UNI Webtools: Resources for Web Developers
Instead of focusing their attention on promoting information to mainstream media, some university public affairs offices are using the power of social media to engage the community directly. In many cases, social media tools like Facebook Pages have given universities an opportunity to speak to audiences on their own, reaching thousands of people interested in keeping up with news at the school and connecting with others on the social network. More on Mashable.com
One interesting use of the views module that I came across is creating an image block that loads a random image whenever the page is refreshed or a user navigates throughout the site. This method will rely on Views, as well as CCK and the Imagefield module.
The first step is to create a new content type specifically for the images in your block. Under "Manage Fields" for this new content type, add an image field and configure the options for it to suit your needs.
Next you will need to create a new view for displaying your images. On the configuration screen for your new view, begin by adding a block display. There are several sections that need to be edited now to get your block to display a single random image.
1) Change the "Items to display" number to 1.
2) Under fields, set Content: Image as the only displayed field (this field will show up as an option only after you have made your custom content type with the new image field)
3) Under filters, set Node: Published and Node Type = "whatever you named your content type" as the two filter options
4) Lastly, under Sort Criteria, set Global: Random as the method of sorting.
This view will only target image fields from that one specific content type, and then arrange the images in a random order. Since it is set to only actually display 1 image, you now have a very simple random image generator.
After saving your view, you can now just go to Site Building --> Blocks and place the new block in whatever region you want.
The switchtheme module provides a simple way for users to switch between themes on your site. A block is created upon enabling this module that displays a select list for all enabled themes. Permissions for this block can be configured by roles, and it is a great way to allow guests to the site to demo different themes.
After enabling the module, simply set permissions for "administer switch" and "switch theme" and then just place the "Switch theme form" block in whatever region you would like. Under "Site Configuration -> Switchtheme Configuration" you can also give each theme a more user-friendly name that will appear in the select list.
Just make sure you set the "Switch theme form" block in the correct region in each of the enabled themes so that you don't switch to a theme and have the block disappear!
From the Trending Upward blog: This weekend I was checking out some organic search results for higher education sites. I was astonished by the number of higher ed sites that do not use a meta description. The meta description won’t help your ranking in the top search engines, but it’s still very important. It describes your page. Trending Upward