[wp-edu] Finalizing plug-ins for our Wordpress MU offering

Joseph Ugoretz joseph.ugoretz at mhc.cuny.edu
Wed Dec 16 18:46:38 UTC 2009

We use wpmu and buddypress heavily for our student (BuddyPress just having started for this year).  Because we have students on seven different campuses, they had been asking for a long time for a good way to communicate with students who might have similar interests on other campuses--and BuddyPress provides them exactly that.  I think it has huge value in a campus-wide install--with a couple of caveats.  In some cases, students feel like it's replicating what they can already get from facebook--so why bother.  Slowly they are discovering that having more control over the system and the content is a good thing--and having automatic population and connection to their classmates is also good.

Our main WPMU install is for eportfolios--which we define extremely broadly--there are course websites, group websites, travel blogs, reflective eportfolios, professional eportfolios, personal blogs, group blogs, teaching eportfolios, etc. etc.

Unfortunately I don't have plugins for the purposes you describe--but here's what we are using as of today:

Ada Active Blogs--
Ada New Blogs
 Ada Updated Blogs

None of these are really useful if you have BuddyPress, but they're still lingering in the install.

 Add Users Sidebar Widget.

Very useful for class blogs

 Admin Footer Text

bbPress Integration

Provides single sign on login with a bbPress installation.

 BM Custom Login

Display custom images on the wordpress login screen. Useful for branding.


BuddyPress will add social networking features to a new or existing WordPress MU installation.


Nice and simple Calendar with events support and full customization:)

Category Order

The Category Order plugin allows you to easily reorder your categories the way you want via drag and drop.

 Comment Sorter

Sorts and filters comments by date and name. Can disable trackbacks too.

Conversation Starter

This plugin prompts readers to answer a question in your comments.

 Custom CUNY Academic Commons Profile Filters

Changes the way that profile data fields get filtered into clickable URLs. in BuddyPress profiles

Customize Meta Widget

Add or remove links from meta widget, especially sometimes annoying link to wordpress.org<http://wordpress.org>.


digress.it<http://digress.it> (the evolution of commentpress) allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. You can use it to comment, gloss, workshop, debate and more!  Excellent resource for class blogs/sites--but a little fussy to use.  We don't let students activate this one themselves.

 Easy LaTeX

Easiest way to show mathematical equations on your blog. Important for Math/science students

Events Registration

Fantastic resource for event signups. (not for all blogs)


simple and flexible Atom/RSS syndication for WordPress Great for aggregation

Flickr Photo Album

This plugin will retrieve your Flickr photos and allow you to easily add your photos to your posts. Next-Gen Gallery is more useful

 Google Maps Quicktag - MU

Google Maps Quicktag makes it convenient to open the Google Maps web site while editing, where you can generate your map and copy the needed code to paste into the editor. Due to a security concern, WordPress MU sites with open registration are not recommended. Use at your own risk.

Group Forum Subscripton for BuddyPress

Gives users the ability to subscribe to email notifications of discussion activity in their BuddyPress groups.  If you use BuddyPress groups, you need this.

 Inline Posts

Allows you to include posts in pages (and in other posts). To include a post, just enter its ID in square brackets in the body of a page or another post (e.g., [[42]]). Very handy.


Creates a list of all blogs on a WPMU site--not needed if you have BuddyPress

NextGEN Gallery

A NextGENeration Photo gallery for the Web 2.0.--Excellent, but a little hard for students to learn to use.

Page Link Manager

Adds admin panel to choose which pages appear in the site navigation.


Manage your multitude of pages with pageMash's slick drag-and-drop style, ajax interface. Allows quick sorting, hiding and organising of parenting.

Peter's Collaboration E-mails

Enhance the "Submit for Review" feature for Contributor users. This plugin enables automatic e-mails to the relevant users when posts are pending, when they are approved, and when their statuses are changed from "pending" back to "draft".


The podPress pluggin gives you everything you need in one easy plugin to use WordPress for Podcasting.  Under-rated for what it does.  Most people like Anarchy better.  I do not.

Privacy Options

Adds more privacy options to the options-privacy and wpmu-blogs pages. Just drop in mu-plugins, no core edits needed.

Recent Commenters Widget.

This is a very very simple modification of the default recent comments widget. All this does is to display recent commentERS instead of recent comments. In other words, it just displays the names, without the "...on name-of-the-post" that is there by default. You can choose whether or not you want the name to have a link, and what it will link to, if it's there (I wrote this one myself!)

 Role Manager

Role Management for WordPress 2.0.x, 2.1.x, 2.2.x, 2.3.x and 2.5.x.. Excellent for course blogs

ScholarPress Courseware

All-in-one course management for WordPress. Potentially useful.  Haven't found it to be really there yet--and not yet quite compatible with WPMU

Sidebar Login

Adds a sidebar widget to let users login

Simple:Press Forum

Fully featured but simple page-based forum

Spectacu.la Threaded comments

Make it easy to add threaded comments to any theme. (brand new)

Subscribe To Comments

Allows readers to receive notifications of new comments that are posted to an entry. Very useful

 Unfiltered MU

Adds the unfiltered_html capablitiy to Administrators and Editors so that content posted by users with those roles is not filtered by KSES; Embeds, Iframe, etc. are preserved. Note: If for any reason the unfiltered_html capability is ever lost, simply deactivate, and then reactivate this plugin.  Security risk, so be sure you know what you're doing--but critical if you want people to embed.

WordPress Wiki

Add Wiki functionality to your wordpress site.  Promising but doesn't do what I wanted it to do.


An extremely powerful anti-spam plugin that virtually eliminates comment spam. Finally, you can enjoy a spam-free WordPress blog! Includes spam-free contact form feature as well.

WP Ajax Edit Comments

The most powerful comment-editing solution for WordPress. Users can edit their own comments for a limited time, while admins can edit all comments.


A lightweight admin interface for the iPhone and other mobile devices.

WPMU Enable bbPress Capabilities

 WPMU Mailer

Mass emailer for WPMU (only for administrator, and only for the whole site--not customizable enough yet)

 WP Sentry

Granular user and group access controls for private posts.

Joseph Ugoretz, PhD
Director of Technology and Learning
William E. Macaulay Honors College - CUNY
35 West 67th St.
New York, NY 10023

On Dec 16, 2009, at 12:41 PM, DeBlois, Kenneth wrote:

Hi Folks,

I haven’t received a post from this list in a while.  I’m hopeful that I’ll get some help from the folks out there.

We’re in the middle of a pilot of Wordpress MU and getting ready to launch a full service.  Our goal is to provide a blogging platform to be used by:
-          Faculty as a teaching tool and a publishing platform to discuss there research
-          Student Organizations that want a blog instead of a website
-          Provide a web space for post-docs, graduate students, and others that want to discuss research online and want a simple publishing platform.
-          Administrative staff looking to share news, collaborate on projects, etc.

I’m working to get a solid set of plug-ins to meet the needs of our audiences and I wanted to check in with folks about plug-ins.

1)      Does anyone use buddypress (http://buddypress.org/) I’m trying to determine if it has value in our environment.  I’d love to know if other colleges/universities have considered using it and what they’ve decided.
2)      Do any of you have good plug-in recommendations for :
a.       Blog sitemap generation
b.      SEO improvements
c.       Connection to Feedburner
d.      Sending out an email that contains the post to any subscriber that has indicated they want an email.

To give you a sense of some of the other plug-ins that we are playing with, here is our list thus far:

So far we have these system wide:
-          Shibboleth for authentication
-          Simpler css – so blog owners can edit their CSS
-          cets_blog_defaults  - provides a ton of default blog settings
-          Akismet – for spam
-          Bad Behavior – for spam and hacks
-          Supercache
-          Site-wide feed 1492758394_wpmufeed.php
-          Extra Private blog settings 999830698_ds_private_blog.php

We allow blog admins to activate these plug-ins:
-          After The Deadline
-          article2pdf
-          Flickr Gallery
-          Grunion Contact Form
-          PollDaddy Polls
-          Popularity Contest
-          Shadowbox JS
-          ShareThis
-          SyntaxHighlighter Evolved
-          WP-PostRatings
-          WPtouch iPhone Theme

Thank you for any feedback!


Ken DeBlois
Online Communication Specialist
Brown WebServices


-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.automattic.com/pipermail/wp-edu/attachments/20091216/26806eac/attachment-0001.htm>

More information about the wp-edu mailing list