NECC ’09: Beyond Blogging

WordPress can be used as a Content Management System (CMS), because it’s a highly rich environment. It’s particularly useful for single-user or small-group CMS systems.

All the links that are part of this session are listed at: http://www.assorted stuff.com/necc2009

Examples of other CMS systems: Drupal, Moodle, Joomla, and Blackboard

There’s not a whole lot of difference between blogs and not-blogs.

WordPress

WordPress.com is a hosted website, that runs the software WordPress (downloadable here, if you want to install it on your servers; read the disclaimers).

PhotoBloggingDC This is a portfolio-style CMS in WordPress.  As John Hendron said in his session yesterday, these still emphasize content over aesthetic.   Content can be pictures, text, and other kinds of materials uploaded over time.

WordPress works like this.  WordPRess is a collection of PHP files that pull together information from a database, using a particular theme, and joined together with plug-ins.  This is then displayed in HTML and pulled as a web page to a web browser.

A THEME is a collection of CSS (cascading style sheets), and some other types of materials.  There are about 900 themes on their website at WordPress, and thousands more available through other sites.

PLUG-INS and THEMES are software tools that add functionality to the website: a twitter feed, a map, and other tools.

Another example of site would be a Magazine.  WordPress could be used for a school literary magazine.  Writers, photographers and editors could add content through a CMS-style arrangement of WordPress.  WordPress is free and open-source, so you can modify and design specific template for your school program.  A high school or middle school NEWSPAPER could be run the same way

Creating appropriate ROLES for students thus becomes important.  Administrators, editors, authors, contributors and subscribers have all sorts of options.  Most student would be a contributor, but only trusted students would be authors. Editors would approve for publishing, and would be trusted students and faculty leaders, while the administrator would be the editor-in-chief.

Training: TRAINING is another thing you can organize using tutorials through WordPress.  Example would be http://www.dwcourse.com/ which uses a paid theme called Thesis. (Thesis is actually a tool for designing WordPress themes).  WordPress also runs WordCamp through WordPress.tv, which is a retreat/camp/conference for developers and writers using WordPress.

CMS has to have some system for organization. WordPress keeps things simple with two different kinds of tools: posts and pages.  Pages are permanent static pages, while posts are blog entries.  You can also assign things to categories or tags.

Social Networking: you can also use the plug-ins of BuddyPress.org to turn your websites running WordPress into a full social-networking site.

Dashboard: a quick tour of the WordPress dashboard.

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