📑 WordPress Timeline JS Plugin

Bookmarked WordPress Timeline JS Plugin by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

I like Timeline JS. It’s a nice way to create multimedia timelines. I’d previously done some work that would take WordPress JSON API data and insert it into the Timeline JS view.1 It was nice for creating alternate and standardized views of blogs that might be useful for different reasons. It didn’t serve some other needs and while doing it through a generic URL was handy for many reasons it was odd in other scenarios. As a result I decided to make a new version as a plugin. If you don’t like reading stuff there’s a quick video of how it works below.

I finally got around to trying Tom Woodward’s plugin to displays posts using Timeline JS. My timeline can be found here. I am also intrigued by the different ways of representing data within WordPress.

📑 Data Games with Google Sheets

Bookmarked Data Games with Google Sheets by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

This is for a workshop with students on Saturday. It’s a revision of a thing Jeff and I did a way back in 2018. I think I’ve come up with some improved examples and I’ve revised a few things. The goal is to let any skill level start to see how spreadsheets can be useful to them. The videos are…

Tom Woodward provides a range of strategies for digging into data. This is a useful collection, along with Karl W. Broman and Kara H. Wood’s tips for data organisation and Ben Collins’ best practices.

🤔 VCU: The Long Goodbye (Patterned but not Standard)

Liked VCU: The Long Goodbye (Patterned but not Standard) by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

One one end of the spectrum with WordPress multisite might be a site that’s locked down. It has a narrowly defined purpose and very limited themes and plugins. You may find there is only one theme and the plugins are all network activated. Your choice in this space is still greater than what you’d get in Facebook or Twitter but it’s pretty tightly controlled. This can be good for some people and some purposes. It’s consistent. Very little can go wrong because there are so few choices. People are not overwhelmed by choice.

On the other end of the spectrum is what we tried to do with Ram Pages. You have a couple hundred themes and a couple hundred plugins. The goals is to make pretty much anything people wanted to do happen in that space. You can’t install your own themes/plugins but we’ve covered most of the bases and would respond to unmet needs pretty aggressively. If we didn’t find a theme, plugin, or combination that met people’s needs then we’d make one.

💬 VCU: The Long Goodbye (part one)

Replied to VCU: The Long Goodbye (part one) by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

This is going to be fairly long and rambling.3 Despite the length, I’m still going to omit huge portions and only tell things from my perspective. I’m also going to focus on the happy stuff. All stories have sad parts but rehashing them here won’t solve any of the issues or make anyone happier. So consider this the Disney version.

Congratulations on the move Tom. Been enjoying your Long Goodbye posts, it is useful in capturing what is possible. Good luck with the future.

💬 Deleting my Patreon account

Replied to Deleting my Patreon account by Doug Belshaw (dougbelshaw.com)

What does this mean for Thought Shrapnel? I’m not sure. I want to keep something there, perhaps in a similar format to Aaron Davis’ Read Write Collect, or Tom Armitage’s Infovore. We’ll see.

Doug, it is funny thinking about my Read Write Collect site. In some ways I was inspired by you and your many sites. Just when I thought I had enough sites, I decided to create another one. A feed that could be used in a platform like Micro.blog. My intent this time was to create…

💬 Considering Our WordPress Development Patterns

Replied to Considering Our WordPress Development Patterns by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

I believe we’ve developed a pretty solid pattern for making WordPress do what faculty want and making that happen pretty quickly. We have high goals in terms of taking on additional challenging work while also supporting a lot of things and a lot of people so we’ve had to be fairly pragmatic in terms of workflow.

There are three types of development we tend to do. I’ll list them below in terms of escalating complexity/time. I’ll explain what plugins and patterns we use to make this work. I know I’ve hashed through this plenty of times before in individual explanations but felt that putting in together in one place might help people, myself included, see the big picture.

Thank you Tom for sharing your various strategies and workflows. I like the look of the Display Posts and Page List plugins. I am also rethinking my CCS changes. I have always put them in a child theme, however I am thinking that placing them in the customiser or even a seperate plugin would provide…

💬 Read Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-12-08 by Tom Woodward

Replied to https://boffosocko.com/2019/12/17/55761919/ by Chris AldrichChris Aldrich (boffosocko.com)

Read Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-12-08 by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com) “Link In Bio” is a slow knife For a closed system, those kinds of open connections are deeply dangerous. If anyone on Instagram can just link to any old store on the web, how can Instagram — meaning Facebook, Instagram…

I have long enjoyed Tom Woodward’s weekly harvest, this is kind of what I attempt with my monthly review. The limit I see with this is that it does not provide an obvious means of referencing the various links in other posts. Although it is possible to use fragmentions to link to a particular part…

💬 Tom Woodward | Gettin’ Air with Terry Greene | voicEd

Replied to 🎧 Tom Woodward | Gettin’ Air with Terry Green | voicEd (BoffoSocko)

Join Terry Greene as he and his guests get some air time to discuss technology-enabled and open learning practices in Ontario Post-Secondary Education.

Chris, you might also like going back to an interview with Tom prior to Domains17: Otherwise, completely agree with going back into Tom’s archives. So many great thoughts and ideas scattered in there.

📑 Intro To APIs: What Is An API?

Bookmarked Intro To APIs: What Is An API? by Kin Lane (blog.getpostman.com)

APIs are not a specific service or tool from a company, they are just like the web, but instead of getting HTML back with each request, you get JSON, XML, and CSV – providing structured, machine-readable information that can be used by other systems and within other applications with very little assistance from a human.

In his first official post as Chief Evangelist at Postman, Kin Lane (aka API Evangelist) provides a post starting at the beginning by defining what is meant by ‘API’: APIs are how data is exchanged, content is published, media is consumed, and algorithms are applied across the web today. APIs are how you access your…

💬 Simple Content Restrictor Plugin

Replied to Simple Content Restrictor Plugin by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

I had a number of emails from people trying to restrict content in various ways. One person wanted to restrict access because they were editing previously published content. Another person wanted more of a traditional membership-style option with the ability to restrict certain content based on user roles. I looked at some of the plugins out there but felt that building something a little less corporate1 would be pretty easy. It’ll likely evolve as I get some people using it but it’s here now if you want to mess with it.

There always something elegant in your simple designs Tom, even more so in your breakdowns.

💬 WPlus WordPress Theme

Replied to WPlus WordPress Theme by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

There once was a group who really liked Google Plus. With the demise of the service, they were unhappy. With this request, I wondered if we might just build a very similar experience in WordPress. I think I ended up getting pretty close.

Tom, this theme looks fantastic. Will need to spin up a site and have a look. What I like is possibility to embed media that may not have worked so well in Google+. I wonder if it would offer a social media platform in a similar fashion to P2.

💬 Super Secret Journal Posts

Replied to Super Secret Journal Posts by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

Let’s say someone wanted people to write down very personal, very sensitive thoughts about privilege, bias etc. They’ve turned down Google Docs as an option because they heard that people can see that. They want this even if you’ve said that writing down secrets at all is not a good idea and that writing them anywhere digital, let alone the Internet, is a very bad idea.

Tom, what is the difference between using your super secret journal posts and the usual private posts?

👍 Duplicate Featured Image Remover

Liked Duplicate Featured Image Remover by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

Origin Story
In a number of scenarios we’ve used plugins to use the first image in the post as the featured image. That’s nice in that if people forget or are unaware of the featured image it’ll happen automatically and that fits in nicely with how various themes use featured images in various…

📑 Why Data Is Never Raw

Bookmarked Why Data Is Never Raw (The New Atlantis)

“Raw data is both an oxymoron and a bad idea; to the contrary, data should be cooked with care.” “Raw” carries a sense of natural or untouched, while “cooked” suggests the result of cognitive processes. But data is always the product of cognitive, cultural, and institutional processes that determine what to collect and how to collect it. In this sense, “raw data” is indeed a contradiction in terms. In the ordinary use of the term “raw data,” “raw” signifies that no processing was performed following data collection, but the term obscures the various forms of processing that necessarily occur before data collection. (Summary via Tom Woodward)

Sometimes I wonder if I write just to be glad when I find my thought more clearly articulated by somebody else. As I wrote elsewhere, data ain’t data, it is never raw, instead it is always involves some sort of bias and interpretation. Assumptions inevitably find their way into the data and color the conclusions…

📰 Read Write Respond #036

For the past few years I have written both a December newsletter, as well as a summary of the whole year (see 2016 and 2017). As Decemeber’s highlights are included within the summary, I decided to just do one. If you are interested in the links and ideas that have left me thinking this month…

📑 Digital Survival Skills

Bookmarked Digital Survival Skills by Tom Woodward (Bionic Teaching)

The confluence of distraction and rapid change in today’s digital environment can result in confusion and frustration. We’ll focus on limiting distraction and choosing tools and workflows that will help you do more with less effort. The foundation will be a quick overview of digital productivity patterns (pomodoro, GTD, etc.). From there, we’ll move into successful patterns for getting work done in key workplace applications.

Tom Woodward reflects on the skills required for living online. He discusses knowing how you use your time, checking your data, avoiding distractions, optimising workflows and knowing the ‘basics’. It is interesting to think about this alongside Doug Belshaw’s work with digital literacies. It also has me reviewing my ten step program to being a…

📑 ePortfolios: Competing Concepts

Bookmarked ePortfolios: Competing Concepts by Tom Woodward (Bionic Teaching)

I talked to some VCU people about ePortofolios1. It’s a conversation I’ve had any number of times over the years. I think that experience is leading to a better understanding of what’s going on structurally and the space we have to navigate competing interests. I’m also in a better position to show how certain technologies might help people find a middle way. However, I’m still trying to be honest about the complexities involved in an environment with shrinking resources and expanding expectations. That’s a rough line to sell when vendors have no compunction about pitching simple answers that aren’t exposed until after contracts are signed. For the record, I didn’t start with this peppy intro when I spoke.

Tom Woodward addresses a number of considerations associated with ePortfolios: Strategy: trophy case vs. progress/reflective. Audience: internal vs. external. Ownership: institution vs. student Privacy: password protected vs. public searchable Woodward provides a lot of nuance throughout his discussion and provides a number of examples to support this. It is a worthy addition to the discussion…

💬 Clean Google Doc Cut/Paste into WordPress Editor

Replied to Clean Google Doc Cut/Paste into WordPress Editor by Tom Woodward (Bionic Teaching)

If you cut/paste from a Google Doc into the WordPress WYSIWYG editor you get more than I want. Mainly a bunch of inline CSS that sets the font weight (see below). This is a pain because it’s going to take priority in CSS land and undoing it by hand is a hassle.

This looks great Tom. This might resolve some of the junk code brought across from Blogger too? Will have to investigate.

👍 Intro to OER: A Wider Spectrum

Liked Intro to OER: A Wider Spectrum by Tom Woodward (bionicteaching.com)

I’ve done a number of introduction to OER conversations over the last few years. I did another recently. Here is my revised attempt at getting at a very broad overview and maybe going a bit farther afield than is typically the case. This particular presentation emphasized OER as addition and that you could use all sorts of pieces as augmentation rather than replacement.