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Weblab: The New Media Blog

New Media

  • LiveWhale 1.5 Upgrade Post Issues and Best Practices

    February 25, 2014
    Here are known issues and best practices
  • What to expect with the next LiveWhale upgrade, Feb 19, 2014

    February 4, 2014
    On Feb 19, we are upgrading our LiveWhale content management system. Here are a few things to expect when you log in on the 20th.
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    LiveWhale 1.5 update February 19

    December 20, 2013
    This February we will upgrade to the latest version of LiveWhale, 1.5. The exact date is to be determined.
  • Changes to how events display on campus digital screens

    October 31, 2013
    To have a better chance of promoting your event across campus screens, we’ve cleaned out some old tags, created a special tag in cases where you don’t want to your event to display and increased the number of events.
  • What’s Next After the Design Refresh?

    September 18, 2013
    Earlier this fall we refreshed the web design for Lewis & Clark, and now we are looking at several next steps happening over the school year.
  • Known Issues from the Design Refresh

    September 12, 2013
    With any major web project, there are issues that pop up.  If you see one, please report it using the comment box. Here are some known issues with the new website design refresh.
  • Refreshing the Website Design

    July 30, 2013
    To keep up with the changing times and to continue to have the Lewis & Clark site be wonderful and respected, we are refreshing the design and, in conjunction with a major software overhaul, making lclark.edu mobile-friendly.
  • Known Issues, Post-Upgrade

    July 18, 2013
    Today we had a major update to the LiveWhale content management system that runs our site and the server it runs on. All pages, news stories, events, everything across the site, was rebuilt under the hood. Here are some known issues we are working on.
  • Major Upgrade to LiveWhale, 7/15-7/19/2013

    July 15, 2013
    As a precursor to our refresh of the website design next month, we are making a major upgrade to our LiveWhale content management system over the next few days. We apologize for any temporary issues associated with the work. Because of the size of the project, we will have to turn off LiveWhale editing for a while, perhaps as long as 72 hours.
  • Why you should never write “click here”

    July 5, 2013
    Morgan and I recently attended the HighEdWeb West conference in Orange, California. We returned to campus with lots of new ideas, but one seemingly tiny thing looms large for me: we’ve got to stop telling our web visitors to “click here.”
  • New Calendar

    May 31, 2013
    As discussed previously, we have been working on a new tool to display the calendar events for Lewis & Clark. It launched today and your feedback is most welcome.
  • Making your web content shine

    May 2, 2013
    Here are some resources for writing for the web, creating effective navigation, and keeping content fresh.
  • Soon a New Calendar

    March 21, 2013
    We are building new calendar to replace a number of current calendar and events tools we are using across the site. Take a look for instance at https://www.lclark.edu/calendars/events_alt/#view/month to see what is coming.
  • Minor LiveWhale Upgrade, 1 March 2013

    March 1, 2013
    We will have a minor upgrade to the LiveWhale CMS around 4pm this afternoon, 1 Mar 2013. Editing will be off for about 30 minutes. 
  • Snapshot of Spring and Summer Projects

    January 30, 2013
    We at New Media have a busy spring and summer planned, all towards helping your department or office better tell your story to prospective students. Here are some examples.
  • Server Upgrade Tuesday, 8 Jan 2013

    January 4, 2013
    We are upgrading the server that runs the LiveWhale CMS, so there will be some time on Tuesday, 8 Jan 2013, that you will not be able to edit your site content. Particularly from 10am-12pm you should expect to have site editing be closed.
  • LiveWhale upgraded to 1.4.4

    December 12, 2012
    We upgraded our content management system tonight to the latest-and-greatest version. Lots of new features are available and many more will be rolled out in the coming weeks as we connect the internet tubes.
  • Update to LiveWhale 1.4.4

    November 29, 2012
    This December we are excited to update to the latest version of our LiveWhale content management system, 1.4.4. 
  • Learn LiveWhale tips and tricks

    November 2, 2012
    A new monthly newsletter provides useful information whether you’re a LiveWhale super-user or a newbie. 
  • Legacy search ends next week (11 Nov 2012)

    October 31, 2012
    If you are still using the old search and (broken) directory on the legacy site, please note it is going away at the end of next week. 

    Please use the Lewis & Clark search on the top right of any page of the main website, and for the office directory go to https://www.lclark.edu/administration/directory/
  • New Addition to New Media

    September 19, 2012
    Please welcome a new addition to the new media team here at Lewis & Clark: Lawrence Siulagi. He is a LiveWhale expert already, having spent the past three years as web developer here at the law school. He can help you with any web-related issues.
  • Now View the Event Screens Info Through Your Browser

    July 30, 2012
    After a little update to our node.js server last week, you can now view on your browser the same information displaying on the event screens around campus.
  • Improving the Righthand Navigation Menus

    July 23, 2012
    As previously mentioned, this summer we have been testing menu enhancements for Lewis & Clark. Today I am happy to announce we are launching these enhancements site-wide.
  • Bulleted and Numbered List Change

    July 13, 2012
    Cosmetic changes happen on a website throughout its lifetime. Some major, others so small they are sometimes unnoticeable. You may notice when you created a bulleted or numbered list using the LiveWhale tools, the indent has shifted a little to the right. This helps differentiate from the preceding paragraph content to let the user know that this is, indeed, a list.
  • Template Speed Optimizations

    July 11, 2012
    On Monday I was able to add some significant improvements to our frontend CSS and JS aggregator script that allows us most of the same flexibility we had before, but adds both server and client side caching improvements.
  • Improving the Righthand Menus

    July 5, 2012
    We have been testing out several improvements to the Lewis & Clark righthand menu system
  • Printer Love

    May 23, 2012
    We’ve rolled out a stylesheet that prints out the essential content. 
  • IDATI, the road ahead

    April 29, 2012
    I have just completed a extensive roadmap document for the IDATI project and this, my last post to weblab, will serve as a update on the project. First of all, even before my departure delayed the schedule until a replacement is hired, we’d already altered the dates as part of the discovery during our initial tasks, so the schedule outlined in the introduction to the project is now being reordered and rewritten. With that, I’d rather refine what’s coming …
  • Built to Last

    April 22, 2012
    As many of you know, I am leaving Lewis & Clark at the end of this week to join White Whale on the first of May. (You might remember them from our redesign in 2009.) This is not necessarily a goodbye, since my task there will be to build the community of LiveWhale — the web content management system that Lewis & Clark uses — and I expect to be visiting from time to time, as I’ll be based in Portland. This is a huge opportunity for me and I am happy to …
  • Digital Screens Update

    November 11, 2011
    While projects like the home page and navigations refresh, the search engine prototype ui and the alumni connectivity project have kept me busy of late, I have found a few minutes to give the digital screens another quick update. Admittedly, one of the updates was absolutely necessary as the end of Daylight Savings Time tweaked the display of some of the events to be an hour off. So while I was in there doing an immediate quick fix to deal with that, I took a few ho…
  • Righthand Navigation Menus Now Editable in LiveWhale

    November 3, 2011
    After extensive and successful testing, we are happy to announce that all programs, offices, and departments now have righthand navigation menus that can be edited within LiveWhale. Previously, only members of New Media like myself could edit the menus for you, and it had to be done directly on the server. This is a much improved system, and one that gives you greater control over your own site content, as anyone authorized to edit pages within your LiveWhale group can …
  • Shorter Events Stream

    October 14, 2011
    By David McKelvey

    Over the last week, I’ve made some changes to the displays, both in the range of events they show and what they show for each. Range The range of events had already come down some, from always 30 to anywhere between 20-30, and now it’s shorter again. Now, each display will show a events up through the next 12 days or 20 events maximum, whichever is less. Not only does this keep the events stream more relevant, but also allows for faster cycling, in case you …
  • Faster Pages

    October 14, 2011
    A faster page means a better user experience, so as part of our ongoing improvements to the site and to remove a potential server issue (perhaps related to our recent server issues), I’ve just written some code to improve select caching of remote content such as the search dropdown, the Administration section and many of the “Contact Us” sections that appear directly beneath each site’s navigation and faculty information that is auto-filled on faculty pages. …
  • LiveWhale 1.4.2 upgrade complete

    October 10, 2011
    Last week, as you may have read, we upgraded to the latest version of our LiveWhale content management system, which powers the vast majority of our website. Overall, things went swimmingly, though a few bugs always pop up with upgrading. For instance, we have an issue with checkboxes and radio buttons in new LiveWhale forms. You can be confident, however, that all of these bugs are being squashed one by one. The easiest way to keep track of the efforts is via our t…
  • Upgrade to LiveWhale!

    September 23, 2011
    Ladies and gentleman, it’s time for another upgrade to our LiveWhale content management system. The exact date is to be determined but it will be within the next two weeks, as we move from version 1.4.1 to 1.4.2. A great deal of improvements are in store for all of us, including: Better page drafts Easier editing of tables More righthand navigation control (rolling out to everyone as the semester progress) Maps from LiveWhale Places Better …
  • Server Changes Ahead

    September 22, 2011
    David recently discussed the death of Trilium Why Must Trillium Die? and now I, the newest member of the New Media team, am preparing some cool server side architectures that will be deployed over the next few weeks. The improvements should add several security enhancements, provide more opportunities to improve performance, increase server redundancy(decreasing down time) and hopefully improve our software dev cycle. So basically the same cool stuff from us… but…
  • Why Must Trillium Die?

    September 21, 2011
    It was recently pointed out to me that while we’ve posted and talked about the actual process of archiving and removing legacy content and the final step of ending Trillium, I’ve never talked about why. Websites for large institutions become cluttered almost immediately, and maintaining a clean, efficient system helps keep it fast, reliable and secure. Specific to Trillium and legacy, we need to remove old content and improve overall security. Old Content …
  • LiveWhale Developers Conference

    September 21, 2011
    Last Thursday and Friday, Lewis & Clark New Media hosted the first-ever LiveWhale Developers Conference here on campus. WhiteWhale (maker of LiveWhale) brought three other LiveWhale schools and we all were able to hear about the future developments for LiveWhale as well as give feedback on the issues and features that we have submitted. One of the best parts was that most of the second day was devoted to each school presenting on how they were using LiveWhale in…
  • Institutional Tags Now in Effect

    September 13, 2011
    As I mentioned in an earlier post, to give institutional LiveWhale groups (i.e. your group name begins with “Inst:”) the ability to target events to specific channels of screens, I’d intended to use a specific set of tags to help direct content. For college, graduate and law groups, these tags do not apply nor impact the targeting of your event to the three campuses. For institutional LiveWhale groups, you must use at least one of the following directional tag…
  • Digital Screens Feedback and Suggestions

    September 7, 2011
    The response to the new digital screens has been overwhelmingly positive. And we’ve also received some great feedback and questions that have led to some changes we’ll be making and some best practices guidelines. Best Practices Summary Summaries are required to get your event on the digital screens, don’t forget them. Major Events Big, all-day or multi-day events are best promoted by a page or pages which summarize the (often annual…
  • Events Template Changes

    September 6, 2011
    We’ve made some event template changes as part of the roll out of LiveWhale Places and to be much more accurate when it comes to people finding past and future events. Location and LiveWhale Places When LiveWhale Places launched, it sort-of bumped the previous events location field. The events location was (and still is) a simple text field where you can indicate the event location(s). In the past it was of course the only option, but now with LiveWhale Places…
  • Is Software Eating the World?

    September 2, 2011
    It’s interesting that given my recent experience with generating the code to drive the digital displays, that two articles on the merits of software have graced two very different venues, the Wall Street Journal and Hacker News. The first was by Marc Andreessen (of Netscape fame and fortune) as a guest for the WSJ on August 20th, and he expounded the incredible value that software can provide (and why now). A response to Marc’s article appeared on HN (which …
  • Seen the New Homepage?

    September 1, 2011
    It’s been two years since the redesign. (Really, more than that.) So it should be no surprise that today we launched a new version of the institutional home page that now showcases (up-to) five stories in place of the one we displayed previous. A lot of work went into this launch over the last few days to write the custom code for the switcher, as well as supply a huge influx of new stories. (Emily gets the credit for the heavy lifting there.) But, this is just th…
  • QR Codes, here to stay?

    September 1, 2011
    Are you starting to see these blocky, three-eye diagrams around, perhaps even on some digital signage across our three campuses? They are called QR codes (short for Quick Response code) and are readable by smart phones using an (often free) application to decipher the enclosed data. Mashable recently posted a story on these codes and their uses, and many others are starting to try them out in well, all kinds of places. At the lowest level, they can be in situ b…
  • There Went 158.

    September 1, 2011
    A little after 4p Tuesday, the server serving the screens suffered a crash. Node.js, the technology serving the webpages and content to the screens suffered a memory issue, ballooned, and forced a restart for both it and Redis, the NoSQL database that houses a local copy of the events data for the screens. In doing so all the screens events data was lost. For better or worse, I’ll bet almost none of you noticed, which I count good. The screens all keep their…
  • Digital Displays, Next Steps

    August 26, 2011
    As you all have hopefully seen, the campus digital displays launched on Wednesday and we’ve received a lot of great, positive feedback on them since. Thanks to those of you that have given us kudos — please be sure to thank everyone I noted in my previous post too. That said, nothing ever sits for long in New Media. Since we launched the displays early, I had to cut some of the features that we had planned for the launch. Below is a list of some of the thin…
  • Digital Displays Launch

    August 24, 2011
    Today we launched the digital displays across all three campuses. This was earlier than we’d planned for the launch, but staff from IMS (Robbie Booth and Patrick Ryall) and IT (David Dean and Matthew West) along with several contractors (DC Tech and Team Electric) worked long hours to get the system installed and ready to go for today. (The photo at right is the test screen along with some of the whiteboarded software code that drives them.) As I’ve mentioned be…
  • Google on Campus

    August 16, 2011
    Yesterday, we were visited by two able Google employees, Henry and Katie. During the glorious sunny day, they drove and biked the three campuses to add Lewis & Clark to the Google Maps StreetView system (also available on many mobile phones). In case you missed seeing them, I was able to get a picture of the tricycle in front of the Manor House.
  • LiveWhale Push Updated

    August 8, 2011
    Today I completed a significant update to LiveWhale Push, our open source push notifications module for LiveWhale, to account for the addition of LiveWhale Places last week. LiveWhale Push now allows subscribers to use two new parameters for filtering updates based on location: place_id and radius. When place_id is specified, the news story, event or blurb must be located within the radius (in miles up to 10) of the place. And, radius can be zero, to keep updat…
  • LiveWhale Places Launched

    August 5, 2011
    Early this summer, I had announced that we were working with WhiteWhale on LiveWhale Places. In the interim since, Morgan and I have reviewed Alex and Fred’s work on it several times over the summer, knocking out some of the kinks and getting its user interface working smoothly. It is with great pleasure that I am announcing that LiveWhale Places has launched at Lewis & Clark! As part of launch, Morgan, Lawrence and I quickly jumped in to get everything o…
  • Future LiveWhale, Made by You

    August 5, 2011
    A LiveWhale update is not coming to Lewis & Clark just yet, but it is on our horizon of course. From our early days beta testing LiveWhale for WhiteWhale over two years ago, we’ve continued to help them refine the software through our feedback. This is not just the feedback that new media provides, but an aggregate of all the great ideas, the “wouldn’t it be nice if’s” from all of you. Five minutes ago Alex alerted me to two new features coming in the …
  • How the Digital Displays Will Work

    August 1, 2011
    This post is for the geeks out there to explain the nitty-gritty of how the new digital displays will work. If that isn’t what you’re looking for, I’ve already posted how you can send your events to them and about the hardware and history of the project. How we got here. To start, all the base data and content lives in LiveWhale (ubuntu/mysql/php) and in many cases, the events we will show on the displays will likely already have been entered int…
  • Send Your Events to the Campus Digital Displays

    August 1, 2011
    People have already begun to ask how they will be able to get their events on the digital displays going up around campus and scheduled to launch around the beginning of the semester. So, to save myself some emails over the next month, here are the basics. You need a LiveWhale account/site. Chances are, if you are an office, department, program, or official student group, you already have one. (Hint: If you aren’t using it, now might be the time?) Once the di…
  • Announcing LiveWhale Push

    June 15, 2011
    Today we are releasing version 0.0.1 of LiveWhale Push as open source software. LiveWhale Push is basically push notifications for select content updates that occur in LiveWhale. You geeks may want to get the software and read the docs at Github, but for everyone else, below is the short version of why this is significant for Lewis & Clark. 1) We are supporting ongoing LiveWhale development. As a beta location for LiveWhale, we obtained our LiveWhale softwar…
  • We Will Mirror No More

    June 15, 2011
    Near the end of June (the 28th or 29th), we will make changes significant in how some web addresses work on our website. Currently, when web content appears within a school website (e.g. college, graduate or law) we have been mirroring it at two web addresses on our site. For example, the following two web addresses show the same page content: http://www.lclark.edu/college/offices/admissions/  http://college.lclark.edu/offices/admissions/ Doing …
  • LiveWhale Walkabouts

    June 3, 2011
    In case you didn’t know it, I have started doing occasional LiveWhale Walkabouts, meaning I poke my nose in offices around the three campuses from time to time to check in with you about LiveWhale questions… on your own turf. I did one yesterday on the undergraduate campus, going to Olin, JR Howard, Smith, Miller, and Fields, and I had some great conversations. Very productive! Didn’t see me yesterday? Look out for me coming to your office soon
  • Announcing LiveWhale Places

    June 1, 2011
    We will soon be launching a new LiveWhale feature called LiveWhale Places. And given the name, I must tell you that it’s not your next coupon service. What is LiveWhale Places? LiveWhale Places is an easy way for your to geo-locate your LiveWhale content (news, events, blurbs, images, etc.). You need only start typing the name (or address) of your location and you’ll see a list of matching places. If you don’t see the one you need, then you can add it rig…
  • Easier Contact

    May 4, 2011
    As we continue to link up services to core data resources, we are adding department/office/program contact information to search results when they turn up as recommended results in the search engine. We used “english” as a test case here, so now if you do that very search you’ll now see basic contact information for Academic English Studies and the Department of English. The linking process is a manual one, so we’ll be working through many others in the week…
  • More Expansive Search

    May 3, 2011
    We’re working our way through some updates to the search engine — you might have noticed it’s dominated our recent posts — and today have tweaked the engine just a little more. Some of the recent changes are necessary to drive our prototype search engine that will launch late this summer, and others are immediate search upgrades. Friday, we made the search engine ranking more consistent across datatypes (pages, people, news, etc.) for the future engine and t…
  • Finding Faculty

    April 27, 2011
    We recently made a few more updates to the search engine to improve the find-ability of faculty information. We link to LiveWhale faculty pages. Every night, we refresh our people data from Colleague (Lewis & Clark’s central people database). We get all kinds of contact and basic information about everyone directly associated with Lewis & Clark, like current faculty, staff and students. For faculty, we know that many if not all professors (i.e. not…
  • Refining Search

    April 25, 2011
    As we continue our march towards a new layout and functions for the search engine, I spent some time recently dropping in a little feature that gives you an easier means to help us help you. When you do a search and are looking at the results, sometimes you just can’t seem to get the result for which you are looking. Now, directly beneath the page title, you’ll find a little statement that says: “Didn’t find what you were looking for?” Click on it and …
  • The End of Trillium

    April 22, 2011
    Today we are beginning the removal of old Trillium websites for offices, departments, organizations and faculty. The Trillium websites to which I refer all begin with addresses like: http://legacy.lclark.edu/dept/name http://legacy.lclark.edu/org/name http://legacy.lclark.edu/faculty/name (~tilde sites are unaffected by this change.) For those sites that are being removed, here’s what you need to know: We have made an archive of everything. Sho…
  • SXSWi Report: Delightful Applications

    March 31, 2011
    In my second personal “track” for SXSWi, I wanted to focus on easy-to-do methods for better user testing. While a number of my sessions dealt with user interaction and testing, two sessions stood out as the most relevant for me: 1) Stop Listening to Your Customers and 2) Conserve Code: Storyboard First. Stop Listening to Your Customers In both, the key element was to reduce the cost of user testing so that it’s easy to do at any time. One of the presenters…
  • Working on all new LiveWhale support site

    March 31, 2011
    Attention, all our fellow LiveWhale friends! I am working with Lawrence to rebuild our LiveWhale support site over the next couple of months. This will include new FAQs and other support documents (including new screencasts, a glossary, etc.) to help you with your oh-so-valuable work. When I have some rough but good pieces to show you, I’ll post them here, as your input would be much appreciated!
  • More Secure Search

    March 31, 2011
    As of this afternoon, we are now running the search engine via a secure connection should you desire it. This is typically known as SSL and means that the URL (web address) begins with https instead of just http. It’s also what makes the address bar blue in some browsers or display the lock icon in others. We specifically chose to do this as we increase security around our single-sign-on and that is also reflected in LiveWhale after Tuesday’s upgrade — you mig…
  • “In just an hour, I actually started to have fun with it.”

    March 28, 2011
    Last Thursday afternoon, Morgan and I met up with Art Department Chair Ben David and in a little over an hour, walked him through LiveWhale. This kind of training is pretty routine for Morgan, who did the lion’s share, and it was quite productive in that Ben got all his questions/needs answered quickly. Later that evening, Ben cc’d us on a great email to fellow art faculty. While we selected LiveWhale to be as easy as possible for the everyday site edits, it’s…
  • Upgrade to LiveWhale 1.4.1 on March 29

    March 25, 2011
    At the end of the day on March 29, 2011, we will upgrade our LiveWhale content management system to version 1.4.1 (from version 1.4.0). There are many small tweaks and fixes across all aspects of LiveWhale. Some of the most obvious improvements will include: clearer editing toolbars (now divided into two rows by category type) ability to embed images or widgets directly from a toolbar (whether editing a page, a news story, etc.) better navigation widge…
  • Keywords, Recommended Links, and Go Links

    March 23, 2011
    Underneath the hood, we use managed keyword lists to guide our search engine to respond with Lewis & Clark specific information whenever appropriate. For example, we can help the engine know that when you type IT alone, you want Information Technology, not the pronoun (which would appear on nearly every page). These keyword lists are a primary resource for the search dropdown, the recommended links atop search results, and our url-shortened go links (i.e. http:/…
  • SXSWi Report: One Application Codebase

    March 16, 2011
    While I love my iPhone as much as the next person — and perhaps even a bit more — the proliferation of smart phones, tablets, large displays, netbooks, laptops along with the old standby desktop has made developing an application able to serve many/all very expensive. Each device requires its own set of programming code in a language specific to that device. Codebases are expensive. Imagine this scenario, you want to build an application, say a new Source, w…
  • SXSWi Report: App Development

    March 16, 2011
    Morgan and I do sometimes attend the same session, but often we’ll split to each follow different technologies in which we specialize. For my part, along with Robb, I’ve been doing a lot of app development lately (search engine, the new source, the displays, the directory, etc.) so I focused on several sessions that would help us work more quickly/efficiently in app development from technologies to prototyping. For me, these sessions boiled down to two prim…
  • SXSWi Report

    March 16, 2011
    Morgan and I have just returned from some great sessions this year at South-by-Southwest Interactive (SXSWi). As I mentioned in my previous post, SXSWi is the premier conference for all things digital, web, new media. Each year the conference has grown substantially and this was no different. Last year there were somewhere around 15k attendees and I’d peg this year at more than 20k, perhaps even more than 25k. The interactive portion is rumored to be bigger than t…
  • SXSWi – New Technologies For You

    March 12, 2011
    Should you not get our usual quick response, know that Morgan and I are at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference. This conference is part of the music conference that you’ve probably heard of, but precedes it (so no, we won’t be seeing the next major band play). However, SXSWi is the premier web / new media conference and gives us a chance to find, learn about and bring back the best new technologies to Lewis & Clark. In my first session this morning…
  • Search Dropdown

    February 4, 2011
    Last Thursday, we refined the search dropdown to show only recommended links, rather than the top few search engine results. When we first introduced the recommended results atop the search engine results, we didn’t have enough keyworded terms to make this useful for the dropdown, but we do now. (Nonetheless, we’re sure to need more, as things are always changing, so let us know if you find an area where a new keyword could help.) Today, we are updating the sear…
  • New Media Projects

    January 28, 2011
    Ever wonder what New Media is working on and what’s yet to come? While it doesn’t have quite everything, the following resource does cover most of our major projects and their status in an always-updated fashion. https://www.pivotaltracker.com/projects/156445 PRIMER: The individual items you see are called stories. They are not tasks, but encompass one or more tasks. Essentially, a story is something that is of value to the end user and many are written that…
  • Is Jonah emailing you?

    January 20, 2011
    As part of the Content Project, you may receive emails from LiveWhale that Jonah has placed a note on one of your pages regarding the content of the page. Jonah works for new media and while converting our forms from legacy forms to LiveWhale forms, he will also be noting outdated or inaccurate content, or places where the content could be improved in other ways. Please pay attention to his notes and if you need help with the suggested changes, feel free to call or emai…
  • Update on Forms

    January 18, 2011
    After a few weeks of testing, I am happy to report we have rolled out LiveWhale forms to all users this morning. Furthermore, over the course of the spring semester we will replace most of the old forms we are currently using on our website (which are built using outdated web languages cgi/perl and are therefore not as secure or robust as we would want) in favor of the new LiveWhale forms technology. This will make it much easier for you to build and maintain yo…
  • Forms! Two new tools for adding forms to your webpages

    December 16, 2010
    One enduring challenge I’ve experienced on the Lewis & Clark LiveWhale website has been what do when people need new forms on their webpages. The only solution we have had is cgi-perl script forms from our legacy server that are frankly a pain to work with. To solve this dilemma once and for all, hooray, we are currently implementing two exciting new tools for adding forms to your webpages. One is an external service called Wufoo and the other is an internal L…
  • Missing Pages

    November 9, 2010
    When a page no longer exists on a website, you will often find yourself at a page called the 404 page. (The 404 refers to a code that is also issued with the page.) We’ve revamped our 404 page to make it a lot more fun, but at the same time, we’ve made it much harder for you to end up there. Here is what it checks for before you see the actual 404: Is the requested page known to be “Gone”? If so, tell people it’s gone. Does the requested page have…
  • Events for All CAS Student Groups

    November 9, 2010
    This week I am working to provide LiveWhale events to all student groups in the Lewis & Clark College of Arts and Sciences. When completed, this will allow all groups to post their events on their own page as well as the central campus calendar. Currently, only some groups have this capability. There are several steps involved, including adding the proper subdirectories — for instance, the Climbing Club at http://college.lclark.edu/student_life/student_organiz…
  • New Administration Page

    October 25, 2010
    You may have noticed there’s a new link in the institutional (meta) navigation at the top of the page. This is a new feature of the website that we’ve been working on for a little while and is our first step into building organizational data into our sites. http://www.lclark.edu/administration/ Clicking Administration takes you to a web page that is written for a diverse outside audience, since we expect that this link will be used by people that haven’t y…
  • Why doesn’t my page update right away?

    October 21, 2010
    When you make changes to content on or supplied to one of our websites, it may update immediately, or it may take a few minutes to update, or perhaps a day or so. The range depends upon the application and how the content is stored and used. Following are some of the most frequent content changes and the specifics about when, how, and why they update when they do. LiveWhale http://www.lclark.edu, college.lclark.edu, graduate.lclark.edu, law.lclark.edu When …
  • LiveWhale Page Notes

    October 20, 2010
    You may have noticed that as you work on pages in LiveWhale, there is a little menu item called Notes. Notes give you the ability to store page-specific little snippets not only to your pages, but to others’ pages as well. You can note something that needs attention, or tell a group that they’ve done some “Great work!” When you enter and save a note to a page, LiveWhale will email your note to the owners of the page, letting them know what you thou…
  • Recent Updates to LiveWhale

    September 7, 2010
    From Alex at White White: Here are the remaining patches that I’ve delivered this morning: - IE8 support in LiveWhale backend. - Small images are no longer upscaled in the sidebar of the images editor. - Fix for missing fields highlighting. - Fix for reported double-scrollbars on tags. - FF issue with gray background around image preview in the image editor. - Fixed CSS issue with editing an event series. - “1 of 1″ images no longer displays on t…
  • The Content Project

    September 7, 2010
    The Challenge More than anything else, websites are visited for the content they offer. While design, interface and architecture all play a role in making a site useful and effective, content is the primary driver of value to the site visitor, and by extension also drives search-engine rankings. Indeed, “Content is king.” Content is also the most expensive part of a website. It is the part that cannot be generated by machine; at its best, is thoughtful, incl…
  • New LiveWhale tool bars

    August 19, 2010
    Here are two updated FAQs about LiveWhale 1.4 toolbars. Page Editing Toolbar: http://www.lclark.edu/live/news/1383-what-does-the-page-editing-toolbar-do Control Panel Toolbar: http://www.lclark.edu/live/news/1919-overview-of-control-panel-tabs
  • LiveWhale Update — Tuesday night, 3 Aug 2010

    July 29, 2010
    We are planning on upgrading to the new version of our LiveWhale content management system Tuesday night. There are over 100 improvements made from the previous version. You can read the tech-heavy change log from White Whale themselves (the makers of LiveWhale), but I have distilled some of the main improvements below. Feel free to call us with any questions. I am at x7972 and David is x7968. Thanks. Page drafts You can now save a draft of a page-in-progress. The…
  • LiveWhale Training on All Campuses, End of Aug and Sep

    July 22, 2010
    Hello all– We will be offering LiveWhale training/refresher sessions on all three Lewis & Clark campuses both at the end of August and the end of September. More details (like exact dates, times, locations) when I get them!
  • Winding Down Legacy; A Change in Redirects

    June 10, 2010
    We’re coming up on the one year anniversary of the new website launch, so it’s hardly new anymore and it’s time to remove the last vestiges of the legacy website for external visitors (for all but ~tilde accounts for individuals). So, we’ve just changed how legacy redirection works. Here is how it worked before: A visitor asks for http://www.lclark.edu/dept/pubcom/something.html The server has a redirect for /dept/pubcom/, but no redirect listed for /de…
  • LiveWhale Training Sessions

    May 24, 2010
    We will be offering training sessions for LiveWhale users this summer at all three campuses. Part of this effort will be introducing users to the changes in our anticipated upgrade to LiveWhale 1.4 in June, but also to answer any general questions you want answered, issues you want clarified, and so forth… it’s your show! More details to come, but… We plan on offering one series in mid-to-late June and another around Labor Day.
  • Baby steps to new campus maps…

    May 20, 2010
    I have been working on several projects to improve our campus mapping. Below is one with all general buildings, and your feedback would be appreciated. View Lewis & Clark Campus Map in a larger map I have plans for others with parking (car/bicycle), wheelchair access, public art and gardens, and more.
  • LiveWhale 1.3.5 Update – Scheduled for April 20, 5p PST

    April 15, 2010
    Below is an email from Alex at White Whale about the next update to LiveWhale: version 1.3.5.  This will be coming soon to Lewis & Clark. ————————————————————————————- LiveWhale 1.3.5 Changes: Features: - The forms module now supports enforcing of secure SSL when desired. - Images in the WYSIWYG editor may now be aligned using the toolbar buttons. - Enabled spell-checking in the WYS…
  • SXSWinteractive

    March 19, 2010
    Morgan and I are back from Austin, Texas, after a great SXSW conference. We learned much and you’ll start to see changes to some of our materials and applications in the coming months as we employ these new ideas in our work. However, if you want to get a sense of what we saw, I’ve got my sketchnotes posted and Morgan has posted his photostream. Regarding the sketchnotes, I only started doing this at last year’s conference, when the battery life and wi-fi were…
  • Traveling to SXSW Interactive

    March 11, 2010
    Starting Friday, March 12, 2010, David and I are in Austin, Texas, attending the SXSW Interactive conference, which according to its website “features five days of compelling presentations from the brightest minds in emerging technology.” (The Lewis & Clark New Media team has attended this very important and informative conference most every year.) If you need to reach us, we will be checking our email; however, it just may be that it takes us a little longe…
  • Why can’t I style my text further?

    March 1, 2010
    Many people ask (and lots don’t) about using colored or styled text for web page content. We get this request from time to time and often turn it down, but many people don’t know why. There are three primary reasons. Find/Change First and foremost, on rare occasions we use a find/change routine to edit website content. This is not a frequent occurrence because we prefer to have content editors know why a change needs to occur, so when we do this, it is often a…
  • Creating Pages in LiveWhale

    February 26, 2010
    Over time, we’ve been extending the ability to create pages to LiveWhale editors on an asked-for, do quick training, get it method. However, having repeated this process and the rules involved for a while now, it seems like a great thing to talk about here and drop into a tutorial sometime soon. So, if you want to create pages. Just let us know so we can authorize you. Page Naming (the filename that appears in the URL, not the page title) To start, we have rules…
  • What are redirects?

    February 15, 2010
    Every web page has a unique address called a URI or URL (depending on your upbringing) and this address is what tells your browser where to go to get the information it displays to you. However, like phone numbers, web addresses are not necessarily permanent, and do change from time to time. So what can we do to help people find the new location when it changes? Well, wrapped into the underlying method of finding and retrieving a web content is an item called a redi…
  • Past Events Now Online

    February 12, 2010
    Now people can view past events for departments and offices.  For instance, if you go the English department homepage at http://www.lclark.edu/college/departments/english/ you will see the Events box at the bottom. Click on the More Events link to go here: http://www.lclark.edu/college/departments/english/events You will see a link at the top of that page to “View Past Events” here: http://www.lclark.edu/college/departments/english/events/archive/ T…
  • New Features for The Green

    January 29, 2010
    Mostly the work of Robb, we’ve just updated The Green with a bunch of new features. We’ve got a few more enhancements to make, but here is a short-list of what’s already working. Email Notifications Make a post or a comment on The Green and you’ll get short update whenever someone else subsequently comments. Gravatars Put your chosen image next to your posts — learn about gravatars inside The Green. Chronological Lists All the home page colum…
  • Sneak PEAC at template variation

    January 27, 2010
    Update: PEAC’s website on LiveWhale launched today with only a few hitches which were quickly fixed. Onward! When the Pacific Environmental Advocacy Center (PEAC) switched from Trillium to LiveWhale, they realized they would lose some of their unique identity in the process. They weren’t the only ones. The Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) and National Crime Victim Law Institute (NCVLI) also felt the sting of sameness as a result of the move. …
  • New LiveWhale Support Pages

    January 19, 2010
    Today I revised or added several new pages of support information for LiveWhale users: Managing Downloads (revised) Adding and Editing a Download Deleting a Download Blurb Management What does the page editing toolbar do? (revised) Switching Between Your LiveWhale Groups (revised) Look for others coming soon to our growing support pages at http://www.lclark.edu/new_media/
  • Our “go” url shortening/keyword service.

    January 15, 2010
    Ever wondered why our url shortening service is different than others and how it works? Our url shortening service is very much designed for readability and marketing use. While you can of course use the shortened urls in emails and through other electronic distribution means (and there are good reasons to do so), they are designed to be foremost a memorable link, to facilitate print/audio/video to web transfer. That said, here’s how it works. I’ve talked be…
  • Our Home Pages Are a Changin’

    January 7, 2010
    We’re about to cross the six month mark from our launch of the new site last summer, so today, we assembled a bunch of communicators from all three schools to talk about our four home pages and well (and not) they are working. We had a really good session, fleshing out a bunch of issues that people were having using LiveWhale and how we might better utilize its features, or get changes/improvements made. We also discussed ways to share resources better. And th…
  • LiveWhale 1.3.4 Upgrade

    December 18, 2009
    Wednesday night, Dec 16, 2009, our LiveWhale software was upgraded to version 1.3.4.  Below is the official announcement from White Whale about the upgrade: *** LiveWhale 1.3.4 Release Announcement After many months of development we’re happy to announce the immediate availability of LiveWhale 1.3.4. In addition to assorted bug fixes, this release contains many new minor features, as well as a few new modules and widgets. Please review the changel…
  • Coming Soon: New Central Calendar

    November 18, 2009
    The new central calendar we are preparing to launch will present all events that people have entered into their Lewis & Clark websites (via LiveWhale Events). It will be in a standard five-week calendar view, in which you can navigate forwards and backwards. Additionally, the default view will be “Everything,” but if you find that too expansive, you will able with just a click or two to filter the display by tag, by website group, or by school. How do I …
  • Similar Name People Search

    November 6, 2009
    An example screen capture of a Josh Allen search. We’ve just added a much sought-after feature to the search engine for people searches — similar name search. We now automatically expand your search to include like-names (shorter versions, longer versions, some similar sounding versions, etc.) to make sure we’re helping you find the person for which you’re looking. I’ve attached an example of a search for Josh Allen. Give it a try for yourse…
  • New LiveWhale FAQs Posted

    November 5, 2009
    I have posted several new LiveWhale FAQs on our New Media site at http://www.lclark.edu/new_media/.  I have been posting them from time to time since May and will continue to do so as much as I can.  (If you see something that should be added, please tell me.) Recent posts include: Adding/Editing LiveWhale Galleries Attaching an Image to a LiveWhale Gallery Galleries, Image Rotators, Slideshows Ranking with Balloons …
  • Searching for Student Information

    November 4, 2009
    This is the standard search people-view when not logged in. After logging in, you’d see emails, box numbers and major, for undergrads. In the old site, we had the ability to see additional information on students when you were located on campus. Well, that made sense in the days before wireless coffeehouses/cafes and VPN. Today, more and more of us (including your new media team) work from all kinds of places, and not all of them on campus. So for t…
  • Working towards a new SSO

    November 2, 2009
    SSO, or single-sign-on, is the holy grail for integrated user-experience at an institution the size of Lewis & Clark, and with so many different systems out there that the average person needs to interact with on a regular basis, sadly it’s not really an achievable goal to get them all. But that said, every step towards integration helps just a little bit as it’s one less login you have to complete to use some service. So, we’ve built a login application t…
  • OregonLaws on BoingBoing

    October 30, 2009
    I’ve not talked a lot about our ruby on rails (RoR) development, but Robb Shecter has been working with it for some time and I’ve been playing with it since shortly after joining the team in PubCom. With this new technology, which combines some best-practices in programming with web development and security, it allows us as creators to deal with and improve the user-experience far faster and easier than most other technologies out there right now. RoR aside, Rob…
  • The Chronicle Online

    October 30, 2009
    When we threw up the Chronicle in LiveWhale about a month ago, we did it quickly. We needed the content live and what with timing, didn’t have the time to do a proper re-imagining of the online presence of the Alumni magazine. Now, we’re embarking on a redesign to not only think about appearance, but also about the functions and features it offers to readers. We’re definitely going to have to include some social media, as that seems to be the hot new thing in …
  • Source Upgrade

    October 30, 2009
    I spent a few good hours upgrading the Source on Thursday. When it was first built, it hadn’t used our site-wide templating function and it was using the Newsroom’s story page to show it’s story content. Here are some of the changes that were made: Built-in story page When the Source was built, it was set to use the Newsroom’s story page to display its story content. Showing the stories in the Newsroom wasn’t too odd, in that both streams of content co…
  • New search engine spell checking

    October 29, 2009
    The search engine now helps when a search is mis-typed, just like Google and others.  For example, searching for englsh now gives a helpful response: http://search.lclark.edu/pages?search=englsh
  • Welcome

    October 28, 2009
    Now that we’ve moved past our most recent redesign launch, we’re inaugurating this new blog for our ongoing work on our new website. This blog will talk in detail about the plans we’ve already made, updates that we’re working on (from us and WhiteWhale, maker of our LiveWhale CMS) and all the other web applications we build and maintain, like Search and Login. We’ll be linking to this blog from our feedback engine (UserVoice, the tab on the left-hand side …
  • About Our Website Redesign

    June 15, 2009
    This new website is a collaboration. It has been built with the hard work of many people, from new students to current students to alumni, from faculty and staff to the trustees, and the help of tech guys and consultants too. And what’s more, we’ve just started.

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