campus blogs, integration, support, all that jazz.

I’m posting this using the campus implementation of WordPress even though I don’t want to. I’d rather post this using the latest version of WordPress with all the plugins I’ve come to use with my other blogs. The trouble is that WordPress on our campus as currently conceived is more work than our support people are able to deal with in a timely manner. Too many projects clearly and correctly rank higher for our network team than upgrading or patching something that isn’t fully supported anyway.

It is quite nice that WordPress MU allows for integration with an LDAP server. This means that for this blog I can use the same username and password that I use for a number of other campus services. However it does not integrate into our campus website nor does our campus portal let WordPress or RSS feeds “plug in” for a user.

So what is the bottom line? Is blogging at Illinois Wesleyan viable? Sure, but it isn’t bulletproof. We have turned the corner and are engaged in regular discussions about what technologies we need to include in a standard “tool set” for faculty. A few faculty have included blog software in their courses, as a means to facilitate out of class discussion. In my opinion we first need a strong commitment to a technology from the faculty body (the summer workshop sponsored by the Mellon Center was a great start) and then we can find the resources to make it happen.

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