This is part 1 of 5 in a series of posts for Building Connected Courses: Feed WordPress 101 »» Basic Concepts of Syndication «« – and what to think about even before you touch that WordPress thing Installing and Setting up Feed WordPress – Minimal settings, and planning the way content is sliced, diced, and […]
This is the first in a series of posts meant as a guide for almost anyone to create a WordPress site that operates as a networked hub for content created elsewhere. This is the engine, the Jim Groom Syndication Bus that drives ds106, the Open Digital Storytelling course/community/space. It is intended primarily for Connected Courses, […]
cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by Kevin Gilmour Apparently there is a strain of Technology Fatigue swirling around I've been hearing a lot of technology fatigue from faculty this year. — Bryan Alexander (@BryanAlexander) January 15, 2014 I do not have a cure. Maybe try a nap? I do not deny the […]
cc licensed ( BY NC SA ) flickr photo shared by amanda tipton Understanding some of the database structure of wordpress can help you out of some jams. Ot maybe make some new ones. I had a recent situation that may never happen for someone else, but knowing something about the way WordPress stories user […]
cc licensed ( BY NC ND ) flickr photo shared by Reema This blog’s crusty old theme (I still like it, sue me) has a pretty narrow width content column, 500px fixed. I typically size my media to fit. Since I have been syndicating content into here from my other blogs– my Barking Dog photo […]
In my development work on the template for a ds106 assignment bank site I’ve been learning a bit more how through code I can add menus and submenu items to the wordpress dashboard. I was thinking about that while editing some of the items set in the queue for the Daily Create. On this site, […]
Because she’s #ds106 #4life and an awesome grandma… #ds106 I'm looking for a way in WP to add a page that shows all of my blog posts. HELP? @cogdog @timmmmyboy http://t.co/CFxbAwhm6y — Rochelle Lockridge (@Rockylou22) August 25, 2013 I do have one of these on CogDogBlog- mainly because I wanted a reference way to be […]
I was not happy with the way my site was working out to present the new collection of True Stories of Open Sharing. I found my categories were forcing me into artificial classification. And the nifty gizmo I had used previously, CoolIris, for the “wall of media”, works, but is annoyingly tedious to update (manually […]
Ir’s been fun to do some redesign and alignment of the ds106 web sites. I’ve long had an interest in trying to make the ds106 Assignments site into more of a template that could be used to create similar sites, and that just got a little bit closer to possibility.
The entire 106 fleet is a WordPress multisite, the main site and the Daily Create site both use the Parallelus Salutation theme, so they were easier to coordinate; the one change was using incorporating the stressed 106 logo as part of the TDC. They both use menus at the top, and I’ve set up the rightmost ones to be “ds106” navigation ones.
The ds106 Assignments site was a different beast. It is built on a 960c theme, one of the generic 960 grid system themes. I gave brief thought to trying to render it in Salutation, but it’s a hugely customized theme, and I was not even sure how to do taxonomy archives in Salutation. As is the design is a close-enough match.
The front page used a lot of graphics, and they were all hard code into place (to add a new assignment group meant a new graphics and the template edited):
The “Mission ds106” title was another graphic with its tagline “An anthology of new media projects” that really was not too explanatory. Not only that, I was unable to find the original graphics or even fonts used to modify those graphics.
Likewise, the interior page template used some hard coded icons, which looked nice, for the top navigation. Not easy to update or make more generalized:
My plan was then to implement the built in WordPress menus for the top navigation, so it would be common on all pages (and be flexible to edit) and maybe to make those front page main icons also be menu driven.
In my last post, I quickly overviewed the wordpress customizations I did to set up the ETMOOC Blog Hub. Using the Feedwordpress plugin for a few feeds is easy to do, and it does a rather slick job of finding feeds from a blog URL.
The messy part is dealing with a lot of blog feeds. Getting this part right is more than just tossing URLs into a magic box, you have to have a good grasp of how RSS feeds work in different blogs.
Because of those pesky humans.
The thing is there is a bit of variability to deal with when allowing people to bring in any blog platform (that is what we want), because it can eb confusing to the individual, especially if they are new to blogging, what we ask of them.
The thing is, it’s most easy if someone says, “I am going to do this ETMOOC thing, so I am going to make a new blog just for that stuff” – all we need is the blog URL and Feedwordpress can figure out the right TSS feed to use.
It gets more complicated when someone has an existing blog they want to use to do ETMOOC writing. There is nothing wrong with this approach (especially since it is mine!) but we don’t want to subscribe to everything the blog publishes- we just want posts that are related to ETMOOC. So the person with the blog has to decide (and understand how) to use tags/categories in their posts to mark things they want to syndicate.
This is quite a powerful concept that is easy to overlook – it means I can do things like use a single blog to selectively push content to different places through an understanding of the flow.
This is compounded by the different ways blog platforms are st up for this kind of syndication.