There would all kinds of rad ways to use the list of the 100 most current UThink posts. I'm envisioning big scrolling ticker with all of those seemingly random post titles streaming across it. It feels a little corny but it could have a big sign above it that says, "What are UThinking?" A sort of pseudo-random snapshot of the U blogosphere... cool. I suppose I should try to build a web page that does this first, then I can worry about projecting it onto buildings... or how about robots that write it all out on the sidewalks with chalk?
I wrote a script that parses the current entries page and turns it into an RSS feed. It runs a little slow, but it seems to work alright. You can copy one of the following links into your news aggregator application:
The curious among us will notice that they can select how many posts to return based on the "entries" variable in the URL (the max is 100.)
This morning I attended a talk about UThink by Shane Nackerud as part of the Institute for New Media Studies' "New Media Breakfast" series. He talked about starting the UThink project and about some plans for the future. Here's a few tidbits I found interesting in the talk:
- A paper on how libraries fit into the blogging picture that Shane cites as inspiration for the UThink project.
- A whitepaper that he wrote about blogging and the U libraries.
- "Blueberry Muffin Syndrome" - Why should the libraries facilitate me talking about what I had for breakfast?
- Cornerstones of the project, like promoting intellectual freedom and building communities of interest.
- Google seems to give high pagerank to UThink pages due to the "edu" and "lib" in their addresses, while blogs don't usually rate so favorably.
- You can post citations for papers to your blog directly from the libraries' FindIt system.
- UThink blogs will eventually be archived creating a searchable, informal, populist sort of historical document of what's happening at the U.
- UThink MovableType template contest, anyone?
It was a great talk with a lot of good questions from those in attendance. Maybe Shane will post his powerpoint presentation?
Has anyone attempted to port the U Relations Templates over to MovableType? I didn't notice any going through the directory, but some UThink bloggers might appreciate having those available.
I might have a whack at it in the next few days. Having made my own templates in MT before and worked extensively with the U web templates, I should be able to figure it out. Let me know if you're interested or have questions.