The upgrade to BuddyPress, the social networking layer for WordPress, there’s a new default theme and a much improved ‘activity stream‘. It works a bit like Twitter and you can post to different groups as well as mention people (i.e. @dyoung ) Please bear in mind that while access to the main site is restricted to the university community and guests, the RSS web feed is publicly accessible. We hope to provide more granular privacy controls quite soon.
In April 2008, CERD quietly started to pilot WordPress on the Learning Lab, here at the university. A few of us started blogging and then a few more people joined us. Then, in February 2009, realising we were onto a good thing, we set up BuddyPress, a social networking layer for WordPress and moved off the Learning Lab on to blogs.lincoln.ac.uk, the permanent home of the blogs.
More recently, ICT Services have agreed to back the blogs with a new, dedicated server and professional technical support. Consequently, I’m very pleased to tell you that today, the blogs moved to the new server and out of the pilot phase. Hoorah!
Now we have a dedicated, permanent home for WordPress, you’ll start to hear more from us about how it can be used to support your research, teaching and learning. Any member of the university community is welcome to set up a personal, team, project, department or faculty blog, just like the Research Office, the Library, Nick, Julian, James and Sue, have.
Lending a hand
Together with the Research Office and Library, we offer monthly staff training sessions on using the latest web tools to support your work. There’s also the opportunity for staff and students to drop into a monthly lunch-time interest group to chat about using the social web. In addition, CERD also run occasional ‘Blackboard and Beyond’ sessions which demonstrate WordPress and other web technologies that might be of interest to you. We’re also happy to visit classes if you’re thinking of using WordPress in your teaching and learning.
If you’ve just logged in and don’t yet have a blog, that’s OK. There’s no rush. Have a look around, watch some video tutorials, look at what other people are doing and create a blog when you think you’re ready. You might even want to follow our robot on Twitter.
Over 50 new themes have been added for you to choose from. There’s quite a variety of styles and colours, from simple to crazy, from black to pink to white. As always, if you don’t find a theme that you like, you can browse through nearly 800 themes on wordpress.org and let us know which ones you’d like to see installed. To preview and choose a theme that’s already installed, just go to the Appearance menu and click on Themes. You can browse through several pages of themes and preview each one by clicking on the thumbnails.
WordPress has supported , on both wordpress.com and as a plugin for a couple of years. You can adjust the size and style of the output and enable it for comments, which, if discussing mathematical formulae with peers, could be of huge benefit. To use on your blog, just activate the wp-latex plugin.