The Daily Emerald is working hard on moving its web presence forward. Largely, it’s me setting up the technology and implementing design, but the rest of the newsroom understands imperative to innovate quickly and start transitioning to a better digital product. The result of about five hours hacking a WordPress template yesterday is ODE Blogs, an aggregator for the current four Daily Emerald blogs launched at the moment: Press Pass from the sports desk, Pizazz from Pulse, Our Words from Opinion, and Up Close from the photo team.
As always, open source technology is at the heart of these cool updates. We’re using separate instances of WordPress for each blog, which makes user administration a lot easier and the ability to sandbox the layouts. The aggregator serving as the blog landing page is a semi-custom WordPress theme with a slightly hacked SimplePie plugin that allows us to merge the RSS feeds and order them by publish date (hat tip to Jenn Vargas for that lead).
This design isn’t stay static, though. What you see now will change in the coming weeks as we work to unify the user experience of the paper, the WordPress blogs, and (keep your fingers crossed) the main College Publisher 4 site. Our hope is to have visual cues across all products which make navigation common, intuitive, and simple.