If you've got something to say or wish to cover a topic and address an audience, you should blog. This web thing is really catching on and a nicely put together blog with an RSS feed is your best chance to actually communicate beyond your immediate family and a few close friends.
If you want a blog, and don't know where to start, drop me a line. I'm not free, but for a nominal fee I'll hold your hand as you pick up a solid domain name and some very inexpensive web space. Then, I install Movable Type, code your preferred look and feel, optimize the sucker for search and teach you how the heck to manage the thing all by yourself. I promise, you don't need to do any coding as I ensure Movable Type does all the heavy lifting, including the automatic creation of permalinks, the adding of the entry to category and monthly archives, the updating of the RSS feed, the pinging of Technorati and other blog aggregators and other bloggy goodness. Oh yeah, I'll set up a cool and free stats app too, so you can watch your traffic grow as you write more and more excellent content, just like this!
Most Torontonians know the names Humble and Fred. I performed all of the above for both of them. Humble's blogging at HumbleHoward.com and Fred's blogging at torontomike.com. Fellow Humble and Fred fan Buffalo Boy just signed up for the Toronto Mike blogging package. Although I just installed Movable Type for him today, he'll soon be blogging up a storm at BuffaloBoyMike.com.
Fred Patterson, or Freddie P as he's often called, was/is one half of the Humble & Fred radio show. He's been maintaining torontomike.com with a site building tool called SiteStudio and he's been leaving blog-like entries on his page on a daily basis. Every once in a while, he deletes the older entries, which has always irked me.
This weekend, I've been working on Freddie P's new blog. I helped him buy a new hosting package, I installed and configured Movable Type for him and now I'm working on the design of his new site. We spoke on the phone last night and he asked that a number of elements from his current site be brought over. To make Fred (and his wife) happy, I've mimicked the old font style, brought back his triangle menu icons and kept his colour pattern. As soon as he's ready to rock, we'll update the DNS name servers, let propagation take place and Fred will be updating his new blog in Movable Type.
For fans of Fred's rants and raves, this means you'll be able to leave comments, link to entry permalinks, subscribe to his RSS feed, view monthly and category archives and search his site for particular keywords. In other words, it's a real blog which will also please the search engines and will most definitely increase traffic.
If you want to be like Freddie P, let me know. This Movable Type installation and configuration and blog design thing is something I do, ya dig? I'll even teach you how to use this dynamic tool and manage your blog. Contact me if you want to talk about it.
I'm trying out a plugin for Movable Type called Promote This!. It makes it easier to add quick links to add entries to Digg, del.icio.us, Furl, Reddit, Google, StumbleUpon and other social bookmarking sites.
I'm now building these links here on the home page, on the permalink page, the monthly archive page and the category page, so I don't know what this extra strain will do to rebuild times. Let me know if you experience any weird delays posting comments or whatever.
While we're discussing delays, the Archive page now gets built once at night instead of every time a new entry or comment is added. That's why the recent posts and comments you see on that page are always from the previous day.
That is all. Remember, if you like an entry, it's now really easy to Digg it, add it to your del.icio.us bookmarks and all that funky web 2.0 jazz.
Ok, the baton has been passed. Humble Howard, long time local morning radio personality, now has his own blog. I installed and configured Movable Type, designed his templates and gave him one last push.
I don't know how much he'll share in his blog or if he'll just use it to let fans know what he's up to and where he can be found next but I do know that when he returns from a weekend trip up north he'll have blogging instructions even a monkey could follow. Yes, I tested them on an actual monkey.
Now who wants a Humble and Fred reunion? Me too...
On February 7th, I relaunched this site, powered by Movable Type. I went back and manually put all previous entries from 2006 into MT but I left entries from November 2002 through December 2005 in their original files. The plan, as I outlined it here, was to knock off one month's worth of entries every week. I guessed I'd be done by the fall.
A little piss and vinegar and a lot of tedious effort late and nights and here and there and I'm finished way ahead of schedule. It took almost three months of concentrated effort, but all 4355 entries are now here in Movable Type and therefore indexed for the search you now find on the right side of every page. Also, where appropriate, I've thrown these 4355 into relevant categories, which you'll find below.
- Friday Fives
- Guest Blog Entries
- Hockey Canada
- Homer's Quote of the Week
- Howard Stern
- Monday Shuffles
- My 2 Cents
- My MP3 Collection
- O Canada
- Playoff Pool
- My Quotes of the Week
- Raging Storm
- Rest In Peace
- Similar Songs
- The CNE
- The Simpsons
- The T.Dot
- The Tragically Hip
- Toronto Argos
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Toronto Maple Leafs
- Toronto Raptors
- Weekly MP3s
Another benefit of moving to Movable Type is an automated RSS feed. I was manually maintaining the old one.
The new RSS feed for this site is at https://www.torontomike.com/index.xml. Now we're cooking with gas.
I warned you more changes were coming. This is the biggie.
For years I fought the push to implement a CMS solution. I derived a great deal of pride from hand-coding this entire site and ensuring it successfully validated as XHTML 1.0 Strict. Even the CSS and RSS feeds were hand-coded and validated by the W3C. I wrote about my CMS resistance here, here, here and here.
Today marks a new era for this blog, powered by Movable Type. New entries will have Permalinks, Comments, TrackBacks and all that bloggy goodness. Big props to my pal Mark for giving me the final push I needed. I recreated February's entries in MT, but I've left everything previous in its old school state. If I ever find some free time I'll start recreating older entries as well. There are thousands, so it hurts to think about it.
Although I implemented the Guest Blog because I didn't allow comments, I've decided to keep it. Anyone can write one and I'll post it as I always do. On the right I'm using a neat little plug-in that displays the last ten pictures I uploaded to my Flickr account. Let me know what you think of the changes in the comments.
It's evolution, baby.
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