Ecological field notes and economics — an OSU service is allowing students, staff and faculty to run up to five blogs about whatever they’re interested in for free.
Any OSU community member is eligible for up to five free sites supported by the university through U.OSU.
There have been 1,400 sites created since Nov. 12 for uses including professional profiles, group projects and class websites, said Lucy Ramos, senior marketing communications strategist for the Office of Distance Education and eLearning.
The service U.OSU was launched years ago within the College of Arts and Sciences, but after recognizing a broader need for it, the college partnered with ODEE to offer it university-wide, Ramos said. The service officially launched Nov. 12.
Eva Dujardin Dale, senior visual communications specialist for the College of Arts and Sciences, said the partnership with ODEE was what made the project happen.
“Working together with ODEE allowed us to have everything in place to release this tool to the whole university,” Dale said.
OSU has a contract with EduBlogs, which hosts the WordPress installation that makes up U.OSU. The contract costs OSU $8,000 per year, Ramos said.
“It’s a huge discount considering individual domains through WordPress start at $13 per year for the general public,” Ramos said.
Some domains through WordPress start at $18 per year for users, but free blog addresses are also available through the site.
Ramos said the U.OSU websites are branded with the university logo to make the affiliation clear.
“There was demand for a professional website platform from across the university,” Ramos said.
Jay Zagorsky, a research scientist at OSU, has created his own website and said he uses it to blog about various topics.
“When I write a journal article, it takes years before it gets into print, “ Zagorsky said. “With the new u.osu.edu website, what I write is seen instantly and is commented on within days.”
Kyle Seitz, a fourth-year in environmental science, said though he hasn’t signed up for a site, if he did, he would use it for feedback purposes.
“It would be nice to post my different writings and have a place to get peer reviewed and get critiques on it,” Seitz said. “It would be like LinkedIn but more of a personal version.”