WordPress for iPhone 2

With most of the heavy lifting behind me in my migration to WordPress, I’ve started looking at some more subtle features. I’ll cover plugins later, but I want to try WordPress for iPhone 2.

I can already tell it tries to overcome the aggravating inelegant linking issue that plagues every iPhone app to one extent or the other.  It’s easy to create a post, and, once you figure out how to do it (via the Status screen), easy to publish posts.

We are at Tokyohana with our good friends the Brooks, who are visiting from Atlanta.

I took a (blurry iPhone special) picture to add to this post. Wonder if and where it will appear?

Update: Pictures appear at the end of the post, which would be fine except they are huge (I resized it from my desktop).  If this is how it works, the photo addition feature is useless.

The company is great, the food is excellent, and the app is very good. It does about as much as can be done to make it less than torture to create a link.

I bet this will rock on an iPad!

Now back to friends and food.

Update 2: I was unable to post over 3G, but it seemed to work via wifi.  I hope that’s a network glitch and not an app limitation.

More on Blogger Custom Domain Publishing

I’ve been spending a lot of time working on Newsome.Org’s move to WordPress, which is going remarkably well (more on that later).   But today I want to look a little deeper into the process and benefits of publishing your blog via a Blogger Custom Domain.

bcd-150x150First, a recap.  Recall that Blogger has announced that it will discontinue publishing via FTP on March 26, 2010.  This caused a general panic here at Newsome.Org, followed by a somewhat more thoughtful election to move Newsome.Org to WordPress and my music publishing company (Errbear Music) to a Blogger Custom Domain.  As I noted before, the process was generally very easy.  Here’s the step-by-step walk-through of the process.

Here are some updates.

Adding Post Pages

When I was publishing to Errbear Music via FTP, I was hosting the blog files in a directory on my Newsome.Org server, and using a page in that directory (errbear.html) as the blog’s front page.  I  then parked the  errbear.com domain on that page, meaning that when someone directed their browser to errbear.com, he or she was forwarded to the errbear.html page.  It looked reasonably seamless.  The problem became that all of the post pages and other ancillary pages were located at Newsome.Org, and had a Newsome.Org URL.  Once I set up my Custom Domain, I wanted to have all of the post pages and ancillary pages located within that domain.  This happened automatically for the post pages, but could not happen automatically for the various ancillary pages located in that directory.  The majority of those ancillary pages were the very important lyrics and streaming mp3 pages for my songs.  This required me to create a new post page, containing the lyrics and a streaming mp3,  for each of my songs.  It wasn’t a soul-crushing task, using Live Writer and the time saving Text Template plugin, but it did take some time.

I want to be clear about something, to avoid confusion.  The pages I am talking about were not previous blog posts.  They were html files on my server that I linked to from the sidebar and in blog posts.  For those who wonder how things got that way- my Errbear Music pages pre-dated by years the advent of blogging and blogging software.  Those pages existed when I moved to a blogging platform.

A couple of pointers for anyone who has to do this:

1. Blogger allows you to mass edit labels.  This is a huge time-saver.  I decided about 2/3 of the way into the process to create genre-based labels.  It would have been soul-crushing to go back and add labels to each post page manually.

2. There is a limit to the number of posts you can make each day to a Blogger blog.  I don’t know the number, but it’s large.  I ran into the “too many posts”  error a couple of times when adding the post pages.  Wait a day and you can get back to uploading pages.

I would note that I decided to leave the mp3 song files on the Newsome.Org server.  The size of that song library and all the links out there (via a lot of the music search engines) led me to conclude that those files should be left where they are.

Templates are Themes

I wasn’t all that crazy about the default selection of templates.  Initially, I hacked up one of the default selections and made it work.  There are, however, a lot of good templates out there, you just have to look for them.  I started with the Natural Health theme, and went from there.  I think that template is as pretty as any WordPress themes I have seen.

It’s easy to upload a template via your Blogger Dashboard.  Simply find a template you like and then:

1.  Download the template to your computer.  If the template is contained in a zip file, extracted the XML template file.

2. Log in to your Blogger Dashboard and go to Template> Edit HTML.

3. Back up your old template in case you decide to use it again. Simply click on the “download full template” link and save the file to your hard drive, or just copy and paste the html to Notepad.

4. Look for the section near the top where you can browse for your XML template.

5. Enter the location of your template and click “upload”.

6. The html of your new template will now appear in the box below. You can preview your new template or save it and start using it right away.

Hacking the Template

Much of what you want to change can be done via the Layout editor within your blog settings.  Blogger has a “Gadget” approach, very similar to WordPress’s “Widgets.”  While there isn’t the developer community behind Blogger Gadgets like there is for WordPress plugins and Widgets, I am confident that you can do just about anything layout or content wise on a Blogger template that you can do in a WordPress theme.

At the end of the day, I found the manipulation of  Blogger templates to be a little less powerful and a little easier than WordPress themes.  It’s not the kiddie pool, by any means, but there is a rope to help you keep from drowning.

One tip:

While you can do a lot via the Layout editor, you’ll need to (and can) edit the html for some tweaks.  For example, until I went in and hacked the template code, my email subscription form was subscribing people to the email feed of the template developer.  For what it’s worth, I have been using Feedblitz for my email feed for years, but moved back to Feedburner for both my blogs today.  (If you don’t know what a Feedreader is and want to subscribe to Newsome.Org via email, see the link in the left column on this page.)

At the end of the day, moving to a Blogger Custom Domain is very easy, and Blogger provides the tools to create just about anything you could want.  I’ll do a feature by feature comparison of Blogger and WordPress soon, but in the meantime, I can say that publishing to a Blogger Custom Domain is a fine, feature-rich option for your blog.

As always, I’ll try to answer any questions posed in the comments.

The WordPress Process, Part 6

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.  Parts 1 & 2 are here, Part 3 is here, Part 4 is here, and Part 5 is here.

image At long last, we have arrived at the Promised Land.  Newsome.Org is up and running on WordPress.  Most (I have identified one casualty so far, and there may be a few more) of my 1600+ posts made the trip, and we have preserved the permalinks (more on that below).  While I was able to get WordPress installed, hack-up a theme and generally get the system operational, the hardest and most important step is the importation of old blog posts and the preservation of your existing inbound links.

In that regard, there are two important things those moving established blogs from FTP published Blogger to WordPress need to consider.

It’s Easy to Do it Wrong

I imported my old posts in a way that I thought would preserve all of my permalinks.  It looked like it worked, and I started going back through old posts and adding Categories and Tags.  But, of course, my approach didn’t preserve the links correctly, so we had to start the importation process over.

By we, I mean Aaron Brazell, of Technosailor, who I hired to help me with theimage importation and permalink preservation part.  Aaron is extremely knowledgeable (and by that I mean Jedi-like) with respect to all things WordPress.  In fact, he literally wrote the book (WordPress Bible; purchase at Amazon).  I bought and am reading Aaron’s book, and highly recommend him for those in need of a WordPress guru.  Aaron was able to fix my mess correctly and preserve the permalinks.  As punishment, I got to start over on the Categories and Tags job.  After a month or so, we are going to change the permalink structure to the default WordPress form and do 301 redirects to forward old-style links to the new WordPress-style pages.  I’ll write about that in a future installment of this series.

Use Care When Hacking

While I crashed and burned when I tried to handle the post importation and permalink work by myself, I am pretty good with html, css and most scripts.  I got my theme installed easily, and once I explored a bit I felt pretty comfortable hacking the various files to change the look and layout of my pages.

The problem with this, as with any coding, is that it’s always all good, until it ain’t.  I got too confident, stopped saving incremental back-ups and promptly trashed my header (the part at the top where the Newsome.Org logo and photo banner are located).  A little help from my friend Steven Hodson and some surgery by Aaron got things back up and running.  The moral is to use caution when hacking your WordPress files and to always make a back up before you change anything.

Comments

I was able to get get Disqus comment and reaction numbers to show on the main WordPress pages, with some great help from the Disqus team.  One helpful tip, and something I stupidly failed to notice: if your comment numbers aren’t displaying properly, go to Settings>DISQUS>Advanced Options in your WordPress Dashboard and check this box:

image

I could have saved me and the Disqus guys some time if I had seen that earlier.  Disqus is a pretty amazing service.  If you don’t use it, you should.  For sure.

The Punchlist

So what’s left to do?  Here are a few things I know of.

1. Finalize the permalinks, and make sure the old links are properly redirected, and then coordinate my URL structure with Google Webmaster Tools. I learned my lesson, and will let Aaron advise me on this.

2. Identify any posts that didn’t get imported and, if I can’t live without them, add them manually.  I only know of one so far, so hopefully this will be a small job.

3. I noticed that some applicable posts that got imported do not show up in the appropriate monthly archives.  I’ll consult with Aaron and see what can be done about that.

4. Decide whether to install the All in One SEO Pack.  Again, I’ll consult with Aaron on this.

5. Consider what additional plugins I want to install.  Part 7 of this series will cover plugins, so we’ll address current and future plugins then.  In the meantime, good plugin suggestions are encouraged via the comments.

6. Delete the old FTP Blogger-created directories on my server.  But only when Aaron tells me it’s OK.  I have to resist my techy inclination to jump first and worry about the parachute later.

7. Delete the old Newsome.Org Blogger blog, which currently resides at Blogspot, as part of the post importation process.

That’s where we are so far.

Any other tips from veteran WordPress users?

The WordPress Process, Part 5

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.  Parts 1 & 2 are here, Part 3 is here, and Part 4 is here.

Wow, the support I received in response to my last post was amazing.  A million thanks!

The header is a work in progress, but I have fixed the page tabs.

I’ve fixed a lot of the embedded videos that got messed up on the import.  I’ll finish the rest as I work my way through the tagging and categorizing process.

I’ve already been though about a quarter of my old posts and added tags and categories.

Other than the header work, all I have left is to preserve permalinks (probably going to have to pay someone to do that for me) and figure out how to get Disqus comment and reaction numbers to show on the main WordPress pages.  Disqus is a great commenting platform, but this should be part of the plugin installation and/or options.

I have configured Live Writer to work with my WordPress installation, and this is a test post to see how it does.

Update 1: Pretty darn well.  I love the integrated Categories and Tags support.  Once again, I love Live Writer!

More as it develops

The WordPress Process, Part 4

This post comes with a bounty.  Design experts can make an easy $200 by fixing some annoying glitches I am struggling with (one payment per problem solved; email me first).

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.  Parts 1 & 2 are here, and Part 3 is here.

I have all posts imported.  Except as noted below, I have a handle on modifying my theme to make things the way I want them.  I have my Twitter widget installed, and I have installed a Feedburner plugin and updated my Feedburner feed.

Here are my theme-related issues:

1. Why does my theme resize up my logo/graphic in the header?  I have looked everywhere for this code to fix it, and I can’t find it.

2. I need to fix the greenish background around the page tabs in the header.  Again, I can’t find this in the files.

Any WordPress designers want to make a quick $100 (via Paypal) by fixing these problems and generally improving my header?

3. I note that my YouTube embedded videos didn’t make the transition. That’s going to be a pain to fix by hand.

I also ran into trouble importing my Disqus comments.  I have Disqus set up for new comments (though I want the number of comments and reactions to show at the bottom of posts on all pages), but I can’t get my existing comments to show on my imported posts.  Another $100 (via Paypal) to anyone who can fix this.

I installed an AddtoAny plugin to allow items to be shared.  It seems to work pretty well, but I absolutely hate the fact that it appends a note to the end of shared Tweets.

I need to lose that somehow.  I tried to hack the php file, but didn’t see the code that adds this.

Overall, things are coming along.

The WordPress Process, Part 3

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.  Parts 1 & 2 are here.

OK, I got tired of worrying about this WordPress migration, said screw it and moved my WP installation into my root directory. I think I have figured out a way to import my prior posts and save my permalinks, but at the moment I am held up by a maximum file size limitation in a PHP.ini file that I can’t find on my server. I have sent out an SOS to my web host, and hope to be either up and running or out of business shortly.

More as it develops.

Update 1:

I managed to overcome the maximum size limitation problem and import most of my posts.  Some didn’t make it, and I am working on that now.

Progress is being made.

Update 2:

I think I have all the posts imported.  Tomorrow I’ll fix the permalinks.

Not bad for a days work.

The WordPress Process: Parts 1 & 2

The WordPress Process is a series of posts at Newsome.Org, documenting my forced march from the comfort of Blogger to the uncharted territories of WordPress.

Recapping the latest developments:

1. FTP publishing via Blogger is dead, so I have to move Newsome.Org to either Blogger custom domain publishing or WordPress.

2. I moved Err Bear Music to a blogger custom domain, and the process was easy.

3. I still think WordPress may be a more robust platform, and have put out an RFP for someone to port Newsome.Org into WordPress.  I am close to a deal to get that done.

But I am also a coder and hacker, who would like to know the hows and whys of the process.  So last night I did a few things.

Installing WordPress

First, I installed a test version of WordPress on my server.  I started with the installation instructions, particularly the Famous 5-Minute Install walk-through.  Pair.Com hosts my server, so this post was also very helpful.  In sum, the process was pretty simple.  At the end of the process, I had a working version of WordPress installed.  It ain’t pretty, and God knows how I’ll import all of my blog posts.  But it’s installed.

Finding and Hacking a Theme

I briefly explored recreating my hand-made Blogger theme from whole cloth, but almost immediately that seemed like an insurmountable task.  I’m pretty good with code, and this is when I got my first inkling that maybe WordPress theme-hacking was going to be harder than it should be.

So I located a good 3-column theme, installed and activated it.  When I settle on a starting theme, I will be happy to pay for it (so I can hack it freely, delete the imagecredit links, etc.), but this free theme is a good place to start my WordPress learning experience.  Next, I wanted to modify the colors and content of the theme.  WordPress has a built-in theme editor, but at least initially, I am not impressed with it.  So I took the old-school approach and modified the files directly and uploaded them to my sever.

But, boy, are there a lot of them.  With Blogger, I have two files to be concerned with.  My template and my style sheet.  There are scads of files that affect the look and content of a WordPress blog.  That fact, and my general lack of experience with PHP, discourages me greatly at the moment.  I want the ability to manipulate the content, presentation and order of my blog, the way I can now via my Blogger template.  Perhaps you can in WordPress, but at this point it seems like it will be a chore.

So I did what any right-thinking person should do when faced with a confusing pile of code.  I went to bed.

Next Step

I’m going to need to spend a couple of hours learning the structure and purpose of these various files.  I hope and suspect that things will get easier with familiarity.  I sure hope so.

But at least I’ve taken the first step.

On to Part 2

OK, I now understand better the WordPress page and theme structure, and the editing capabilities are much better than I initially thought.  In fact, I got tired of worrying about all of this and did what I generally do when technologically uncertain: I said screw it and tried to import all of my existing posts to my WordPress blog. . .

Of course, it’s never that easy, even if you are willing to work without a net.

First of all, WordPress cannot directly import files from an FTP published Blogger blog.

image

Well isn’t that just great.

Never fear, I’ll just export my blog via the Blogger dashboard.

image

And run that file through the handy online converter, that will convert my exported file to a WordPress WXR file, that can be imported.

But NOOOOO. . .

Turns out that file is too big to be imported.

image

It just keeps getting better.  There is some discussion of modifying your php.ini file to allow larger uploads, the only problem being that I CAN’T FIND IT.  IT’S NOT IN THE DIRECTORY ON MY SERVER.

So here’s where we are at the moment.

image One, I believe I can hack together a WordPress theme that would serve my purposes.

Two, I’m willing to fly without a net and import my posts, and worry about the permalinks later.

Three, none of that frickin’ matters because I can’t import my blog posts thanks to some size limit I can’t find to fix.

At the end of the day, I could convert my blog to a blogspot hosted blog, and import it from there, but that just seems like too much brain damage.

So. . .

I’m going for a run.

How to Move From FTP Published Blogger to a Blogger Custom Domain

The backstory is here.

I decided to move Errbear.Com, my music publishing company’s web site, from FTP published Blogger to a Blogger Custom Domain.  Here’s how I did it, and my initial thoughts.  I’ll update this post as the process continues.

After getting encouragement from my friends Rick and Louis, I started out at the Blogger Custom Domain instruction page.

Step 1: Converting to a Blogspot.com address

From the Blogger Dashboard, select Publishing and click on “Switch to blogspot.com.”  You will be sent to a form to pick  blog name.

I picked errbear.blogspot.com, which thankfully was available.  This step was very easy and took about 5 seconds.

Step 2: Configuring Your Custom Domain Settings

Again, from the Blogger Dashboard, select Publishing and click on “Switch to Custom Domain.”  Then, since you already own your domain, click on Advanced Settings.

I want to direct the entire errbear.com address to my Custom Domain-managed blog, so I selected www before errbear.com.  This step was also fast and easy.

Step 3: Make the CName and A Record Changes

This part is done via your domain registrar’s web site.  And things get a little more complicated, but fear not, we’ll walk through it.

First, the CName change.  I use Network Solutions, but the process is very similar everywhere.

From your domain management page, select the domain you want to use for your Custom Domain and then click the button or link to edit the domain’s DNS.  Depending on your registrar, you may need to then click on Advanced Settings (or some similar phrase).

Create a CName Record for your Custom Domain that points to ghs.google.com.  Again, because I want to direct the entire errbear.com address to my Custom Domain-managed blog, so I used www before errbear.com.

Next, the A Records.

I was confused by this passage in the Blogger instructions:

I didn’t know you could point a domain to “each” of four separate IP addresses.  So I did what any good nerd should do and consulted Twitter:

And got a quick answer, that made me (a) like Twitter a little more, and (b) feel a little like a dumbass.

image

So I added the A Record three more times.  Duh.  At the end of the process, I have four A Records each for @ and * (nothing and everything other than www, respectively), one pointing to each of the IP addresses listed above and on the Blogger Custom Domain instruction page.

And immediately, the previous error message took a happier tone.

But all was not well, yet.  When I republished my test post, that I did after moving to errbear.blogspot.com, the post was not there:

image

Don’t panic.  This is normal.  It takes a little while for the DNS changes to make their way across the internet.  A little while later, all was well.

Almost.

Step 4: Getting Rid of the NavBar

There was this horrifying Blogger NavBar at the top of my blog:

image

This is not going to work.  To fix this you have to add

#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

to your style sheet, if you use one, or above the </style> line in your blog template, if you don’t use a style sheet.

More good information about ridding yourself of the NavBar can be found here.

Step 5: Changing Your Template (Optional)

I have been using a custom template for years.  But a lot of the new and promised features at Blogger don’t work well with custom templates, so I thought I’d experiment a little with some new templates.

Important: If you decide to do this, back-up your current template by copying it from your Template>Edit HTML page and pasting it into a text document.  This is as important as not forgetting your parachute when sky-diving.

I put on my parachute and jumped.  From my old template

OldEBM

to the current one.

Immediately, I got the opportunity to make some customizations that were not possible with a custom template.

image

Looks promising.  Having said that, I hate reading a little narrow box of content on a big computer screen.  It’s such a waste of screen space.  Maybe I’ll work on some CSS to fix that.

But first there are a couple of pressing modifications that must be done.  First, I need to add the Yahoo Music Player code, for the embedded music player.  To do so, all you have to do is add this before the </head> tag:

<!– Begin Yahoo Player Header–>
// <!–[CDATA[
javascript” src=”http://mediaplayer.yahoo.com/js”&gt;
// ]]>
<!– End Yahoo Player Header–>

And I need to, once again, get rid of the NavBar, this time by adding this before the line that begins with ]]>:

 #navbar-iframe { display: none !important; }

After this, you can add features and customize your template as you see fit.

Update 1:  I’ve now experimented with Blogger Custom Domains and the newer features enough to confidently report that publishing via Custom Domains is a reasonably powerful platform.  The inclusion of static pages (via the Blogger in Draft beta page) adds the much needed ability to include ancillary pages.  See the index pages I added to Errbear.Com for an example of how to implement static pages.  I also found it reasonably easy to modify the new template, as you will see.  It’s early, but so far I’m pretty impressed.

Conclusion

Overall, this was a pretty easy process.  I don’t know if I the additional Blogger features that weren’t available with a custom template will outweigh the limitations of a canned template, but I can tell you that the process of moving to a Blogger Custom Domain was pretty easy.

I’ll try to address any questions or problems you face in the comments.

RFP: WordPress Template, Installation and Importation

image

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come and listen to a story about a man named Kent
A poor tech writer, so to Blogger his blog went,
Then one day he was readin’ at some feeds,
And up through Rick’s blog came a troubling need.

No more FTP that is, SOL, up the creek.

Well the first thing you know Kent’s blog needs a new home,
Louis says “custom domain,” but Kent wants to go alone
Thinks WordPress is the place he ought to be
So he wants you to move Newsome.Org to WP.

WordPress that is, on his server, custom template.

I’ve been using Blogger, via FTP publishing, in combination with my beloved Live Writer, to manage my blog since 2004.  There have been challenges along the way, but over the years the experience has been very positive.  Rick Klau is great, and has been extremely helpful when issues aroseMatt Cutts was also helpful, when I reached out to him once in the midst of a particularly frustrating problem.  In other words, I have nothing but great things to say about the Blogger/Google folks.

But I was a little bummed, even if not surprised, when Blogger announced yesterday that FTP publishing was going to be discontinued.  Rick has a post about it here, including a discussion we’re having in the comments about Blogger custom domains as an option.  My friend Louis Gray moved from FTP publishing to a Blogger custom domain last year and says the experience has been positive.  He discusses the situation in a blog post today.

I use the custom domain approach for GoodSongs.Com,  my music recommendation site, via Tumblr, and it works pretty well (though I am very aware of the risk that Tumblr eventually goes the way of Geocities).  Since I have a server and all of my blog content is already on it, I think I want to keep my content on my server and use WordPress to manage it.  I’m not completely bound to that decision, but that’s what I’m thinking at the moment.  I will probably experiment with Blogger’s custom domains with Err Bear Music, my publishing company.  We’ll see how it goes.

But for now, I need to move Newsome.Org, in-tact, to WordPress.  And I’m willing to pay to have it done right.

Which means I need to hire an experienced, qualified WordPress expert to install WordPress (and any necessary plug-ins) on my server, create a custom template, and import all of my blog posts, with the page links in-tact.  I don’t want to break any inbound links, etc.

I am soliciting proposals from WordPress experts who meet the above criteria and are interested in performing the above services.

First, some info.

1) I use Blogger to manage my content, but the content is hosted on my dedicated server.
2) My index and post pages are .shtml pages.  I’m not concerned about that going forward, but preserving existing page links (e.g., permalinks) is critical.

Now, the job at hand.

1) Setting up WordPress (and any necessary plug-ins) on my server.
2) Moving all of my content over to WordPress (approximately 1600 posts) while preserving the permalinks.  I don’t want duplicate post pages.
3) Creating a WordPress template reasonably close to the one I use here.  I have the CSS, etc. that I can provide.  See 4 below.
4) While I want to maintain enough of the look and feel to preserve branding, I am willing to consider alternative designs.  The thing I like the most about the current design is the way it sizes itself based on the reader’s screen.  I hate reading a narrow box of content on a big computer screen.

Please ask any project-related questions in the comments, so I only have to answer once.  Proposals, schedules and prices should be delivered via email.  I will keep the terms of all proposals confidential.  Please include references and/or summaries of other similar jobs you have done.

If you haven’t done this before, don’t learn on me.  I need this done right.

I’ll write new posts as I navigate through this process.  In the meantime, Blogger has set up a dedicated blog to assist refugees.  I hear Bono is planning a benefit concert.

More as it develops.

Stuck Inside of Blogger with the WordPress Blues Again

“Will my links lay in shambles
Where the inbound traffic comes
They all work perfectly now,
To change them seems so dumb
So here I sit impatiently
Just waiting for the day
When I can move to WordPress
Without my links going away
Oh, Mama, can this really be the end,
To be stuck inside of Blogger
With the WordPress blues again”

I continue to struggle with all of the things I’d like to do on this blog that are as impossible via Blogger as they seem simple via WordPress.

My files, etc. are hosted on my server, but I use Blogger to create and manage them. In many ways Blogger works fine, and I have created work-arounds for most of the stuff I want to do.

Except for the recent inbound links thing. I have not figured out a way to fully automate a the list of inbound links in the right column on the main Newsome.Org page. I currently handle this by tagging inbound links “inbound” via Delicious and then running my Delicious RSS feed through an RSS to HTML program and then including the resulting page in my main page via a server side include. That’s a lot of old school brain damage just to get a nicely formatted recent inbound links list.

And the hardest part is that I have to manually tag my inbound links, and when I forget, like I have the last month and a half, the task becomes insurmountable and a lot of links never make it to the list, since they will have rotated off at the same time they are added.

Whew. It was exhausting just to write that. Imagine living it.

I see inbound links lists all the time that seem automated and look nice. Steve Rubel has a nice list (though I want the link title and link only- without the excerpt) and Dave Sifry has exactly what I’m looking for (I spent some time trying to figure out how to create a Link Cosmos like Dave has, but I gave up when I got here). My way is hard, but not as hard as that looks.

As many of you know, I strongly considered moving to WordPress, but gave up in the face of the URL problem.

It just shouldn’t be this hard.