Blog Pile

Blogging About What I MIght be Blogging About

This is for my own “to do” list most of all, but I have a wheelbarrow full of stuff I’ve been immersed in (and 3 more palettes piled high with new things to do), but to be blogged sometime between tomorrow and the end of time….

* A Drupal State of Mind: in line with a previously successful strategy of using the technology that D’Arcy does, I am on the learning cliff to get a new site going that will be a dynamic web community for the 1999 vintage NMC main site. But as powerful as Drupal is, it is hard to find the right toe hold climbing up; the terminology, the billions of modules, the trillion of forum suggestions… well it is daunting. My plan is not to tinker in the lab and produce a nice shiny site, but to actually build it out in public view, sort of like peeking through a construction site fence, and hopefully get some input, building it organically. Actualy, my first step is to do a separate Drupal instance that will be mostly a blog about this work, to document both code and design as we go.

* Web Audio Casting: i’ve set NMC up with a web audio/video content delivery network, for more effective publishing of media content, but we also have it set up to to live audio streams from our events… this is first put to use by streaming live audio into our Second Life Campus, and I’ve gotten up to speed with Shoutcast technology and found an even slicker Mac OSX client that allows me to stream content from any application or audio source to our streaming service, which then handles the multiple client requests. but there’s more– this Saturday we have an virtual event (an Artists showcase in Second Life) where we will have a live panel session– our remote presenters will be both calling in to a phone bridge (toll free number in the US), but we have some panelists from the U.K., and we will be using Skype conference calling to connect to them, and then Skypeout that audio to our teleconference bridge… AND then a special hardware bridge that can take the sum audio from the phone conference, push it out through Shoutcast to our media stream. It’s crazy! We went through some testing this morning and managed to create some freaky reverb effects, but its all working.

* Moving to Flash Video One only has to look at the raging success of the Flash video sites like, YouTube, et al, to realize this is the way to publish video content. I’ve done a few examples of getting QuickTime or WMV video into FLV and create a web player, but I’m far from an optimal solution. I’d sure like some sort of jukebox player to select different video content.

* reBlog I have two prototype sites almost ready for public view that use the reBlog concept, which takes rss aggregation to a new group filtering/publishing level. It’s slick, but is taking time to simply the interface for the folks we are askng to do the reblog work.

* Screencasting I got my hands on a copy of Captivate and am dabbling with some screencasts that will support some of our workshops. It is an enticing form, but there is a lot more to it than just turnig on the record button and talking as you click around a piece of software. There is an art to doing it right, and I am at the clumsy crayon stage of this art.

* RSS in MediaWiki Other folks have pitched in a date display option, and I’ve updated a few small pieces in this code that allows you to embed RSS feed content into any MediaWiki page… there are still a few feeds that just do bizarre formatting things that require special treatment (that’s you, Yahoo– weird RSS formatting central! line feeds in item titles, why?).

* Feed2JS Looks like my old server at Maricopa bit the dust. I have no access to it anymore, and have hoisted the new home at Sorry for broken sites. I have not had any time to focus on this, but I still intend to get the code on an EduForge site, develop a new approach for mirrors, and the code above has some insight for building key word filters. I’m getting some use of it myself on numerous NMC pages.

Well, there is more, but I should be doing the work, not blogging about blogging about it…..

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Profile Picture for Alan Levine aka CogDog
An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at 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.


  1. Hi Alan! Have you checked out Snagit! lately. Way easier than Captivate. I use both for very different things. But prefer the simplicity of Snagit!
    You should also take a look at and their $50 vlogit! app. Very, very cool!
    I am also on the learning curve of Drupal and so I’m excited to go through the process looking into your construction site.

  2. Alan – I hope you’ll soon tell us more about the “reblog” concept because there’s not much info at about this. Sounds interesting.

    I’d like to hear more from Brent about what area of Snagit he’s using to do screencasts.

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