The NCTE are still rolling out their free web space but because they have two different hosting packages, everybody is confused including themselves. I’ve received a couple of emails since I gave my talk on Blogging at the CESI conference asking me about the Scoilnet hosting. I usually just refer them on to the NCTE helpdesk. However, I got a worrying email from someone who has been trying to get a blog up and running but has hit a wall because the people on the NCTE helpdesk don’t know what she’s talking about.
The NCTE/Scoilnet are offering schools two packages. The first is called a Scoilnet Webspace and the other a Scoilnet Blog. The idea is that if you want a static, old fashioned web site, you can ask for the webspace option and work away with whatever piece of old software you want. If you want a more modern “blog” option, then you pick the Scoilnet blog.
The problem is that the lines between a web site and a blog are now so blurred that people (inluding me) have stopped referring to web sites created on WordPress, as blogs. The reason for this is because they look nothing like the blogs of yesteryear and look more like full-featured web sites. So, essentially, I think the term “blog” as a separate entity to the traditional web site is gone.
I think this is proven by the confusion people are having when trying to set up their “wordpress-based website” with Scoilnet. I had to ring the NCTE helpline to investigate the confusion. When I rang, my first bureaucratic battle was my inability to give them my roll number. As Anseo.net is not a school, yet ;), I spent a couple of minutes trying to convey this.
Anyway, I told them about my “friend’s” problem about trying to get her web site up and running. I told her that the web site would be based on the WordPress service they were offering. She was stumped. She tried to direct me to registering my school on their service and using a web design package, so I tried again.
“No, I’d like to use the WordPress MU package that Scoilnet are offering all schools”, I ventured. I got the same response, except this time I was told that the NCTE didn’t mind what package I used when designing the web site.
Third time lucky… I said the word “Blog”. Ta-da – I was directed to the NCTE web site where I could register my school as a blog and so on.
I think the time has come for Scoilnet/NCTE to stop referring to their WordPress model as a “Scoilnet blog” because WordPress is much more powerful than that. It is now, quite rightly, a fully-featured content management system – a true Web 2.0 web-site development kit.
It would be better if someone called to register their web site, they could be asked if they wanted to design it themselves (using their favourite package) or use their easy to use WordPress model. The web site address would be the same anyway. It would certainly make my Inbox happy.