Lots of minor changes – most visibly, the layout for the main UCalgaryBlogs.ca site has been changed. Again. Hopefully, this both a) works well, so people can find stuff, and b) looks decent. There are still a few minor refinements to be done to the main site, but nothing too drastic.

WordPress was updated to the latest-and-greatest version (4.2.4, if you’re into that kind of thing), and has been humming along nicely all summer. Hopefully, the Times of Slow Servers are history.

We’re starting to use UCalgaryBlogs for more Official Purposes™ – including powering the new elearn.ucalgary.ca elearning support website, the under-development ePortfolio site for the Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning’s Educational Development Unit, and the almost-ready-for-publication website to support the implementation of the Strategic Framework for Learning Technologies. These are good signs for the UCalgaryBlogs community, because it means we’ll be able to spend more time and resources supporting the platform that’s used by everyone, and helping to make sure it’s stable as it continues to grow.

A few plugins were added, to help make UCalgaryBlogs sites more powerful for use in courses – including the great FeedWordPress plugin that lets anyone turn a site into a powerful aggregator. Fancy talk, for “it will import content from any site that publishes RSS – which includes any WordPress-powered site – and display posts all in one place”. That’s pretty handy, if students want to post their stuff on their own sites, and still have a class “mother blog” in a connected courses model, that pulls relevant bits into one place so everyone doesn’t have to monitor a few dozen different websites to see what’s new. (more on the ‘Mother Blog’ model at Jim Groom’s Bavatuesdays blog).

And, some new themes were added, including the fantastic, flexible, and adaptive Baskerville theme (which is currently being used on the main UCalgaryBlogs.ca site).