Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#Facebook RSS in #MediaWiki (#Wikieducator) #vmvwiki #vmvdlt

Following from the Twitter/Wordpress RSS into MediaWiki, I now have a Facebook page RSS feed working. Note that due to Privacy setting Facebook Groups do not RSS Feed.

Christina Bergey has written a blog providing good instructions for this at (note she has "groups" in the URL but this only works  for Facebook pages.

The following code will insert a Panel into your MediaWiki Wiki ( replace YourID, and YourPage)
<div style="font-family: menu,Arial;border: 1px solid #808080; width: 250px; margin-right:auto;margin-left:auto;background-color: #F6F9ED;-webkit-box-shadow: 5px 5px 7px #999;">
|[[File:Facebook.png|25px]] RSS from:<br /><hr width="248px"/>

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

#Twitter & #WordPress RSS in #Mediawiki (#Wikieducator) #vmvwiki #vmvdlt

Using RSS to put a Wordpress or Twitter feed into Mediawiki (wikieducator)


I must thank my friend & colleague Steph Day for working behind the scenes into finding Amit  Agarwal's connection between Twitter and MediaWiki via Google Drive Developer, and proving it could be done.


The RSS extension in MediaWiki allows you to feed from the WordPress RSS feed. Add the following to your MediaWiki page (but replace my WordPress blog with yours)


The following parameters are supported:

  • charset=… The charset used by the feed. iconv is used to convert this.

  • short Do not show the description text for each news item.

  • date Shows date/time stamp for each news item.

  • max=x Shows x most recent headlines.

  • highlight= term1 term2 The terms separated by a space are highlighted.

  • filter= term1 term2 Show only RSS items containing at least one of the terms.

  • filterout= term1 term2 Do not show any RSS items containing any terms

  • reverse Display the RSS items in reverse order

See complete article at


This is much more complicated since  in 2013 Twitter changed the way it allowed developers to access the Twitter Stream. An RSS feed unfortunately is not available, instead a JSON file is generated. However, using a bit of "magic" by creating a Google App allows you to convert the JSON file into an RSS feed which can then be accessed in MediaWiki.


 from  Digital Inspiration created the bridging program that performs the magic and has generously shared the instructions at

Examples of an RSS feed generated

  • Twitter Timeline of user @labnol

  • Twitter Favorites of user @labnol

  • Twitter List labnol/friends-in-india

  • Twitter Search for New York

You should replace the value of 'q' parameter in the URLs as per requirement.

Following Amit's instructions I found one area that needed a little further explanation: For Step 2.  Configure your Google Script:

If you want to get a wrapper for your feed refer to the Sample page/instruction links at the start of this post.

Some Notes:

  • Don't expect the RSS Feed to show older Tweets particularly for Search. After activating the gApp you may need to add a Tweet for it to appear in the panel.

  • Twitter Search does not necessarily return all the relevant Tweets in the Search. So in my classes I have had a lot of students post with my #vmvwiki hashtag and they have not shown up in the panel.  Unfortunately this is what Twitter have done and in 2013 this killed the student use of Twitter as a viable communication tool for Social Media in the classroom.

.. now to see if I can create an RSS Feed for a Facebook Group :)


Teacher confidence in using technology #vmvwiki

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="614"]Teacher Confidence in use of technology Teacher Confidence in use of technology[/caption]

Diagram based on Mandinach & Cline by Mark Anderson where they talk about various stages of confidence related to technology ( )

Monday, December 23, 2013

CryptoLocker Gang Earns Millions in Just 100 Days #vmvwiki

This is really scarey stuff. as far as I can tell it is spread as an attachment which has a ".pdf.exe" extension which of course shows as a PDF as in its wisdom Microsoft hides extensions ( this has been since early windows days and was a well known way to spread viruses )

Anyway be very careful with this one as the only cure may be apart paying the ransom about us$200.

Sent from my iPad

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

How to Write a Great Research Paper - YouTube #vmvwiki #vmvdlt

Professor Simon Peyton Jones, Microsoft Research, gives a guest lecture on writing. Seven simple suggestions: don't wait - write, identify your key idea, tell a story, nail your contributions, put related work at the end, put your readers first, listen to your readers.


Top 100 Tools for Learning 2013 #vmvwiki #vmvdlt