Early Modern Commons Update

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My early modern blogs project, Early Modern Commons, is now more than a year old. Today I’ve posted a major overhaul of the backend (let’s call it v2.0), moving away from WordPress into a purpose-built database.

Hopefully it’ll be lighter and faster loading. A few URLs will be broken, unfortunately, as I’ve had to change some blog IDs, but mostly everything should work.

I’ve also added about 25 blogs (and have a few more to come), taking the count over 200 – probably about 220 by the time I’ve completed the additions.

The most important change is that I’ve added aggregation for blog posts as well as blogs. EMC began with an idea for an enhanced blogroll (growing out of my long-standing dissatisfaction with the standard list-of-names blogroll), and at its core will continue to provide that service. But I’ve been keen to do more with it, and that’s now possible with the backend changes.

The new Recent Posts feature is quite basic at the moment but it will be possible to expand it and to make it more sophisticated, especially with a little help from the bloggers themselves. For example, it could be possible to have a ‘Research Blogging’ feed if bloggers are willing to tag their posts with a distinctive category/keyword to denote research-heavy posts (discussion welcome on what the keyword should be) – a simplified version of Research Blogging. I’ll also be experimenting with the use of keyword filters to create more feeds like the one for CFPs and conferences (and to improve that one; it’s not quite right at the moment).

Feedback welcome, and if you have any ideas for future developments let me know.

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