Welcome to Your MUSE Commons Site!

Hi, this blog will be a place for us to post updates for those of you maintaining your own sites on the MUSE Commons. Right now, there aren’t that many of you as we have just a few beta sites, but we anticipate more and more sites being added in the future. We’re starting this blog when there is only the barebones of WordPress at your disposal, and we’ll be adding more features and functionality as we take the beta MUSE Commons site forward.

Welcome to your MUSE Commons site, and we look forward to seeing you expand your content community’s presence on the Commons!


Displaying Recent Facebook Posts on Your MUSE Commons Site

When setting up the MUSE Commons,  I wanted both Twitter and Facebook content for Project MUSE to display on the main page. Twitter was really simple—just set up a widget in your account. Facebook was a little more complicated. I didn’t really want the ubiquitous  plugin that shows “Facebook likes,” so I looked for a plugin that could display actual content from Project MUSE’s Facebook page.

I installed “Recent Facebook Posts,” and I have been happy with the results so far. I set it up to display the full Facebook posts, and, since I use Facebook mainly to keep up with high school friends, this is probably the first time I’ve kept up with MUSE’s Facebook posts, and I’m quite impressed!


In order to use this plugin on the MUSE Commons sites, you can go to settings and select “Recent Facebook Posts.” You’ll see that you’ll need various id’s and keys.


I would recommend going to the webpage for this plugin to get more fulsome instructions: http://wordpress.org/plugins/recent-facebook-posts/installation/ Now, skip the part about installation—-I’ve already done that for you. Otherwise, here are the steps you’ll need to go through using the instructions:

–You’ll need a Facebook “App” (application) to fetch posts from Facebook. This step includes registering as a Facebook developer.

–Use the displayed URL to get your Facebook page ID.

–Fill in the App ID, App secret, and Facebook page ID.

To get the posts onto your site, for example in the right hand column, go to Appearance > Widgets in your site’s dashboard. Find and drag the “Recent Facebook Posts” to the widgetized areas in the right hand column of the widgets page.

You’ll then need to configure how you want the Facebook posts to appear. Below are the current settings for the MUSE Commons. I will probably shorten it at some point from 5 posts to 4 or 3.


There you go! It’s really pretty simple even though you have to go through some steps to gather the Facebook data needed. Enjoy!


How to Post a Twitter Feed Widget

Posting a widget containing your Twitter feed is really pretty easy. You just need to log into your Twitter account, choose settings, then Widgets. Click to create a new Widget. You’ll see something like the image below.


Fill in the Twitter address that you want to create, adjust the height of the Twitter widget if necessary (it defaults currently to 600 pixels, but this might be too long for your site), then click the “Create Widget” button. Voila! Just click into the box with the Widget code to copy. (You can also create a widget for a hashtag search or a list, see links in the image above).

To get your Widget onto your MUSE Commons site, go to your site’s Dashboard, choose Appearance, and then Widgets. Select the Widget called “Text” and drag it over to the location display in the column at the right where you want the Widget to appear. In the example below, I want the widget to appear in the sidebar of the site. The text widget will pop open so you can enter something into it. Now, just paste in the Widget code that you copied from the Twitter widget generator, and save.  And that’s it!




Blavatars: Create Your Site’s Avatar

When I first started playing around with the Commons, I noticed that the avatars for sites seemed to default to the avatar for the original administrator of the site. I couldn’t find a place where one could upload a distinct avatar for the site itself. So, I have now installed a BuddyPress plug-in letting site administrators do just that.

In the dashboard, “Blog Avatar” now appears under “Settings.” Just click that, and upload your brand new avatar. Here are the steps:

1. So, Settings > Blog Avatar:


2. You’ll see the current avatar displaying. Click “browse” to find the image you want to use instead, and then click “upload image.”


3. Now all you need to do it crop the image. It will need to be a perfect square, so play around to find the center, and drag to fit in everything you want to display in that square.


4. Voila! The avatar is uploaded successfully.


5. And, your site’s avatar displays in the site directory on MUSE Commons. The avatar of the person posting will display next to posts (left, below, an example in the “recent blog posts”).


Let us know if you have any questions.