Publishing data via WordPress blogs

How can we easily publish not just text, audio and video, but also supporting data? One possibility is to store the data in a public Google Spreadsheet, and embed a view of that in the blog.

Here’s an example of how this might work for sharing a database (spreadsheet) of skills, a project that I was exploring with Kathy McGrane and Pauling Inglis yesterday: This is part of the ACfE Principal Teachers as Leaders of Learning work.

  • embedding in the blog posts, or page, lets you make the data visible to your blog’s visitor
  • easy shared updating of the data via the Google Docs system
  • visitors can go to the public spreadsheet and get access to the data if they want to sort it, report it etc


  • this can’t be done through the user interface, the blog’s template needs to be modified – but it’s fairly quick
  • because the data is stored with Google, we need to be careful about information security

eduBuzz blogs get Google Analytics

Google Analytics logoThe eduBuzz blog system now has Google Analytics monitoring every blog – we hope. Time will tell if we’re collecting everything we think we are.

Back in December 06, Exc-el bloggers gained a Google Analytics plug-in. That worked fine at first, but before long there were complaints of stats “flat-lining”, although checks showed the stats were still being gathered OK.

Checking the Google Analytics support information at the time led to the conclusion that we were using it in an unsupported way. We had various individuals registered with Analytics accounts, and their multiple accounts were monitoring pages within the same domain. The supported arrangement is to use one account with one domain (although I can’t find a link to that info just now).

Now we’ve removed that plug-in and embedded the tracking code into the WordPress template files using guidance from the WordPress MU forums. Link.

If you’ve an eduBuzz blog and want access to the Analytics stats, let me know the email address under which you’ve set up your Analytics account and I’ll set that up for you.

WordPress: Google Analytics Plug-in installed

Robert Jones has enthused before about Google Analytics. He includes a screenshot.

At that time you needed to put a bit of code into your blog, which put it out of easy reach of Exc-el bloggers.

If you’ve an Exc-el blog, things have now become easier. Log in to your blog, head for the Plugins menu and activate the Google Analytics Plugin. You’ll need to register with Google Analytics, tell that your blog’s full URL, and get a User Account code. (It’ll look like UA-123456-7, and is in amongst the HTML snippet from Google.)

This awesome resource will enable students to see quite clearly what country their visitors are from (geography, modern studies…), which parts of the blog are popular (literacy, marketing, art, design,..) and also gather statistics for everything from pages read to links clicked (maths, numeracy, information handling…). There’s a lot of potential for collaborative work.