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 . . .
Image thanks to Armando. In WordPress Multisite, a user can sign up under an email address. They then decide to delete their account for some odd reason. If they try to sign up again under that same email, it’ll say the email address is being used and will become available in a few days. In a situation like ours (all accounts are restricted to VCU email addresses) that’s a problem. You can jump right into phpMyAdmin and delete the row that contains this information in the wp_signups table. That’s no big deal unless you have a giant database and then using phpMyAdminIt’s likely someone with more skills would just use the command line to knock all this out but I’m not there yet. I’m working on it. is a very special kind of slow motion misery. The following two piece solution allows me to just go to a website, enter the email address I wish to expunge and presto change-o the email is available to be used again. This isn’t rocket science (but it may be helpful) and there may be alternate paths. Those who know better, feel free to warn and/or educate me. Piece 1 A little tiny HTML form. Piece 2
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? A Brief Overview of the Mechanics Some Tips 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 […]
The Field Botany class is underway and the vegetation is rolling in despite floods and hail. There are 20 student participating on 20 different blogs. Right now we have almost 700 posts in the mother blog. Amazing to see all this great work and to be able to keep it instead of having it stuck in paper notebooks which only a few people ever saw and no one in the public could use. This early days for the site but in the end the intrepid biology duo of Jill Reid and Dianne Jennings will worked with their students to create a site that local residents can use to identify plants in our James River Park System. The nice thing about this setup is it can be used as is or modified to support a variety of other scenarios pretty readily. It has already inspired a sister project that will be documenting mortality and local cemeteries with Susan Bodnar-Deren (who just finished the first round of theOnline Course Development Initiative). Plugins Used On The Mother Blog/Set Up NS Cloner – Site Copier – This was handy for setup. In this case we wanted student sites to have the categories, pages, themes, and plugins already activated. This plugin let me do that easily from a blank template site. The free version doesn’t […]