Running Multisite Like a Boss

This is the presentation I ended up doing at #domains17. I did slide-ish things over here but they probably didn’t include all the asides. We’ll see how well I do at including them in this post. I went down the Church of the Sub-Genius route sometime the night before. It remains to be seen whether this was a good choice or not. I thought it was funny but many of my jokes are for a niche audience of one. Although Grant Potter and Brian Lamb seemed to be down with Bob. The goal of this slide was to portray me as a human. I have a number of other interests. I do not live in a dank cave with eyes eternally glazed from staring into the ether. I have a family. I sleep a reasonable amount. I enjoy the light of the day star. etc. etc. Once again, I’m trying really hard to convince people that I am not special and they can do this. I’m not a programmer. I didn’t study computer science. This is sometimes misinterpreted at times to mean you should do this or we’ve had the same opportunities to do this. I’m not saying any of that. I’m trying to say I’m no better than you and that with time you too can be a half-competent […]

WP Rest API Tips

Cowboy Jason Stanley performing a riding trick at the Round-Up, Pendleton, Oregon flickr photo by UW Digital Collections shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) I’ve been doing quite a bit more with the WordPress Rest API lately. There’s plenty of documentation and tutorials out there but most of it still feels a bit scattered to me so I’m going to stick a few of the basics here and add a few things that have come up repeatedly that aren’t quite as basic. There’s an attempt here to move upwards in complexity with the examples but to keep them as clean as possible. This will deal entirely with getting the data. I haven’t done much with using the API to write or modify data. Get the Info There are many ways to get data depending on your library of choice or if you’re using vanilla JS. I’ve played with fetch and Axios on the lighter side and jQuery, Vue, and Angular (v1) on the heavier/more involved side of things. I’ll use jQuery in this version because it’s fairly popular but here’s a Vue example. The example below does a basic jQuery ajax call for the JSON associated with blog information. See the Pen simple jquery get of WP JSON for the site by Tom (@twwoodward) on CodePen. The URL Structure/Accessing […]

timeline of last 50 posts

WP JSON to Timeline JS

As part of some thoughts on building out a series of reflective views for student portfolio blogs, I thought seeing your WordPress posts in the TimelineJS view might be a useful way to look back over your progress. I intend to wrap this into a custom spreadsheet template and/or a plugin1 but figured I’d sketch out how it works so far in case anyone was interested. The WP Rest API makes it pretty easy to write the data via Google Script. I just want to cut out chunks of the data and put it in the right fields. The following script does that and writes it to a page named “wp.” 1 Or maybe just a page where you throw in a blog URL and get a bunch of alternate view/data options.

Historical Will Annotation Continued: A WP API Experiment

The Judah Will Project (now with new URL!) has continued to grow as Ryan has been putting in serious work on the research and writing side of things. I have no choice but to step up my game and it’s been an interesting learning experience as it’s the first time I’ve tried anything sophisticated with WP providing the writing/data side of things while presenting that information somewhere else entirely. Headless? So here’s a recap of changes since the last update. More Obvious I talked to Jim about the project a few days ago. It became clear to me that it wasn’t obvious that the names in the will transcription were clickable prior to actually clicking on one. I fixed that with a simple dashed underline. This was one of those times where I was trying to keep the visual elements minimal but ended up going too far. I also threw in a modal popup for initial directions to make things more obvious. I just used this simple modal jquery plugin. It immediately drove me crazy by popping up all the time. So I looked around and found a solution to set cookies which I’d never done before. I also used a modal for the ever-growing family tree. When you have 12 kids in a generation, things get pretty wide. Permanent […]

Annotating a Will: A Digital Process

One of the projects that Ryan Smith chose as part of our Digital History course was the collaborative transcription and annotation of a historic Richmond will . . . describing it thusly1 in the syllabus. Collaborative annotation: To further put our emphasis on collaboration into practice, we will annotate [explain, contextualize, add to] together one document, the last will and testament of Isaac Judah, an early Richmond resident. This assignment will require student research, online or in person, to help explain and contextualize this document for a public audience. What software platform should we use to markup the item? How should we handle the will’s transcription? Who are the parties mentioned in the will? Where are the locations? What historical lessons can it teach readers? The quality and quantity of each students’ research/commentary will count as 10% of the final course grade. The will can be found on our course website, in the Google Drive folder. The transcription file is: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ghG-oyFvyza-zRUE4ZJf0_HF4_D5dey4Bv4BmM5JYFQ/edit. Annotations can begin as soon as the course begins and should be finalized by February 23 March 30. If the annotation is fruitful, we may post this result for public consumption. We ended up with quite a bit of work . . . in fact so much work that displaying it via the Google Doc didn’t really work. It […]

Open Content Creation at VCU

I’m going to hit a few of the things I’ve done with people around open educational resource creation.1 In the discussion, I’m going to ignore some complexities around the term ‘open’ in order to avoiding dragging the whole post down. My personal definition of open is very liberal2 although I can see the value of Wiley’s R framework in a variety of conversations. Once again, I’ll try to move from simpler to more complex options. The Judah Will The Judah Will is a will that was transcribed and annotated in the digital history class this semester. Ryan Smith is the history professor behind the idea and has been more than awesome to work with. Right now the work is all in Google Docs but we’re looking at paths/tools/display options that will better show the research and conversations that occurred. The simple act of transcribing the will is one act of OER creation and active participation in the field of history. The additional research and investigation of the elements of the will constitutes another layer. The majority of students in the class really enjoyed the process and liked the idea that they were adding to the sum of information available to historians. This activity also enabled the professor to model historical research/thought while interacting with the students on a project with […]

Courses in WordPress

In the same vein as my last post,1 WordPress lets you set up courses just about any way you might want. There are some typical patterns people use but there are also a variety of other options that fit individual needs or just make people happy. I’ve done quite a few different scenarios over the last three years so I figured I’d highlight a few structures and some of the things that make them what they are. The sites in general may or may not also have face-to-face components but I’m choosing examples that are more involved than simple syndication sites (aka mother blogs) or sites that focus on particular projects/assignments. Hopefully these examples show the variation faculty have in terms of what they want and in terms of the flexibility that WordPress can provide. In this case, I do believe I’ll be able to move from simplest to more complex/customized. Simple End of the Spectrum These examples mainly organize and display content and aren’t focused on interaction or student publishing. Usually sites like these predominantly use pages and may not use posts at all. They may also turn off comments to simplify management. The page construction fits neatly within more traditional models of web design. Graphic Design History The goal here was to put up a bunch of sequential […]

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Gravity Forms – Regular URL for File Upload

I do a fair amount of Gravity Forms to posts. Many times those posts have files, mainly images, associated with them that I’d like to have embedded in the post. Gravity Forms did some changes a while back to prevent people from guessing where files are (which is good) but the secure URL change also made my embed patterns break. Throwing the little line above in a plugin makes things work again (although at the risk of people guessing where other files may reside).

A WordPress Authoring Continuum

Image from page 60 of “Birds of La Plata” (1920) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) I often feel much of my life has been spent arguing against binary judgements related to technology.1 I’d like to have neater boundaries and simpler discussions but they always seem to get in the way of what I perceive as reality. I’ve certainly tried to articulate options for content in creation in WordPress before. I tried really hard to have a nice list here that would move you from full-constrained incrementally towards the normal backend editor but the lines kept blurring on me so . . . you get what we have here today . . . which is a failure to delineate, crisply.2 The idea that WordPress authoring is super-easy or needlessly complex is one of those arguments I have repeatedly. I believe, with varying degrees of effort/skills, WordPress authoring is simply what you want it to be. It can be tightly constrained, without even the need for an account or even a visit to the backend of WordPress. It can also be fully open with all the options and complexities you could want. They’re both choices with a fair amount of room in the middle for variations. I’ve found a few plugins and/or design […]

WP JSON to Google Sheets – Reflective Data

Image from page 86 of “Refraction and motility of the eye, with chapters on color blindness and the field of vision” (1920) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Way back in 2015, I wrote a little plugin1 to count URLs, get the word count and do other stuff so I could reflect on my blog posts. Given some (k)new knowledge2, I figured I could make a version that runs in Google Sheets and indeed I can. The reason I like this as an alternative to the plugin is that it works for anyone who has access to Google Sheets even if they can’t install plugins. Google Sheets also offers a lower barrier to messing with your own data once you get start capturing it. You can count the !s, or a variety of emoticons, or how often you use the word “spaces,” or whatever you want- all without the ability to program in php or javascript. I think it starts to open up different doors for students3 to gather their own kind of data for reflection and amusement. It starts to get at the DIY ethos inherent in the quantified self communities. The sheet is here. I’m going to build it out into something a bit more robust and plug/play in the […]