A domain of my (really, truly) own

Okay, now that that’s done, let me tell you why I really don’t suck after all. (As if there was really any doubt.)

As of about a week and a half ago, I am the owner of this Web site and domain. Up until then, the University of Mary Washington (where I work part-time), owned this piece of the WorldWideInterTubes. But a year ago, I finally got around to having them transfer ownership of the Web hosting space to me when it came up for renewal. I had to wait another year for the domain to come up for renewal so that I could officially own that too.

I decided to do this upon coming back to UMW after my maternity leave. It just occurred to me that I didn’t really want my Web site to be owned by anyone but me. That’s not to disparage UMW in anyway; it’s just that this space (however infrequently I update it) had become an extension of myself. It isn’t just my professional space for my work at UMW. It’s much more than that.

I think this seems like a natural progression from where I started with this space — as a place to experiment with for my work in DTLT. I still continue to do that from time to time, but I have other sandboxes to experiment with at UMW (including UMW Blogs and our own departmental Web hosting space). What I want now is to fully stake my claim to a small corner of the Web.

I also want to be able to cat blog without guilt.

4 thoughts on “A domain of my (really, truly) own”

  1. Hey Martha,
    I have been following your work on UMW blogs with interest since I’m wanting to get WPMU started up here at Earlham (see my own attempt at blogging this http://markpea.wordpress.com). I do have a question. On the Alternatives to silos posting (http://markpea.wordpress.com/2009/10/16/alternatives-to-silos/) I comment on the Bioinformatics course. I think that this is a clever way to set up a course which is truly student driven but I really don’t know how you take the student blog postings and feed them into this blog. I’m assuming it’s some sort of RSS process with a plugin reader / bloggifier. Plus getting the categories aligned is brilliant. Would you be prepared to enlighten me?

    Thanks
    Mark

    1. Hi Mark,

      Happy to tell help in anyway I can. I actually wan’t involved in setting up that course blog, but I can tell you how it’s running.

      Basically it’s making use of a few key plugins.

      The first is a WPMU plugin called Sitewide Tags which we actually have activated across the entire site. This plugin allows us to set up an aggregating blog at tags.umwblogs.org into which every post on the site is automatically fed. What’s cool is that with the posts come their associated tags. We’re then able to generate a feed based on any single tag — in this case “bioinformatics.”

      Finally, on the course site we use this fantastic plugin called FeedWordpress which can be configured to syndicate content from an RSS feed and republish it in another WP blog. It’s a very powerful plugin, and we use it quite a bit for all sorts of purposes on UMW Blogs.

      In this case, we simply feed the bioinformatics feed from the sitewide tags blog into FeedWordpress and voila, we’ve got course syndication. All the students have to do is remember to tag their posts appropriately.

      If you’re interested in more of this, I suggest you jump over to my colleague Jim Groom’s blog (if you haven’t alrady) at bavatuesdays.com. Jim is the glue behind UMW Blogs — he gets all the credit for making what I described above possible. πŸ™‚ And on his blog you’ll find tons of info about using WPMU for a University publishing platform. You’ll have to wade through his reviews of 70 toys, B movies, and the occasional “artistic” video post, but I promise its worth it. πŸ˜‰

  2. Thanks Martha,

    I got to your blog from Jim’s. Problem with Jim’s blog is that I start off with good intentions (eg find WPMU plugins) and end up spending an unconscionable amount of time reading all the other 70s stuff.
    But I will endeavour to keep my focus on the task in hand and get this going.

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