SB You Blog

If you want to keep up with the things we are thinking about with regard to SB You, visit here often. The team is eager to make this space better for you and here you can see what we are thinking about. As always, please feel free to leave us a comment and tell us what we should be thinking about doing.

Two New Magazine Themes Added

This morning we enabled two new themes that are designed to support online magazine like formats. The first is the Apostrophe theme.

Apostrophe is a fully responsive magazine theme that’s a pleasure to read from any device. It offers clean, easy-to-read typography paired with a modern, minimalist design. Choose from a single-column layout, or make use of multiple sidebar and footer widget areas. Highlight your best posts to add variety and interest to your homepage, and showcase your social media links at the top of the page.

Apostrophe Theme

The second theme is the Canard theme.

Canard is a flexible and versatile theme perfect for magazines, news sites, and blogs. It lets you highlight specific articles on the homepage and balances readability with a powerful use of photography — all in a layout that works on any device.

Canard Theme

Chemistry Department Uses SB You to Create a Symposium Website

written by: Joslyn Matthews ’15

SB You was launched in January 2014 as a platform for digital expression and as a tool for students, faculty and staff to publish easily-managed websites using the popular WordPress content management system. Norma Reyes, Assistant to the Chair of the Chemistry Department, began building a website in SB You back in December for a symposium her department will be hosting in June.

Reyes started building the site through Google Apps (Sites), but after calling the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) for assistance, a staff member steered Reyes in the direction of SB You.

Norma Reyes, Assistant to the Chair, Chemistry Department

Norma Reyes, Assistant to the Chair, Chemistry Department

Although she was walked through the basics of setting up her website with a little help from DoIT, she soon found it was easy enough to navigate and design the website’s aesthetics herself.

“It was very self-explanatory,” Reyes said about the WordPress settings inside of SB You. “Going in to add menus and change graphics is pretty simple.”

Incorporating options such as the ability to allow people to register for the symposium and adjusting aspects of the site’s theme adds to the rich experience of SB You.

After showing the site to colleagues, Reyes received positive feedback because of its professional and sharp look. This is due in part to the responsive theme made available to users. Reyes can add different site managers who can easily tailor content to the chosen theme.

Reyes will continue to maintain the site with new details leading up to the symposium. SB You’s straight-forward features and assorted themes makes it easy for even those with no HTML or CSS coding experience to create a site from scratch.

She found that one of the benefits of SB You is that all the information is in one easy to find dashboard.

“We’re at the age of press and go,” Reyes said. “It’s very convenient to simply send a link to a modern and fully functional website rather than a text-filled email that people may or may not read through.

Reyes says she plans on using SB You again for future projects and would definitely recommend the service to other colleagues in need of a Web publishing platform at Stony Brook.

Additional Information and Resources:

Getting Help with SB You

Join the Yammer SB You Group

Edublogs (now CampusPress) User Guides

Search for WordPress tutorials on lynda.stonybrook.edu

Hiding Sites in the My Sites List

We’ve noticed that the My Sites dropdown menu at the top of the page can get too long, making it difficult to get to the site you want to get to. We thought it would be a good tip to show you how to hide sites in the My Sites menu. To hide a site simply visit this link to edit what sites show up in the My Sites listing.

Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 2.00.34 PM

The Compfight Safe Images Plugin

Compfight Safe Images plugin

Did you know you could activate a plugin in your SB You website called Compfight Safe Images that will help you quickly and easily find, add, and properly attribute Creative Commons images to your posts and pages? This is a huge time saver!

Learned about this today while reading a related blog post from our Elegant Themes provider. Many of you Web masters out there in the SBU community might benefit from reading this article like I did:

Beautiful Imagery for Your Website: What it is, Where to Find it, and How to Use it

Here are some interesting facts cited in the article …

  • Research by Stanford University shows that for 46.1% of the people who view a website, the site’s design quality is their top criteria for deciding if the company/brand are credible or not.
  • Bright Local found that 60% of consumers prefer local search results that include images
  • A Skyword Study found that content including a relevant photograph or infographic increased its total views by 94% compared to content without an image in the same category

Hope this knowledge sharing helps you improve the imagery on your sites!

12 New Themes Activated

Today we activated 12 new responsive themes here at SBYou. The themes should be available to everyone in their dashboards. Responsive themes are designed to “flex” based on the device and resolution you are using to view a site. We like responsive themes because they look great regardless of the device you are using. The 12 new themes are:

  • Hatch
  • Landscape
  • Market
  • Mixfolio
  • Padhang
  • Radiate
  • Sidekick
  • Sorbet
  • Superhero
  • Syntax
  • Temptation
  • The Newswire

Students: Keep Your SB You Sites for Life

In keeping with one of SBUDoIT’s core values of delighting our customers, we’re excited to announce an added feature to Stony Brook’s SB You web publishing platform for the Fall 2014 semester. Students may now maintain access to their SB You websites after they graduate, provided they first request an alumni email account through the Alumni Association. This option will only be available to students who already created SB You sites using their NetID.

If you are a student and plan to keep adding new content to your SB You sites after you graduate, you will need to change the administrator email address on all of your SB You website accounts before your NetID expires (200 days after graduation). You will only be permitted to extend access to these sites using an @alumni.stonybrook.edu email address, so it’s important to request an alumni email account as early as possible. For a set of instructions on how to do this, please read our Keeping an SB You Student Site for Life knowledgebase article.

Happy continued blogging!

New Themes Activated

Yesterday we enabled several new themes across the SB You network. All the themes are now be available to site owners by heading into your Dashboard and selecting “Themes” from the “Appearance” menu. We activated several responsive themes that should look great on any device and across most browsers. Take a look for yourself!

The "Highwind" theme

The “Highwind” theme

SB You Voices

Discover what is being said across SB You by looking at the category and tag pages. These pages show the trending and most commonly used tags and categories across all public SB You sites. What this means is that we have a way of seeing what we are all saying on any specific and connected item. Couple that with the ability to search on any word or phrase across the network and one can see what is being published.

Why is that interesting?

Imagine you have a class and you’ve asked all your students to have their own SB You spaces that they will write in on a regular basis. You could ask them all to tag their posts with a course specific tag that you can then pull together and look at and expose. If each student in the class is writing in their own SB You, but using the same tag a custom page can be generated to see all posts using that specific tag. Here is an example using the tag, “SBUDoIT.”

Now, think about site-wide search and how you could use that to see what the community is talking about in general. Think of the power during popular events … search for a term like “Obama” and see what people are saying about the president. Search for a more general term like, “democracy” and see how our community is reflecting on that concept.

Discovering more structured content through the use of the category page is another way to see what is being done. Amazingly lots of people either choose to use the same category or are asked to do so. For example, check out the results for the multi-site category result for the term, “technology” … pretty cool.

So the next time you are bored, why not take a look at what is happening across the SB You network … and as always, we encourage you to add your voice!

Get your own SB You site now!
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