This is the 41st tool that I have used to re-create my electronic portfolio. The process moved very smoothly; I copied most of the data which included all of the links, although the program does not automatically convert URLs to weblinks. The tool allowed me to reconstruct my portfolio in a few hours, copying the information from my Google Sites portfolio where I had the URLs on the page (and the links). I easily embedded my YouTube Videos, but not from blip.tv or Vimeo. All of my other artifacts are web links. In this version of Mahara, there is 50 MB of storage space per account for all files, so it is important to have other online storage space.
I prefer to have the hyperlinks open a new window (and the portfolio remains open), which was not an option when I created links in Mahara. When an artifact is opened, the reader can then close the window to go back to the portfolio.
To aggregate assessment data, a spreadsheet could be created to collect quantitative data. Therefore, this tool would work very well for an interactive presentation portfolio but other tools will need to be used for summative assessment.
The real advantage of Mahara is the many different tools, gadgets and widgets available, as well as the file management system. I was able to upload files as attachments. I created a Collection, put the individual pages into the collection, and it automatically created links across the top of the set of pages (the Navigation, with links to each section on the site, which automatically shows on each page.) I was also able to insert a table of contents on the first page. I am impressed with this tool. I was able to create this hyperlinked set of web pages, with no knowledge of HTML.
This program would work well for both a working portfolio (in the journal/blog) and as a presentation portfolio with the pages developed, with interactivity and feedback. Each page can have feedback. Pages can be restricted to only people you specify, or to the public, within time constrainst, if specified. Individual blog entries can be embedded on a page. Each page and blog entry can have tags which allow better searching.
Mahara also has groups for collaboration. I can see why it is popular because it is open source and can be added to a local server. I am using a hosted version, where the software is always up-to-date.