What is blogs.sfu.ca?
blogs.sfu.ca is a blogging service provided by IT Services to the SFU community.
What’s a blog?
A blog (an abridgment of the term web log) is a website, usually maintained by an individual, with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse chronological order. “Blog” can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog.
Blogs allow people to quickly disseminate and consume information of relevance to them. Blogs promote discussion and can help build community.
Who can get a SFU blog?
At this time, blogs are available for SFU courses, departments (both academic and administrative), services, graduate students and faculty members (for SFU-related material & research). Personal blogs for undergraduate students will not be provided under this service; we are investigating this as a future project.
What blogging platform does blogs.sfu.ca use?
SFU Blogs is powered by WordPress. We are currently supporting WordPress 2.9.2.
How is SFU Blogs different than running my own blog on a private host?
SFU Blogs is a SFU-hosted and supported service, meaning that we take care of installing your blog, backing it up, installing updates, etc. Because SFU Blogs is a shared service hosting hundreds of sites, there are a few restrictions on what you can do with the service.
- We do not provide Administrator accounts. Instead, we have tweaked the next highest account, “Editor” to allow you to perform the most common admin tasks while not letting you do things that could render the blog inaccessible.
- Themes: the only supported theme is the default SFU Common Look and Feel theme (e.g. the theme in use on this site). An Editor can upload and activate other themes, but we can’t provide any support for other themes. SFU’s web guidelines do require that SFU departmental websites conform to the Common Look and Feel. If you do use a different theme, you need to be careful to select a theme that does not require WordPress 3.0 as we’re on WordPress 2.9.2 (for compatibility reasons with our local customizations). If you upload a theme that requires WordPress 3.0+ you will almost certainly render your site inaccessible.
- WordPress plugins are not supported and can’t be installed by end-users. This is mainly for security and stability reasons; WordPress plugins are the most common source of vulnerabilities for WordPress installations. We may install plugins for you on request, with the following caveats:
- the plugin must not require admin rights to be useful
- the plugin must be compatible with WordPress 2.9.2
- we provide no support for the plugin and reserve the right to remove it if it is found to be causing issues
How do I get a blog?
If you fall into one of the above categories and would like to try SFU Blogs, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
- Type of blog (course, department, service, faculty)
- Name and description for your blog
- Primary user responsible for the blog
- Any additional users/authors
Once we have all the information required to set up your blog, we’ll send you an email in response letting you know the URL to your new blog.
Note that you will need the URL that will be sent to you in email in order to access your blog as there is not a central directory of all blogs.