I read D’Arcy Norman’s post about getting a school-wide blogging service going and really couldn’t believe it. Seems we are on the same page. I have been pushing my group on the blog front for months — since last spring really. He does a great job laying some much needed groundwork … and then tonight I stumble across this post over at incorporated subversion and I am starting to think there is a paper here that would help a lot of people figure this thing out (at least a well executed blogsite).
I sat on the University-wide committee that selected (not passing any judgment on the selection, but …) ANGEL as our course management system and we used some well created matrices that outlined our needs, the tools on the market, and how it all aligned. I have been looking for something like that for multi-user blog tools and haven’t been able to find it. It looks like the need is very timely and there seems to be other interested people out there. I’d help work on something like that if anyone is interested.
We want to create an environment that allows faculty (at first) to create and manage their course blog sites. It has been a requested service by a few of our early adopters, but we haven’t gone after it yet. We did build some basic blogging functionality into the version 2.0 release of our Edison Services toolset, but pulled it at the last minute in favor of putting the horse back in front of the cart and collecting some requirements. I’d really like to have something in place by fall 2005, so we’ll see.
We have been able to automate a standard WordPress installation via a web interface that faculty can use, but it would become an administrative nightmare very quickly. Every install requires its own database and there isn’t any sort of way to upgrade all 160 faculty members’ blog spaces on the fly. I can only imagine what a bitch that would turn into. I love WordPress and am very excited to see the multi-user version! At any rate, we need a solid set of recommendations that match up to the needs of higher education. Let’s get it done … anyone want to help?