I'm new to forums like this and relatively new to blogging so really looking forward to being part of this seminar. I am an academic member of staff at the University of Leeds, in the School of Sociology and Social Policy, and have taken an interest in the potential of so-called Web 2.0 programs and services since about the beginning of the 2005 academic year. In particular I am interested in how I and students can develop a more personal learning environment outside of the more restricted institutional VLE. We are currently piloting and evaluating an Elgg learning space system for blogging and community building and activities and a Mediawiki installation for trying out a wiki environment. Our current VLE is a Bodington installation (in fact it was first developed here in the late 1990s and subsequently released as open source) but we are in the process of choosing a new VLE. A decision will be made by the end of March this year which one. My hope and expectation is that we will continue to use a blogging and wiki system that is outside of and independent of whatever is available in the new VLE when we get it. This seems to make sense I think given the contemporary emphasis on life-long learning and the development of citizenship and identity in a knowledge and information saturated society. The years of formal education are quite short compared with the continuing personal, professional and informal education that hopefully we are helping to prepare our students for. Also increasingly our new student intake each year is already experienced with social networking, blogging and collaborative learning and we need to get to grips with this to maximise our exploitation of this and not to embarrass ourselves as dinosaurs!