Goodbye, Movable Type


Pardon the dust, please; I’m moving this site out of Movable Type and into Word Press, and from an old-school host to Media Temple. I took the week off to make this move because I have to configure Word Press and get plugins in place, and I have over 6,000 posts and hundreds of images to import, relink and potentially update.

The site will also sport a new design; I’m using a theme that is built using responsive design framework so the site will be optimized for mobile devices, and which is also customizable so I can put my design on that framework.

Things will be a bit quiet around here until I get things up to speed, but they’ve been pretty quiet anyway since I’ve struggled with the site in the old content management system and at the old site host. Once I get things squared away, expect posting to pick up some speed.

Continue ReadingGoodbye, Movable Type

Pondering feed readers

Do people use feed readers anymore? It seems odd to me that this never quite caught on in a big way amongst people I know. I use a feed reader and I know my wife does, but other than web geeks, I’m not sure many other folks do. Maybe it’s not simple enough? How do people keep up with blogs and other regularly updated content, though, without one?

Feed Reader Categories
My feed reader categories for various syndicated content

I know there are some sites – Boing Boing, Jezebel/Gawker/io9, and others where I don’t bother with a feed; usually because their content is updated too frequently to keep up and I know that I don’t want to see every post because their content is in the range of ‘skimmable’ and not ‘deep research’.

And then there are some sites that don’t publish their full posts to their syndication feed — I purge them from my feed reader immediately for that reason. If they’re pretty good they’ll get a bookmark, but they’re usually on probation for being traffic whores.

I should probably investigate people’s use of syndication feeds; it seems like I read that this was on the decline somewhere, but I don’t recall the link. I know that Twitter and Facebook have buried their RSS feeds. I can still usually construct a Twitter one based on the ones I had in my reader before they hid them, though. Facebook has pretty much wiped theirs out.

2022-03-12 Update: Twitter and Facebook obviously killed their RSS feeds because they needed their algorithms to filter you news for maximum effect on your psyche. And we all got hooked into social media and stopped blogging altogether. This is such an interesting post in hindsight.
Continue ReadingPondering feed readers

SXsW 2010 – Friday Recap

Two panels that we were able to make it to after flying in today…

Getting Stoked about Web Typography
Samantha Warren
Went over a lot of stuff I knew already about finding inspiration in typography – but it was refreshing since we really back-burner our typography in our designs, partly because of the technology concerns. She covered more inspirational ideas than technical application. I like designing around typography and wish I could use more of it in our designs at work. She stepped through a bunch of URLs I captured – I’ll go back and take a look at them when I have more leisure time. She urged looking outside web design for inspiration on typography – she uses the skate and surf communities for inspiration.

She over-viewed several techniques for introducing fonts beyond the standard browser fonts but noted there were other panels diving into the more technical side. I still suspect there isn’t a great solution for our companies work yet – the cons seem to stack a bit to high for accessibility in some cases, and for dynamic content in others. We also have the hurdle of EULAs – taking a font license cost onto our sites could be a challenge. But it’s definitely an area I want to play around more with – I’ve done typekit work on my Naptown Argus site – I want to try out the @font-face solution.

Simple Steps to Great Web Design
Matthew Smith
He only got through a bit before the firebell rang –
Know your client
know their audience
know their content

All pretty obvious stuff. He may have been building towards a crescendo, but I would have had to climb three flights of stairs and squeeze into a crowded room to find out. 🙂

In General
Way more crowded than it was in previous years. Some panels you can’t even get into unless you arrive WAY early.

Lots of interesting marketing going – 3D barcodes everywhere on posters, badges, etc.

Continue ReadingSXsW 2010 – Friday Recap

Drop-Down Fly-Out Navigation on my site

I’ve been dissatisfied with the navigation methods here on my site for a long time – I was very frustrated by the long, unwieldy category list from the sidebar – I’ve always organized by category, but the display of that navigation sucked, because it was hard to tell that there were categories and sub-categories, and the list was way long. The sidebar looked cluttered, and in general I didn’t feel like writing because I hated the way my site looked.

I knew the solution was to approach it differently; I needed a drop-down, fly-out menu bar along the top of the site. But I was afraid to tackle the task because tangling with the lack of support materials for Movable Type has been problematic in the past. (see the related categories at the bottom of this post.)
But I spent a bit of time with this post: “Creating Drop-Down Navigation with Movable Type” and worked it out. I knew I didn’t want to use the MooTools solution he offered, so I adapted his work and integrated it with this “Simple jQuery Dropdowns” solution, because I knew I want to use jQuery for some other rich behaviors on the site in the future.

Now the categories make more sense because you can see sub-topics and sub-sub topics. And it’s all neatly folded up along the top of the site. I had some testing problems in IE7 – dunno if I cleared them up completely yet or not. I may need to do some fixing there still.

Because it’s cleaner and neater, I didn’t mind adding some categories that I needed; stuff I’ve been writing/posting links about like feminist issues and photography, and yes, your favorite and mine — knitting. I still need to step back through old blog posts and move them to the appropriate categories, but going forward, things will land in their own spots.

And the change in categories helps me re-think and get excited about things that I used to write about that have fallen by the wayside.

The removal of that long category list down the side means I had a lot more room in the sidebar and you can see items there much better. Many of the pages aren’t as long now, and all of them can breathe more. I rearranged my ads a bit because those help pay for the site.

So I’m feeling fresh and clean and exciting, like a feminine hygiene ad. I may go walk on the beach. While knitting. And then I’ll tell you all about it.

Continue ReadingDrop-Down Fly-Out Navigation on my site

links for 2010-02-05

Continue Readinglinks for 2010-02-05

Stimulating Reading

My feed reader is often a bloodbath; I add to and purge my regular web reading ruthlessly, and yet it’s always overstuffed and I’m perpetually behind. There are some mainstays; ego surfing my own feeds and some friends to whom I would feel embarrassed conversing In Real Life if I hadn’t kept up with their online presence. I have obligatory web design and development reading, but I often mark them all read and just search if there’s a solution I need, because if I spend much time thinking about work after hours my head would probably asplode.

My regular topic areas have shifted drastically as of late; I have now only follow two sites that deal with political issues in any form (that used to be my primary reading) and there are a large number of photography sites in my list. And lately I’ve been purging lots of high volume sites and sites that don’t write original content. Gone are the link aggregators (I know that’s ironic since many of my blog posts are that lately) in favorite of longer, in depth reading that I have to spend more time thinking about. I’m still having trouble keeping up with the reading, but it is at least more satisfying.

Here are a few of my favorites (most new and some old):
The Urbanophile
Politically, I disagree with him quite a bit, but he does know his urban development, which is something I know very little about but find quite interesting. I think if I were to win the lottery, I’d get a masters in urban planning. And then run for mayor.

3 Quarks Daily
Ben and Alice
Roger Ebert’s Journal
Tomorrow Museum
Neil Gaiman’s Journal
Scouting NY
and of course Shakesville.

More and more I’m considering wholesale purging my feed reader of all but these select few, in hopes of actually staying on top of all my reading. Maybe someday soon.

Continue ReadingStimulating Reading

Indiana political blogging

Sometimes it’s really entertaining

for all the

wrong [link deprecated:;jsessionid=38F64BC3DD2AF56DA297D48ACAA576E0?diaryId=2332] reasons.

2019 Update: Lest it be lost to the ethereal ravages of time, this was the subject of the above posts.

Subject: Tyrion
Date: April 9, 2008 4:55:22 PM GMT-04:00

It’s quite interesting that you, of all people, would allow the anonymous postings of one Tyrion who has at times called me “crazy”, “bipolar”, a “liar”, “going over the edge”, “lost it”, and “left my brain in Charleston”, among other things, and who has falsely and with defamatory intent accused me of professional misconduct as an attorney. Obviously, you know the identity of this person. You can graciously identify the name of this person, or you can be named as a defendant in a lawsuit and be served with a subpoena commanding you to reveal his identity. Take your pick. If this guy wants to make it his hobby to professionally trash me on anonymous blog postings, then he can suffer the consequences of defending his actions in court. And if you want to serve as his enabler, you can suffer the consequences as well.

As far as I know, no lawsuits were ever filed.

Continue ReadingIndiana political blogging

SXSW Interactive 2008

I’m getting final stuff prepped to take off for SXSW Interactive 2008 in Austin, Texas tomorrow. I’m going with three of my design team co-workers; one from here in Indianapolis and two from Upper Saddle River, New Jersey.

We’re staying in the Courtyard Marriott right next to the Austin Convention Center, so we’re in the heart of everything, which is pretty keen.

I went to the city-county building this morning and voted absentee for Carson for the special election next week, since I won’t be back until late Tuesday.

Attending this event last year was a huge learning experience for me when it came to site design work on the job. Over the last year I’ve had the chance to create some designs that I’m really happy with based on some design principles that I learned last year, so I’m excited to be able to go again and see what new things I pick up.

Ironworks BBQ

Photoset of SXSW Interactive 2007

Continue ReadingSXSW Interactive 2008