Sunday, July 16, 2006

RAMBLE Project blog - hiatus and archival

This post concerns a work-related blog I have been maintaining, which disappeared off the radar for a couple of weeks or so. This is to explain what has happened.

From Autumn 2004 until Spring 2005 I managed a small externally-funded project in mobile learning called RAMBLE, which concerned blogging on PDAs and other handheld devices and linking them with institutional learning environments. A readable overview was published in an online journal called Ariadne.

As part of the process, I maintained a project blog and the budget included all the hosting needs, but once the project had finished - as so often happens - the blog could only be maintained on good will and very mimimal resources. Even so, the blog server software, Pebble weblog, impressed several colleagues and even the Director hosted his blog there... But alas we were hit by spam, which escalated in magnitude, and it was decided to remove the service and I don't think it will come back online :-(

For a while none of the blogs were available at all, but I've found a way of creating an archive that, all being well, preserves the orginal addresses of the posts, i.e. the permalinks. Pebble stores everything to do with each blog in flat files, so I simply copied the files across to a fresh local installation of Pebble and ran a spidering tool (wget) to grab a static snapshot, and then the sys admin could copy these files to the server. As I type there's a wget-generated archive available at the moment, but it's not yet complete and retains options for posting comments etc.

Another blog, pault@LTG, has suffered the same problems, and I need to find a replacement; I'm thinking of setting up on Educause as I'm registered member, due to attend the 2006 conference in Dallas in October.

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