Let others contribute to your site

If you’re setting up a class blog and want to have multiple contributors – for instance students, room parents, and special visitors – WordPress has a feature that lets you invite other people to write, edit, or manage the site, without handing out your password to everyone.

By defining the role each contributor plays, you get to control the level of access they are given when they sign in to the site.  There are four roles you can choose from:

Administrator on WordPress.com

Administrators of your site can access everything.  If you are uncomfortable about setting up the site on your own, consider asking a parent to serve as your co-administrator until you feel more confident (it won’t take long, I promise).

Editor on WordPress.com

Editors can manage and publish content that other people have contributed, but can not change any of the site settings.  If you have no desire to ever administer the site, you should consider taking the role of editor, and finding someone to act as the site’s permanent administrator.  (Although I am going to say you are a big baby because it’s really, really easy, and lots of fun :)

Author on WordPress.com

Authors can access and publish their own content only. This would be a good role to assign to room parents, or anyone that wants to communicate to the students and their families like special visitors.  Let’s say a member of the police comes in to talk to the students about road safety; you can offer them the opportunity to write a post about their visit so the class gets a permanent record of it, and parents can get a real glimpse into the classroom.

Contributor on WordPress.com

Contributors can edit their posts but they cannot put them online, and this is the best role to assign to students if you want them to add their work to the class site.  By assigning this role to students, you get to review their work before you deem it fit for human consumption.  If it’s not quite ready, return it to draft status so the student can continue working on it, otherwise hit the publish box, pat the little person on the back, and let them show their friends how clever they are; they now have published work.

Note:

Reviewing is a recent addition to WordPress.com (July, 2007), so if you have been using WordPress for a while, check out Ryan Boren’s post on how to submit for review.  It has screenshots to show you what the student and the editor will see.

For a more technical overview from Mark Jaquith read:

New WordPress feature: Pending review

For more information on various roles look at:

Assigning different contributors to WordPress blogs – From WordPress FAQs
If you want more information, or would like to add something to this post, please let me know by commenting (below).

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