I’ve got a couple of ideas for the blogs here that are nearly ready but both need me to commit to a particular technology, so this is a cry for advice.
1. Now we have access to a suite of pcs I want to trial individual blogs for my class. I want to host the blog here rather than on external sites for ‘control freak’ reasons. The Sandaig blogs run with pivot, but I’ve been thinking about wordpress mu or lyceum which is a multi-blog derivative of WordPress. (test install) I’ve also tested Nucleus CMS v3.23 and tried out a few more systems over at OpenSourceCMS (which allows you to try live installs of a pile of cms, blogging systems etc).
So far I cannot get wordpress mu to work here, it doesn’t seem to like www. urls.
Lyceum seems to work ok, but you cannot have multiple blogs without multiple emails. I suppose I could use 20 of those gmail invites to set up 20 emails on a temporary basis but it seems a lot of hassle. I also have not used wordpress/lyceum enough to know enough about which templates will work with lyceum so that the children can have their own look and feel.
So I am thinking of setting up another install of Pivot with 20 subweblogs showing one category associated with one user. Which means setting up 20 categories, users, style sheets and templates.
I thought that I might be able to edit the settings directly, I seem to be able to do so for users and categories but sub-weblogs look way to complex for me, I’ve a fair idea of how the templates/ css works in pivot but it will take quite a while to set everything up. I don’t want to give the children access to the admin side as the template and css editing are not wysiwyg.
This would mean limiting them to designing a header graphic and telling me if they want some colour changes.
Using Pivot would also mean that the children would be able to use the main blogs and their own without much thought.
So the dilemma is which blog software to go for, given the limitations of my knowledge and our setup.
2. The second thing is presenting movies in blogs. We have dipped our toes in on the The Dream Dragon and here and here, the second 2 are just very Q&D made with a digital cameras, I think this has a lot of promise.
So far I’ve just uploaded Quicktime movies and displayed them with scripts from embed the video!. I see a lot of blogs displaying video in flash, but all my attempts to convert QT to flash using Flash 8 Video Encoder have given poorer quality and bigger file size than Quicktime. I want to keep the files on our site rather than use a video hosting service, as I suspect we may run into problems with filters. So any handy tips about encoding video for flash would be appreciated. Or opinions about sticking with quicktime.