Educational Blog Aggregation that Scales

I just commented over at William & Mary Blogs (, and I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that William & Mary is not only playing around with WordPress Multi-User and kicking around the questions surrounding aggregation, but blogging it publicly! That takes it all to the next level. I should write this up more cohesively, and I will shortly with some more conceptual overhead, but for now I am just going to leave my comment to this post about aggregation, which lays out a quick and easy mehod for scaling creative aggregation within a campus “publishing platform” and beyond, and from my experience it is simple, self-service, and it just works!

I think feedWordPress is the way to go in terms of aggregation. One of the things I have been playing with is a self-service RSS feed drop.

For example, say you have a number of blogs on your WPMu install, which you will, some of which deal with one particular focus as opposed to another. You can run an aggregated blog with FeedWordPress that is actually taking all of its post from an OPML feed created by the BDP RSS aggregation plugin. You can get the aggregated feed for the appropriately numbered output by doing (with the domain being that of the aggreagtor blog).

Why do this? Well, because Andre Malan’s sidebar widget for BDP RSS allows registered WPMu users (and even anyone depending on how you set it up) to drop just about any feed into a text field on the sidebar, and it will automatically be run through FeedWordPress, and into the aggregation blog.

Here is an example:

It is a quick, self-service solution that might just work if you want to use aggregation on a number of scales, i.e. school-wide, discipline specific, course specific, or for particualr groups.

Martha Burtis was talking about it today, and I think it is time we all start collaborating more directly with folks at William & Mary and beyond, in order to build an educational publishing platform that will kick Blackboard’s ass. The beauty of it is that obsolescence is built-in! But more on that soon…

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