Site Marginalia

I thought it might be useful and relevant to describe what I am doing with WordPress to support delivery of this module. Not that it is anyway significant not earth shatteringly technologically brilliant, but it may well be worth reflecting on. It may also be relevant for any other WordPress mavens out there to call me out on something or to offer some assistance for a greater experience for all.


10 September:

I made an initial decision to host the WordPress install myself in order to give me more control over theming, forums and plug-ins than would be allowed by hosting this at WordPress.com. This decision in itself raises debate over exactly how much additional functionality I really need and collaterally questions what sort of server demands this places on my own shared server space.

Our first failure resulted from my own host being blacklisted (as you may or may not be familiar with) as shared servers often result in strange bedfellows – and I seem to inadvertently have some. As a result many of the registration confirmations have been spammed by mailservers (including TCD’s) and this has also spammed notification of updates to discussion topics – thus reducing the ease of use of the forums.

The initial plug-ins for functionality include:

Akismet – Security;
bbPress – Forum functionality;
Disqus Comment System – Content persistence;
Jetpack by WordPress.com – Mixed bag of useful stuff;
WordPress Importer – To grab some historical posts for fertilising discussion;
WP Super Cache – Make my provider happy.


10 October:

Have set up a Google Group to see if the forum functionality might be better handles there. Jury still out. Comments welcome.


11 October:

Having a bit of time to tweak I added:

Twitter Hashtag Feed Widget – to capture tweets tagged with #tcdcs3107 to the sidebar;
TPG Get Posts – to full out posts with Weekly Assignment type stuff.

BackWPup – to allow for appropriate backup and security


12 October:

In process of posting the first videocast of the term. I had been planning to use YouTube in the interest of openness and using popular and widely used services. Then I simply talked too long and YouTube has a cutoff of 15 minutes so moved to my fallback of screencast. I am using Camtasia software to capture my slide presentation along with video of my talking head. It’s interesting software and I am just getting used to it.

  • I would like forums to be more closely integrated to the website. Maybe all forum topics should start as posts? Are topics and forums and responses all universally understood terms?

  • Barry McDonnell

    I think the twitter hashtag feed widget on the side is quite good. I don’t always get the tweets with the #tcdsc3107 in them so it’s good to see them all in one place…

    • Gavin Duffy

      @barrymcdonnell:disqus have you saved #tcdcs3107 as a search item in twitter? If you have, you can go to the search field, select that from the drop-down list and it will display all related tweets.

      • David Spain

        I’ve installed Hootsuite App on my phone which will constantly keep an eye on the #tcdcs3107 tag. It just means that you don’t have to go back into the search each time you open the App. You can follow multiple streams at one time. The streams can be hashtags or your sent tweets, direct messages etc.

  • Barbara Pudlowska Pires

    I did saved but still every time when I want to see all tags I have to search again for tcd 🙁

  • Elaine D.

    I noticed that the ‘Forum Participation’ link isn’t live under Important Spots on the homepage. Everything else is working fine.