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Blog & Content Management Systems (CMS)

Google’s Knol

Knol is a new publishing platform in testing by Google. Compared to Wikipedia, Knol differs in one crucial aspect: authorial transparency. “Knols,” or pages, are created by one author who then has editorial control over the article. Other users may submit revisions to the author, but they may not edit the page on their own. Knol will include multiple pages on the same topic and will allow users to rate and comment upon individual “knols.” As of this writing, Knol is in a preliminary testing phase and there is no projected public release date.

Starter Links: Google Blog announcing Knol | C|Net Article |

History Flow

History Flow is a tool created by Fernanda Viegas and Martin Wattenburg as part of the IBM Collaborative User Experience Research Group. Viegas’ and Wattenburg’s creation visualizes “dynamic, evolving documents and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors. In its current implementation, history flow is being used to visualize the evolutionary history of wiki* pages on Wikipedia” (history flow home page). The tool works by color coding edits according to the user who makes the changes. The result is a richly detailed visual overview of the life of a page. History Flow’s outputs allow visual analysis of issues critical to the credibility of Wikipedia, such as collaboration, vandalism, edit wars, etc.

Starter Links: History Flow home page | IBM Collaborative User Experience home page | Wikipedia

iTunes U

Apple-owned initiative that allows students and universities to share content online.

“iTunes U* is a free, hosted service for colleges and universities that provides easy access to their educational content, including lectures and interviews, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Based on the same easy-to-use technology of the iTunes Store, iTunes U also offers typical Apple simplicity and portability. Through iTunes U, students can download content to their Macs or PCs, regardless of their location. They can listen to and view that content on their Mac or PC, or transfer it to iPod for listening or viewing on the go. Instructors can easily post and change content on their own without impacting the IT department. And, of course, students can upload their own content to share with professors or with the class.” (From the iTunes U home page.)

Starter Links: iTunes U | related article from the Michigan Business Review

MediaWiki Transliteracies Research Report

MediaWiki is a free software package originally written for Wikipedia but is now run on other projects of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation and many other wikis. (from MediaWiki)

“MediaWiki is a free server-based software, that is licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL). It’s designed to be run on a large server farm for a website that gets millions of hits per day. MediaWiki is an extremely powerful, scaleable software and a feature-rich wiki implementation, that uses PHP to process and display data stored in its MySQL database. Pages use MediaWiki’s wikitext format, so that users without knowledge of XHTML or CSS can edit them easily. When a user submits an edit to a page, MediaWiki writes it to the database, but without deleting the previous versions of the page, thus allowing easy reverts in case of vandalism or spamming. MediaWiki can manage image and multimedia files, too, which are stored in the filesystem. For large wikis with lots of users, MediaWiki supports caching and can be easily coupled with Squid proxy server software.” (from MediaWiki’s “How does MediaWiki Work?”)

MediaWiki should not be confused with Wikimedia: “Wikimedia is the collective name for a group of inter-related projects, including Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Wikisource, Wikibooks, and others, which aim to use the collaborative power of the Internet, and the wiki concept, to create and share free knowledge of all kinds. Like “Wikipedia”, “Wikimedia” is a trademark, and should not be used for projects which are not officially affiliated. Wikimedia is also used as a shortened form of The Wikimedia Foundation.” (from MediaWiki’s “Names” page)

Starter Links: MediaWiki Homepage | List of Sites that use MediaWiki

Transliteracies Research ReportTransliteracies Research Report By Mike Godwin

WordPress

One of the current, leading open-source blog-engines and content management systems. (The Transliteracies site is created and managed in WordPress):

“Software that provides a method of managing your website is commonly called a CMS or ‘Content Management System.’ Many blogging software programs are considered a specific type of CMS. They provide the features required to create and maintain a blog, and can make publishing on the Internet as simple as writing an article, giving it a title, and organizing it under (one or more) categories…. WordPress is one such advanced blogging tool and it provides a rich set of features. Through its Administration Panels, you can set options for the behavior and presentation of your weblog. Via these Administration Panels, you can easily compose a blog post, push a button, and be published on the Internet, instantly!” (from “Introduction to Blogging” on WordPress site)

Starter Links: WordPress home page