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MiddLab

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

http://go.middlebury.edu/middlab

MiddLab is a new section of Middlebury’s website with no precedent: an academic network, uniting all of the… blah, blah blah.

Truth is, MiddLab has been hard for us to explain ever since we heard the idea. A research network featuring discussions and blogs, and linking together disciplinary themes? How does that work? Rather than write a manifesto, here is what we’re trying to accomplish with MiddLab.

Our Goals

  • Make research easy to discover. If you want to know what student and faculty research is going on in a department, you shouldn’t have to know where their papers are published or the address of the project’s web site. Instead, these should be one or two clicks from our home page.
  • Show connections between research. Whether researching the population growth of trees in Biology or the population density of people in Geography, projects share themes and people interested in the topic can easily explore both.
  • Start a discussion. We encourage and recommend that you add comments to the projects on this site. Ask questions, suggest new research, or explain why you disagree with the conclusions. You can add your thoughts to any project page on MiddLab, explore the individual blogs for some projects, or contact the researchers directly.
  • Provide space for research and the sciences on our site. We’ll be expanding this site to feature more presentations from the Spring Research Symposium and research projects in our science departments. Though MiddLab is open to any student, faculty or staff projects, these are areas where we know we’re not offering enough information on our site and would like to use MiddLab to expand.

Your Feedback

We aren’t sure these are the right goals for our site. We’d like to hear from people: what would you like to see in MiddLab? What parts of this site work toward these goals and which don’t? Leave your thoughts by commenting on this page.

Oh, and if you would like us to feature your project in MiddLab, send an email to middlab@middlebury.edu.

Customize your LIS blog subscriptions

Categories: Midd Blogosphere

Are you sick of automatically getting every last post and comment from this blog fed to your RSS reader or your email? Think ★ The Essentials is anything BUT essential? Don’t despair–you have options to get just the blog posts or comments you need. First, unsubscribe from the offending categories, comment, or tag feeds. Think about the categories and tags you’re really interested in, and then subscribe to them.

For example: say I work in the Music Library and only want to receive blog posts that relate to the Music Library. I find the Music Library tag (if it doesn’t display in the tag cloud, you can type music library in the search box and find a post that uses it as a tag, and click the tag). Then from the Music library tag page, I will type /feed to the end of the tag URL (http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/tag/music-library/feed), and click enter. If I’m using an updated browser like Firefox, Chrome, or Internet Explorer 7 or higher, a dialog for setting up the subscription using some of the most popular feed readers like Google Reader, iGoogle, My Yahoo, or Live Bookmarks (in Firefox) will automatically appear. Users of Outlook 2007 can subscribe to RSS feeds via email through this same method, or by pasting the feed link into the Outlook 2007 RSS account settings dialog box.

Another example, using categories instead of tags: Say I am in Collection management and only want to receive blog posts about my area. All I need to do is click on the category Collection management, and add /feed to the end of the URL (http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/category/areas-and-workgroups/collection-management/feed) and click enter, and my browser will ask me which reader or email service I’d like to use to receive my updates.

We even have the option to subscribe to only posts made by specific authors. See the list of names at the bottom right side of the front LIS blog page? Click the RSS button next to the name or copy and paste the feed URL into Outlook 2007 to subscribe: (e.g. to get only posts written by the Dean of LIS, you’d use: http://sites.middlebury.edu/lis/author/mdroy/feed/)

If you follow these steps, you’ll be able to adjust the amount of items you receive from your blog subscriptions. If you have your subscriptions set up well, you won’t need to keep visiting the blog to see what’s new–it will automatically come to your RSS reader or your email. It is a good idea to check back on the blog once every so often to make sure you’re not missing any salient new categories or posts. And taking a look at your reader or email subscriptions every once in a while to weed out any frequently-unread feeds will help you control the volume of posts that you receive.

Also check out an earlier post I made about how the LIS Website team set up Categories and Tags on this blog.

The Middlebury Blog Network

The “Blogging at Middlebury” blog has been renamed “The Middlebury Blog Network” and is now using the Translucence theme.  As well, it has been reconfigured to aggregate selected posts from the Midd blogosphere.  Blog owners interested in having their blogs listed on this site currently need to contact Joe Antonioli.

Video Hosting Services Expand

Categories: General

Announcing a new video hosting service, MIDDMedia. This service allows for the streaming and downloading of mp4 and flv video, and mp3 audio files for people with Middlebury and Monterey accounts.

In addition, we have integrated this service with our web platforms- the college CMS, Segue, WordPress and Mediawiki. Log into your site, blog or wiki and manage your media, allowing you to add the media to a page.

Is there ONE place that I can go to to see videos created by people at Middlebury? In answer to this question, we have been working with Communications, and are now beta-launching MIDDTube, a place where we can pull together video from many places, whether the video is hosted by MIDDMedia, YouTube, or any other service.

Who Sees My Blog?

The WordPress.com Stats service is listed on the PLUGINS page, down towards the bottom.  Once you have activated it, you will have access to a SETTINGS page with directions on how to set up the service.

This plugin uses the stats software from WordPress.com, so you will need to make an account with their service for each of your blogs.  Once this is done, you can log in to the stats from your DASHBOARD and see how many hits, when, and where from.

Default Category

If you do not change your settings, “Uncategorized” remains your default category.  The following are instructions on how to change the default category.  BEWARE, this may give the impression to people that you really are more organized than you really are…

  1. Click on SETTINGS
  2. Click the WRITING tab
  3. Choose the category from the “Default Post Category” dropdown menu
  4. Click the SAVE button

Under Development

Categories: General

Recently, three more plugins have been added. Thank you to Brett Wilhelm for setting up a space where we can test them!

  • Private Only allows the owner of a blog to require a login for anyone to view their blog.
  • WP-Stats will allow a blog owner to view user activity on their blog.
  • Ian McBride recommended and tested cForms, a plugin that allows a blog owner to create and embed forms in their blog, and have the submissions sent to the owner via email.

A plugin must be activated so that it can be used on your Middlebury blog. To do this, got to the PLUGINS page (the link is in the upper right-hand side) and click on the Activate link.

If you would like your blog listed on MiddBlogs, please email Joe at jantonio@middlebury.edu.