CPD blogs now enabled

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Hi folks, 

The blog is now up and running at http://cpd.org.au/blogs, and individual blog posts are now appearing as they’re supposed to – see http://cpd.org.au/node/4585 for an example. However, as you’ll see if you go to http://cpd.org.au/blogs,
the design of the main blog page, which lists all the latest posts, is
not yet quite finished. The layout of that page is a bit clunky, and a
lot needs to be done to improve its appearance. We should be able to
fix this within a month. We’ll also be adding regular automated updates
of new blog posts and comments to the front page, and recent
comments will appear on the side of the blog page.

How to post


All fellows
(except those who have said they definitely won’t use the blog), plus myself, John Menadue, Clare Crawford, and InSight
editor Catriona Menzies-Pike are now enabled as bloggers. This means
that when you log in, you should see a link called ‘create content’ in
the right had column, and when you click on it you should see a link
called ‘blog post’. Alternatively you can just type in http://cpd.org.au/node/add/blog-post and that will take you to a new post.

From there it’s mostly self-explanatory. Type your title in the ‘title’
field, type your text in the ‘body’. Click the preview link at the bottom
of the page to see what it will look like, and ‘submit’ to post it.
After you’ve created a blog post you can edit or delete it at any time.
(Edit by clicking the ‘edit’ tab at the top of the post’, delete by
clicking the delete button next to the submit button at the bottom of
the edit view).

If you have any trouble at all, please email me at miriam.lyons@cpd.org.au – or email clare at clare.crawford@cpd.org.au – or call the office on (02) 92640263.

A few things to watch out for

  • Ignore the ‘teaser’ field. Teasers are automatically created from
    the first few lines of the blog post. We’re going to remove that field
    altogether soon, but in the meantime it’s disabled.
  • The CPD site uses both ‘categories’ and ‘keywords’. The main
    difference between categories and keywords is that categories appear in
    the left-hand menu, whereas keywords only appear below the teaser and
    the article/blog post. You can select one or more category or
    sub-category – to select more than one hold down the control button on
    a pc or the apple key on a mac. Bear in mind that with the site’s
    current styling, selecting more than two categories or a category plus
    a couple of long keywords will tend to make them take up more than one
    line below the teaser, which looks kind of messy.
  • You don’t have to assign the post to a category – you can just
    ignore categories or select ‘none’. This will mean that your post will
    only appear in the blog section, on your user page, and in searches –
    it won’t appear when readers browse by category.
  • If you’re writing a long post it’s generally a good idea to write and save it offline in Notepad or TextEdit first and then paste it into the body.
  • Once you’ve completed a post, you can use the ‘send to friend’ link at the bottom of the page to send it to others who might want to read or comment on it. 
  • You can highlight text and then select from the drop-down
    ‘-styles-‘ and ‘-format-‘ menus to assign styles which are used through
    the site, for example
‘pullquote’ displays blockquotes in the house
style,

and selecting h1, h2 etc gives house styles to your headings.

What to post

One of the things I’d really like to see everyone doing is linking to
their own work, or to other articles or papers which are relevant to
CPD. We often get sent links to interesting papers but without a
‘links’ page we’ve had nowhere to put them until now. Clare and
Catriona and I only have limited time to write summaries or extracts
for InSight,
so the blog should be a great way of cutting out the middlewomen. It’s
also a great way to post short reflections, comments, or even short
articles which are extremely time-sensitive – we’re aware that because InSight only comes out once a month it’s easy for topical pieces to lose currency. We’ll be adding a ‘best of the blog’ section to InSight,
so items that have been posted between editions will still get emailed
out to the whole subscriber list (currently 8100 emails).

Just to recap, the other uses discussed previously were:

  1. To post up info about events you’re speaking at
  2. To post links about research etc which is
    relevant to CPD’s work
  3. To post summaries/links to your
    recent/upcoming publications
  4. To discuss CPD themes/papers/ideas etc with
    other fellows & staff & CPD readers
  5. To post reflections/responses to policy
    announcements/publications/debates in your area of interest

CPD staff and interns may also use it from time to time for housekeeping announcements etc.

One example of a great think tank blog

i think this is a great example of how a blog can be used to keep conversations going in a think-tank which works across a wide range of issues: http://demos.co.uk/blog

That’s all really. i realise that you are all very busy, but if even half our fellows are posting something once a fortnight we should average at around one post a day – which should help keep the website a bit fresh and lively and give people a reason to drop by the site in between emails. I think it will also help spark some more discussion and engagement with a broader group of readers, which can only be a good thing. 

Please give me a yell if you have any questions. Look forward to seeing those of you who are able to make it to the think-in next thursday – otherwise I’ll see you online!

Cheers, Miriam.

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