(this is a legitimate work post, honest!)
As part of a much wider collaborative tools trial I’ve created a WordPress environment at work.
We’re using WordPressMU – rather than the stand-alone WordPress product that this blog uses.
Apart from a ready-made environment I have no development time, to speak of, at my fingertips.
This is one reason for choosing WordPressMU; I’m familiar with the single installation product so the MU variant is likely to be broadly similar; it’s php-scripted which falls within my skills; it requires little routine maintenance and it’s a transparent product.
However, the office environment has thrown up a number of relatively minor niggles.
The hosting server sits in our DMZ and it’s IP-restricted; this means that it’s openly accessible to folk using our organisation infrastructure (JANET) providing we know their IP addresses, no matter where in the world they are based.
This is neat, it’s a one-rule-to-many-users environment which suits the needs of the organisation.
It means that the server in question doesn’t have access to the wider world and, conversely, the wider world doesn’t have access to the server.
This is entirely desirable!
But the downside means that – because our test blogs at work are out of range of the internet – the usual suite of user-friendly blog aggregation tools (google reader, bloglines etc), aren’t available.
And this is a real pain in the bum.
I could, if I had the time, write a product which aggregates the RSS feeds and presents the findings in an html-presented UI.
This, in a nutshell, is what both bloglines and google reader do to the wider internet.
But unfortunately I don’t have the time.
So I’m throwing myself on the mercy of the court.
If anyone knows of any tool that’s already around that will (given the nature of our enclosed existence) meet this functional requirement, could you please let me know?
p.s. as an experiment it’s been interesting – and even beneficial – so far. A significant quantity of good thinking and a high degree of information has been published in the ‘public’ domain (i.e. made widely available) quickly and easily. Before this experiment, it’s likely that hardly any of this information would have got outside the heads of the authors!