Map Librarian – University Library, UoP
Copyright guru – David maintains the Copyright Guidelines at the University and endeavours to answer any copyright questions that come his way which, given the ambiguity of the subject, can be a challenge!
When producing content for a blog post it’s very easy just to ‘borrow’ material from other web sites and blogs. However, it’s important to remember that all web sites, emails, blogs and photographs are protected by copyright. Don’t assume that giving someone credit for material you use means that there is no copyright infringement.
Here are some things that you can do:
- There is a copyright exception that allows you to quote from someone else’s work, provided that:
(a) the work has been made available to the public;
(b) the use of the quotation is fair (so it doesn’t affect the market for the original work);
(c) the quote is relevant and its extent is no more than is required by the specific purpose for which it is used; and
(d) the quotation is accompanied by a sufficient acknowledgement.
Note that copying a photograph is not normally allowed under this exception.
- You can use material that is in the public domain.
This public domain image, for example, comes from pixabay.com. You could also search among over a million public domain images released by the British Library and made available on Flickr Commons.
- Use materials with a Creative Commons (CC) Licence that allows re-use. For example, the most accommodating licence is the Attribution (BY) Licence, which allows you to distribute, remix, tweak and build upon someone else’s work as long as you give the original creator credit. Appropriate images can be found by using http://search.creativecommons.org/, which links to various search services. Alternatively you can find licensed material by using the advanced search option in either Google or Flickr. The image below is available under a CC licence and is shown with its appropriate attribution, which includes the title of the work, the name of the author and a link to the work.
Technology Enhanced Learning This Way by Alan Levine is licensed under CC BY 2.0
There is some basic information about copyright in our Copyright Guidelines.
If you have any questions about copyright issues then please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
As you can see the TEL Team have a brand new, shiny blog! We’re hoping to share all our news and exciting discoveries with you all and we would like you to contribute too by leaving comments and feedback to our blog posts that interest you. With this in mind, I’ve started thinking about blogs and blogging.
Blogs are a great platform for communicating to a wider audience, sharing good practice and building up a community amongst others who have similar interests to your own. Blogging is a great way of learning, it challenges you to sit down and write and reflect on your experiences on a regular basis, which can often be scary putting your thoughts out there for all to read! However, by embracing this, you learn and grow as an individual, perhaps even become an expert in a certain field and in turn you are helping others to learn too! For some people having an opinion and voicing that opinion online comes as a natural process for others it can be a terrifying prospect, and by overcoming that it can become empowering – so perhaps it’s worth thinking about, even if it is a little scary!
So what makes a successful blog?
Okay, so here are a few things that I think are important to remember when blogging…
- Purpose: so why blog? What are you trying to say to your audience? By giving a blog a purpose, a reason for its existence, you are giving your readers something memorable to grab onto. They have something to engage with, comment on, and share.
- Audience: who are your lovely readers? Are you talking to a specific group of people? If so, do you need to tailor your posts to their needs? Also, do you need to think of the wider audience?
- Tone: conversational tone – blog posts tend to be more informal and chatty.
- Structure of blog posts: as with any writing, structure is very important. Writing a blog post is no different! Organise your thoughts and ideas before embarking on the task. Use headings to signpost your readers. Include a clear introduction so that the reader knows what is going to be discussed. Break down your post into well structured paragraphs and always finish by adding a conclusion.
- Length of posts: It shouldn’t really matter – keep the content to the length that it is required to discuss your chosen topic. However, keeping content clear and to the point will help to keep the word count down and keep your content focused and your reader engrossed.
- Unique content: write something with a different spin/take on it, rather than writing something that someone else has already written. Include punchy headlines and humor to grab the reader’s attention – doesn’t always have to be serious!
- Media: include videos and images in posts – why? It makes it more interesting and engaging for our readers rather than reams of text.
- Frequency of posts: by blogging on a regular basis you will keep your readers’ interest!
- Internal linking: linking related posts within a blog by #hashtags is a great way of enhancing the learning experience for readers. It not only provides themes throughout but also searchable keywords which are useful for when reflecting and also for the reader when searching.
- Documenting and reflecting: a way for you and your readers to have a learning experience through blogging.
- Spelling and grammar: there is nothing worse than reading a blog full of mistakes and typos. Have a process in place. Write the post, go back and edit and then get someone else to proofread with a fresh pair of eyes and only then publish!
Sounds good, right?
Yes it does, however, blogging has never come naturally to the TEL Team and to be honest this isn’t the first TEL Team attempt at having a blog – we’ve tried and failed in the past – we’ve just never seemed to get it quite right – why? Well, how can I put it, we are pretty good at setting up a blog but we’re not so great at blogging, which is pretty crucial when owning a blog, I think you’d agree!
So as a team we have decided to give blogging another go – yippee I hear you cry – and this time it’s going to be different! Please wish us all the best with our little blogging adventure and I’ll reflect on how we are doing over the coming weeks. In the meantime, if you have any experience of blogs or are a keen blogger yourself and have any useful tips then please share them with us 🙂
Image credits: Background image created by Valeria_aksakova – Freepik.com