Brewing another blog beast.


I’m setting up an internal communications blog for our academic library using WordPress. Why?

  1. We have too many email lists for internal communications
  2. All of us are saving emails in our own subdirectories on the same server
  3. To create a searchable archive
  4. To introduce staff to RSS feeds
  5. Experimenting so that we know how to create a ridgy-didge one to talk with our users

Image: Hubble bubble. There is no cookbook.

We hope to have it up by Friday. FRIDAY!!!

CW and I huddled around a PC one weekend at her house to set up LINT, so I’ve done a WordPress install before, but I’m finding out about .php, .css, ftp, plugins and the Gimp as I use them. I know I’m just learning – but I still keep beating myself up about not providing the perfect introduction to blogging bliss for the library staff.

Because I’m not Grand Zen Master Coder, I know it won’t look exactly how I want it or do exactly what I want. I still want it to be something that people will “get”, and hopefully enjoy. When you’re asking people to change work methods, fun and enjoyment is not usually the result, so maybe I’m being a bit naive there.

We’re replacing several email lists with the one blog, so I’ve set up categories with RSS feeds to match each list. The idea is that staff will subscribe to the categories that match the lists they already get, plus have access to all the other information whizzing about – all in a searchable archive.

I’m using these plugins:

  • Category LiveBookmarks Plus Allows browsers to autodiscover category feeds, plus inserts an RSS icon next to the category name in the sidebar.
  • Ultimate Tag Warrior so that we can tag posts and create tag clouds.
  • Dagon Design Import Users . If you give it a file with usernames and their emails, it automatically adds them as users, creates a password and emails it to them.
  • WordPress Suicide. So I can blow away the data on the test version and upload templates etc. from the copy I’ve been working on here.
  • I’ve also added a patch, Ticket #1790: category-title-in-category-feeds.patch that inserts the category name after the blog name in the RSS title. (Pretty useless if all the feeds have the same title!)

In another post, I’ll describe some of the decisions we needed to make in setting up the blog, just in case you’re thinking of doing the same.


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