WPMU Post and Comment Growth

The group of WPMU rockstars at UBC's OLT just whipped up a fantastic new plugin for administrators of a WPMU site to get a feel for the growth of the community. It generates a graph to display growth in numbers of blog posts and comments over time, and uses the Google Data Visualization API to let you interactively define data ranges to be graphed. Here's the growth of UCalgaryBlogs.ca graphed for the last 2 semesters: [Read More]

wpmu activity reports using the blog_activity plugin

Jim Groom linked to a post by Patrick Murray-John with an interesting summary of the activity on UMWBlogs.org - and I was curious about what activity patterns are on UCalgaryBlogs.ca - so I fired up Sequel Pro and dug around in the raw data stored by the blog_activity plugin in the wp_post_activity and wp_comment_activity tables. The tables include aggregate and anonymous activity data for the last month. There is a relatively new Reports plugin that could do much of this in an automated way, but it only supports generating activity reports for individual users or blogs, not aggregate reports. [Read More]

UCalgaryBlogs.ca Growth

I spent some time this afternoon poking around in the database that runs UCalgaryBlogs.ca to see if I could get a better sense of how it's growing. Turns out, it's growing MUCH faster than I thought it was (and I thought it was growing pretty darned fast). It's still pretty small scale, compared with giants like WordPress.com and Edublogs.org, but the growth looks pretty much exponential. I'm glad we've got lots of room to scale this puppy. [Read More]

Testing WPMU 2.7

I thought it would be prudent to test the plugins, mu-plugins and themes I run at ucalgaryblogs.ca on the latest prerelease snapshot of WordPress Multiuser 2.7, to check for any incompatibilities or strangenesses. I grabbed the .zip archive from the SVN repository, dropped it onto my desktop, and installed a new site. I then grabbed the contents of my mu-plugins and plugins directories, and a subset of the themes that are used. After farting around repairing some file permission errors (caused by FTPing the files from the server to my desktop under a different user than apache runs under...) it looks like everything Just Worksâ„¢.

It wasn't an exhaustive test - I didn't try upgrading the databases for the sites that are running on ucalgaryblogs.ca - all I really needed to know was if the plugins needed some love before thinking of upgrading to 2.7. The good news is that they appear to be fine. Woohoo.

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UCalgaryBlogs.ca Redesign

I've been meaning to redesign the main site at UCalgaryBlogs.ca for awhile now - the Edublogs Clean theme isn't intended to be dropped in as a stock theme, but as a starting point for hacking something tailor-made. The Edu-Clean theme is available as part of the fantastic Premium WPMUDev subscription - and it certainly helped me get UCalgaryBlogs.ca off the ground quickly. Edu-Clean has bugged me because it hijacks the front page by using home. [Read More]

got a blog?

I just put up a bunch of these posters in a few of the buildings on campus. Time to spread the word a little more widely...

UCalgaryBlogs.ca now protected by Akismet

I got word back from Akismet that using it on UCalgaryBlogs.ca to protect all of the blogs hosted there falls under the free license, despite the wording on their website that suggests it's an enterprise use. This means I'm now able to protect all blogs on the service with Akismet, without requiring a Captcha challenge. The current version of the Akismet plugin for WordPress installs just fine in the mu-plugins directory, meaning each blog automatically gets protected, without any configuration or setup. [Read More]

akismet for ucalgaryblogs.ca

I just got confirmation from Akismet that I can use the antispam service for free on UCalgaryBlogs.ca - early next week I'll figure out how to mu-plugin ify it, and hardcode the keys and links so everyone's covered automatically by Akismet. Sweet.

overzealous antispam and campus blogging

I just had to uninstall the TanTanNoodles Simple Spam Filter from UCalgaryBlogs.ca - it's a simple plugin that uses a dictionary lookup to try to detect what it thinks are REALLY obvious spam comment attempts. But it was a bit overzealous. Instead of just modifying the dictionary to remove some valid words (which words are valid? who gets to decide that? in which contexts?), I decided to just delete the plugin outright so that comments can be posted without censorship. [Read More]

selective, manual file caching

I've disabled WP-Super-Cache on UCalgaryBlogs.ca because it was doing quirky things like showing the anonymous front page after someone logged in, etc... And, with our low load and mostly logged in users, it really wasn't necessary. Except for the RSS feeds used to generate the Recent Posts and Recent Comments sections on the front page of the site. Without WP-Super-Cache enabled, the front page (and ONLY the front page) took glacial epochs to load, as the RSS feeds were generated, parsed, and embedded. [Read More]