MUniversity of Minnesota

Announcement Archives



November 22, 2006

Good News! UThink hardware upgrade!

UPDATE: We have successfully moved to the new hardware. If you were using the CAPTCHA plugin on the old server, you will need to re-enable the plugin. We had to reinstall the plugin from scratch to get it to work properly. As always, please let me know if you run into any other difficulties!


Hello everyone! This is very important news so please make sure you understand this. And please pass this on to other UThink users:

UThink will be down Thursday night (Thanksgiving) beginning at 8:00 PM until probably late Friday morning.

UThink will be moving to a new, and much faster, server Thursday night. Again, I'd like to emphasize that this move will make UThink a lot faster and I, for one, am very excited about this. Hopefully all of you will notice the change.

In addition, this server move will also fix the problem with Firefox 2.0 uploads. And speaking of uploads, due to the server speed we have noticed that on campus it literally takes seconds to upload files as large as 30 MB. This may allow us to increase the file upload limits currently in place, but we'll have to see how the system handles all the traffic it normally gets. In our tests uploading has been fast, and the server has been fast, but nothing can truly simulate real-life use of a system. Of course, we'll be monitoring the system shortly after the upgrade for any problems. If you see any problems or encounter any difficulties please email uthink@umn.edu.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone! Hopefully you'll find a new and improved UThink when you get back.

Posted by snackeru at 02:28 PM

March 20, 2006

A Survey of Undergraduate Bloggers

Kurtis Scaletta, M.A., Dept. of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Minnesota, is conducting a survey of undergraduate bloggers, the purpose of which is "to get a general sense of the preferences and perceptions of students on the usefulness and purpose of weblogs." In addition:

We will investigate how and why students use blogs, as well as comparing the characteristics of blogs kept on private/anonymous blogging tools like LiveJournal with blogs kept on public blogging tools like UThink. If you participate, you will contribute to the knowledge and understanding of the characteristics and benefits of blogs.

If you are an undergraduate please consider taking this 25 question survey by visiting the following URL:

And if you are an instructor of undergraduates, please encourage your students to take the survey. Participants have a chance to win a $25 LiveJournal gift certificate (good for merchandise, upgrades, or a one-year paid subscription), a $25 gift card to the University of Minnesota Bookstores, or a $25 iTunes gift card.

UPDATE!: Enough responses have been received. The survey is now closed. Thanks to everyone who participated!

Posted by snackeru at 10:06 AM | Comments (2)

January 30, 2006

UThink comment cleanup

First of all, thanks for helping to make UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries the success that it is. UThink is one of the largest, if not the largest, academic blogging sites in North America. However, with this success we have attracted the unwanted attention of comment spammers. Our recent upgrade to Movable Type 3.2 (November 2005) has almost completely stopped comment spam (thanks to the new MT plugin SpamLookup), however some does still slip through the cracks. Please let me know if you are having any difficulty with this.

Before our upgrade to MT 3.2, a lot of comment spam slipped through the cracks. We would now like to deal with it. On Tuesday, January 31, we will be mass deleting any comment with 6 or more URLs in the comment text. From our inspection, we have found that almost all comments with 6 or more URLs are worthy of deletion. Our mass deletion will NOT touch any of your actual entries. All entries will remain intact. This is just deletion of comments.

This is just a courtesy note to let you know of our plans. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Posted by snackeru at 11:46 AM | Comments (1)

November 17, 2005

Attention UThink users: Upgrade to MT 3.2 on November 28!

If you were thinking of creating a new blog using UThink, you may want to wait.

We will be upgrading the UThink system to Movable Type 3.2 on November 28 (the Monday after Thanksgiving). This means that access to the UThink/Movable Type administration interface (https://blog.lib.umn.edu) will not be available that day. We hope access will be returned by the end of the day on the 28th, but this, of course, depends on how smoothly the upgrade goes. So, please plan accordingly. Again, there will be no access to UThink for most of the day on November 28.

We have decided to upgrade now rather than wait until the end of the semester due to the increase in spam on the system over the past month. Plus, MT 3.2 has some very nice new features!

If you haven't had a chance to give Movable Type 3.2 a try on our test system, please point your browser to:

https://blog-dev.lib.umn.edu:446/cgi-bin/uthink/mt.cgi

We are confident the upgrade to MT 3.2 will be a welcome one. Among other things, some of the new features available through MT 3.2 include:

  • Better spam blocking tools.
  • Better comment and trackback management functionality.
  • A cleaner, easier to use interface.
  • Dynamic publishing capabilities.
  • New plugins including StyleCatcher (to change your blog's appearance) and MT Blogroll (to more easily include a "blog roll" of links on your blog).
  • A new administrative tool called "List Blog Files" which will allow you to manage your uploaded files from the MT administrative interface (Under "Utilities").
  • The ability to add multiple Internet IDs to a single blog at the same time (currently you must add authors to a blog one at a time).

And much, much more. In addition, please be aware that UThink has expanded the maximum file size per upload to 15MB with unlimited space for your blog. This should allow for more podcasting and vlogging on the system.

Thanks for using the UThink system. It is about to get a whole lot better. Please let me know if you have any comments or questions!

Posted by snackeru at 02:51 PM | Comments (5)

October 21, 2005

MT 3.2: Please test!

Hello everyone! I am pleased to announce that we now have a test system available for all of you to give Movable Type 3.2 a try:

https://blog-dev.lib.umn.edu:446/cgi-bin/uthink/mt.cgi

I would be more pleased if this was a message to tell you that we have upgraded, but, of course, it is very important to test a major change like this, especially considering there are many class blogs currently using the system. Most importantly, we have to make sure that everyone's existing blogs are upgraded without any major hitches.

So, please take this opportunity to test the new system out. There are a couple of things you will need to do while testing and a couple of things that you should check out:

  1. If you have a blog in the current system, this test system should include an earlier version of the blog. Please log in and immediately "rebuild" the blog. This is very important. Once you have rebuilt, "view" your blog (View Site). If you see anything strange please let me know. I will be able to determine if it is a major problem or not.

    With this new system we are changing the directory structure. Due to MT's new use of "dynamic" publishing it is preferred that everything your blog produces is put in the same directory. This means that we are doing away with the "archives" directory. Your blog URL will stay the same, and the system should be able to rewrite all your links properly. Instead of archive files going into the "archive directory, though, everything will be put into the main directory for your blog (what was previously known as the "local path"). Like I said above, it is important to test these things out.

  2. Check out the new Comments management features. Spamming has become more and more of an issue not only on UThink but in the blogosphere in general. MT 3.2 has great comment management tools that allow you to delete and/or junk multiple comments at once. MT 3.2 also comes with a new tool called SpamLookup which is a more powerful way of combating spam than MT-Blacklist (what we currently use). Although it is impossible to get rid of all blog spam, these tools should cut down on spam a great deal and give you the means to manage your comments better.

    In the "Settings" section there is also option to turn on the "approval" functionality for comments. This means if you want, you can see and approve every comment before it is published. Some people find this annoying, especially the commenters themselves, but some of you could certainly find it useful. Please note: the Typekey functionality (forcing someone to login through Typekey before being able to post) does not currently work. We may remove this option from the menu before we move it into production.

  3. You should try to create a new blog. To do that, click on "Weblogs" in the "System Shortcuts" section, and then click on "Create New Weblog." Please let me know if you encounter any difficulty with this.
  4. In this new system, the "Template Changer" will be replaced by the "StyleCatcher." There is an important difference between the two. With the StyleCatcher your blog must use the default MT templates. So, if you'd like to test out the StyleCatcher the easiest way is to create a new blog, click on "Templates," and then click on "Select a Design using StyleCatcher." A new blog automatically uses the default MT templates.

    If you have an existing blog from the current system and you'd like to change how it looks MT 3.2 has made it easy to revert to the default templates. Simply go into your existing blog, click on "Templates," and find the "More actions" drop down menu. Choose "Refresh Templates." This will "refresh" your index templates back to the default templates for MT 3.2. You will have to repeat this process for your "Archive" and your "System" templates. Once you've done that, try using the StyleCatcher.

  5. Try to use the new "Blogroll" functionality. This new version of UThink will allow you to manage your external links, your "blogroll," without having to mess with the Main Index (although that will still be an option if you want it). If you'd like to give this a try, use a newly created blog, or a blog where you have refreshed the templates. This is another piece of functionality that makes use of the default MT 3.2 templates. Enter your blog and look for "Edit My Blogroll" on the bottom of the Main Menu. Enter a couple of links, rebuild your main index, and view your site. You should see your "blogroll" appear in the Links section of your blog home page.
  6. You should also try to test out the "dynamic publishing" capabilities of MT 3.2. Early on people recognized a potential problem with MT 2.661 is the fact that when an author rebuilds his or her blog, every page is written out statically. If you've got a moderate to large sized blog, rebuilding can take quite a while. With the dynamic publishing option, archives can be set up to be dynamic. This means that the pages are built dynamically from the backend database when the pages are actually requested. This makes rebuilding a little less cumbersome.

    To test out this option, choose "Settings" and then the "Publishing" tab. From there select "Build only Archive Templates dynamically." Rebuild. Then view your blog and click on the links for the monthly, individual, and category archives. Again, let me know if you see anything out of the ordinary.

  7. As promised, we have also created functionality to add multiple authors at once. In the current system, if you want to add multiple authors to your blog you have to add them one at a time. No longer! To try out this new functionality choose "System Overview" on the top of the page, then select "Authors." Above the list of authors you should see two choices for creating authors, one of which says "Create Multiple New Authors." This new bit of functionality will let you add as many authors as you want to any number of the blogs you have control over. We hope this will make class based blogging a little easier. Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Well, that should be good for now. Again, please, please, please take a moment to give this new system a try, especially if you maintain a blog on the current system. We need to make sure that this upgrade will work for current blogs in a way that is not disruptive. In our own testing we have not had many problems. If all goes well with this broader test, we should be able to upgrade sooner rather than later.

Let me know what you think!

Posted by snackeru at 10:20 AM | Comments (14)

August 05, 2005

Give Movable Type 3.17 a try!

If you haven't noticed, we are really going slow with this UThink upgrade to MT 3. With over 1,400 individual blogs to upgrade it is very important that we work out all the bugs and test the new system so we don't make an inadvertent mistake and royally screw something up (technically speaking). So, having said all that, I would like to invite you to try MT 3 on our new test UThink system:

https://blog-dev.lib.umn.edu:446/cgi-bin/uthink/uthink.cgi

Again, this is a TEST system. Please do not post anything "for real" on this system (known as "blog-dev"), but please take this opportunity to test it out. Blog-dev is actually a snap-shot of UThink from a couple of weeks ago so blogs created up to two weeks ago should be a part of the system. When testing pay particular attention to these aspects of the new system:

  1. First of all make sure your blog(s) look right. If not, let me know.
  2. Rebuild your entire site. Does everything still work/look like it should?
  3. Create a new post for your test blog. Does it show up properly on your blog?
  4. Create another post, but this time make it a Future post. Set the post for at least 1 day into the future. Does the post show up on the next day?
  5. Create a new blog (remember this is just a test system). Did the new blog create properly?
  6. Within the new blog visit the WebLog Config -> Preferences section and fool around with the Comments functionality. Does the system allow you to configure the "comments pending" functionality?
  7. Visit the Categories section of the admin interface. Create categories and sub-categories and create new entries in both.
  8. And, of course, explore more on your own in both your existing blog(s) and newly created test blog. Let me know if you see any problems (uthink@umn.edu).

Known Issues

  • The test system is slow. I do not expect the system to be this slow when we move it to the production server. However, due to the slowness within this test environment we are looking at ways to make the production system as fast as possible.
  • Dynamic Publishing is not working properly: Within the Templates section of MT 3 there are some new options to dynamically publish some of your templates. This functionality does not currently work. Feel free to mess around with it, but please keep in mind that for now it doesn't work!
  • Comments Pending Template on existing blogs: Due to the fact that all of the blogs currently on UThink are MT 2.661 blogs, some of the templates within this MT 3 test environment are empty. This is because your current blog(s) do not have some of these MT 3 templates. The big one is the Comment Pending Template. If you want to test the "pending comments" functionality of MT 3 (a great for keeping spam off of your blog), you will need to manually populate the Comment Pending Template. Visit the MT default templates page to copy and paste the code yourself.
  • MT Templates and the Template Changer: Some of the new functionality of MT 3 depends on blogs using MT 3 compatible templates. As I said above, all of the existing blogs on UThink use MT 2 templates. For some of you this will continue to be adequate, but some of you will want to bring your blogs up to speed. Within the test environment you can use the default templates from MT/Six Apart to switch your blog around, but when we move into production I hope to have the Template Changer ready to go with all the necessary changes. You'll note that in the test environment of blog-dev, the Template Changer is not there (yet). I still have to code it up for MT 3. Have no fear though! It will be there.
  • No Plugins: One of the best things about MT 3 are all the great plugins being created for it to expand its functionality. However, right now we have only installed MT-Blacklist. This means that none of the current plugins we have on MT 2.661 are a part of this test system. We will be adding them slowly so that we can test whether or not they are compatible with our system. So, if you have been using some of the plugins on your existing blogs, you may see some problems within the test environment. If this happens to you, please let me know and I'll see about getting the plug-ins you need pronto.

One more thing, if you have recently created your first UThink blog, it may not be a part of the test environment. If that is the case, don't worry, we will transfer all the existing blogs again when we move into production. Until then, please feel free to create a new blog (or blogs) and help us test the system.

Well, we are almost there folks. Thanks for all of your patience. If you see any problems or if you have any questions or comments about the new system please leave a comment below or send me a note at uthink@umn.edu. Happy testing!

Posted by snackeru at 01:25 PM | Comments (9)

July 27, 2005

Upgrade and podcasts

Hello everyone! I know, you are probably wondering about the upgrade to MT 3. Well, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is that by this Friday I expect to be able to provide all of you a link to give the new system a try. You'll be able to test it out and finally see MT 3 for yourself. The bad news is, it will still just be a test system. Of course, testing is very important and by progressing in this fashion we will hopefully be able to catch all the bugs before we push MT 3 onto the production version of UThink. However, it just isn't as exciting as coming out with the "real thing." It is frustrating...

So, having said that, I hope all of you will help test the new system out and provide me with feedback on how to make it better. I'm just sorry that it won't be a "live" system. We'll get there!

Secondly, there has been some activity and questions recently regarding podcasts on the UThink system. I don't have the time to really get into a definition of podcasts right now, but I encourage you to visit this Podcasting Tutorial & Intro if you need an introduction into this phenomenon. I did want to tell you, though, that UThink is now better able to host the links to podcasts.

Today I installed the MT-Enclosures plugin onto the UThink system which will automatically alter a blog's RSS 2.0 feed to include any MP3 links found in your entries. RSS 2.0 is the preferred way of subscribing to podcasts, but it can be a challenge to manually configure that XML file. With MT-Enclosures, if you have a podcast and you would like to promote it to the world, all you have to do is create a new entry in your blog and link to the MP3 for the podcast. This new plugin will do the work of putting that link into the RSS 2.0 feed for your blog allowing people to subscribe to your podcasts. Nifty!

I've altered the new blog templates and all the Template Changer templates so that all new blogs and all blogs that are changed through the Template Changer have this new capability. If you'd like to make sure your existing blog can automatically link to podcasts in your RSS 2.0 file you can either use the Template Changer to incorporate this change, or you can alter your RSS 2.0 file manually:

  1. Login to your blog and click on "Templates."
  2. Click on "RSS 2.0"
  3. Find the section below and add the <$MT-Enclosures$> tag like this:

    <MTEntries lastn="15">
    <item>
    ...
    <$MTEntryEnclosures$>
    </item>
    </MTEntries>

  4. Click Save, Rebuild, and your blog will be ready to go.

For more information on this plugin please visit the MT-Enclosures download site. Of course, let me know if you have any other questions, and happy podcasting!

Posted by snackeru at 04:20 PM | Comments (1)

April 28, 2005

Good News!

Many users of UThink probably don't realize this, but we are using an older version of Movable Type (the software that runs this site). Currently, we are using MT 2.661 and while it has served us well there is a new version of Movable Type that we think will work a lot better. Well, it took us a while, but we have finally purchased a license to Movable Type 3.16. Movable Type 3.16 will provide the same functionality you've grown accustomed to through UThink, but it offers a whole lot more:

  • Faster rebuilds
  • A new blogging interface that is more usable and standards compliant
  • New comment and trackback management features that make it easier to find and delete problematic comments/pings.
  • Improved spam control
  • Scheduled, or "future" postings
  • Subcategories for hierarchical categorization of posts
  • Added support for Creative Commons 2.0 licenses
  • Dynamic page capabilities powered by PHP

... and much, much more. For a list of many of the changes coming in the upgrade to UThink please see the MT Changelog.

Now the question is "when?" When will this upgrade take place? Unfortunately I don't have a definitive date as of yet, but we are working on putting an upgrade schedule together. It will probably happen sometime this summer. There are a lot of things that have to happen before we flip the switch, of course, including importing over 1,200 blogs into the new system. That is not a trivial task.

Stay tuned to this page for more details! We are excited to finally begin the process of upgrading to MT 3.16!

Posted by snackeru at 11:31 AM | Comments (3)

February 25, 2005

Browse through UThink categories

Hello UThink bloggers! I got a great email this week that asked if there was anything I could do to better demonstrate the types of topics that are being written about on UThink. Up until now, a person could search for a topic by keyword, or a person could browse through blogs using the Blog Directory. These are typical and tried-and-true methods, but they haven't proven to be very good to find broad topics of discussion within UThink.

So, I brainstormed a little bit and I decided that I could easily list out all the categories that people have created in UThink. As anyone who has tried Movable Type knows, our blogging software allows, and even encourages, people to categorize their entries with self-created subjects or headings. So far, over 1,600 categories have been created through UThink. If you'd like to brows e those categories, point your browser to:

Categories in UThink

Choose a letter to see categories that begin with that letter, or choose a random category. Refresh or reload the page to see other random categories. Being that this is a new page, there may be some categories that bring back a "Page Not Found" message. Please let me know if you find any of these and I'll see if I can fix it.

So, happy browsing, and thanks Carrie for the great idea!

Posted by snackeru at 03:29 PM | Comments (1)

February 01, 2005

Blogumentary Event - Thursday, February 3, 5:30 to 8 p.m. St. Paul Campus Student Center Theater

Sorry for the late notice, but feel free to join me and other bloggers Thursday February 3 from 5:30-8:00 for a "Blogumenatary Event" at the St. Paul Student Center Theater. This is the official announcement:

Blogging culture is one of the hottest topics in media. These web self-publishing sites have influenced public opinion, created new social networks, and provided opportunities for anyone to be a publisher. Come to the Blogumentary event to watch Chuck Olsen's documentary about blogging and bloggers and take part in a discussion on the impact and import of this form of web publishing. The panel discussion will be moderated by Laura Gurak and will include panelists:

  • Chuck Olsen, blogumentarian
  • Dan Gillmor, author of "We the Media"
  • Krista Kennedy, rhetorician and blogger
  • Shane Nackerud, UThink coordinator and Libraries Webmaster

Sponsored by the Institute for New Media Studies and the Internet Studies Center.

Posted by snackeru at 08:48 AM

January 03, 2005

Please note: Server Maintenance tomorrow!

Please note that there will be server maintenace performed on blog.lib.umn.edu tomorrow (1/4) at 7 AM. We will be updating server software at this time. As a result, UThink will not be available for approx. 15 minutes. Please plan accordingly.

Posted by snackeru at 12:51 PM

October 28, 2004

More templates added to the Template Changer

I've added some more templates to the Template Changer, however, what makes these unique is that they are Movable Type 3 templates I've reconfigured to work in UThink's version of Movable Type (2.661). So, now there are 21 different templates to choose from, and more are on the way. Again, to change the look of your blog, give the new Template Changer a try. Just login to UThink, click on "Templates," and then click the "Template Changer" button at the top of the "Templates" page.

Just to give you an idea, here is a couple of the new designs I've put on the Template Changer today:

Independence Style
Independence Style
Chalkboard Style
Chalkboard Style

If you'd like to give the template changer a try, but are afraid of what it might do to your blog, just create a new test blog. Again, the Template Changer tool won't erase any of your posts or entries. It will only reconfigure your templates. Let me know what you think!

Posted by snackeru at 11:20 AM

July 06, 2004

Please note: Server Maintenance this Friday!

Please note that there will be server maintenace performed on blog.lib.umn.edu this Friday (July 9) at 6 AM. We will be updating server software at this time. As a result, UThink will not be available for approx. 15 minutes. Please plan accordingly.

Posted by snackeru at 09:55 AM

July 05, 2004

Into the Blogosphere

UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries is proud to host Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs, edited by Laura Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, and Jessica Reyman of the University of Minnesota Rhetoric department. From the notice of publication:


This online, edited collection explores discursive, visual, social, and other communicative features of weblogs. Essays analyze and critique situated cases and examples drawn from weblogs and weblog communities. The collection takes a multidisciplinary approach, and contributions represent perspectives from Rhetoric, Communication, Sociology, Cultural Studies, Linguistics, and Education, among others.

Into the Blogosphere is a first in many ways. Along with its being the first scholarly collection focused on blog as rhetorical artifact, the editors also offer an innovative approach to intellectual property and to publishing. There are a number of peer reviewed journals in digital format. However, with an edited collection, the desired outcome is usually a hard-copy book, so the standard process has been to turn to a publisher with a proposal, then typically wait several years before the book actually comes out.

The editors produced this peer-reviewed edited collection in the spirit of blogging but with a focus on scholarly work that has been through the peer review process (full blind reviews were conducted). The book takes advantage of the speed of electronic publishing, the web's hypertextual nature and new ways of reading, and the formatting and open communication conventions of blog writing, while at the same time providing readers with essays that are of a serious scholarly quality. The blog, in this case, is the subject matter and it is also the book itself. It is not an ancillary web site that accompanies a hard copy book.

Posted by snackeru at 09:25 AM

April 12, 2004

UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries

The University Libraries are proud to announce the unveiling of UThink: Blogs at the University Libraries. What is a blog? A blog, or weblog, is typically defined as a web page made up of usually short, frequently updated posts that are arranged chronologically. The content of blogs varies greatly. Some blogs contain links and commentary about other web sites. Other blogs contain frequently updated news about a person, company, or idea. Blogs can also be an online diary, or contain photos, essays, project updates, fiction, rough drafts of papers, really the potential is endless. Blogs are also very easy to use. There is no need to know HTML, and you can be up and running in minutes. Take a look at the UThink FAQ link to the left and familiarize yourself with blogs and the service in general.

UThink is available to the faculty, staff, and students of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. All you need to login and start blogging is your U of M Internet ID and Password. You can create as many blogs as you want, and attach as many authors to those blogs as you want. A faculty member could have a blog for every class he or she teaches, and attach the students in those classes to his or her blogs as authors to encourage discussion and debate. A student could also have a blog for every class, or just use blogs to express opinions and viewpoints about world events. A student could also create a club blog, or a blog for his or her friends, and also attach as many authors to those blogs as he or she deems necessary. Faculty could also use the blogging system to track a research initiative, or even publish the drafts of papers they are working on. Other colleges and universities across the country are already making use of this new publishing tool, and the Libraries are excited to finally offer it at the U of M.

So, go ahead and give it a try! This is day one of this new service so if you find any bugs or would like to make a comment, please email uthink@umn.edu or leave a comment at the bottom of this post. Let us know what "UThink!"

Posted by snackeru at 10:04 AM | Comments (1)

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!

Posted by snackeru at 02:59 PM

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.

Posted by snackeru at 02:39 PM

January 21, 2004

U of M Blog sites

Thanks to a suggestion from Dr. Paul Z. Myers, a professor at the University of Minnesota, Morris, I have compiled a list of blog sites that are in some way affiliated with the University of Minnesota. These include blogs written by faculty, staff, or students of the U of M, as well as departmental blogs. If your blog is not on the list and you would like it to be added, please let me know!

Posted by snackeru at 10:33 AM

January 09, 2004

Moving forward with blog.lib.umn.edu

Welcome to the University Libraries' new blog server, http://blog.lib.umn.edu ! Only recently configured, this server will soon (hopefully) allow any student, faculty or staff person at the U of M with an x.500 id the power to maintain their own blog. Staff at the Digital Library Development Lab are currently working on automating the blog creation process using x.500. Please let us know if you have any questions or comments using the "Comments" link below.

Posted by snackeru at 02:51 PM

September 10, 2003

Blogs at the University of Minnesota Libraries

Welcome to the project site for Blogs at the University Libraries. It is our goal to develop a blog server through which everyone in the the university community (faculty, staff, and student) can have access to their own individual blog. Don't know what a blog is? Well, you're reading one now! For more information on blogs in general and why the University Libraries is undertaking this initiative, please check out the white paper that started it all.

Check this site regularly for information regarding our efforts. We hope to have something for the U of M community by the beginning of Spring Semester 2004. Feel free to drop off your own comments and suggestions.

Posted by snackeru at 03:59 PM | Comments (1)