WordPress 2.7 theme and plugins

It’s been a while since I upgraded to WordPress 2.7. If you host your own WordPress blog and haven’t yet upgraded I strongly recommend the upgrade. If for no other reason than threaded comments is now part of WordPress. Finding a theme that is built for WordPress 2.7 and then activating threaded comments in the Admin section will add a whole new level of commenting to your blog. I subscribe to the delicious tag wordpress+theme and wordpress+plugins to find the latest and greatest themes and plugins that people bookmark. I’ve found it to be the best way to keep up with the greatest the WordPress community has to offer. As I do every time there is a major upgrade to WordPress, and I finally get everything working the way I want, I’ve listed the theme and plugins I have running on this site. Theme: Blue Grace: Picking a theme is always the hardest part. For those of you that actually visited the site you saw me go through a couple different themes. First, I wanted a theme that allowed the new WordPress 2.7 features to be used. I’m not that good of a php coder so finding a theme that came with threaded comments as part of the theme coding was a big factor. Then I looked at the overall layout of the site to see if it will work for me. Colors are the least of my worries as they are the easiest to change via CSS. With this theme I decided to stick with the original colors for the first time in a lone while. Plugins: WordPress Plugins are the true power of this blogging platform. The plugins add features to your blog in the way it runs, loads, and looks. They are easy to install and you can get lost for hours looking for new plugins to make your blog look and feel the way you want. Below is the list of plugins that are activated at the time of writing this post. Adsense Integrator: The hardest decisions I’ve made about my blog in a long time was the decision to put ads on it as I upgraded this time. There are many plugins that will manage your ads but I find this one to be easy, flexible and powerful. I decided to put ads on my site for a couple different reasons. 1. I paid...

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My Podcast Set-up

I like it when other podcasters share their set up. A thanks to Leo Leporte, one of my favorite tech podcasters….or is that netcaster. I’ve learned a lot about podcasting just listening to the different shows he produces. I wrote this page for the Shifting Our Schools site to share with others the set up I use to stream, record, and converse all at the same time. I thought I’d share it here as well. You can find links to the different equipment I use at my Amazon Store as well. The Set Up: It all starts with the Mic! You’ve gotta have a good mic to feel like you really are producing something of quality. Besides, you want the quality. I use the Samson CO3U USB Mic. I love this thing. Mounted on a shockmount, the sound quality is fantastic and you get little to know vibration noise. Next you need a piece of software to record your podcast into. I’m digging GarageBand on the Mac, but love Audacity (Mac and PC) as well. Both programs are simple enough for you to get started, and both can expand and give you the control you want over your audio. We’ll need a way to get the audio from Skype if you are doing an interview into the audio stream. I try and do things as cheaply as possible. On a PC I use Virtual Audio Cables (free) which will take the sound and pipe it through your sound card so that Audacity can pick it up. On my Mac I’m finding this step to be so much easier. After reading all the reviews I broke down and bought WireTap Anywhere. This program is awesome and worth the $129 price in my opinion. You can watch the video on the site, but it is really just that easy. Tell WireTap that you want the audio from the Samson Mic and from Skype and you want it to be pushed out to GarageBand and the sound card. You can add sources on the fly, and best of all…it just works! The one thing to note is that you will want to start it before you start Firefox for streaming on the web. OK, so now we’ve got the mic, the software to record and the system in place to push all the audio you want through your sound card we’re on...

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WordPress MU plugin list for school install

This Tweet from Sarah came across my screen yesterday: So here you go…a list of plug-ins we have running here on our WordPress MU 2.6.3 install. Please note that this site has been created for teachers to communicate with parents. As of now that is its function within a larger picture of a learning/communication portal we are creating here. This is a list of installed plugins so far. If you have others that you feel are must haves please leave a comment as I’m always looking for ways to make this a better platform for teachers. Theme Pack: Farms 100 Big ones theme pack Plug-ins: AHP Sitewide Recent Posts Rollover Themes List Sitewide Comment Tracking Revisited Login As… WP-reCaptcha Audio player for...

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One small step for EARCOS

I had two great days in Manila spending time with the EARCOS team looking at how technology and the web can help to streamline some of their internal practices and also looked at how EARCOS can use technology at both it’s Administrator and Teacher conferences to help connect participants. Up until now, the team at EARCOS has been sending a Word Document to those giving workshops. The presenters fill out the form and then e-mail it back. The EARCOS staff then copies that information into a FileMaker Pro database where they create the schedule. So we sat down and talked and created an online form that presenters will use for workshop submissions. EARCOS doesn’t have a license for a FileMaker Pro server (and it’s expensive) so the data will be created in a MySQL database. Once all the presentations are in the MySQL database, it can be saved as an Excel file and then imported into FileMaker Pro…taking a total of maybe 5 minutes. When we started adding up the time the office staff sits around copying and pasting data for the two conferences alone we figured we picked up close to 3 hours of productivity time a week total among the staff. We then looked at other ways we could use this same method to streamline data collection. Membership directory, Salary Survey, Principal’s Salary Survey, Weekend Workshop Proposals, etc. Their webmaster has some skills and started cranking out forms left and right and also created a web based interface for in office use to view the data. This became essential when we talked about how much the Executive Director travels around Asia visiting the 110 member schools and looking at sites for future conferences. By creating a web interface the director can login and view the data that he needs like the number of sponsors for a conference, or quick access to information about a school. We then turned our focus on the conferences themselves and this March with the teacher’s conference we will launch a conference website in the form of a wiki that will allow presenters and participants access to information and each other before, during, and after the conference. While I was talking to the staff they mentioned how much time they spend updating presenter handouts for the conference. A presenter e-mails them the material and they publish it to the website. They figured 75%...

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WordPress 2.5, my plugins, and a new look

I spent this past week playing around with WordPress 2.5. A great release that loads faster, a new admin side that I love and some new themes to play with. So let me know what you think…I’m still testing it on all browsers and there an issue at the very bottom with the about part sliding down the page. But then again…this site is always a work in progress. The theme is called Padangan 1.3 by Nurudin Jauhari. I fell in love with it and the php and css is very easy to hack up with clear image files as well. I love good themes that make it easy for you to turn them into your own design. It’s funny to think that 2 years ago I didn’t know what php or a css was. Today I hack up themes for fun, run WordPress MU sites for my school, and understand more coding then I ever thought I would…all because of this blog. Of course what makes WordPress amazing is all the plugins that allow you to completely make a site yours. I’ve added some real funtionality, I think anyway, to the blog this time and have also upgraded some of the ways in which I organize my posts. So if you are into WordPress and are looking to upgrade to 2.5 here are the plugins that I’m running and other geeky things I’m doing on this site. Plugins Add to Any- Bookmark Button: Lets readers share, save and bookmark your posts using any service and browser. Easy plugin puts itself in the right spot on your blog post. With so many educators using Diigo I’m trying to find a way to move it up the list when you roll your mouse over the button. Akismet: Akismet checks your comments against the Akismet web service to see if they look like spam or not. A must have…but if you use WordPress you know that already. 🙂 Brian’s Threaded Commnets: This gives you threaded comments and a “wandering” comment form. I’m probably excited most by this plugin that allows commenters to reply to a specific comment. This replaces the comment.php in your theme, but what I did is find the things I liked about the comments in this theme and then copy and pasted that code into the Brain’s Threaded Comments comments.php file and played with it until I liked...

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