The other day I wrote a blog on the CUNY Commons about WordPress and its role within the New Media Lab which prompted some interesting discussion with Kimon Keramidas of the Bard Graduate Center’s Digital Media Lab.
At the New Media Lab, we’re currently working on developing a better way of supporting students in the way that they present their work online. Naturally, for many students working on projects where the site itself isn’t the innovation, I strongly endorse content management systems (CMSs). The freedom to focus on the content or the digital innovation rather than the display mechanism I think is an important part of the package the lab offers, but still- I can’t help but wonder if the homogeneous CMS environment that is emerging might be inhibiting digital innovation on campus.
We’re looking to implement a Wordpress multi-user installation in the lab, which would allow students to build their digital project’s websites without worrying about things like security updates. It would also make it easier for the lab to maintain the WordPress version across multiple WordPress installations. This would be a major win for security, but would it be a negative for us to create or endorse another WordPress multi-user installation rather than encouraging experimentation with other CMS?
Does the Graduate Center need another WordPress installation? The CUNY Commons is available for faculty and staff; Open CUNY is available for students. Would a third or fourth such option make it seem too much like we’re outright endorsing a single way of doing things?
I open up the discussion students, faculty and friends of the New Media Lab. What do you think going forward? Is there a technology that we should be providing more support for? Do we need an “equal time” provision?