Jul 19, 2006

Ditlog 1.5

Well, how pretentious am I - a version number for my... blog?? Well, I'm no 1337 haxxor, and these kind of upgrades are not trivial for me, so allow me a little pride. :)

On the surface, I've done some reorganizing - mostly to the sidebar. It's now much more organized and I've prioritized the items there for ease of use.

OK, snore... Is that it? Nope. The big upgrade is the addition of a tagging system allowing me to catagorize my posts. The blog is relatively small (young) right now, but as time passes, without catagories it would be increasingly harder to find a specific post. So, catagories.

Again, what's the big deal? Well for starters, Blogger doesn't offer this function natively, so I had to do it the hard way. Many thanks out to the folks at Freshblog for the tutorials, and heaps more to Johan Sundstrom at Ecmanaut for his great catagorizer script!

As far as the nuts and bolts go, the script customizes the code of Blogger's posting page via Greasemonkey, and uses del.icio.us as a back end to host my tag database. Pretty damn cool. Del.icio.us also recently released a tagroll script that enables the nice sidebar tag navigation tool you see to the left.

I must caution those interested in implementing this Blogger hack that the del.icio.us script generator is slightly broken, at least under Firefox. The slider that is supposed to specify how may tags will display in your list was defaulting to 1. I think this may have been because my del.icious database was empty, because it works now. If you encounter the same problem, be sure to change the count=x variable to your desired list length. Otherwise, you'll only see the list title and no items underneath.

One more caution. Del.icio.us takes a while to refresh. After adding a list of bookmarks, del.icio.us will take a little while to populate your list of tags. Don't freak out - just keep adding bookmarks and the tag list will eventually populate.

Hopefully, one fringe benefit of tagging all my posts will be increased traffic. Johan's excellent script formats the tags to be compatible with both del.icio.us and Technorati, so folks should now be able to easily find my content contextually. Enjoy!

In the future, I'd really like to add a Recent Comments field in the sidebar. At this point, one has to dig and new comments referring to old posts will be very buried. If you thought the tags hack sounded convuluted, wait 'till you hear what the recent comments field will require...

5 comments:

John said...

Hey Lance,

Thanks for the kudos. As a thought for the next step, if you upgrade your sidebar category menu to Freshtags, you can call it Ditlog 2.0!!! There are some definite benfits that come w/ Freshtags' dynamic category menu, & we'd love to have you onboard.

Lance said...

Hmm, somehow I buzzed right past those posts when researching a category hack on Freshblog! Thanks for the tip, and I'll definitely look into it!

Lance said...

testing...

Lance said...

testing again (working on comments functionality)...

Lance said...

One more test