Using WPMU & FeedWordPress to faciliate the development of a blogging community of inquiry – a little help & feedback required!

As I may have mentioned in the dim & distant past every second semester I roll out of consultation mode and into some genuine hands on teaching (oooo) in our Graduate Certificate of Higher Education.

So I’m limbering up the old ed-tech-pedagogy limbs and having what is now an annual crack at getting people interested in emerging technologies. And this year I’ve got WordPress MU and FeedWordPress to help out.

Basically what I’ve done is created a bit of a mini-blogger for the course, participants roll along, set up their blog (using WPMU) and each blog is then aggregated centrally (using summaries) through FeedWordPress. Simple huh :o)

Here it is.

What would be really cool though at this stage would be a little observational help from an outside perspective and also a bit of php assistance…

1. Imagining that you weren’t the savvy geek that you are ;) would this make sense to you? It’s an optional element with no compulsory posting… just the suggestion that you’ll be better off doing think kind of thing and I do get to ‘introduce’ it (30 seconds) face-to-face… otherwise it’s entirely online… any ideas how I could improve it?

2. Do you think I should give participants the option of subscribing by email? I kinda want them to get an aggregator under their belt but am worried that I’ll exclude the few that come aboard through this. (and do you think that Bloglines is the best suggestion)

3. I want to set the code in WPMU to email not only the person who has set up a new blog but also me. However, I’m not cluey enough with php to be able to figure this out… any idea what I’d need to insert into the code below to make this happen? (it’s in wp-newblog.php if anyone is that involved with this)

`< $message_headers = 'From: ' . stripslashes($_POST['weblog_title']) . ' ‘;
$message = __(“Dear User,\n\nYour new WordPressMU blog has been successfully set up at:\n”.$url.”\n\nYou can log in to the administrator account with the following information:\n Username: “.$wpblog.”\n Password: “.$random_password.”\nLogin Here: “.$url.”wp-login.php\n\nWe hope you enjoy your new weblog.\n Thanks!\n\n–James Farmer\n\n”);
@mail($_POST[ ‘admin_email’ ],__(‘New WordPress MU Blog’), $message, $message_headers);>`