The Transart Commons is a growing collection of blogs, online groups, forums and other social networking elements (based on buddypress) to build community in the Transart low-residency programs. In the Commons, Transart members create groups, process blogs and profile pages; you can add friends, write status updates, post notes on one another’s profile pages, send private messages, read and participate in discussions on forums, track member activity etc.. The announcement and opportunities forum is open to the general public. The vast majority of groups are simple sign-yourself in, but some are by invitation only. Expect new functions like Wiki’s, document sharing and collaborative documents in the near future. The Transart Commons allows social networking and collaboration on all levels. The Commons is expected to grow flexibly with the changing dynamics of cultural, social, and technological environments in and around Transart.
Groups – are the primary tool for collaboration in the Transart Commons; three privacy settings offer varying levels of visibility. Discussion forums allow groups to hold and archive conversations around specific topics and threads. The group documents plug-in creates a way for group members to upload documents; the document page then lists and sorts all group documents thus serving as an archive for group-related publications. Groups can request a wiki-like collaborative document plug-in. Groups can be associated with a blog on the main Transart WordPress installation. It allows for the creation of private spaces for group discussion in the forums and a publicly viewable open group blog that can be used to communicate with the rest of Transart as well as the general public.
Member Profiles – Upon joining a BuddyPress-enabled site, you set up a profile page on which you should include an avatar (image or other representation of yourselve) and a listing of links and interests. These profile fields have been customized to reflect the nature of Transart. If there is other kinds of information you want to know about one another please contact admin with your idea. Custom Profile Filters make it possible for members of a network to find others who share their interests, thus creating an organic, user-driven, serendipitous system of connection.
Activity Streams – BuddyPress tracks many site activities through an RSS stream. As members of the site create blog posts, join groups, or add friends, these events are displayed on their profile pages and on a site-wide feed. Similarly, groups have activity streams that display recent forum posts, documents uploaded, and news of the creation of new member accounts, all of which can be used to keep track of site-related events. Privacy is mediated by various controls, mostly group settings (e.g., activity in private groups is visible only to members of those groups).
Blogs – Each Transart student will install a WordPress blog for process documentation. The blog serves as a repository and common reference point for discussing work, evaluating progress and planning projects for the semesters ahead. Instructions will be mailed individually.