From the Archive: ELS Blogs

This time 5 years ago we were closing down ELS Blogs, UMW’s first multi-user WordPress experiment (well actually the second if you count Lyceum), to make way for the campus-wide blogging platform that would be known as UMW Blogs. Five years ago at UMW’s DTLT were heady times, there was still a lot of promise and possibility around the ideas of open publishing through open source applications—much of which has dissipated lately. The ability to deliver an open source publishing platform for an entire campus in-house with no coding experience and even less time is a little heralded marvel of the open web. ELS Blogs had a bunch of amazing blogs on it, with the majority of them being students of Gardner Campbell, whose vision was the reason behind the platform. In fact, part of the push to get ELS Blogs back online came after I recieved an email from one of his students asking about her blog:  I graduated from UMW in 2008. I had a blog through this site for a film class back in 2007 … [Read more...]

Domain of One’s Own as Legacy Archival Project

Image credit dolescum’s Archives’ stacks In the seven years I have been at UMW’s Division of Teaching and Learning Technologies we’ve done a fair bit of experimentation. Most of that has been centered around commodity web hosting, domains, and one-click install open source applications. That method has paid off for us beautifully, so much so that the experimentation we did early on resulted in a successful blogging platform, a cutting-edge university website run on WordPress, and even an extensible framework for a course like ds106. Our experimentation has resulted in grassroots projects that have become official platforms that the campus interfaces with on a daily basis. None of this happened because it was forced on people, but rather because people found the various services we provided useful. This, for me, is the ultimate sign of success for an outfit like ours. The other, uglier  side of the early experimentation is that it can be messy. Early on there was the exciting … [Read more...]