June 05, 2004

Great Movable Type Support

They are probably weary of me by now, given that I am not exactly part of that high-end developers' community they need feedback from for 3.0, but Movable Type support folk have been terrific (and terrifically kind).

I finally "get" the templates (although I won't be doing too many tweaks without extensive tutorials or model templates from the likes of Elise), the tags make enough sense that I was able to replicate my favorite features and even implement a three-column style, and I now have comment registration working properly on the forthcoming new site for Free Range Librarian. (I'm not publishing the URL just yet, since I'm still tweaking the code, but if you think really, really hard, you can probably figure it out...)

I leapt into a 3.0 installation rather rashly, primarily because I feel the need to upgrade before I start the MFA program later this month (and plunge into a 2-year work/school abyss). Despite that, my blogs never actually broke, support staff were amazingly responsive, and three days later "I" (as in, I and the Movable Type support staff) have resolved all of the issues.

While I did make it through an upgrade, more or less, if I had to do it over again, I would save all of my templates, export the data, archive the existing MT installation (I actually did steps two and three), delete the existing MT installation, do a new install of 3.0, and recreate my blogs. I had to update the templates anyway, and my choices were to install new ones and add the edits, or fiddle with the old ones. (Procrastination awarded again: I've been foot-dragging about moving my main blog to its new domain, so I was able to blow away that blog and start over with all-fresh files I can tweak at relative leisure). Plus one of my problems had to do with several modules that I missed when uploading the files for MT 3.0. Had I simply taken a scorched-earth approach, and put up a barebones "watch this site" message, I could have had my existing blog up and working in at least a primitive fashion within an hour of getting MT installed.

I'm one of those folks who should not execute Perl commands without close adult supervision, I'm so low-end that I've been using the same 20 Unix commands since 1991, and yet I made it to the other side of 3.0. I'm sure it has its bugs, some of which will no doubt be made manifest the night before a major deadline for work or school, but I'm still rather pleased that I was able to get this far, and I owe that to excellent, patient tech support from MT (and a few good tip sheets from Elise, who is a treasure).

And among other nice features, I love, just love that comment registration!

Stay tuned for FRL's new, improved face.

Posted by kgs at 12:59 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 04, 2004

Amazon's Plogs

Did anyone else open Amazon this week to find they had a "Plog?" "Your Amazon.com Plog is a diary of events that will enhance your shopping experience, helping you discover products that have just been released, track changes to your orders, and many other things. Just like a blog, your Plog is sorted in reverse chronological order. When we think we have something interesting or important to tell you, we'll post it to your Plog."

My plog entries for that day were rather monotonous, as I had just ordered the same three books each for six staff. Amazon apparently thinks (not so far from the mark) that I might have difficulty remembering something I did yesterday, so it faithfully recreated this purchasing history, six times over.

It did make me wonder what the page would look like if I had ordered 100 books each for 600 staff, or if a user's Plog will unbeknownst to them show up on a public screen in, oh, say, a library.

Amazon included a page explaining blogging, and listing about a dozen blogs--might be nice to see a library blog on that list.

According to the pundits, "plog" stands variously for "product blog" or "project blog." Based on Amazon's use of the term, "plog" also stands for Ponderous Blog (my sister asked me, "what are these 'globs' you keep referring to?"). Of all the blogs I don't want to read, what I just did on Amazon is high up there. It's far too Crusoe for my tastes (Day 2,007: caught fish; cooked and ate). Not to mention if this were a family PC how my cover would be blown for holiday shopping (particularly how much holiday shopping is for me).

As Steve Oberg noted on Web4Lib, eagled-eyed Steve Cohen, our cub reporter in the blogging world, had mentioned plogs a couple of weeks ago. However, I may not be contextually grounded in the appropriate managerial perspective to appreciate the utility of perusing a plog within this development environment (to lift language from the management rag quoted in that post).

Posted by kgs at 09:13 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack