Plone as Blog

What sort of blog capability should we provide our students? A school community is different from the public-at-large that has spawned a blogging craze. All of the students share some perspectives by participating in the same educational community every day and living in the same geographic region. If we rolled out a single blogging tool for the whole school community, everyone would be on the same tool, learning how to use it together and sharing advanced linking features. At the same time, technical inclinations vary widely. All of our students are capable of maintaing a blog, but only some would put the time in to learn how to do it and actually post on a regular basis.

Plone is a content management system that may be used in a variety of ways. Originally devised as replacement for a static web site, one may now also think of it as a blog alternative. I came across the article Plone as Blog, which nicley articulates the potential for Plone to assist people with the posting of content in a more powerful, accommodating way than a blog. In a nutshell, Plone automatically provides structure for differentiating types of content, such as documents, news, images, and files, whereas blogs are exclusively organized around hypertext. Plone allows one to organize content by time, category, file type, or a method of your own choosing, whereas blogs are organized first by time and second by category. Plone provides many of the same features as blogs, such as RSS feeds, commenting, and automatic linking, with the additional benefit that one can control access permissions of members and groups to content. One may create an online space that has equal parts web site, blog, wiki, and private space if one likes.

I am thinking of actively pushing Plone this year and holding off on introducing a ubiquitous blogging tool for the moment. I would love to know what people think of this proposed step.

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