Archive for plugins

Upgrades and privacy plugin phased out

We are in the process of upgrading onMason for the Fall semester. As part of that process,  we will be phasing out the Private WP 2 plugin. That plugin’s functionality is now included as part of WordPress. Here is how you can activate it:

  • We’ve attempted to migrate all sites using the plugin to the appropriate privacy setting on WordPress.
  • If you are running the plugin, check your settings. Go to the Settings menu and click the Privacy option.
  • If not already selected, select the setting “I would like only logged in users who are registered subscribers to see my blog.”
  • Save changes
  • The result should look like below:

If you have any questions please leave a comment below.

We will be turning off the Private WP 2 plugin at the end of the week.

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ALERT: WordPress 2.8 Upgrade

The onMason platform has been upgraded to WPMU2.8+. At this time we are seeing some plugin issues which are undergoing repair. We anticipate full functionality returning to the site by the end of the week.

If you experience any problems, it appears our Support plugin is currently malfunctioning. Please leave a comment on this post and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

EDIT: The Support plugin is now working. Please direct any questions or bug reports to that area in your backend.

New onMason Features and ScholarPress

The following new features have been added to onMason via plugins:

  • Use aggr to embed RSS feeds in your posts.
  • Create footnotes.[1.Using the FD Footnotes plugin, like this]
  • Private WP allows you to lock down your blog to make it invisible.
  • Publish2 is a link journalism tool. It has been auto-activated over all blogs as part of the testing process. If it is interfering with your blog, you can now turn it off from your plugin panel.
  • Riffly Video/Audio comments has been activated over all blogs. It gives all onMason blogs audio and video commenting systems by default. You can turn it off, or replace the commenting system using DISQUS
  • VodPod integration: VodPod is a site that allows you to collect and bookmark videos from any number of websites. You can now activate the VodPod plugins and display your VodPod gallery using a widget or by typing [Insert Video Gallery] into your post.
  • You can activate threaded comments from the plugin page.
  • You can now activate a Flickr widget to display your Flickr stream on your blog.
  • You can now go to your widget page and activate a widget to display your delicious stream.
  • You can display your Twitter stream using a new built-in widget. (Issues with Twitter’s API may cause tweets not to show up.)
  • You can create polls using the PollDaddy Polls plugin, made by the creators of WordPress.
  • Trackback and Comments RSS feeds are now available through the Subscribe to Comments page.
  • Users can now subscribe to your blog via e-mail when you activate the Subscribe2 plugin.

We have also launched support for ScholarPress, a set of plugins developed by Mason’s own Center for History and New Media. The first plugin is WPBook, which allows you to generate a Facebook app that will allow others to add your blog to their Facebook pages or profiles. The second plugin is called Courseware and allows you to manage a class using your onMason blog. You can use Courseware to “add and edit a schedule, create a bibliography and assignments, and manage general course information.”

Please report any problems or issues you have with the new plugins.

Anti-Spam Powers Increased

Users may have noticed the significant increase in spam comments on onMason blogs over the past few days. This issue has been brought to our attention and we have taken steps to solve the solution.

As of today, non-users and users alike will face a significant barrier to spam comments or trackbacks. onMason now has a four step solution to blocking spammers.

Our core system is TypePad Anti-Spam, a plug-in based on WordPress’s Akismet anti-spam system but with a greater compatibility with MU. This system allows a networked ability to catch spam. Posts on any blog with the plugin active and marked as spam will be marked as spam in the future for any blog deploying the plugin. This is a significant advantage over the default system.

We will be filtering Trackback spam using the Simple Trackback Validation Plugin. Follow the link to see just how the Trackback Validation works. Essentially this system will check to make sure trackbacks are linked from a legitimate site and are actually tracking back to you.

The Simple Spam Filter will be checking all comments for certain patterns and an excess of links and blocking any comment that falls into those patterns (as documented on the linked site).

The Anti-Spam Image plugin generates a CAPTCHA that all non-users are required to fill, in order to prevent bots from massively spamming the onMason network.

Thanks also to which distributes many of these plugins together in one package.

It should be noted that if you are using an advanced commenting system such as DISQUS or BackType (both of which are available from your plugin tab), some of these precautions may be bypassed and you will instead be reliant on the anti-spam systems that those services require.

Note: Though all these systems should work as expected, there may be errors. Please tell us if you encounter any problems.

Full Podcasting Suite Now Available

You can now use advanced podcasting functionality through the Blubrry PowerPress plugin.

PowerPress is the same plugin used by professional podcasters worldwide and supports full iTunes compatibility for both audio and video podcasts. 

You can activate it from the Plugins tab of your dashboard. 

This functionality is currently in testing. Please comment on this post if you encounter any issues using the plugin.

We will be testing other Podcast plugins as well, looking towards the best way to automatically support podcasts site-wide.

Tags and Toys to Play With Them

We are in the process of initiating a site-wide tag tracking system.

While we’re getting it online, we’ve also brought on the popular WP-Cumulus plugin which can now be enabled from via the Plugin tab in your dashboard. We’ve enabled it on this blog so you can see it in action.

Have fun!