blogging life University of Waterloo Waterloo: change Daily Bulletin web presence
by Jesse Rodgers
On Tuesday November 8th, 2011, Chris Redmond let everyone know (at the bottom) he is no longer the editor of the University of Waterloo’s daily news publication — the Daily Bulletin. He covers some the history of the Bulletin:
I have been editing the Daily Bulletin through more than 4,500 issues now since it was created in the spring of 1993. Originally the Daily Bulletin was distributed by “gopher”. In the spring of 1995 the first Web versions of the Daily Bulletin were tried out. In 1998, the “Link of the Day” was introduced; in 1999, the use of photos became a regular occurrence. The “When and Where” events listings began in 2003, and the present graphic design dates mostly from 2006.
What he leaves out is the role that he, along with Roger Watt and Carol Vogt, played with getting “UWinfo” online and to the staff, students, and faculty at the University of Waterloo.
When I started at the University of Waterloo in 2001, hired as the campus’ first Web Developer, I was interviewed in Chris’s office atop Needles Hall. That was the first time I actually met him. I heard about this UWinfo group that was two techies and a writer that learned HTML. That writer provided the content that grew into a very rich University of Waterloo web space.
Every business day Chris published an editorial on what is happening on campus. It was easily one of the first blogs in the world, never mind campus. The difference was that before there were commenting systems the uw.general newsgroup is where the ‘discussions’ happened about stories in the Bulletin. This engaged people in the publication at an early time. This is long before they were called blogs and sure comments never found their way into the Bulletin but I don’t think that is a negative thing.
Chris’s work on the Bulletin and what became the University of Waterloo ‘home page’ (something he “edited” daily until sometime after 2007) gave the University of Waterloo a template of content rich web pages. I believe everyone emulated his content focus in the early days and still influences how the web presence will evolve in the future. He saw the value of the web early and worked to use it for good to the best of his ability.
With Carol Vogt retiring a few years back (and sadly passed away shortly thereafter), Roger Watt retiring, the last of Waterloo’s web content pioneers has left his publication that defines the university web space for so many. It’s a big deal in my mind. Yes there are a few other folks that shaped those early days still around but to me the “UWinfo” group was the web… and if I missed anyone that deserves credit for that, sorry. I can update the post.
Good luck in retirement Chris (which isn’t for a few months at least), I look forward to all the content you have yet to create!
Edit: Hat tip to @garywill — almost forgot about Simon the troll
I am spending my Sunday moving my blog out of a broken and out dated Rails app (Simplelog – but I had fun with it) over to WordPress. I thought about going back to Textpattern (where it all started in 2004) but I don’t want to think a lot about my blog and I am pretty familiar with WordPress thanks to all the other places I use it. Of course changing database set ups means breaking things, at least for a bit. What I know is broken is a short list though…
Permalinks are really broken
Permalinks have changed even though WordPress imported the link from the RSS it grabs its permalink from “postname” in the db. The old URL’s are in the “guid” column but WordPress doesn’t honor them.
I can’t easily map that shorter link from my other db because the post ID’s numbers, post dates, etc are different. For example this screen shot above is post ID# 6 in the WP db called “post_name” but in my simplelog db it is post ID# 448 and the info is in “permalink.” It should be easy if I match the 448 to 6, replace post_name with permalink, and go to the next one by counting down one from simplelog and up one on the wp table. But this is where being an associate director gets you… I can’t seem to figure it out where it doesn’t make a mess somewhere along the way. I will fix though, maybe.
Simple actually… the old RSS link maps to RSS 0.92 in wordpress, for RSS 2.0 you need to change your feed link to http://whoyoucallingajesse.com/feed/ and it should be fine.
No comments carried over
I lost them, need to insert them again if I can map the ids reliably.
Analytics and PostRank out the window
Has a look at my PostRank stuff and wow, all the past info is gone. Same with the google analytics stuff as most of the post links are different now and the old ones don’t work. Sad in a lot of ways but it shows you how delicate this stuff is. Hopefully as I fix the data it will come back.
Overall I like it
As I push ahead with my Project52 commitment I think the switch will make that easier. I am wanting to get my head back into coding though and that has started but I am pretty sure I won’t want to play with Rails again for anything I want to rely on, like say my blog with 400+ posts since 2004.