Blog Pile

Publications Evolving Blog-like Appendeges

I’ve always valued a new issue of EDUCAUSE REVIEW — not only is it cleanly published, tastefully illustrated, it typically features a number of excellently written articles in my field. It’s got a comfortable feel in your hands, not to heavy like a scholarly jouurnal, and very readable, but not light and fluffy like a grocery store glitz magazine.

But in looking at the November/December 2005 issue online I’m struck by some new features showing that the publication is becoming more blog-like:

Educause-Review

First of, all the publication features an RSS feed. Stick it in your aggregator, and you will be able to jump to the newest articles before reading a review by Stephen Downes (well, you will need to read fast).

One note to EDUCAUSE, and for others adding RSS feeds- please run them through a validator — the current ER feed has several problems (I was just peeking at the source and noted the invalid date formats). RSS needs to be very structured, and in some applications, will not be nerely as forgving as browsers are of HTML.

Next! Each articles has a comment feature. Nice- allow the readers to interact with the author, and each another.

Lastly, you are nothing, blog or publication-wise, without some awesome content, and I cannot say enough praise-worthy things about Gardner Cambell’s essay There’s Something in the Air: Podcasting in Education. He hits all the high notes- explanatory detail, compelling arguments, relevant links, and a great scenario that sets the stage. I’m looking forward to hearing the podcast version. This is a must read / must listen for anyone trying to wrap their minds around podcasting.

So publications becoming more blog-like, blogs becoming more journal-like, new life forms evolving.

Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.

Comments

  1. We’ve had a number of RSS feeds available for a while now.
    I guess we first introduced the bulk of these feeds in August 2004

    You can read more about this activity here:
    http://connect.educause.edu/blog/mpasiewicz/how_educause_is_using_the_google_search_appliance/615

    You can find about all our RSS feeds at:
    http://www.educause.edu/Syndicate/1586

    I didn’t realize that we had RSS probs tho’
    Thanks for pointing that out.

    It looks like our OPML feed is a little outdated too … another one to add to the list.
    http://www.educause.edu/apps/syndicate/opml.asp

    I hope we’ll take strides to more seemlessly unify our content and community intitiatives going forward. I’d like to open up commenting so there is less of a threshold to participation. I’d like comments collected on any page submitted to the author of that material (ER, EQ, Conference Resources, etc) … not just displayed on the page. Yes, every page on our site has trackback auto-discovery enabled. We’re collecting data, but not displaying it yet. Again, it is an issue of handling trackback spam … same with having a solution for comment spam. The problem is that we’ve taken a home grown, low-fi content management system that is using dated technology and we can’t easily tap into anything going on in the open source world to bolt on to it.

    I really like what the AcademicCommons site has done with drupal and hope to investigate broader deployment of techologies like this soon so that we can more easily tap into the plumbming provided by an active group of developers.

    We have a lot of work ahead of us. Any feedback, thoughts, wish lists gathered over the next 30 days would be greatly appreciated. I’ll be blogging about this request soon too.

    Also, any thoughts on how EDUCAUSE should deploy wikis, or psuedo-wikis would be of interest.

    We’ll see what happens. We have one classically trained developer and one wanna be (me), but I believe we’re getting ready to add another coder soon …

    Cheers,
    Matt

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