Blogs.harvard.edu Shutting Down June 30, 2023; Sites.harvard.edu available for Harvard community members
After a successful twenty-year run, we are decommissioning the blogs.harvard.edu platform effective June 30, 2023 in order to pivot to new challenges at the Berkman Klein Center in a time when blogging platforms are ubiquitous and widely available.
Users of the blogs.harvard.edu platform who are current Harvard community members and who wish to continue blogging under the Harvard.edu domain are asked to migrate their blog(s) to the new HUIT platform, sites.harvard.edu, hosted on CampusPress and managed by Harvard Web Publishing (HWP). Users can request assistance from HUIT and HWP to create a new site and migrate content from blogs.harvard.edu. More information starting this process can be found in HUIT KB article KB0018446.
Users of the blogs.harvard.edu platform who are not current Harvard community members and would like to save the contents of their site, should export their content prior to June 30. We recommend migrating to a free WordPress.com site. Helpful information on importing a site on to WordPress.com or more general information on moving and/or exporting your site and its content can be found on WordPress.com’s support pages.
In 2003, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society (now the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society) began an unusual experiment: we launched a blogging platform. That seems quaint today in the age of ubiquitous access to services that facilitate the sharing of user-generated content. But it was an uncommon achievement at the time.
Twenty years in, a blogging platform is no longer an experiment. Blogging platforms are ubiquitous on the internet, content hosted and created on the WordPress platform makes up more than 40 percent of all websites, and gaining access to a blogging platform is easier than ever for people and organizations wanting to create an online presence.
The blogs.harvard.edu platform has undergone various changes in its management and now exists in an environment where users have innumerable ways to put content online, including for free. Blogs.harvard no longer offers a unique opportunity for online engagement. In addition, it is antiquated in its policies for customization and available extensions when compared with contemporary, streamlined platforms.
We look back on the early days of the platform with a measure of nostalgia, and echo the enthusiasm expressed in 2004 about the role the platform played in the birth of podcasting, or in providing a platform to former students like Ory Okolloh (who went on to found Ushahidi), or—generally—in allowing an extraordinary array of “students, faculty, fellows, staff and alumni of Harvard” to “cut their teeth” by posting, commenting, and engaging with one another. From Creative Commons, to Global Voices, to PRX, the Center has specialized in playing the role of incubator, where new platforms and other technologies can be piloted before they are spun out to operate in the proverbial wild. It is bittersweet to close an era of blogging on blogs.harvard.edu.