Go Live: Wharton Blog Network

This site actually went live around a month ago, but I’m just getting around to the write-up.  I’m not sure what took me so long, considering I now have something to show to the public that has the Wharton name on it!

Wharton Magazine Blog Network

The Wharton Magazine site itself is running RedDot CMS, but the blog segment has been running on WordPress for around two years. In its previous incarnation, it was a point of contact for the editorial staff. This concept was expanded to include relevant non-magazine article updates from faculty and alumni.

In the initial concept phase, I suggested the possibility of using WordPress MU to create a new blog for each user and then having the main blog page aggregate the posts. Within a few days of that proposal, WordPress 3.0 was released, and after a review of the features, I decided that the robust multi-user setup was actually too much bang for the buck and scaled back my proposal to a simpler WordPress installation with multiple contributing users.

Most of the functionality comes straight from the proverbial box. I developed a simple plugin for the sidebar in order to display the editor’s most recent post in a styled box.  There is also a custom work-around to allow a specific author’s most recent posts and user profile to be two separate pages.  User profile pages is one of the things that I wish WordPress did a bit better, but the solution I came up with is fairly simple to use but not very intuitive, so I wouldn’t recommend it as a good solution.

Going forward, I’d love to spend some time playing with the Contributors section on the sidebar.  As it stands, it’s simply a text widget that I’ve hard coded.  I’d like to expand that into an automated widget that the administrator (which at the moment is me) can control from the back end.