Finally, Arriving at the Blog is Not Just a Blog

I can’t believe it has been two years since we made the claim that the Blogs at Penn State could be so much more than a blog and should be viewed as a personal content management system. In that time, we’ve made huge progress related to the notion that our blogging environment can and should be used for all sorts of things — most recently we’ve been doing some important work as it relates to blogs as portfolios. Our Faculty Fellow, Carla Zembal-Saul, has been working with Brad Kozlek and others here in ETS to rethink how we frame the portfolio opportunity … what we are coming to is that the win in the portfolio space is associated with the social opportunities the blog platform affords. We’ve been doing our thinking in the open over at the ETS Wiki, so please take a look. We have several pilots taking advantage of this approach this fall, the coolest one being with the Schreyer Honors College … check out Dean Chris Brady’s post seeking volunteers. Some of the scholars’ comments are very encouraging.

At any rate, that is not what I am focusing on here … with the latest release candidate of Moveable Type 4.2, we’ve started testing out the new template set concept they’ve introduced. When we pitched the Blogs at Penn State project I made sweeping promises that we could use this one platform to easily support blogs, portfolios, note taking spaces, personal websites, course pages, and more. Well, with template sets that is coming true. I did a little screencast showing how easy it will be to create personal websites using the MT environment. This has far reaching potential. Take a look at the screencast below and let us know what kinds of templates would be compelling (or watch the QT version). BTW, sorry about the watermark on the screencast … I tried ScreenFlow and have yet to purchase it. A little tough to see, but you can get the idea. Another BTW, the wonderful music in the background was written, composed, and performed by Penn State’s Stephen Hopkins. The track is Ian Grove Blues and is available from Stephen’s Penn State Blog. Steve was an early guest on ETS Talk as well.