New Twitter account is live!

Since class on Friday, I have received several messages from students saying they couldn’t log in to this site, that it would say their account or username wasn’t recognized, or in some cases they weren’t able to click in the username or password boxes at all.

As I was troubleshooting this, and wondering why I could log in and everyone else was having difficulty, and re-writing the ‘How to sign up‘ page, I had a revelation: Logging in on the website is completely unnecessary.

No more!

No more!

Well, not completely unnecessary. You *do* have to log in over at WordPress.com, but if you do that you’re already logged in to every WordPress site out there including this one. There is no reason to have to log in again, so the whole sign-in thing on the webpage was completely redundant, and I suspect that’s what was causing the big issues.

So I got rid of the Login widget all together and replaced it with something I can’t say I have too much experience with: A Twitter feed.

You can see the Twitter feed on the left

You can see the Twitter feed on the left

I have been toying with the idea of setting up a class Twitter account for at least a year, but I haven’t been convinced of its practicality. When asking students how many of them have an active Twitter account, the response is usually anywhere from zero to 2. Not very compelling; I guess you have to be a celebrity, politician, or company to have one. Plus, I’m not terribly big on social media – I deactivated my Facebook account all the way back in March and can’t say I’ve missed it.

But the issues with the login widget created the perfect opportunity, and I figured that I could use the feed to not only post interesting tech-related links or photos or what have you, but also alerts; so if for example I was going to be late (which has NEVER happened, so let’s not get our hopes up), or a last-minute change was being made, or I needed/wanted to get a message or post or photo or interesting link to the class while I’m out in the field and without access to Canvas, this would be a way to do that. You can also send a tweet to me right from the feed, so if there’s something class-related you want to bring to my attention or something you might want to see on the blog, you can let me know that way.

Not only that, but whenever I make a new post it will be automatically posted to the Twitter feed. Therefore, if you have a Twitter account and follow the site through them, you’ll always know when there’s a new post. You can tell a tweet indicates a new post when the link in the tweet itself begins with ‘wp.me.’

I did run in to one major issue right off the bat – the username “IS301” was already taken. I couldn’t believe that when I saw it, and to make matters worse it’s taken by someone who doesn’t deserve it, doesn’t use it and in fact has never made a single post. I can see why he chose it; his name is Irwin Silver and he lives in my home state of Maryland, the western half of which has the 301 area code, but that kind of name-squatting is irksome. Anyway, I couldn’t use it so if you want to follow the class Twitter account, it is @IS301atNSC.

So now the widget is there, and I put up a few posts just to test it. If you hover your mouse over the feed and use your scroll-wheel, you can scroll the feed up and down to see earlier posts. let me know what you think about the idea, or if you even have a Twitter account and actually use it, and we’ll see how it goes.

(On a side note, the binary in the Twitter profile picture says “IS301”)

Going Up