Monthly Archives: December 2009

New Blog Privacy Settings

Today I installed a new privacy plugin that allows each blog owner to set the level of privacy. You can find the privacy admin panel by clicking the Settings>Privacy link.  There are five settings:

  1. I would like my blog to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Sphere, Technorati) and archivers
  2. I would like to block search engines, but allow normal visitors
  3. I would like my blog to be visible only to registered users from blog community.
  4. I would like my blog to be visible only to registered members of this blog.
  5. I would like my blog to be visible only to administrators.

To clarify the last three options:

I would like my blog to be visible only to registered users from the blog community.
(Anyone REGISTERED within the blogs.wrdsb.ca network can log-in and view your blog – e.g. students from another school)

I would like my blog to be visible only to registered members of this blog.
(Only those students/staff members who have been invited to your blog will be able to view your blog)

I would like my blog to be visible only to administrators.
(Only those people with administrator status – across the entire blog network – will be able to view the blog. This blog would be an example where this setting is used.)

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Student Email Adresses

I have been recieving a number of ‘bounched’ emails that have originated from the blogs inviation system – all with the same error message: ‘recipient cannot be found’.  There seems to be some confusion around what student email address domains are. For all teachers and andministration, emails are addressed to user@wrdsb.on.ca.  Student email addresses are sent to user@ins.wrdsb.ca.

Therefore, if you are inviting students to you blog, please ensure that the email address is user@ins.wrdsb.ca.

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Secret Handshake Issues

We are no longer using Secret Handshake.

We have been testing the ‘Secret Handshake‘ plugin (allows blog owners to create a blog that is hidden from the public until such time that they are logged-in) – testing has revealed that there a few quirks with the plugin and therefore I have removed it from the suite of tools until I find a suitable replacement.

I will better document the process of protecting a blog from outside access shortly.

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Registering Users and Blog Subscriptions

Update to Bulk Importing Users post:

The bulk importer helps expedite the registration process – by default it adds the user list to whatever blog ‘account’ was used to upload the users – this means it’s performing two functions:

  1. adding the users to the blogs.wrdsb.ca domain
  2. registering those users with roles to the blog of origin

This means if you have a blog at blogs.wrdsb.ca/blog_1 and you bulk upload the users, they will be added as ‘users’ to the blogs.wrdsb.ca website, and subscribed to the blogs.wrdsb.ca/blog_1 account.  If you have a second blog blogs.wrdsb.ca/blog_2 and you wish to subscribe those users to this different account, you cannot bulk upload the users as they have already been added to the blogs.wrsdb.ca domain ‘at large’ – what you need to do is invite them to the second blog as subscribers. This invitation process is done user-by-user and at the time of this writing has no bulk subscribe feature.

I am working on resolving this issue.

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Bulk Importing Users

Users can now bulk import users directly into their WordPress install without having to ‘invite’ the users. This had two direct benefits:

  • Users without institutional email addresses can be added and assigned roles
  • Users can be added to specific blogs en mass

To bulk import users, navigate to the Tools>Bulk Import Users section of the admin panel. You need to create a ‘pipe’ delineated list of users and their emails in the following format:

username1|Firstname|Lastname|password|email
username2|Firstname|Lastname|password|email
username3|Firstname|Lastname|password|email

Paste the list of users into the ‘User Data’ text box and then assign a role for the users (subscriber, contributor etc.). Once you have submitted the data (click ‘Import Users’) accounts will be created for each of the users based on the information provided.

Note: adding large lists of users results in the server ‘timing-out’ – the server fails to complete the request before it moves on to the next task (resulting in the users not being added). As such, we are asking that you import users in groups of 10-15.

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