Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Version 8 Blog Tool

My opinion about the built-in blog tool in D2L is the following - YAWN!

It doesn't really look like a blog, or at least not much. The blog entry creation interface isn't all that complicated, but to me it doesn't look anything like Blogger, Wordpress, or any of the other blog tools out there. Maybe it doesn't need to look like the others, but since there are 70 million bloggers out there (or pick your own number) and they are used to a certain look-and-feel, it seems counter-intuitive to make a tool that doesn't "behave" in a similar manner to what people are already using.

Also, the blog display to others is not at all "pretty." It kind of looks like a series of D2L News boxes one on top of the other. The example I saw was not attractive but maybe it can be customized to look better. I know that looks are not everything, but I was personally turned off by the look and feel of this tool. It won't make me leave my other blogging tools anytime soon.

In version 1 of this tool (they admit that it is only a start and will be a work-in-progress for a while) the blog can either be totally personal where only the creator can view it or it is totally open where the entire world can view it. Clearly the missing options here are (A) only people enrolled in a class can see it, (B) only invited people can see it, (C) only people enrolled in the college/university can see it, (D) only people enrolled in the system (MnSCU) can see it, and other variations on those themes.

I give them credit for trying, but my first impression is that this is a swing and a miss. Strike One.

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