our Acceptable use policy so you understand what you are expected to do and what you can expect from us.
Disclosing research funding
As stated in point 7.2 in the Code of good practice in research integrity, you must make sure you disclose all funding sources, significant collaboration and any other potential financial interest.
If you’re not regularly updating your blog, we’ll archive it.
If we see inactivity of longer than a month, we’ll contact you. If it’s still inactive after three months, we’ll try to help you get it back on track. If it’s still all quiet after six months, we’ll close it up.
Once your blog is archived, you won't be able to access it. If you want to start blogging again, we can reopen your blog for you.