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Some Interesting WP Landing Pages

The link bait title should have been something like “5 Must See Themes for WordPress Multisite” but in any case, I’m wandering around the Internet looking for interesting/useful looking examples1 (educational and otherwise). I started by browsing this old Google spreadsheet of WordPress in education examples2 and then moved on to the WordPress showcase but focusing on BuddyPress and multisite flavors. Clean layout with some links out to multimedia elements (Roundtable Radio). This is a nice additional example to show that while DS106 is undeniably great, there are other people in education pushing at the transmedia publishing. Slick graphic design and lots of content without feeling too overwhelming. I think it’s a good balance of static/activity. The WordPress inclusion write ups are also interesting reading. Interesting to see how they display 60 some odd blogs. A different focus/look but one worth considering for example browsing. I’d consider randomizing the examples on refresh and possibly adding some method for drilling down to site based on some level of categorization. A literary magazine with a varied layout. It feels a bit busy to me but they have put a lot of pieces together in a way that’s worth looking at. An Aside Mozilla’s site runs on WordPress. I flipped to view source to see what theme they were using out of curiosity […]

Diigo Summary Posts CSS Modification

I haven’t found a better way to do the weekly summary posts than Diigo, so I spent five minutes messing with the CSS to make it look a little more like what I’d like. You can do this in WordPress from the WP Admin sidebar under Appearance>Edit CSS. .diigo-linkroll li { list-style-type: none; } .diigo-link a { background: #e6e6e6; font-size: 1.25em; padding: 2px; display: block; } .diigo-tags { display: none; } The first piece (.diigo-linkroll li) gets rid of the unordered list structure. The second portion (.diigo-link a) makes slightly larger text and puts a gray background behind the links- which essentially function like headers for the different articles referenced. The final piece (.diigo-tags) just makes the auto-included tags invisible. I may need to rethink this but it does clean up the post which looked far too messy for my tastes. You can see the side by side comparison below.

Bounty of the Sea, Fluidity of the Web

Digital media flows and that’s part of what makes so many interesting things possible.1 The Sea You are literally adrift in a sea of content. There are so many people out there who do an amazing amount of work to find and write interesting things. Gather them. Use them. Add and prune these sites until you get what you really want. This should be your own beautiful ocean of content- sparking ideas and giving you great enjoyment. If it isn’t then you have only yourself to blame. These are some sites that perform well for me. Your needs and interests will likely vary but there are worse places to start. The Harvest Now that you have many good things flowing by, you’ll need a way to save all this good stuff. Some you’ll use in the moment, many other things you’ll tuck away for later, or for someone else, or just in case. This is painless and comes with so many benefits.2 Back in the day I used Delicious. I now use Diigo (which backs up to Delicious and Pinboard).3 Diigo allows you to create groups as well. A number of our content specialists are using it to multiply their power. They’ve chosen some teachers to add to their groups. The specialists can then skim the cream of the links […]

18

Four Paths to WordPress

There are many ways1 to get content into WordPress other than writing in the normal WP post editor. I figured I’d sketch out at least four and why you might choose one over another. Press This I don’t believe many people notice or use the “Press This” bookmarklet that is located under Settings>Writing or under Tools. There’s a 3 minute video below detailing where to find it and how it works below. Think of it like the bookmarklet you might use with Delicious or Diigo only with more flexibility behind it. The ability to nearly seamlessly add media from the reference page (seen at about 1:27 in the video) is the main thing I find that makes this tool particularly useful. I’m using it instead of Diigo for the Word Games site because I want to embed a mixture of media and all of it will be from external pages. Think of it as having the capabilities of Pinterest but with the additional ability to embed video and text. Via Email This used to be a hassle but Automatic’s Jetpack plugin makes it very simple. You will need a WordPress.com account but it’s free and you’ve already given away all your information to Google or Apple anyway. You can see a tutorial on how to do that here but it’s […]

20

Easy Post Thumbnails

[snap url=”http://blogs.henrico.k12.va.us/21″ alt=”Preview” w=”400″ h=”300″] The thumbnail above was generated through the WordPress Snap plugin using the code above. It’s a quick easy way to add visual elements to your site. It seems to take a while to create for sites not already in their database but it opens up some really nice options. I’ve often wanted to automatically put thumbnails into posts linking to URLs but all the previous ways I found to do it relied on companies I didn’t like or had other shortfalls that ruled them out. There are a number of projects where we’d like to have this happen. We’ve been using Press This but in some cases I wanted to make the image addition automatic to simplify things for the author. I sat here for a few minutes and figured I could probably make this happen if I knew how to code stuff. I don’t know how to code but I figured I’d try anyway. Below is my first stab was at messing with the bookmarklet that allows the Press This to work. First stop, WordPress Codex – documentation there was somewhat sparse. I couldn’t find the word “via” which shows up when you use Press This so I now knew there had to be something else involved in how this works. I wandered around […]

Edu-pumkin II – The Bava

Unlike Jim Groom, who only lavishes surface praise while harboring deep hatred, I truly respect the Bava and integrate him into our family’s holiday traditions1. I had to make a hole in the back of Jim’s head to let some of the hot air out. Still needs some work though as the candle keeps going out. 1 You should see what Santa looks like in our house.

WPMU plugins you ought to have

Here are a few plugins I’ve got in the WPMU install I’m running. Most, if not all, were a result of my sordid association with WPMU cult leader, Jim Groom. He’s likely posted on each multiple times but it’s hard to find them among all the old cartoons and toy posts- besides I had to make a list to send to our people so I figured I might as well post it. These are all installed in the mu-plugins folder. More Privacy Options This let’s users set up additional options in the privacy page for blog admins. You can make sure the blog is visible only to those logged into your WPMU site, only visible to members of the blog, or only visible to admins. User Themes Revisited This plugin gives individual blog admins the ability to tweak CSS or theme templates individually- the edit theme ability in single user. It’s a little awkward at first but really a key plugin for me. Essentially, you copy the theme over to the individual blog and then can edit it without changing things for everyone on the WPMU install. New Blog Defaults This plugin lets you customize how the new blogs are created. You can customize a lot of key elements and do things like putting the initial “Hello World” post in […]

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Migrating from WP to WPMU

I spent some time the other day helping our ITRTs figure out how to install WPMU and then get their single user WordPress blogs imported into WPMU. I’ll probably make a video sooner or later as this is probably murder without images. So here’s my shot at best practice advice in case you have to move a lot of blogs from WP to WPMU when you’re not the final end user and can’t screw up. 1. Go to your WPMU install and make a new blog. Make the url the same thing as your WP blog but add a 1 and the end (so if it the blog url is http://ego.com/loveme name this one loveme1). We’re doing this so you can import it in while leaving the original blog up until you’ve made sure everything worked the way you wanted. We’ll go over how to drop the 1 from the WPMU url later. The admin here will be whoever is the main user of the blog. You’ll have access no matter what as WPMU admin. 2. Got to your WP blog (the original one) and log in to the admin panel then choose tools>export. This will get all your content out1. Save it on your desktop or wherever in a folder with the same name as the blog. While you’re […]

Comic WordPress Theme (and kind of a theme hacking lesson)

So here’s the proof of concept page for those who just want the idea and know how to change things already. It’s a great way to let students quickly and easily build an interactive online comic book story or display their art work. I really like the potential. I’m documenting some process here in hopes of giving people who care how I end up where I end up an idea of the path I traveled. I saw a tweet and ended up at the site below. I liked the way it looked so I noted the reference to the theme at the bottom right. That URL led me to the designer’s homepage but I was either too impatient or too lazy to find the theme there. I backed out and did a search via google for ipseity theme and end up where I want (which is here). However it looked like this when I installed it- which is fine and good but not what I wanted. I liked the clean, white version that had started me on this journey. I’ve now have two options. Option One One, I download the css from the other page and replace it. To do that I go back to the original site. I click view page source (in firefox) I search for cssand find […]

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Publishing Google Docs to WPMU

I was looking to have some people in my class publish lesson plans to their WPMU blogs via Google Docs. So I consulting the dean of WPMU, The Right Reverend Jim Groom, and he made it look so easy. Yet, I failed. Feeling stupid I started drinking looked at the differences in our set up. I began to worry it was because I wasn’t using dynamic subdomains. I reached such a depth of despondency that I actually read one of the error messages from Google itself. It said “Hey Dummy, you haven’t turned on XML-RPC publishing for that blog. Why don’t you go turn it on?” I did and everything now works. There’s a video on how to do that below in case it helps. pub2wpmu