Mother Blog – Troubleshooting Guides
I realize I have many, many things.
It’s not clear if those things will be of use to other humans but, at worst, here is something you can ignore. At best, take some hard-won experience and avoid the hassle.
These five things solve 98% of our mother blog syndication issues for students.
On the professor side . . .
Based on a conversation I had on Tuesday there appeared to be a need to generate a tag cloudWelcome to 2008? While I mock many uses of the tag cloud there are some interesting applications in the right scenarios. from Gravity Forms responses. I didn’t see any immediate solutions after browsing for plugins. Granted, I could have jerry rigged something by creating posts and doing something weird where I added the words as tags . . . but I’m trying to do things in a more sustainable way lately and I figured this wouldn’t be too tough. I’m going to try to do a decent job of moving through the development process in stages. If you just want to mess with the plugin, it’s on GitHub. Find a Decent Tag Cloud Library I looked around and found wordcloud2.js. It seemed perfect. It has some real flexibility and the hard work has been done for me. I played around with a demo in CodePen. This lets me work out any kinks I might have in the js/html/css side of things before adding any WordPress and PHP complexities. If I don’t force patterns like this, I’ll add enough complexity that figuring out which thing I’m not understanding is much harder. It might take some extra time but it saves me quite a […]
flickr photo shared by NASA on The Commons with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) Many professors don’t want students having to go into the backend of WordPress. Imagine also that you’re dealing with many hundreds of students and don’t want the hassle of people asking you about password resets or any other attendant drama. You’re willing to give up some things in return for as much simplicity as possible. You’ve got a few options for front-end editors. Gravity Forms is one I use all the time but it doesn’t give you the full WP editor which is pretty handy if you’re asking students to write posts of any complexity. AccessPress Anonymous Post Pro Forms is another option that I used on this project. It’s worth checking out and I think there’s a free version as well. Alan and Brian’s SPLOT tools are also worth checking out if your actions fit into those patterns consistently. That helps address one problem but it opens up a few other issues. We’ve got lots of students and lots of individual sections. How do we group them into courses or teams? How do we aggregate individual student’s work to their own page if they aren’t authors (in the WordPress sense)? Can we do that without drama? After a few false starts, I think this works […]
flickr photo shared by The Library of Congress with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons) The title just rolls off the tongue, yes? But what it does is kind of interesting. It’s not a drag/drop solution but it starts to show how we can better knit different services together. In this case, I run a Google Script to generate a spreadsheet of files (I can probably make that a straight up API connection in the near future). I publish that spreadsheet as CSV because Google sheets to JSON feels a good bit slower.I have no data to back me up but I’m relatively sure that’s true. Then the following shortcode (but w/in square brackets) generates the little unordered lists below. It’s taking that list of 464 files and just chopping out the ones where the filename’s first letters match A-1 and the parent folder is Tasks. Not brain surgery, right? But it is a pretty flexible solution to allow flexible access to any chunk of CSV (should work on any CSV on the web- assuming you adjust the elements to reflect the data) text you want to display portions of on the fly. People can do all their work in Google Drive and it seamlessly updates in WordPress. People without WordPress skills can update and change where these lists appear through […]