Ok. If I wasn’t totally dazed and confused about all of this before, I’m over the edge today. This is my weblog life as I know it: I love Blogger, I’ve always loved Blogger, but I’ve outgrown it. I need more. Surveying the teacher-weblogging landscape, I see Manila seems to be the thrilla, but the more I get into it and after yesterday’s difficulties, it seems more like a gorilla. (BTW, thank you to Terry and Seb for commiserating and David for the help.) P-machine, on the other hand, is clean and and pretty easy (and my tech guy says their tech support is, and I quote, “friggin awesome!”). I’m going to play more today. But then I get an e-mail from Karen this morning espousing Antville, and, oh my God! In literally seven minutes, I did this. What I’m loving is built-in commenting and separate comment pages (just like (sigh) MetaFilter!), picture uploads, e-z collaboration with defined permissions, sound and video upload, a pretty clean interface. Downside of course is the remote hosting, but you can download the software and make it work locally. (More fluids for my tech guy!) At the very least, it signals the absolute end of Blogger in my classroom. Glad I still got six weeks before school starts!
Joe seems to have made his decision to go with p-machine. I need to roll up my sleeves and play some more with it. As Sebastian says “Manila is not an impressive show case of human centered design.” He and David (in his comment here yesterday) suggest that Manila can be tweaked for ease of use, and if I am going to use it this fall, I’m going to need to think hard about what that basic template needs to look like. I know I want students/teachers to be able to post news items, stories, pictures and gems, that I want them to be able to receive comments, to work collaboratively, to set permissions, and to add links to the navigation bar. But what else? And what about the bugginess that I experienced yesterday?
I’m going to dive into p-machine for a couple of hours today and put it through it’s paces. If anyone wants to join me, just click on the chat button at left.