Maybe it’s not much news to have a media uploader used in a WordPress site… but what if I said you can do that on a site without needing an account or a trip to the ugly dashboard?

That’s been a big round of improvements over the last 3 months, a revamp of the TRU Writer and the SPLOTbox WordPress themes that do away with the need for setting up a secret, cloaked authoring account to create content.

Uploads of featured image/content are managed via a form file input mechanism, but getting the equivalent back into the rich text editor took some digging into tinymce and generating some theme code for handling ajax uploads.

I took that today over to the Daily Blank, the WordPress theme invented to power the DS106 Daily Create, a site offering daily creative digital media challenges since January 2012. This theme was put into play September 1, 2015 to expand the capabilities of the original Daily Create site.

I think that’s an impressive run for a site that nobody really owns, is managed by a few volunteers, and has gotten $0 in IPO funds. That’s a longer run than most things that have ridden the hype curve, and frankly, for something typically overlooked in MOOC history (because it is anti-mooc), has racked up some impressive numbers.

Stats for the current Daily Create site as of today, heading into its fifth year running the Daily Blank Theme

It manages an entire queueing mode for daily (actually you can change the interval to every 2,3,4,5,6, etc days), a means for site participants to contribute new items that come in as drafts, it checks the twitter API once an hour to seek responses, organizes them by twitter handle, even offers a leaderboard.

Technically this ought to be called a SPLOT (it’s in the mix at splot.ca) as it was one of the first things I crafted while on a TRU Open Learning Fellowship where SPLOTs were born. The Daily Blank was announced Dec 1, 2014 (darn these blog things are great for record keeping).

I’ve put it to use in a few projects, as a Daily Try for UDG Agora, a Daily Alchemy for Networked Narratives, a Daily Opener for the Mural UDG project, and the Daily Extend for Ontario Extend (apparently kaput now). I helped Antonio Vantaggiato set one up for his media classes, Una Foto Cada Día (which reminds me that I want to set up this theme, and all my other ones, to be ready for language translation features).

These sites work great when you can get participants contributing new challenges; when I taught I would set up requirements for students to contribute a few challenges per class.

Once short coming to the form used for adding was no way to include images (well you could if you had a full URL for it stored elsewhere, but that never happened). As an editor, I often had to hunt and seek for images to add to a challenge. It makes them more interesting, and works better when the challenge is tweeted put.

I was able today to fold the features added to SPLOTs so that an image can be uploaded directly to a new submission, in the context of what they write. It uses the TinyMCE capability to do media uploads (file picker or drop box) made possible by additional code that handles the upload via ajax. Here’s what it looks like in action:

The steps in using the new upload tool in the Daily Blank’s Add a ______ form.

Why look at a GIF when you can use it at DS106? And you can help out by adding a new challenge to the mix. The editors behind the scene surely appreciate it (even if they are not called Shirley).

And even if this is little interest, it’s always worth it to jump into the Daily Create. There’s a current group of DS106 students (likely being taught by Paul Bond) active in it now.

All the SPLOTs will get an uploader like this!


Image Credit: A SPLOT flavored spin of the Oprah Everyone Gets a Car meme made at imgflip Meme Generator.

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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.

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