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Blogs Highlights

Make your blog posts ‘taggable’

Many people now use online bookmarks to file sites they want to review later. Among the most popular services are del.icio.us, Furl, Spurl and Yahoo My Web 2.0.

Many of these services require you to install a tool bar or a shortcut tab in your browser in order to save bookmarks and tag these with keywords for organization. By putting shortcut buttons for tagging your posts in these services, you will encourage blog readers to file your article for reading and re-reading later.

To put these buttons in your WordPress blog, just copy the codes below and paste these into your theme’s template. I used to have these buttons display after the post titles in the index page but it looked too crowded and I decided in having it in the individual posts page. I placed the codes after the <?php the_title(); ?> part in the post template and before <?php the_content(); ?>. If you want to display these buttons after the article, then paste the code snippets after <?php the_content(); ?>

Continue reading “Make your blog posts ‘taggable’”

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Asides

Blogging a beauty pageant

Sun.Star Cebu’s Bisaya tabloid Superbalita is celebrating its anniversary. Part of the activities is the search for Miss Sun.Star Superbalita 2005. The Superbalita staff wanted a blog for the pageant so I created the Miss SuperB! blog, using WordPress, last night. I used the Vader style of the K2 theme.

Superbalita wants all blog entries to be in Bisaya. This is part of the paper’s campaign to popularize the use of conversational Cebuano, including in cyberspace. I am now a blogger for Miss Super B! and I’ll be covering parts of the event and interviewing some of the candidates. It is, needless to say, a job that many in the newsroom would kill for.

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Asides

Radical WordPress theme

I changed the theme of Sun.Star’s Blog Chronicles to Kiwi, a theme that’s so different from most WordPress themes available. I still have to customize the design, though. For a while, I thought of using it for this site but I still have to find a way to implement asides the way it is being implemented in my current theme. This post, by the way, is an aside and is displayed differently from my regular blog posts.

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Asides

Profile information for group blog contributors

On top of my wishlists for group blogs is profile data for contributors. Profile data isn’t important in personal blogs because usually, the blog has links to an About Me page. In group blogs, however, profile data of the author after the post would be very helpful to readers. You can automate the publication of profile data in WordPress using a template tag. That’s the topic of my post today in Sun.Star’s Blog Chronicles.

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Blogs

Integrate your Flickr account into your WordPress blog

Why limit yourself to a badge to display your latest photos in Flickr when you can integrate the photos into an image gallery in your blog? If you use WordPress, you can use the FAlbum plugin to do this. Download the plugin from the Random Byte site and upload the files into your WordPress plugins directory.

Follow the instructions listed here, log into your WordPress site using the level-10 account (admin, if you haven’t changed it) and then activate the plugin. An FAlbum options tab will appear in your plugins page where you can specify the options.

What’s good about the plugin is that it caches data so that your gallery will still be available even if Flickr is down. If you want to check the plugin’s capabilities, visit my site’s photo gallery by clicking on the Photos link in the header.

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Blogs

Categories vs. tags

I’ve just deactivated my previous Technorati tagging plugin and installed a new one – Ultimate Tag Warrior. The previous plugin no longer worked. I did not know when or how it broke down but the tag archiving system in my site (max.limpag.com/tag) no longer worked.

I went to the plugin’s home page to check for updates and browsed through the support posts and found nothing related to the error I encountered. I decided to use the Ultimate Tag Warrior because of its more active development activity. It’s also supported by the K2 theme, a beta theme being crafted by the creator of the popular Kubrick theme.

Why bother with tags? Tags, I believe, are better ways to organize data than the more rigid category system. Here’s an interesting “cognitive analysis” of the tagging system.

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Highlights Open source Personal

Why open source makes sense for non-geeks like me

If you hold a gun to my head demanding that I write a PHP code to print “Hello World” without searching the web for hints, I’d be dead in a minute. I do not know how to program – in any computer language. If the technology world were J.K. Rowling’s universe, I’d be a squib.

And yet I was able to install and deploy various content management systems for my Cybercafe experiments, personal sites as well as sites of my friends. I was also able to deploy an online classroom for participants of both my and my wife’s lectures as well as classes under Newsletter Solutions. I was also able to deploy a newsroom intranet system (using a discarded PC) with a portal, an online news style guide and a searchable database of new sources.

I was able to do all that because I use open source scripts.

Continue reading “Why open source makes sense for non-geeks like me”

Categories
Blogs Personal

3-column theme fixed

After I changed themes early today, I’ve been checking blogs and websites in an effort to find a fix for my new design’s bug – its inability to be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.

Until this afternoon – Explorer displayed only one column of the two-column sidebar. The third column was displayed under the second bar. I took all my sidebar elements out and placed it back again one by one – shoutbox, recent comments script, buttons etc. and found that I deleted one unordered list closing tag. After fixing this, Explorer finally rendered the homepage design properly. And then I checked the individual page for the posts – its layout was horribly wrong under Explorer.

Thanks to Yuga’s tip below, I decided to look for the code that defined the width of the sidebar and changed it from 320px to 310px. That fixed everything – the homepage and the individual item pages.

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Blogs

When you need more than just More

In WordPress, you can determine which part of your post gets displayed in the home page as teaser to the full article. You can either do this using excerpts or the more tag.

I suggest you use the More tag: <!–more–> . It’s an easier way to customize the length of the article’s teaser in the home page. You can do this with excerpts but you have to edit the main page to replace the_content with the_excerpt to display the excerpts of the blogpost. There’s a plugin available in this site (external link) if you want to use excerpts.

If you want to continue using more, you can customize the text to be displayed as more link. The template I use only displays the link as [more..]. I wanted the more link to display the title of the article. After checking the WordPress Codex, I found the solution. To make your more link read “Continue reading – (the title of the post)” (check out the more links in this site) edit your main.php file and look for the part with the_content and replace it with this line:
<?php the_content("Continue reading &raquo; " . the_title('', '', false)); ?>

Categories
Blogs Personal

Installing a WordPress-powered site

I was finally able to install WordPress for a site I help manage – PFMCPI — The Philippine Federation of Married Catholic Priests, Inc. The site used to run on a Serendipity installation. I think Serendipity is the better blog script. My previous Cybercafe Experiments site used Serendipity. In PFMCPI’s case, however, WordPress seemed the better option. It’s posting through mail facility and recent posts plugin are easy to set up. Posting through mail is important for mobile phone blogging. This also allows married priests to post articles to the site using an interface they are already familiar with — their mail software.