UMW Blogs: It Won’t Stop Growing!

File this under arbitrary stats about UMW Blogs. The traffic on UMW Blogs has been really high out of the gate this semester, so I wanted to see what the first two weeks of traffic for the Spring semester looks like compared to the first two weeks of the Fall Semester. The increase is nontrivial. So I submit this for your consideration. During the first two weeks of the Fall 2012 semester UMW Blogs had 82,416 visits (61,745 unique) and 189,618 pageviews. During the first two weeks of the Spring 2013 semester UMW Blogs had 124,823 visits (98,079 unique) and 258,509 pageviews.   One day I hope to  actually have an understanding of what any of this means, but right now I will interpret it as part of my general awesomeness. … [Read more...]

A Few Notes on Updating UMW Blogs to WordPress 3.5

The upgrade process for WordPress has been so seamless the last three or four versions that I didn’t realize how spoiled I’ve been until I finally had an issue (and even that was quite simple to resolve).  Between automatic updates for plugins, themes, and core files, WordPress has nailed the convenience end of upgrades, and that’s no small thing—just ask anyone who has to upgrade a Mediawiki install UMW Blogs did have one hangup going from 3.4.2 to 3.5 with the SharDB plugin. It was throing the following error: Warning: array_search() expects parameter 2 to be array, null given in /home/umwblogs/public_html/wp-content/db.php on line 250 Luke Waltzer had the same issue on Blogs@Baruch, so I knew I was in good company  And, as is always the case, Ron Rennick (the original author of the plugin) was on it. (Ron and Andrea deserve every bit of kudos they get from the WordPress community and more.) He fixed the issue in the db.php file for the plugin and noted … [Read more...]

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...]

UMW Blogs, a.k.a. Old Faithful

Me and UMW Blogs are going on 5 years this Summer, she’s is the baddest of the bad and  meanest and leanest of the mean and lean. She’s a veritable titan of her kind, she’s an educational publishing platform of the very best kind, and she’s turning five. Five years ago from roughly May through August we brought together the early MistyLook themed WPMu and MediaWiki hybrid out into this wasteland of bad BlackBoard installs, and we shone a light. A light of good publishing practices, a site for everyone regardless of his or her class status, and course spaces that actually looked good. We were already dreaming of fancy syndication, course aggregation, and a space attractive and user friendly enough that you would  actually want to have a stake in it.  It worked, five years later we have more than 6500 sites and 8500 users, and that number has steadily increased over these past five years. We run heavy traffic sites like UMW Bullet and EagleEye, or blogs for alumni 3 and 4 years out. … [Read more...]