Which blog?

I had a great discussion on Sunday night with the people at EdTechRoundup all about WordPress-MU (pronounced ‘WordPress Mew’, like the sciencey term, or just ‘Emm Yew’).

WPMU (for short) is a package you can install on a webserver that will let you create a massive (or very small) number of blogs. Now I tried WPMU a few years ago on our school servers and I opted for B2Evolution instead as it looked more appropriate for what I wanted.

Having enjoyed the discussion I decided to have another crack at it and see how things went. I’m wanting to kick-start the school blogs which have been stagnant for a while now and this might be a good impetus, and a good time to make a switch.

So I spent a good bit fof time yesterday getting a basic install set up, playing with settings, adding plugins and trying to get it to do what I want. I wasn’t entirely successful with the last bit and now I’m in a quandry as to whether I shoudl stick with B2Evo or push on with WPMU.

What I want (in an ideal world):

  • A small number of pupils (10-15) are signed on as official school bloggers using 5 blogs – Music, Drama, Sport, Library, Eggheads (maybe one or two more)
  • All of those blogs feed into one ‘whole school’ blog with the audience being parents and the local community
  • Each of my Y7 pupils gets their own blog to customise themselves (40 pupils)
  • Those blogs feed into 2 class blogs (of 20 pupils each)

And the system would hopefully scale up from there in time.

My problems are thus:

  • In WPMU I can’t get individual blogs to aggregate together. I’ve tried various combinations, the latest being BDPRSS which aggregates fine but won’t display as a page (a PICNIC issue with Exec-PHP I think)
  • In B2Evo I can’t easily give pupils individual and customisable blogs

So which is more important? The individual ownership of the blogs, or the aggregation? I’m sure someone out there has ideal solutions for both – feedback please!


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