This is a call to all… 

A few updates to note. After a bit of a rocky weekend exploring the settings in the W3 Total Cache plugin and the ways in which it seemed to be breaking navigation and login processes (with page cache enabled, users were not able to log in properly) we have now enabled object and browser cache capabilities that should have a bit of a effect on performance. The site will still be occasionally slow (as all sites can be), and there is still more to be done to help increase performance as we move forward.

You might notice a change to your profile page. Updates have been made to make the site’s activity stream serve up content in a style similar to that “other” blue social network. Content that appears in the “Your Stream” section will be populated based on the users you follow on the Commons. There is a glitch right now when you hit the Load More button, which can be fixed if you click on the Your Stream link in your profile first, before trying to mine deeper than 20 items.

To cut down on the noise on the Commons Activity Stream we have coded out the avatar and profile picture updates. Avatar creation, or changes made to avatars, will no longer log as an activity in the stream.

An attempt is being made to highlight the virtues of following and connecting with others within the space, to move the Activity Stream from being merely a place to “subscribe” to your students/classmates contributions, to a space you may feel compelled to share content with the rest of HWDSB. This will raise questions about what is appropriate to share with the entire community versus what is appropriate to share within a private group. There are so many different ways you can share beyond this board-wide feed: within public group forums, on your own blog, or on blogs of other users. You are the early adopters, the innovators, the beta-testers. @bhughey noted that questions concerning the functionality available within the Commons needs to be posed to students, and I heartily agree; how can the Commons better serve your learning experiences. This site is certainly a stage in which comments can be left to help inform the direction the Commons Development team moves.

We do have something else I’m excited to launch in the next week or so, I can’t “list” it here yet, but it will enable you to connect with different groups of users in a new way that I think will make following different people easier.

Thanks to everyone who went pink on the eleventh. We tried to take a “community group photo” but the browser crashed trying to render 6500 avatars on one page.