Biology Field Journal Continues

I think this is kind of a neat WordPress theme trick. You can download/fork it here if you want or go over here and try it out. I took the mixitup child theme from a little while back and modified it a bit. This new page template uses posts rather than attachments and adds the page text above the images. It is also smarter about removing some of the sorting categories it displays for the posts. Directions create a page name that page the same name as one of your category posts apply the template (Featured image sort by page name/category) now all the posts from that category show up under the body of that post in sortable format The Changes I’m trying out the Syntax Highlighter plugin given how much more often I’m posting code lately. I also really commented up the page. I am still struggling to find a decent way to do this kind of exposition about code and the process it took to figure out the code.


Diigo + FeedWordPress & WordPress Snap Workflow

These last few posts are an attempt to document both how things I post on this blog come back up and help me do new things and an attempt to document how I come to solutions for things that I don’t understand how to do. Then there’s an attempt to explain what I did in case anyone else wants to do the same. I hope that it’s a narrative on my learning process as much as it is a tutorial on the particular topic. The Past So I’m fairly focused on making things easier for myself for the simple fact that if they don’t make sense/work with my current life then I tend not to keep them up. A good examples is that way back in 20111 I modified the WordPress “Press This” bookmarklet in combination with the WordPress Snap plugin to allow me to auto generate screenshots of pages. I used it a few times after that but it didn’t fit my workflow. It solved one problem- I wanted visuals of these websites to make the posts more engaging but I didn’t want to take screenshots, upload them etc.2 So one problem solved but the fact remained that I didn’t use “Press This” to bookmark pages. I used Diigo for that kind of thing so despite solving one workflow […]

A WordPress Child Theme with MixItUp

Earlier, I attempted to integrate a slick javascript sorting library called MixItUp into a WordPress theme. It didn’t go all that well despite a series of tutorials from different people. After a decent amount of effort- You can see a working example at this link. Click on “Moo” and it’ll sort. Click on “All” and it’ll revert to state. Some categories have no images attached so you’ll get nothing.1 The following is mainly based around this tutorial that I couldn’t quite get to work properly. Alan Levine saved me2 after I backed myself in a corner where the “tiles” would sort . . . and then immediately unsort. I’d get into the the details of the issues but essentially, be careful what you name you CSS elements (#gallery, for instance, will likely have conflicts) and call jquery by its name not by $. Anyway, I hope having all this together will help someone down the line. Step one was seeing what WordPress suggested regarding child themes. I’ve never done it before but it seems pretty straight forward. Essentially, name your folder whatevertheme-child, in this case twentytwelve-child. All you need to make a child is one style.css file. In this case, we’re going to need a bit more. Overview Notes style.css – This will have the extra CSS to format […]


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. [snap url=”” alt=”Tufts Roundtable Commons” w=”400″ h=”300″ link=”on”] 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. [snap url=”” alt=”Milwaukee School of Engineering” w=”400″ h=”300″ link=”on”] 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. [snap url=”″ alt=”NY Times Blog Index” w=”400″ h=”300″ link=”on”]Interesting to see how they display 60 some odd blogs. [snap url=”” alt=”Sites at Penn State” w=”400″ h=”300″ link=”on”] 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. [snap url=”” alt=”Her Royal Majesty” w=”400″ h=”300″ link=”on”] A literary magazine with a varied layout. It feels a […]

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 […]


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 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 […]


Easy Post Thumbnails

[snap url=”″ alt=”Preview” w=”400″ h=”300″] [snap url=”″ 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 […]

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 […]