January 2007 Archives

MT tips for beginners 8

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Glossary Entry 7

Web Widget is a portable chunk of code that can be installed and executed within any separate HTML-based web page by an end user without requiring additional compilation. They are akin to plugins or extensions in desktop applications. Other terms used to describe a Web Widget include Gadget, Badge, Module, Capsule, Snippet, Mini and Flake. They are popular in blogs. Jackie, I don't know where you saw this in MT, so you might have more questions about it, as I find this definition rather vague.
Courtesy wikipedia.

MT tips for beginners 7

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Glossary Entry 6 (This is a biggie that I still struggle with.)
Feedback - Comments & Trackbacks:
A crucial element of many blogs is the interaction they provide with the community. Movable Type provides functionality for two types of feedback:
Comments: Comments are replies by your blog’s readers to the entries that you create. Each entry can be individually configured to accept comments through a comment form typically found on each entry’s individual archive page. The comments are also typically displayed on this page.
TrackBack is a protocol used primarily to provide “remote commenting and notification” functionality for weblogs. For example, TrackBack allows a blogger to comment on an entry on their own blog and have an excerpt of the reply and link back to it sent to the original blog via a “TrackBack ping”. Once received, it can be displayed alongside the comments and other TrackBack pings on the original entry to create a distributed conversation. Each entry can be individually configured to accept TrackBack pings and Movable Type can be configured to automatically send pings to blog entries that you reference in your own.

Whether it’s one of your blog readers commenting on an entry which you posted or another blogger doing so on their own site via TrackBack, community feedback is one of the most compelling and interesting facets of blogging because its breaks down the wall between publisher and reader.

MT tips for beginners 6

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Glossary Entry 5
The published weblog (what is seen on the web) looks quite different than the administrative interface you log into to make or edit your entries. Nearly every aspect of the blog can be customized by editing and manipulating the appropriate "templates". However, when you initially create your blog it uses a default "look and feel". Templates allow you to define the content, layout and structure for particular pages or entire classes of pages. *See page 94 in the pdf manual for info on different system templates.

MT tips for beginners 5

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Glossary Entry 4
This link takes you to a screen from which you can set up a bookmarklet designed to provide you with a custom, abbreviated entry creation window where you can quickly compose and post an entry in just a few clicks. You can then make this page a browser "bookmark" or "favorite" by following prompts when you choose the quickpost feature. It's kind of like speedblogging.

(Speedblogging was my word, which I have since googled and found in other blogs. They post super fast, use no editing, no html; drag in links & pics. Usually reserved for purchased time online while traveling, perhaps at an internet cafe' or a borrowed laptop on a train. whew!)

MT tips for beginners 4

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Glossary Entry 3
Permalink (courtesy wikipedia)
A permalink is a URL that points to a specific blogging entry even after the entry has passed from the front page into the blog archives. Because a permalink remains unchanged indefinitely, its use avoids link rot. Most modern weblogging and content-syndication software systems, including Movable Type and Blogger, support such links. Other types of websites use permalinks, too, but the term itself is most common within the blogosphere. Permalink is a portmanteau word made from permanent link and is often simply stated so as to be human-readable.
An entry in a blog with many entries is accessible from the site's front page for only a short time. Visitors who store the URL for a particular entry often find upon their return that the desired content has been replaced by something new. Prominently posting permalinks is a method employed by bloggers to encourage visitors to store a more long-lived URL (the permalink) for reference.
Permalinks frequently consist of a string of characters which represent the date and time of posting, and an identifier which denotes the author who initially authored the item or its subject. Crucially, if an item is changed, renamed, or moved within the internal database, its permalink remains unaltered, as it functions as a magic cookie which references an internal database identifier.

MT tips for beginners 3

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Glossary Entry 2
Another popular method of classifying and organizing entries is through the use of tagging. Tags are simple words or short phrases that you attach to an item which describe particular facets of it. Tags provide extra metadata that can be used later to find a particular entry or other entries like it within the system. Tags are most effective when they are very specific. This specificity is gained through the use of tag combinations, which essentially form “tag intersections”. Tags can optionally be displayed on the published weblog where readers can click on them to find other entries that are similarly tagged. Authors can also add “private tags” which are prepended with an ‘at’ sign (e.g. @private). These tags are never displayed on the public blog so they are perfect for internal organization use.

To add, modify or remove entry tags for an entry:
1. Navigate to the entry listing table for your blog.
2. Locate and click the entry whose tags you wish to modify to open that entry’s editing screen.
3. Click into the Tags entry field. Add any tags which you desire in a comma-separated manner. If your tag contains your delimiter (a comma), it must be quoted. For example, in a comma-separated list, you would type something like: bayou, “New Orleans, La.”, dixie, cajun food.
4. As you type, you will be presented with possible auto-completion choices from the pool of previously used tags on the weblog. To select one, simply use the up/down arrow keys to navigate to the right tag and then either hit the Enter key or the Tab key, to select it.
5. Once you’ve satisfactorily entered or modified the tags for your entry, click anywhere outside of the Tags field.
6. Click the Save button to save the changes you’ve just made to your entry.

MT tips for beginners 2

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Glossary Entry 1

Categories (v. tags)
When creating or editing an entry, authors can assign one or more existing categories to an entry. One category can be assigned as the primary category which will be listed along with the entry in the entry listings. In addition, multiple secondary categories can be assigned to cast a wider net and allow entries to span classification. In creating categories, it’s best to make them as general and broad as possible and have very few. In this way, they provide a perfect counterbalance to the very specific and granual entry tags (described later). If you must make granular categories, it’s best to do so using a hierarchical subcategory structure.

MT tips for beginners 1

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This will be the first entry of a primer on blogging with MT. I created it especially for my friend Jackie. We were talking about her first blog the other day and she had so many questions I became tongue-tied. (Yes, I know, that's a small miracle.) So in doing my homework for her, I thought it might be useful to present it in this format. I hope you find it useful as well. I got most of these terms from the Six Apart Documentation and a few from Wikipedia.

New Years Waterfall

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We found ourselves in Kent Ct. on New Years' Eve and went to the falls. Here are some photos.


Notice the tiny people in blue to the bottom right.


This is locally named "Salmon Park" but it's on the state maps as Kent Falls State Park. It's right on route 7 and is about 60 minutes from Chatham, yet feels like alot farther.


The locals tell us the park was closed last summer to rebuild the steps and viewing areas along the trail up to the top. It's hard to believe how high you are climbing the clever way they did it.


Looking up at the very top, from the final viewing platform. Of course, they both found a way to climb up THERE...


Look, there's the bigger rock climber showing off. And she was right on his heels.


For the first time this winter I found some ice. I like ice.


Something about this tree's knotty branches caught my attention. I'll have to go back and see it in the spring when it's leaf-buds appear.


This is some ice that Miss B. stole off the top of the stream that runs through the park long after the bottom of the falls. No matter what the weather, she is drawn to water. She is holding the edge of the thin ice slab in her teeth and I am shooting into the sun from below. I thought it made a cool effect. What do you think?