Welcome to the AskAway Blog!

We're pleased to announce that the AskAway blog is open for business. The goal of the blog is to enable (and encourage!) communication among AskAway-ers staffing the academic queue. You can post messages about anything you feel is relevant to other AskAway-ers ...
- a tough assignment which may bring questions to AA
- a local technical problem your library is experiencing
- a request for help on a tricky reference question or VR issue
Sunni and I will also use the blog to post messages such as the kind of information now in the AA Update email.
*** When and how do I read the blog? ***
The blog is at http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/AskAway/ It's linked from the Librarians' Portal homepage (http://www.eln.bc.ca/vr_portal/) in the "Pre-shift Checklist" section.
If you prefer to display the feed in your blog reader software, the feed is available at http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/AskAway/atom.xml
We ask that all librarians check the blog at the start of each shift, so that you can see up-to-the-minute news about issues which may affect your shift.
*** Will the blog replace the listserv? ***
Mostly it will. We'll keep the listserv for urgent notices such as technical problems or emergency "can someone cover a shift" messages. Also, we need the listserv to send out certain info (e.g. lists of passwords) which we can't put on the public blog. But, where possible, we'd like to reduce email and move the conversation to the blog, where you can retrieve it at point of need.
*** How do I post to the blog? ***
Go to this URL: http://weblogs.elearning.ubc.ca/cgi-bin/mt.cgi The login name is ... well, okay, I can't post the login and password here on the blog itself. Please see the email from me dated 11/14 to get the login and password.
When you've logged in, click the link "Create a new entry on this weblog". Choose a title for your post, choose a category, and then enter the message in the "Entry Body" field. You can include HTML in your message, e.g. bold tags, links, etc. We're all sharing the same generic account to post, so at the end of your posting, please make sure to indicate your name and where you work. Then hit the Save button. If you've got the blog open in another window, hit Refresh to see your posting. If you're not happy with it, you can edit and re-save.
One caveat: when you're finished writing your post, please make sure to hit the Logout button at the top right of the screen. Because we're sharing an account, we're not sure what will happen if two people happen to try to log in and post messages at the same time.
Re the categories: we can add more if clear trends or patterns emerge.
*** Can we make comments on other people's postings? ***
For now we've got the Comment feature turned off. The UBC blogs have had a problem with spam comments. Also, we're not sure, with so many authors, if everyone is going to be able to go back and approve comments to their own postings. But if you'd like the Comments feature turned on, let us know, and we'll try it out.
Thanks to Brian Lamb and his wonderful crew at UBC's Elearning group for agreeing to host the blog. Now, get blogging!
Gordon Coleman
Project Coordinator
BC Electronic Library Network
Phone: 604-268-7002
Fax: 604-291-3023
Email: gordonc@eln.bc.ca
Web: www.eln.bc.ca