Anthologize Heads the Next Generation of Self Publishing
If you’ve got a blog running WordPress (the self-hosted .org variety), Anthologize is a plugin which will allow you to publish your posts as a PDF, ePub, or TEI (a scholarly file format). There’s also an RTF option, but the creators point out that it’s still buggy. There is not currently an option to export files as DocX or ODT, but the program’s creators say it’s a feature to look for in future builds, along with the ability to export comments left on the original posts.
Anthologize is targeted at academics–for instance, professors who kept a class blog, or someone who wants to distribute their notes about a conference, or someone who wants to publish field notes as part of a research notebook. The academic focus is a result of the plugin’s origin at the One Week, One Tool program, in which 12 humanities scholars come together and conceive of and build a useful open source digital tool within a week. The program, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, sees itself as sort of a digital barn raising: a group of people coming together to make something useful for the wider community.
This is potentially quite useful for students who are required to keep a class blog themselves. Searching something like that after the class is over (if your remember you talked about something but don’t know where) can be kind of a pain; however, if you export the whole thing as a PDF and upload it to Evernote, it’s just as easily searchable as any other class notes. It’s also possible that school literary magazines at schools strapped for money could use WordPress to publish throughout the year and then collect everything in eBook format once the year finishes up.
The main downside of the plugin is that few college students are going to go out of their way to find their own hosting packages for personal blogs, which the self-hosted version of WordPress requires. The primary academic users of the plugin will probably be graduate students, clubs, and other academic groups. However, it’s exciting to see people with a traditional academic background (as the creators of the project are) embracing not only technology, but open source technology.
Those who are interested in the project (and of a coding bent) can contribute to the project’s code at GitHub.