The library is happy to announce a new Web site that we have created in collaboration with our communications department: Information Literacy General Education Expectations and Resources.
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I have been trying out Netvibes new public aggregator page, here: MVCC Netvibes Aggregator Page. This could be a way to create a resource to keep people in touch with differenct info resources and information created on campus.
Ever heard of Yahoo pipes? This is a handy tool that allows you to combine RSS feeds from blogs, podcasts, and other sources into one handy feed. I’ve put together a single feed for all of the library’s blogs and podcasts. It is: http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/pipe.run?_id=JK5fBGvf3BG15aR9YEsBXw&_render=rss
Here is how it looks:
This is very cool. Our IT department has helped out the by putting up our own Feed Parser. Now, sure what a feed parser it? Basically, it’s a tool that lets you take display an RSS feed in a Web page (Blackboard page, blog, etc) as a bulleted list. It is an easy way for the less technically savvy faculty members to incorporate outside content into course sites. I’ve put together this Feed parser help page to explain how this works a bit more.
Here’s a sample of our parser in action using the feed from the library’s Check It Out Podcast:
We are trying out feedburner’s email updates for our blogs (news, research tools, and this blog). I know that a vast majority of students and faculty are not using screen readers (although that percentage shrinks everyday). Email is still central…but we’ll see how that develops down the road. None-the-less, the email updates for the blogs are an easy way to get content to users.
The migration to the WordPress-supported blogs are now complete. All of our blog content has been transfered over with nothing lost. This was a fairly manageable move, but I hit the typical sort of migration issues. I accidentally messed up some of the php for the sidebar, so I wasted time fixing that.
I was worried that I’d lose most of the images that we posted over the years. Luckily, I backed up all of the images. I was able to upload them to a local server. Then I took the blog data and did a find and replace for the old img source to the new image location, and all of the images are still with the correct posts.
I had to go through update all of the user info. Then, I emailed each user with the new addresses for the blogs and their login info.
It looks like there will be some advantages to this move.
- The older version of MovableType that we were using was open to tons of blog spam. We hadn’t upgraded to newer versions for several reasons that I won’t delve into, but suffice it say, we will be happy to have comments. (Moderated comments.)
- We were using “zempt” as our blog editing software. This was a nice, simple interface for our non-tech-savvy users, but it required me to run around downloading this on machines. Now, we are totally Web-based. WordPress appears to be a simple enough interface.
- There appears to be more options for user types in this WordPress installation than what we had in the older version of MovableType.
- We have used this as an opportunity to update and simplify the look and feel of our site. Old Banner New Banner
- We also used this as an opportunity to route our RSS feeds through feedburner.
- Plus, we added a list of chicklets on to ease subscriptions in various readers.
This move really has nothing to do with dissatisfaction with MovableType as it does with more administrative concerns. Our blogs were formerly hosted by our regional library system (thanks MLS!), and now we have brought this to a server in-house. This has been our longterm goal. WordPress was the system that our campus IT selected, so here we are.
The Library’s blogs are moving! Please update your links to our site and our feeds!
Resources and Search Tips:
Today, I figured out how to import from Movabletype to WordPress. It was actually much, much easier than I thought. This piece on the WordPress site was all I needed. It is ironic to me that I am posting this using Movabletype, but our goal is to leave Movabletype. My posts within MT are limited.