The Mother Blog Primer

February 5, 1906

The Concept

FeedWordPress is the plugin that allows us to create our “mother blogs.” Consider it an example of the “you are what you eat” concept. The “mother blog” is composed of the consumed feeds. FeedWordPress is our spoon. The mother takes all the student posts from their personal sites and unites them in one place. It helps answer questions like –

  • How can students work in their own sites and use them for multiple courses but still provide the class/cohort advantages of a central/standardized community hub?
  • How can I allow personalization but not go crazy going to 50 different student sites with different layouts?
  • Are there interesting ways I might reconsider the work students do if I can aggregate that work, can provide different lenses of focus, can keep it beyond the narrow confines of a course, and have other students use it in interesting ways?

FeedWordPress

A Brief Overview of the Mechanics

Some Tips

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  • The child (source) blog needs to be public for this to work. If a child blog is set to Visible only to registered users of this network, Visible only to registered users of this site, or Visible only to administrators of this site then the feed won’t work. Here is how you change that.
  • Add /feed/ to the URLs you’re adding as children in the FeedWordPress panel. This will make your life easier.
  • Having students use a default category or tag for your course (for example the category UNIV200) will enable you to either parse that out at the RSS level (add http://rampages.us/student/category/UNIV200/feed/ to Feed WordPress)
  • You can use a Gravity Forms form or Google Form to gather the source URLs from students.
  • Want to add a list of authors and the number of posts in the sidebar? There’s a widget for that (and a video tutorial).
  • This works with posts. Pages don’t syndicate normally. That matters when you consider what you’re asking students to do.
  • Here are some student directions we’ve used that might also help things.
  • Much More In-Depth FeedWordPress Discussions (from Alan Levine)

    Comments on this post

    1. Aparna Nagaraj said on September 16, 2014 at 8:25 am

      Very informative post..

      But, my org uses an internal blog site – I need to figure out how to build a mother blog site for those internal blogs – in the same site.. So – access problems should not occur, right?

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