Innovative software that will create two or many thousands of blogs - Web logs - with just one installation is being developed by staff and students of ibiblio at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Called Lyceum, the software will allow individual communication exchange as well as large and varied group communication.
A powerful Web publishing system, Lyceum builds on WordPress software and allows for ease of use while maintaining high performance and security. It is ideal for corporate Intranets or universities that need secure, manageable and high performance blogging services for thousands of users. Lyceum expands on the familiar features, interface and tools of WordPress for users and administrators.
"As the Internet has grown and evolved, it has become a place of collaboration, a forum for discussion and a medium used to exchange information at the click of a button," said Paul Jones, director of ibiblio, a free public library of digital material on the Internet.
"This growth is exemplified by the open source software, blogs and other communication tools being used every day on the Web," he said. "What better way to expand on enhancing these opportunities to share ideas and thoughts than to offer software to make it easy to create and install blogs?"
Jones also is a clinical associate professor in the UNC schools of Information and Library Science and Journalism and Mass Communication; ibiblio is a collaboration of the two schools.
The emerging generation of Web tools is often described as Web 2.0. According to the O'Reilly Network, which spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazine and conferences, the concept of Web 2.0 emerged during a conference brainstorming session between O'Reilly and MediaLive International. One component of Web 2.0 is social software, including blogs, wikis, trackback, podcasting and video blogs.
The Frances C. and William P. Smallwood Foundation of Fort Worth, Texas, a grant-making foundation that promotes technology and education, donated $25,000 to the School of Information and Library Science to create a fellowship to support a graduate student working in open source software.
The fellowship will be used to continue the development of the Lyceum blogging system, which is open source. The funding will help developers refine the program and make it available to users around the world.
"The visionary gift from the Smallwood Foundation will allow us to take the next steps in innovation with Lyceum - that is, to move the project from an early test state to software that can be widely used by a vibrant contributing community," said Jones.
The gift counts toward the university's Carolina First Campaign goal of $2 billion. Carolina First is a comprehensive, multi-year, private und-raising campaign to support Carolina's vision of becoming the nation's leading public university.
Home to one of the largest "collections of collections" on the Internet, ibiblio.org is a conservancy of freely available material, including software and information about music, literature, art, history, science, politics and cultural studies.