February 2004 Archives
February 20, 2004
While the blog system provided by the libraries will allow users to change the look and feel of their blogs to suit their own needs, we would still like to give our users options and ideas in the form of downloadable templates. Right now we are trying to create a variety of U of M themed templates that users can choose from. Please take a look at what we have come up with so far and let us know what you think using the comments link below. And if you are artistic yourself, please feel free to submit your own template ideas!
February 19, 2004
T Minus 20 days?
We are very close now. Everything we wanted to accomplish with modifying the code of Movable Type we have accomplished. Now what is left is to vigorously test our work for bugs, create user and administrator documentation, create user templates, and also to start setting up some intial users for a pilot test of the installation. To recap, here is a snapshot of what we have done so far. The library blog system will:
- Use the U of M Central Authentication Hub (x.500) for access to the system. This means no messy username/password maintenance for us, and easy access to the system for students/faculty/staff.
- Give people an easy way to post/edit web content without knowing HTML.
- Allow students, faculty, and staff to create multiple blogs, really as many blogs as anyone wants.
- Allow blog owners to easily attach other authors to their blogs to create team blogs, class blogs, club blogs, etc.
- Create the necessary blog directories (the main directory and the archives directory) on the fly without administrator intervention.
- Allow us to aggregate, disseminate, categorize blog content in a myriad of ways. We could create our own campus specific blogdex.net, categorize blogs by major or department affiliation, or conduct statistical analysis on blogging in general. The research potential is incredible.
- Allow the libraries to easily record the student, faculty, and staff experience at the university for future research.
- Instantly tie in to the MyU portal. Thanks to Movable Type's automatic RSS syndication page generation our users will be able to use the MyU portal as a blog aggregator.
- Make use of one of the most popular blog software packages in the world: Movable Type.
So, I know what you must be thinking. When? When are the libraries going to unveil this? We are hoping to start allowing "real" users by the middle of March. Of course, a more definite time will be available soon, but things are coming together nicely. If you are interested in being one of the initial testers of the system, please let me know!
February 06, 2004
Into the Blogosphere
The Department of Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota has recently asked the University Libraries to host "Into the Blogosphere," an online collection of essays exploring discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. The collection will feature between 15-20 peer reviewed essays with an introduction by Lawrence Lessig, Stanford Law professor and world famous blogger. The collection will be hosted on the Libraries' server http://blog.lib.umn.edu/ using the blog software Movable Type. Hosting the collection in this manner will encourage reader participation and response to the collection through Movable Type's comment functionality. In essence, the collection will feature high-quality, peer reviewed essays, but will be freely available for anyone to read and comment on thanks to the unique weblog publishing format. For more information please see http://www.intotheblogosphere.org.