For me, U.osu has been nothing short of empowering. Whatever your job is, I’d be willing to bet it probably involves organizing information in some way. Do you have to evaluate proposals? Collaboratively review information and provide feedback? Provide your team with updates? Have a central repository for documents, photos, information, or links? Outline processes, policies, procedures, or instructions? Delegate tasks to a team? Share updates and provide access to departmental forms? If you’re like me, you probably have to do at least half of these things which would be made far easier if you had a great website dedicated to the task. With U.osu, I didn’t need my own personal webmaster to make it happen. In less than a month, I was able to build from scratch, a website that could do all this and more.
If you are not familiar with U.OSU, you can read more about it here. I work for the Office of Distance Education & eLearning, and in helping my department support the use of U.osu, I’ve come across a lot of great questions. Here’s what the team had to say…
Question: Okay, so U.OSU is just WordPress; why would I create my website or blog on U.OSU rather than setting up my own personal WordPress page?
Answer: Setting up on U.OSU provides the following benefits:
- Legitimacy: Your site’s affiliation w/ the OSU brand conveys a sense of legitimacy and authority.
- Support: OSU provides free tech support if you encounter any trouble or need help setting up.
- Community: As a private blog or site, you are a loner voice among millions; being part of the OSU community makes it easy to find out what your peers are up to and for them to find you.
- Visibility: Once your site is established, the U.osu team can help you promote your site to university and beyond. *You can set up a private site if you wish, so that only you and the people you select can see it.
- A concise URL: Instead of competing w/ millions of other users for domain names, you’ll likely be able to get a URL that’s accurate to your department/cause/project and easy to remember, i.e., U.osu.edu/<yourSiteName>.
- Value: With small exceptions, you get all the functionality of a paid WordPress account, for free.
Question: Does my content belong to OSU if I post on U.OSU?
Answer: Understandably, you would assume responsibility for your own content and smartly abide by guidelines outlined by FERPA and our Institutional Data Policy, however the terms of service provides that your content is in fact your own.
Question: What happens to my U.osu site when I leave OSU?
Answer: You will lose access to your U.osu site once you leave OSU, however, your content is archived for a period of time should you wish to transfer it to your own WordPress site. Exporting your site is easy, and takes a matter of minutes.
Personally, I run two U.osu sites at the moment: this little minimalist blog, and a very robust internal-facing website for management of the Digital Union, as mentioned above. Not being a code-head, it’s been an amazing experience having the power to implement my own web presence, having the freedom to update at will, and seeing the information I post be so helpful to others. I highly recommend you check it out, even if you just blog about your daily work minutiae and don’t think anyone would be interested. That’s what I’ve been doing here since October of 2013, and since then I’ve had nearly 9,000 page views from over 4,000 visitors. Give it a shot; it’s free! If you get stuck you can find support however you want it:
- Online: ODEE Resource Center
- Email: U@osu.edu
- Phone: (614) 688-HELP
- In Person: ODEE Workshops