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10/21/2008

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Mike Hofherr

Cole - Very interesting approach and love the ease of use of MT and the "non-blog" looks you can create. However, how does MT scale, allow access in terms of multiple content contributors? Is there a workflow product? or is this more of an approach for single content contributor site...

Cole Camplese

Mike ... glad you asked! It is built to support the entire PSU environment -- when we do that we use a number around 150,000 users as our target. The nice thing about the way MT publishes sites is that it runs all the processes on the blogs.psu.edu cluster and then pushes static files to webspace. Pages can have dynamic elements, but for the most part, static pages are being served, so the application itself isn't constantly keeping up with requests.

Multiple authors of the same site is up to each site owner ... so adding other contributers is simple. You can manage users and roles from within your Dashboard.

Workflow is a whole other issue. I wouldn't suggest MT for a large College/Department where there are multiple approval paths. There are plugins for MT to enable this, but since we are promoting this as a single solution we aren't doing heavy customization for things like that. The only real workflow that is built in is the saved vs. published states of pages and posts.

Cheri Simmers

First time comment for me, but I've been subscribed to your feed for a while. I'm a PSU grad, and I believe I first came to your blog by way of Doug Stanfield.

I definitely think the "blogs" title could limit the imagination of users about what's possible to create with your MT tools.

A more generic term might be "space". But maybe that's too close to "MySpace". The term "portfolio" conjures up visions of structure and requirements, not creativity...

Maybe the best answer is to let the branding go for now, and focus on surfacing some "best of breed" blogs that take advantage of all the features of MT. Just like you showed in this blog post. There could be examples for students and for faculty, since their interests and needs might be somewhat different. Is there a way to push a widget onto the login page or dashboard that provides links to this type of content?

I wish I was still a student so I could experiment with all these cool tools. I remember being totally jazzed about the Portal providing access to my PASS space, so I could update my website from anywhere. I love hearing about all the new stuff going on.

Cole Camplese

Cheri ... I like the idea of not worrying about the name and get closer to showing the potential. We'd like to be able to find a way to really showcase the best of the best, but tie them to a handful of ideas ... portfolio is one of those ideas. The struggle to rebrand the blogs gets even more complex when you stat talking about the things it can do. Portfolio is one of those things. In analog form it is typically a relatively structured package. But online it can be a very dynamic and fluid space. So, in my mind it is more than rethinking the Blogs at PSU idea, but also all the stuff that can be created by it. Interesting stuff to think about.

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