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MIT staff blogger Ben Jones

New Portlets? by Ben Jones

Just throwin' some ideas around.

New portlets are coming soon. Not sure how soon, but as soon as I can manage to sequester a few minutes of Quinton’s schedule, you’ll see them in the portal. (Quinton is the code-master around here; he’s constantly making adjustments and enhancements to the application that generates MyMIT. His to-do list is a mile long.)

Anyway, new portlets. Here are the current goals:

#1 Videos Portlet
MyMIT just partnered with MIT World, and the hope is to have a portlet that will display various streaming video media, customized to your preferences, right in your portal.

#2 OCW Portlet
OCW, or Open Courseware, has cataloged its offerings by subject. We hope to implement a simple portlet that will briefly explain OCW and then link to a given user’s interests in academics as designated in his/her preferences. For example, if a student has selected “biology,” the portlet will link to biology content on the OCW site. For students who choose multiple disciplines, portlet content will rotate randomly between them.

#3 Posters Portlet
This portlet will display a thumbnail of a poster, which can be clicked and enlarged via a detail page. One poster (chosen randomly from the collection) will be displayed at a time. The idea is to give folks a glimpse into the hundreds of activities and announcements that line our hallways each day.

#4 UROP Portlet
A portlet to showcase cool UROP’s, as well as cool summer jobs. Pretty straightforward.

The inventions portlet is also coming back soon, rebranded as “Creations & Discoveries” so that we can add research, books, art, etc to our archive of inventions.

Down the road, we’ll also hopefully be launching an athletics portlet.

Wow, that’s a lot of portlets. What do you guys think? What portlets would you like to see? What portlets could you do without?

8 responses to “New Portlets?”

  1. Sean says:

    Coming from a pre-frosh, the portlet Ideas sound great. MyMIT has helped to get me even more excited about a chance to study at MIT.

  2. Ben says:

    Thanks Sean! Hopefully we’ll get at least a few of them launched in the near future. If there’s anything you’d like to see on the site, just let us know and we’ll try to make it happen.

  3. Eujin says:

    Hi, Ben!

    I think new portlets will be a great complement to MyMIT. OCW, UROP, inventions and athletics – these are the ones I would use most frequently.

    Thanx for keeping MyMIT an interesting place!


  4. kiersten says:

    I think that all of the portlets you mentioned would be awesome. I really love art too, so anyway you could incorporate that would rock my socks. ADIOS!

  5. Love the site Ben, and it keeps on getting better. The portlets sound great too! Keep up the great work!

  6. Quinton says:

    Hmm….not sure about this. Now everyone is adding work to my list smile

    I have a lot of great ideas that I want to squeeze in somewhere. The portal is still too static. I want it to react to what you are doing and provide context sensitive portlets so if you just clicked on say ‘fresh facts’ a portlet on the left could appear that gives you specific options or tasks eg: check out more facts, add a new fact etc so depending on what you are doing the portal reacts better.

    Anyway thats one idea but on a broader scale I want this to be a desktop for more than just admissions info, I want to be a community which takes on a life of its own (so maybe we can have our lives back!)

    Thanks all for making this work so well!

  7. Ben says:

    Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback! I think the arts portlet is a great idea; we’ll add that to the list.

  8. Ben says:

    Note: on 1/26/05 I migrated this site to a new publishing system, using Movable Type as the backend CMS. Though the comments were preserved, I had to manually move them over, and there was no way to preserve the dates on which the comments were originally posted. That’s why they’re all logged on 1/26 or 1/27, even though many of them were posted earlier. Sorry for the inconvenience! Comment dates will be correct moving forward.