ALT-C 2009 Demo: WordPress Multi-User: BuddyPress and Beyond

This is just a reminder that I’ll be giving a demonstration of WordPress Multi-User and BuddyPress at the ALT Conference at 10:50-11:50 on Wednesday, 9 September in room 1.219

Here’s the blurb I submitted.

I write quite a lot on this blog about the use of WordPress and WPMU. Here’s a list of posts that may interest you. Here’s the RSS feed for that search, so you can keep updated with anything I write on the subject.

I’ll be setting up an ALT-C BuddyPress site for anyone to play around with over the course of the conference. It will be available from the 6-17th September 2009. Expect to find it at: http://learninglab.lincoln.ac.uk/altc2009

My revised ALT-C proposal

I’ve just re-submitted this proposal for a demonstration at ALT-C 2009. It’s called WordPress Multi-User: BuddyPress and Beyond. It won’t be confirmed until June, but for the record, here it is…

‘BuddyPress’ is a new social networking layer for WordPress Multi-User blogs. It provides familiar, easy to use social networking features in addition to a high-quality and popular blogging platform. The University of Lincoln have been trialing WordPress MU since May 2008 and have been using BuddyPress since February 2009 to promote an institutional social networking community built around personalised and collaborative web publishing.

This session will demonstrate the versatility of the WordPress MU platform. We’ll look at an installation that is enhanced with BuddyPress, LDAP authentication, mobile phone support and advanced privacy controls. You’ll see how simple it is to set up site-wide RSS syndication and aggregation, enhance your blog with semantic web tools, publish mathematical formulae with LaTeX, send realtime notifications to Facebook, Twitter and IM, publish podcasts to iTunes, and embed GPX and KML mapping files. We’ll also look at how to embed WordPress content in your VLE and other institutional websites. The use of a temporary ‘ALT-C 2009 BuddyPress’ installation will be encouraged.

There will be opportunities throughout for questions and answers and participants will leave with a good understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of WordPress and the resources and skills required to provide a social networking and blogging platform in your institution.

LaTeX support in WordPress

My recent proposal to do a workshop session on WordPress MU and BuddyPress at this year’s ALT conference was accepted on the condition of a couple of modifications. It’s been suggested that it should be run as a demonstration rather than workshop and that I offer more detail on what will be demonstrated. Fair enough. The reviewer of my proposal suggested that I might aim the session at “teachers of mathematics-intensive disciplines because of WordPress’ decent support of [latex]\textrm{\LaTeX{}}[/latex] for processing mathematical formulae.”

This isn’t an area I would normally think to support (although I did write my MA dissertation in [latex]\textrm{\LaTeX{}}[/latex], using LyX – it produces beautiful typeset text, regardless of whether you use it for science-related work). Anyway, a quick search showed that indeed, WordPress has supported [latex]\textrm{\LaTeX{}}[/latex], on both wordpress.com and as a plugin for a couple of years. You can adjust the size and style of the output and enable it for comments, which, if discussing mathematical formulae with peers, could be of huge benefit.

Maxwell’s Equations

[latex]\nabla \cdot \mathbf{D} = \rho_f[/latex]

[latex]\nabla \cdot \mathbf{B} = 0[/latex]

[latex]\nabla \times \mathbf{E} = -\frac{\partial \mathbf{B}} {\partial t}[/latex]

[latex]\nabla \times \mathbf{H} = \mathbf{J}_f + \frac{\partial \mathbf{D}} {\partial t}[/latex]