I've mentioned before that our Innovative Communications Project has been looking at web based applications, such as blogs and wikis, and we have agreed to invest in Clearspace. We've recently announced it to the University as follows:
A Internal Blogging and Wiki Service
We are investing in Clearspace, a collaboration environment, which we anticipate will have many applications within the University. Academics will be able to use it as a wiki and blogging environment in their teaching, linked from MOLE. Research groups, working with external collaborators, will be able to share and write documents together, and capture discussions as an alternative to email. Departments and groups across the University may use it to communicate and collaborate with colleagues as well as to publish documents.
In order to ensure the new service meets the needs of the University, we are running a number of pilots from Jan 2009 (through to May 2009), and the selected pilots will be asked to write a case study about how they used Clearspace and the benefits, and any problems of using it. If all goes as planned, the service will be available, to all, in May 2009.
We're well aware that many departments will be using external Web 2.0 Services within their work already - things like YouTube, Google, Slideshare or Facebook. These can be extremely useful applications, but there are some risks associated them including the ownership of the intellectual property of the ideas expressed through these tools and what happens if the application you're using is no longer available or the company providing it is taken over?
We have drawn together a number of resources to help departments consider the issues before they start investing time in using externally hosted web 2.0 applications.