Chris Sexton, Director of Corporate Information and Computing Services at the University of Sheffield, recently announced the first anniversary of her From a Distance blog which she uses to “share her work life with you“.

As Chris described her blog “started as a way of keeping people in the department in touch with what I was doing, and as an experiment to see if I could keep it up, and whether it was useful“. After a year (and 232 blog posts) Chris concluded that “I haven’t found it a bore to write, I can usually think of something to say ( well, about 4 times a week I can), and I know from google analytics that people are reading it“.

Chris initial posts covered her participation at the Educause 2007 conference and last week Chris wrote about the Educause 2008 conference. Her post on Google Apps and Spiderman I found particularly interesting as it provided a case study of the University of South California’s experience in deploying Google Apps for Education – and in response to the questions “was it quick?”, “was it easy?” and “was in free?” the answer seems to have been no. 

Now when people ask me whether staff in IT Service departments should be writing blogs I would point them in the direction of Chris Sexton’s blog as a great example of a senior manager’s blog which is useful and informative, and ensures that the insights she gains through her participation at important international events such as Educause are shared with the wider community (and not just trapped within a closed Computing Services director’s mailing list).

Chris manages to provide a Twitter feed as well as her wortk blog, although as her Twitter id cloggingchris may indicate, this tends to cover her social interests (clog dancing, sword dancing, folk festivals and drinking real ale). And whene we where first introduced at the UCISA Management Conference in 2004 Chris and I discovered we knew each other from the rapper dancing world – but didn’t recognise each other out of costume!