Middlebury

WordPress

Revision as of 11:43, 5 October 2009 by Alex Chapin (talk | contribs) (changed title of this section to RSS and subscribing and added more detailed instructions)

Blogging at Middlebury

Introduction

WordPress MU [1] is an open source platform that is used at Middlebury for individual blogs. Uses include journals creative writing tools, and news publishing.  You can log into the Midd instance of WordPress with your Midd username and password.

Log in

To log into WordPress at Middlebury, locate the "login" link on whatever blog you want to contribute to.  If the blog has no "log in" link then go to: http://blogs.middlebury.edu/wp-admin/.  Type in your Midd username (first part of your email address before @middlebury.edu) and password (same password you use to log into Midd email).

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New Blog Creation and Access

New Blogs

You must have a Middlebury netid to have a WordPress blog. To create a blog

To learn more, go to the Blogging at Middlebury blog.

Organization

Posts/Entries

An author adds material to their blog by creating posts or entries. Entries may be of any length, and can include text, audio and video. Once an entry is created, it may be previewed, saved as unpublished, or save as published. Only published entries will be seen by visitors.

Entries can be edited after they are published.

Categories

Commenting

Blog Authors, Editors and Administrators

Visitors to a blog may leave a comment through the use of a simple web form. In most cases, this is a name, an email address, and the text of their comment. Authors may decide whether comments appear immediately on the blog, or if they are held until the author can read them.

Blog Visitors, Subscribers

To comment on a Midd WordPress blog, click on the link to comment (usually below the title of the post or below the post text).  If you are part of the Middlebury community, you need to fill in your name and email address.  If you have a Middlebury user account and you see fields for name and email address, this indicates you should log in before you post.

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RSS and Subscribing

WordPress supports both publishing its own content via RSS (really simple syndication) as well as accessing RSS feeds with widgets.  Blogs are RSS feeds for posts/entries, comments, categories, tags and authors.  Some blogs will display links to some of these feeds, most commonly, the feeds for posts and comments.  How you subscribe to a feeds depends on how your browser and computer is configured to handle RSS.  Some browsers may be configured such that when you click on an RSS feed link, you are given an option to chose what desktop or web application to use to read the feed.

Here is one way of subscribing to RSS feeds that will work on nearly all browsers/computers:

  1. Locate the link to the RSS feed you want to subscribe to
  2. Right click (or control click) on on the RSS link and chose "Copy Link Location" or "Copy Link" or "Copy Shortcut."
  3. Open you favorite RSS Reader (or try Google Reader), and find the "add subscription" or "subscribe" link or button
  4. Paste the RSS link url you copied above and click "add" or "save" button/link

The url (web address) of RSS feeds in WordPress follow a common syntax.  Thus if the blog you want to subscribe to doesn't display RSS feed links, you can always figure out what they are by using the following convention:

Posts RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/feed

Comments RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/comments/feed

Category RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/category/<<category_name>>/feed

Tag RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/tags/<<tag_name>>/feed

Author RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/author/<<author_name>>/feed

Post Comments RSS:
https://blogs.middlebury.edu/<<blog_name>>/<<date>>/<<post_title>>/feed

Best way to get these urls is to go to the blog page that has the content you want to subscribe to and add "/feed" to the end of the url.


Tagging

All entries can be assigned one or more tags for use in a guided search.

Podcasting

Links to audio files in a WordPress entry will appear in the RSS feed. Visitors may subscribe to this feed as a podcast.  To set up your WordPress blog to function as a podcast, do the following:

  1. Log into your Blog
  2. Click on the Plugins link in the upper righthand corner
  3. Chose to Activate the Audio Player plugin
  4. Click on links to Write > Post
  5. Give you post a title and add text (describing your podcast post)
  6. Click on the Add Media "starburst" in the post editor
  7. Click on the MiddMedia tab
  8. Chose to show files in your MiddMedia or Upload a new file to MiddMedia
  9. Click on the "use" button for the file you want to use in your post
  10. Click on the Publish button to publish your podcast post

Embedding Video

Wordpress has special plugins for video and therefore requires special plugin codes that normally aren't used in html coding.  In order to embed video, do the following:

  1. Log into your Blog
  2. Click on the Plugins link in the upper righthand corner
  3. Scroll down the page and make sure that the plugin labeled "Wordpress Video Plugin" is green, meaning it is active.  If it is inactive, activate it.
  4. In the upper lefthand corner, click on "Write" and begin a new post.
  5. Add a title and descriptive text.
  6. Determine which video hosting program you are using (ie. YouTube, Veoh, etc.)
  7. Head to this link and find the embed code that's specific to your video server and follow the instructions there.

As an example, YouTube's embed code for Wordpress is [youtube id] where "id" is replaced by the video id on the server.

Access to Blogs

A visitor can view all published entries in a blog. Unpublished entries may have a scheduled publishing date, or they may be manually published.

A blog owner may allow, or not allow comments on their blog.

Customization

Design

Widgets

Widgets are available to add character and functionality to the blog. Some widgets that are available include:

  • Calendar
  • Latest entries
  • Search
  • Creative Commons License
  • Tag cloud
  • Subscribe to feed

A feed widget can be added to create a list of links to any other blog or website that has an rss feed. Also, third party widgets can be added.

WordPress at Middlebury

The cforms plugin can be used by all offices, departments, and organizations to create general forms for collecting information on the web. This plugin gives users a self-service interface to forms creation.

Curricular Use

Department Use

Journal/Research Use

For more examples, see the blog roll on the home page of Blogging at Middlebury.


References