Practically deploying blogging part 1

So I have the reasons why blogging should be put into the college for next year, but how am I going to do it? Well here's a few issues and thoughts buzzing around my head at the moment.

First up, how is blojsom going to cope with 1100 students and staff using it?
I know it scales but how far does it scale really? I mean blojsom like most blogging systems seem to be made for single people or groups of trusted people.
What were basicly building is something like moveable type or blogger, the system in which blojsom will exist as such. Here are a few ideas for the system…

1. The simple way = the way i can see it working for now.

We use blojsom on one server under one servlet only. There will be no xmlrpc access, people can only blog by putting the entry files in a certain directory. That directory will be mapped on to there desktops or user area. We will use standard file system authentication to stop people changing other peoples files, etc.
They are welcome to use any kind of text editing tool they like, but we will deploy and have training on one we rate highly. More than likely this tool will support xhtml and be multiplatform for osx and nt support.

2. The email drop

Basicly the same as above but we add email to blog feature for those's who want to blog offsite. I have not yet tried this feature out, but it could be the same authentication problem as xmlrpc, where the person blogging can blog to any part of the system. Which is not what we want.

3. The xmlrpc way = the way were doing it at the moment

This way we use one server and blojsom but allow blogging over xmlrpc only. We deploy a blogging app on peoples desktops and direct people to use that to blog. Now this runs into the major headache of xmlrpc authentication.
First up how do you maintain the list of authenticated users?
And how do you stop people from publishing to areas where they shouldnt?

4. The xmlrpc way 2 = I think the best way at the moment

This is the same as above but we deploy a staff blojsom and a 2nd servelet running the student one. That way students can fight it out and the like but not interfere with the critical newsletter system.

5. The multiple servlets

We deploy multiple servlets and allow different departments or areas of studies to take care of one. But its pretty much the same as the above solution and has the same problems too.

6. The webdavvy

This is based around version 1, but allows offsite access by the webdav protocal. Each persons weblog folder will also be a webdav folder.
Nice idea but it adds another layer of confusion to the system, but this would also allow the uploading of images, audio and video.

So the issues are,
We need to check against our ldap server to make sure the person writing the weblog is writing to the correct folders. And what kinda of configuration are we going to deploy for blojsom?
On top of all this we have to decide on the input for users. We have the oppotunity to deploy a application on the desktops and that also requires great consideration, which I wont go into now…

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Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser.