Edublogs and Supporter

A few weeks ago, Edublogs passed a pretty big milestone, the 250,000 blog mark.

We were and are absolutely delighted that so many teachers and students have been able to use the service for so many different reasons and we want to continue improving, expanding and developing the site so that we can see in 500K, 750K and so on!

And to do that we’ve been working feverishly to set up, configure, manage, and deploy hardware and a system which will allow this to happen – so that you and your students sites will be quick, reliable, safe and ever improving over the years to come.

But in doing so, of course, we had to revisit our business plan because planning on hosting a million+ blogs is a pretty costly endeavor!

Now, a lot of you may know about Edublogs Campus – our institutional and district-wide blogging platform used by clients ranging from Cornell University to the Department of Education in Victoria, Australia. Well, that’s one means that we support free blogs on Edublogs and that’s carrying on just as normal.

The other method has been via Edublogs Supporter, which has allowed teachers to subscribe to receive extra features and more storage.

Well, today we’re improving that.

As of now, Supporters will not only get the same features that they had before, but also massive amounts more storage (we’re increasing 0.5GB to 5GB… a 10 fold increase!), along with exclusive access to tools like the Blog & User Creator, existing plugins (and new ones to come) and other great features.

Also, occasionally, we have displayed ads on sites to assist with covering hosting costs. This is someting we’re going to have to increase on free blogs, but of course Supporter blogs will not have any third party advertising on them.

And more importantly, what we’re also now allowing supporters to do is *turn off* advertising on up to 30 different sites (a whole class of students) – as well as your own blog being turned off automatically.

There are a couple of catches, first up we’re having to increase the price of supporter to $39.95 per year (that’s still less than $4 per month!).

Also, as I mentioned previously, extra functionality (plugins, blogs & user creator and a few others) will only be available for supporter blogs, and there will be a reduction in storage for free blogs too.

Is this ideal? Well, in a utopian world we’d like to give everyone, everything, entirely for free and without any ads! But that’d be a utopia… so, barring that, we hope to still provide great free blogs alongside an absolutely premium supporter service that is more than worth the price of a large coffee per month.

We welcome your feedback, thoughts and requests for new Supporter features in the comments.

Also, if you are experiencing any issues with your supporter subscription or previous credits that you may have lost, please email us at support (at) edublogs /dot/ org and we’ll fix you up (there are always hiccups in a big move).

You can find a bit of a better write up about what Supporter offers here.

Come together (and chat on our new forums!)

Here’s some pretty big news… Edublogs.org is now open only for teachers but also for students of all descriptions.

Previously we’ve hosted three other sites – uniblogs.org, learnerblogs.org and eslblogs.org for students but we decided a few weeks ago that this is both overly complex and limits what teachers can do with their students through their blog on Edublogs.org.

Uniblogs.org, Learnerblogs.org and Eslblogs.org will remain in operation indefinitely but we won’t be allowing new signups to them, from now on *everyone* can sign up here and simply select if they are a ‘Teacher’, ‘Student’ or ‘Other’ (librarian, researcher, administrator etc.)

You can change this ‘blog type’ at any time through your options and we’ll be adding more ‘types’ as we go along (best to start simple).

And here’s one of the immediate benefits of the new system… our brand spanking new, completely groovy, forum system!

new edublogs forum system

All you have to do is visit Options > Forums and you can create a forum and add it anywhere on your blog by simply pasting in the ‘Page Code’ that you are provided with – for example (forum:4) – but with square brackets.

Then you can use it for class discussions, Q&A on anything you want and as a central hub for hosting conversations on whatever you like. You know, all the things that forums are good for :)

And of course, now all you students need to have is a username and/or blog on edublogs.org and their avatars will appear next to their contributions and link back to their blogs if the have them. Neat huh!

Here’s a handy 3 minute video that goes through the whole process of setting up a forum:

Setting up an Edublogs forum

So we hope the new system makes life easier for everyone and we hope you enjoy the new forums functionality (please feel free to suggest any improvements too!)

NB: You can export blogs from uniblogs.org, learnerblogs.org and eslblogs.org to Edublogs.org if you want by creating new blogs at Edublogs.org and using the Manage > Import / Export features.

Introducing Edublogs Supporter

This is a big development for us here at Edublogs, so if you’ll excuse a small fanfare (trumpets etc.) we give you Edublogs Supporter :)

edublogs supporter

As you know, Edublogs is free of charge and free of advertising, and we’ve been giving a great deal of thought to how we can continue to grow the site, buy more hardware and develop functionality and resources while keeping it exactly that way… and this is one of the ways we are going to do that.

As an Edublogs Supporter you get extra features (like brilliant Twitter and FeedBurner integration), extra storage, listing on the front page of Edublogs (we select 10 random Supporters every hour) and a warm feeling inside that you’re supporting the provision of free, advertising free, tools and resources for teachers, librarians, researchers and, of course, students the world over. All of the current features are listed here.

And we’re going to be adding many many more features too… in fact, if you can think of some which would persuade you to sign up as a supporter let us know about them in the comments below!

So we hope you’ll give it a go, if you sign up for a yearly Supporter account it’s only just over 6 cents a day (25 credits) and you can also sign up for one (5 credits) and three (10 credits) months if you’d just like to give it a try.

Oh, and we’ve also bumped up our standard space upgrade to 3 Gigs.

There’s more information here and we’d love to get your feedback and suggestions below or in the forums.

(This is a "Page")Who’s behind the scenes at Edublogs?

Edublogs has grown from a single idea in 2005 into the largest and most trusted provider of educational blogging in the world.

We believe in the power that blogging can have to transform the educational experience of students and have seen first hand how Edublogs have increased ownership of learning, engaged students, and become a source of pride in the classroom.

Based in Australia, but with employees located all over the globe, the Edublogs team consists of some of the best technological and educational minds in the biz. We are happy to talk with you about blogging, Edublogs Campus, or anything else you might like to send our way.

Get To Know the Edublogs Team

James FarmerJames Farmer is the Founder and CEO of Edublogs. He’s worked previously as a teacher, Lecturer in Education Design at Deakin University and Online Community Editor of The Age. He´s based in Melbourne, Australia and when not immersed in Edublogs-related-thought, he likes hanging with his girls, soccer and roaming around Melbourne.

 

Sue WatersSue Waters is the force behind The Edublogger (our official ‘how to’ blog) and also the seriously well-respected author of the Edublog Mobile Technology in TAFE. She’s Australian, based in Perth, married with two kids and while not blogging works both with fish and other lecturers doing PD around e-learning, m-learning and everything in between.

 

Ronnie BurtRonnie Burt works to constantly improve the educational experience of Edublogs. He looks after sales as well as our overall product and business development. Prior to joining the Edublogs team, he used Edublogs in the classroom as a teacher where he has taught at the secondary and undergraduate levels in the US and Mexico. Ronnie is a longhorn football obsessed native of the great state of Texas.

 

Lol BruschLorraine Brusch looks after the marketing, look and feel and all those ungeeky elements of Edublogs without which we’d be completely stuffed. She’s got a background as a sales exec, entrepreneur and business owner and is the vision behind our development and success. While not critiquing sustainable business models, Lol paints, draws and designs.

 

aaronAaron Edwards is responsible for the systems that manage Edublogs free and pro accounts, as well as countless other innovations and custom functionality which Edublogs users enjoy. He’s a critical member of the Edublogs team and while not at the keyboard, enjoys travel and is the founder of the award winning MissionsPlace.com.

 

michaelMichael Katzenellenbogen is the person who makes Edublogs tick. He’s responsible for our extensive server configuration, caching, performance and security at Edublogs as well as working tirelessly on Campus, SSO configuration and anything of significance that we do. Previously a core SysAdmin at the NYTimes.com, he’s based in Brooklyn, NY.

 

MohaMoha Sudirikku is a developer for Edublogs with an eye across a whole heap of projects, providing excellent support and an aim to be the quickest coder in the, erm, east. Moha proudly takes care of our Edublogs Campus networks. He’s based in Finland, loves gadgets, and is interested in all things open source.

 

 

maniuManiu Misiek develops powerful plugins that help make every Edublogs users’ lives a bit easier. Also, he keeps a close eye on all of our themes! When he is away from his computer, he is playing tennis or windsurfing on one of the Polish lakes near his home.

 

 

ignactioIgnacio Cruz hails from Madrid, Spain where he is the co-organizer of the WordPress Meetup in Madrid. He’s an accomplished coder with his work found in many Edublogs plugins and projects.

 

 

VladislavVladislav Bailović lives in Zrenjanin, Banat, Serbia and comes from a languages and theory of literature background, but he picked up programming as a passion along the way and stuck with it. He’s still fascinated with being able to order machines to do his bidding, and is always looking for new ways to improve in that.

 

ElliottElliott Bristow bends over backwards to keep everybody happy! With 10 years of web design and development experience, and having watched WordPress grow in that time, Elliott is a crack-shot at troubleshooting the kinds of issues our users come up against. As a British Ex-pat living in Spain, his location means we can keep our support department open even when our US and Aussie based staff are tucked up in bed!

 

Wait, There’s More!

Edublogs is part of a larger team of 40+ WordPress experts – a company called Incsub.

We’re the same folks behind WPMU DEV and WPMU DEV’s WordPress Blog.

You’ll find the best and most experienced developers on the planet contributing to the success of Edublogs and what we do.

Connecting With Edublogs

Use our contact form if you would like to send us a message.

Mailing Address: We have offices in the US and Australia:

PO Box 202546
Austin, TX 78720
USA
PO Box 163
Albert Park
Victoria 3206
AUSTRALIA

Let’s hear your testimony!

We’re going to be launching a rather cool new look for edublogs pretty soon to complement our new hardware and functionality.

And as a part of this we’d like to display some testimonials… and not just ones we’ve made up :D

So, if you have a few minutes could you email us (support (at) edublogs [dot] org) or leave a comment below with your thoughts on Edublogs.

What’d be even better (although don’t feel obliged to do so) would be if you could include your name, your location, your institution and your blog URL… could get you lots of nice traffic off the homepage too!

And we’ll be eternally grateful!

Hello sailor!

The more discerning of you may have noticed that there’s something a little different about your Edublog backend as of today.

In particular I suspect you’ll rather like what you see when you visit your Presentation tab (uploadable, ahem, croppable, headers anyone… 20 new themes, perhaps?)

Or check out the multi-blog management drop-down menu that your blog name (in the admin area) has become.

Then, you might enjoy the extra helpful links in your Dashboard… and notice that the site is swanning along at quite a nifty pace.

And, while you’re at – upload an Avatar… you’ll be happy you did (and there’s even a widget to pop it in your sidebar).

More information (and funky functionality) coming very soon… told you we’d make this worth your while, didn’t we!

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