Blog@Case News for February 2005
Would you like your department to have a weblog? What about your organization? Or, even, one of your classes?
You are in luck because we are looking for volunteers who would like to create group blogs. A group blog is one where there are multiple contributors to the same weblog. A group blog can be used for announcements, a news site (like the ITS site), or an enhanced discussion board meant to foster participation and communication. Think
http://blog.case.edu/courses/eces131; there are a lot of possibilities.
If you are interested, or you think you may be interested you just aren't sure if you're interested and you would like to talk to someone who could get you interested, send an email to the Case Blog Administrators. We're happy to help you out in starting down this very interesting path of collaboration and improved channels of communication.
Case Blog Administrators
We're gearing up to start making the push to round out the feature set for Blog@Case's official public release (no more Beta tag). As we begin compiling what polishes, touch-ups, and enhancements we want to add; we are having a Request for Comments on what features you would most like to see. Hop on over to Jeremy's blog and read the Request for Comments: What Features Do You Want for the Blog@Case System? entry. Leave Trackbacks and comments on what you would like to see next. Alternately, you can email us (but blogging about it is, obviously, preferred).
Here is the lineup of features that are already planned:
- Moving to a new naming scheme for your blog's URL (the naming scheme is still being decided upon).
- Ability to choose easily between a half-dozen or so pre-canned styles for your blog's look and feel.
- Per-user blog statistics. (We know this one will be well received.)
- Integrated spell checking.
- Integration with Single Sign On capabilities.
- The following plugins:
- MTEnclosures — makes Podcasts even easier!
- MTGravatar — allows you to associate an avatar that follows you around as you leave comments on Blog@Case.
- MTLJPost — do you have a LiveJournal account? We think that's great! And, we want you to have the best of LiveJournal and the Blog@Case system. The LJPost plugin allows you to post to both weblogs at the same time!
- MTNotifier — allows users who view your blog entries to subscribe to it and receive notifications via email whenever the entry is updated or comments are made to it.
What else would you like to see?
Sorry it's been so long since our last post, but the Blog@Case development team has been working on an exciting new project and hasn't had the time to reengage the Blog@Case system for further development work. But, we have a lot of user feedback and a lot of our own ideas we want to implement. And, assuming all goes according to plan with the other project, we should be able to get to some of the improvements to the Blog@Case system. Expect a "call for requests" post about what improvements you would like to see.
Speaking of improvements, a big problem area with weblogs is blog spam. And, today, we took some steps to remove some incentives from blog spammers targeting the Blog@Case weblogs by installing the nofollow plugin. The nofollow plugin is very simple. Blog spammers spam blogs to include links back to their sites, which ends up boosting their rankings on Google and other search engines. The nofollow plugin adds a bit of metadata to all user-supplied links (these are the links that are included in comments and trackbacks that people supply to your blog and does not include links you actually post on your own blog) that tells all of the major search engines to "not use the link when determining rankings."
Keep up the blogging everyone, and expect to hear from us more in the future!
Case Blog Administrators