What might take-up of WordPress across a 40-school local authority look like?
October 2010 web server summary stats for East Lothian‘s eduBuzz.org system (visitors and page views) show that the current levels of use this year, a traditionally quieter time, are already similar to the last school year’s peak period of May/June.
The pattern each year has been similar, with usage at this time of year approximately doubling by May/June. Together with steady recent increases, this is a year-on-year growth rate of well over 100%.
The eduBuzz.org WordPress site now has 1,161 sub-sites (blogs) and 2,336 registered user accounts.
It’s become even easier to get publishing on eduBuzz.org following today’s upgrade to Version 1.5.1 of its WordPress MU software.
The interface redesign is the result of a lot of work by the WordPress community, including extensive usability testing. First impressions are good, but we’ll need to do some checks to see how students and staff react. Some differences bloggers will notice:
a more up-to-date appearance
a new arrangement for adding media
the confusing term “slug” has been replaced with Permalink:…/ Edit
a full-screen editor facility has been added
“Timestamp” has been replaced with Publish immediately…/Edit
Testing is still under way, but so far at least things seem to be going well. An existing bug with creation of new blogs, which was leading to login difficulties under Internet Explorer, has also been fixed with this update, although a few existing faulty blogs still need to be fixed.
Update: There’s an issue with inserting images in posts. I’ve encountered it under Firefox, but have found it’s working OK under Internet Explorer 7. Thought things were going too well…
I’ve written a note on how to do this, which is on a separate page.
www.edubuzz.org was one of the early WordPress Multi-User (WPMU) sites. It started off with Version 1.0 Release Candidate 4 of the WPMU software. The way WPMU encoded tables within the database changed in later versions, and needed changed. This has proved an extremely time-consuming exercise, and the note is an attempt to save others some time if they encounter the same problem.
Understanding content tagging is an essential skill for effective use of a wide range of internet tools. WordPress blogs now, in addition to Categories, offer a powerful set of tagging tools. But what exactly is the difference?
I’ve now mentioned the addition of the new tagging functionality, briefly in passing, to a few edubuzz bloggers. I haven’t felt, though, that I’ve succeeded in explaining the difference very well. Today I decided to have a look for different approaches, and found this really good explanation of the difference, from Stephanie Booth, who – successfully – argued the case for adding tags to WordPress.
Here are, in my opinion, the main differences between tags and categories, from the “tagger” point of view.
categories exist before the item I’m categorizing, whereas tags are created in reaction to the item, often in an ad hoc manner: I need to fit the item in a category, but I adapt tags to the item;
categories should be few, tags many;
categories are expected to have a pretty constant granularity, whereas tags can be very general like “switzerland” or very particular like “bloggyfriday“;
categories are planned, tags are spontanous, they have a brainstorm-like nature, as Kevin explains very well: You look at the picture and type in the few words it makes you think of, move on to the next, and you’re done.
relations between categories are tree-like, but those between tags are network-like;
categories are something you choose, tags are generally something you gush out;
categories help me classify what I’m talking about, and tags help me share or spread it;
Just had the odd experience, while checking for WPMU news, of finding this “What if…?” post which describes a future vision that’s not a million miles from describing East Lothian’s edubuzz community.
Welcome at Do Not Call it a Blog!
What if we didn’t understand what we do in education with blogs as “blogging” but as a quick and easy way to publish online within a learning community? Or a place to feature a portfolio of students’ best work? Or a site where professors and staff track their professional and personal development? What if we understood “campus blogging initiatives” as a community publishing platform to share, learn, and integrate various resources from around the Web into a more specific community?