UNSW Blogs - Under the Dashboard


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Slides for a worskhop for UNSW staff held on 11 May 2009

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UNSW Blogs - Under the Dashboard

  1. 2. WORKSHOP OVERVIEW <ul><li>Welcome and Introductions </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress MU: Background and Tech Specs </li></ul><ul><li>UNSW Blogs Overview </li></ul><ul><li>UNSW Blogs Policies: Publishing and Management </li></ul><ul><li>Bangs and Whistles: Plugins on UNSW Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>(Very) Quick Overview of Template Design for Wordpress </li></ul><ul><li>Future Development on UNSW Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Questions and Discussion </li></ul>
  2. 3. UNSW Blogs Overview <ul><li>UNSW Blogs Platform established as part of the TELT Pilot project </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for the setup and management of multiple blogs for staff use at UNSW </li></ul><ul><li>Running on the Wordpress Multi-User 2.7.1 platform </li></ul><ul><li>Customised templates which include University Branding </li></ul><ul><li>Added functionality including Podcasting &Vodcasting, Web 2.0 tools and social networking (via plugins) </li></ul><ul><li>http://blogs.unsw.edu.au </li></ul>
  3. 4. Wordpress MU: Technical Requirements <ul><li>To run WordPress MU you need webhosting which provides: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>PHP version 4.3 or greater </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>MySQL version 4.0 or greater </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Apache mod_rewrite </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>UNSW Blogs is running version 2.7.1 which was released in March 2009. </li></ul>
  4. 5. Wordpress MU: Background & Tech Specs <ul><li>Flavours of Wordpress! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wordpress: Supports one weblog per installation, open source, easy to self-host </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress Multi-User: (WordPress MU, a.k.a. WPMU) allows simultaneous blogs to exist within one installation and managed via one site admin dashboard </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Other related products include Lyceum (which was designed for enterprise use and has a normalised database structure ) and BuddyPress - a plug-in extension of WPMU that is adding missing community features </li></ul></ul>
  5. 6. UNSW Blogs Terms of Use & Publishing Policies <ul><li>The Terms of Use and Guidelines Publishing on the UNSW Blogs platform are currently under development </li></ul><ul><li>The Terms of Use and Guidelines should allow for flexibility and sharing, as well as ensuring that relevant university polices are met. </li></ul><ul><li>Consideration should be given to policies for both professional and personal use of online tools such as blog, wikis and social software </li></ul>
  6. 7. Existing Policies to Consider <ul><li>TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute’s Terms of Use and Guidelines for the myLearning Platform (Wikis and blogs) See: http://termsofuse.sydneyinstitute.wikispaces.net/ </li></ul><ul><li>BBC Guidelines for Online Publishing See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/ </li></ul><ul><li>BBC Guidelines for Personal Use of Online and Social Media Sites See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/editorialguidelines/advice/personalweb/index.shtml </li></ul>
  7. 8. TAFE NSW – Sydney Institute Guidelines <ul><li>See: http://termsofuse.sydneyinstitute.wikispaces.net/ </li></ul>
  8. 9. Theme Design for Wordpress <ul><li>Wordpress Themes allow for detailed customisation of both the platform at an administration/corporate level, but can also be used to enable a high level of user customisation. </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress themes consist of php files and css. (style.css, header.php, page.php etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Resources for those interested in developing Wordpress Themes is available @ http://wordpress.org/extend/themes/ </li></ul>
  9. 10. UNSW Blog Themes <ul><li>A small collection of UNSW Blog Themes have been developed and more are on the way! </li></ul><ul><li>Themes have been designed to meet UNSW Branding obligations, but still allow for a level of user customisation and personalisation </li></ul><ul><li>Themes are designed for use with a wide range of plugins, plus ‘widgetised’ to allow for extensive sidebar and content customisation. </li></ul>
  10. 11. Themes: Course Blog Theme
  11. 12. Themes: UNSW Blogs - Simple
  12. 13. Template Design <ul><li>Relatively simple process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create style.css, header.php, page.php etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>A huge range of Wordpress Themes freely available which can be used as the basis for development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source code for UNSW templates can be made available for the ‘geeks’ in the UNSW Blogs Community in a sandbox environment. </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. PLUGINS! <ul><li>A wide range of plugins have been installed to extend the UNSW Blogs Platform. A list of Plugins installed on the platform is provided @ http://blogs.unsw.edu.au/unsw-blogs-platform-features/ </li></ul><ul><li>In general, most standard Wordpress Plugins work with WPMU, however there are some exceptions. Additionally some plugins require extra customisation to work on the WPMU platform securely. </li></ul><ul><li>Plugins can be activated and deactivated on a per-blog basis. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;mu-plugins&quot; are generally administrative, and are enabled by default (security features, statistics, user management, tag and category management) </li></ul>
  14. 15. PLUGINS: Google Analytics <ul><li>Allows for statistics tracking at both site admin and user level. </li></ul><ul><li>Plugins in to Google’s freely available analytics tools </li></ul>
  15. 16. PLUGINS: LifeStream <ul><li>Allows users to create a stream of all of their online activity via RSS and a range of social networking sites including Facebook, Flickr, mySpace etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Great way to ‘mashup’ a group of sites </li></ul>
  16. 17. Scaleability & Integration <ul><li>Wordpress MU creates new database tables for each blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables improved Plugin compatibility </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Takes advantage of existing OS-level and MySQL query caches </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enables segmented user data – which allows for multi-site platforms and ‘blog farms’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Authentication: Allows for integration via LDAP enabled directory services </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenLDAP, Apache Directory, Microsoft Active Directory, Novell eDirectory, Sun Java System Directory Server etc </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Ongoing Development on UNSW Blogs <ul><li>Ongoing development of templates to support various faculties and projects – eg. Faculty based templates (branding) and team or project based templates (TELT blog) </li></ul><ul><li>Ongoing testing and development of WPMU Plugins to support customised content and social networking/communication </li></ul>
  18. 19. Future Development on UNSW Blogs <ul><li>Recommended Strategies for future development: </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot and testing of of additional and complimentary tools including BuddyPress – a WPMU based social networking platform ( http://buddypress.org/ ) </li></ul><ul><li>Exploration and testing of tools to support and enhance multimedia delivery (youtube integration, media servers, complimentay software to support image galleries) </li></ul>
  19. 20. Questions and Discussion! <ul><li>Note: We will publish these slides on the TELT Blog shortly and encourage you to continue the discussion online! </li></ul>
  20. 21. USEFUL LINKS <ul><li>UNSW Blogs: http://blogs.unsw.edu.au </li></ul><ul><li>TELT WIKI – Blogging Resources: </li></ul><ul><li>Wordpress MU: http://mu.wordpress.org </li></ul><ul><li>Jo Kay’s Website: http://jokay.com.au </li></ul>
  21. 22. Contact Jo! <ul><li>Jo Kay, Freelance Virtual Worlds, Web Design, eLearning & Facilitation </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: http:// jokay.com.au </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki: http:// jokay.wikispaces.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Portfolio Site: http:// jaspercat.net </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Email: [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: http:// twitter.com /jokay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Islands of jokaydia: http:// jokaydia.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mob: 0405179622 </li></ul></ul>