Seeking advice on internal blogs

One of my goals for the coming year is to implement a new internal blog for the McGill Libraries, a space that will make it easy for news and information to be shared within and between the different branches and units that make up the Library.

We currently have a staff blog that is running on a WordPress installation administered by central IT. The blog is private, meaning that you have to login and be authenticate as a member of the Library staff to be able to access the blog.

The requirement to keep the information private makes it harder to share the information and get it out to everyone who needs to see it. RSS is essentially useless, since you can’t authenticate with popular newsreaders such as Google Reader. Yes, there is a proposed workaround with Internet Explorer and Outlook that on paper seems to allow you to subscribe to an RSS feed that requires authentication, but in my experience, the setup process is very cumbersome and doesn’t really work anyway.

To get around this, every Monday I manually compose and send out an email digest of new posts to the staff blog. Here again, the need for privacy gets in the way. I always include direct links to articles in my email message. However, when a user clicks on the link they are prompted to login, at which point they are taken to the home page and not the blog post they were interested in.

Before I start to dig into this problem, I though I would ask for advice/pointers from other folks who have tackled this problem to narrow down my field of research. Have you implemented internal blogs and how have you addressed the RSS/authentication issue?

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