We've had a project underway to upgrade these blogs, moving to a newer version of Community Server, better skinned, etc. The project is scheduled to deploy in a couple weeks.
A couple weeks ago, I heard the project would be ready in a couple weeks. I've heard the same thing for months, possibly going back to the beginning of this year. At this point it's gone on so long that my memory is failing a little on when we even started it. It wasn't my project, an outside consultant was used because all of us here in the publishing group are fairly busy, and our consultant appears not to have put this as a high priority. To be honest, I'm not sure how high a priority I put on it as well.
I've seen a few posts (part 1 and part 2) on blogging from Andy Warren lately. I like his assessment of blogs, and we've debated offline quite a bit on the value of blogging. Early on Andy wasn't sure there was value, but he decided to try it and commit to a year to see how it went. I think he sees some value in it, but it's a nebulous value. Most blogs are fairly low exposure unless you can write something sensational, or it becomes your publishing arm. But if you have another publishing arm (like SSC), then why blog?
My view is that you should have a professional blog that you use to blog about work. What you've done, what you've read, what you think of things. This is in addition to any publishing someone pays you for. You want to blog regularly, at least a couple times a month, and show what you are doing. It becomes part of your resume and something you can use in interviews. If you want to blog about your life, band, cat, whatever, do that elsewhere.
So do we need blogs at SSC? It's a nice add-on, and I think there is some value for people, but I'm not sure we get a lot of value out of it. It's almost a good karma thing for us to offer this as a free service to people, let them blog. Of course it has to work, including offline posting using the various blog APIs from LiveWriter, Word, etc.
However with the time, $$, and resources this has consumed and continues to consume, I'm not sure if we're not better off getting some type of "group blog" at Blogger or something. Hey, maybe I need to check on that :)