weblogs.ucalgary.ca starting to take off...


weblogs.ucalgary.ca as been running for almost a year - it fired up shortly after Northern Voice 2005 - and it's spend most of its short existence sitting essentially idle (except for the spammers that keep sending a couple hundred attempted spamcomments per day).

Now, we've got a couple of profs using the service in class, and the posts are pouring in. And some really interesting stuff, too. They're taking advantage of Organic Groups to carve out semi-private areas of the service, where they can post stuff and restrict access to those in the class, or open it up for specific posts if so desired.

And the profs are doing really interesting things. Although they have to mandate that students post blog entries, they're leaving the exact topics relatively open - as long as it's loosely related to class topics. All the students have to do is post a couple of times a week, and make some comments. On anything. Some great posts are coming out, in only the first week of use in these classes. I'm looking forward to watching the semester progress...

By and large, Drupal is proving to be a pretty good blogging/collaboration platform. It's not perfect, but the flexibility provided by the Organic Groups module is pretty sweet.

There have been a couple of hiccoughs so far. The biggest one appears to be a result of something blocking off-campus emails from that server - meaning people are able to create accounts via their U of C LDAP accounts, but if they don't have one set up yet, the account creation email gets (eventually) bounced.

Also, the spam blocker got a little too eager, stopping some valid comments from being posted. Easy to retrieve the comments, and I've loosened up the spam module a bit.

The last issue is related to theme complexity, and with IE rendering. IE sucks. Some themes don't work so well in it (especially content authoring themes). So, to attempt to mitigate the effect of that, I've installed a simple theme and temporarily disabled the others. If people revolt, I may turn on one or two options...


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Last updated: March 01, 2024