Keeping conversations going

Started off with a 30-min review of accumulated support requests to decide priorities. Decided to tackle RSS feeds for weblogs. These matter because they make it so much easier for people to keep an eye on new or changed posts without the need to visit the website every time. This in turn keeps the conversations going.

The aim is to ensure all offer RSS feeds so that people can keep an eye on them using feed aggregators such as
Bloglines These let you subscribe to blog or other "web feeds" such as BBC news headlines. One you've done that, you see a list of your subscriptions, with a list of unread messages beside. Here's a link to an example Bloglines screen shot:

Decided to see if we could get not just information about new blogs published on the web feeds, but also information about Comments that have been posted in response to these. Turned out that could be done, so modified those with existing RSS feeds to publish comments and let the owners know. I'll be setting all up in the same way over next few days.

Followed up on finding a contact at Scottish Exec for Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce. Found last week that although employers were part of the consultation process, they haven't been kept in touch with the outcome, so new purposes (Successful Learners, Confident Individual, Responsible Citizens, Effective Contributors) meant nothing to them. Hopefully SE can provide someone to do a Q & A session. Although it's all on the web they don't have time to plough through it, and they need to be able to ask questions.

Later followed up trying to get web site notifications working. This will automatically email registered users to tell them about new items in any part of the site they're interested in. This will include forum participants, who can click on a "Keep me informed" button in any forum thread – they don't need to use Admin interface. Couldn't get the automatic process (Cron job) to run at first, but got that fixed, only to find that it complained about the PHP interface in use. Raised a call with the hosting company to see if they can help. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

Started setting up another 17 Exc-el users, Chemistry forum participants, for Bruce Robertson.