On the Subject of Blogs

letter press letters

Millions of people write blogs (web logs). And even more people read them.  Some of the very first Web sites on the Internet were blogs.  There are blogs for every subject imaginable -business, politics, food, news, medicine, knitting –  for many, the lure of self publishing is irresistible.   And while blogging may actually be good for one’s health, I want to discuss the Pathology blogs and some interesting things we are doing on the Web.

This blog was launched about four months ago. Since then, it has enjoyed over 43,000 visits  from people in 142 countries/territories around the world. There have been over 76,000 page views. Not bad, for a new departmental blog. Pathology has other blogs which support some of our labs, and faculty, our favorite technologies and allows us to communicate directly with patients and families. All these sites are authored by members of the Department of Pathology, and not Web designers.

Our blogs operate on a free, “open source”  software platform called WordPress. Anyone can freely download it, use it,  modify the code and contribute to its continuing  development. WordPress has evolved into a stable, mature platform which is supported by an international community of collaborators. It makes self publishing on the Web easy.

WordPress is very  flexible, and can be used for more than just blogging. With a few clicks, it can converted into Learning Management System (LMS) for faculty to manage a course, like BlackBoard. It can act like Twitter, with threaded conversations, a social network (like Facebook) or a message board. The Hopkins Gazette runs on WordPress – a fantastic example of online publishing.  The common feature of all these Web applications is the fact that anyone publish their own content without special technical skills.

I’m implementing WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS) for several new Pathology Web sites. Once the design is complete and added to  WordPress, anyone with the login can upload images, author new pages and manage the Web site’s content – with or without the blog aspect of WordPress.

Screen Capture of WordPress authoring page

Screen shot of the WordPress publishing interface

My goal is to empower more people within Pathology to publish MORE information quickly, easily and to reach the widest audience possible. If you are interested in a blog or web site, please contact me.

Jim Doran and WordPress founder Matt MullenwegJim Doran and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg

Jim Doran
Web Designer/Software Engineer
Department of Pathology