pssst. wanna blog?

It’s still not officially released, and I’m still in the early stages of putting together a funding proposal to turn it into a supported service, but if you’re willing to live life on the edge and risk a little beta goodness, UCalgaryBlogs.ca is kinda on the air.

All you need is a valid @ucalgary.ca email address, and you’re off and running. You can create as many blogs as you like, and can select from a bajillion available themes.

Why use the service? Well, it’s more “individual” than the existing weblogs.ucalgary.ca services (which is still running) so it should be less of a communal space. It’s running essentially the same software as WordPress.com, but on a UCalgary server with a UCalgary-ish domain name.

One of the cooler reasons to use UCalgaryBlogs.ca is that you’re not locked into it – wanna take your blog with you? Sure! WordPress can export all of your stuff into a format that can be imported on another server.

Oh, yeah. There are lots of other great reasons to use WordPress to manage a blog, too.

This is not intended to compete with, or replace the Drupal service offered by IT. Want to manage a large departmental website? That’s the way to go. Want to keep a simple blog or newsletter? This just might be for you…

Just be advised that it’s currently a skunkworks project, on server space I’m sneakily “borrowing”, and I’ll be actively tinkering with the software. And I’m half expecting to get spanked for just going ahead with this. But if you want to come play, please feel free! :-)

6 thoughts on “pssst. wanna blog?”

  1. More power to you in extending the long tail even further! They take away some power, you just regain it somewhere else. In the end I don’t think people really care too much about even their content or independence, look at facebook, they just want a place to put there stuff where someone might read it… Facebook brings everyone closer together. Drupal’s aggregator does something similar, but I think it could be improved…

  2. Hi D’Arcy, I didn’t see your email address so I thought I’d post here. Can you point me to any departments at UCalgary using drupal, and is there a department drupal install profile you guys are using?

    And just for curiosity’s sake, is there anything inherently wrong with Drupal’s blogging features (like spam problems). I know it doesn’t have as many features as WordPress/Blogger/etc.

    Thanks

  3. @Doug: Most faculties are using Drupal now. For instance: http://www.ss.ucalgary.ca/ http://science.ucalgary.ca/

    Most parts of the UCalgary website are managed using Drupal (but the higher-traffic areas are screen-scraped to static HTML before going live) http://www.ucalgary.ca

    There’s a documentation site at http://wcm2.ucalgary.ca/docs

    Ironically, it looks like they’re working on the Drupal server at the moment, so the Drupal sites are down :-( hopefully that gets resolved soon.

    The Drupal blogging module works ok, but it takes a lot of convincing to make it behave like a real blog. Things like email notifications of new comments, and some of the other subtle niceties that WordPress brings (PodPress, StructuredBlogging, etc…) make it a bit awkward at times to use Drupal. It’s definitely possible – I used Drupal to power my blog for a year or so – but it takes some work.

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