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frugal technology, simple living and guerrilla large-appliance repair

Regular blog here, 'microblog' there

Many of my traditional blog post live on this site, but a great majority of my social-style posts can be found on my much-busier microbloging site at updates.passthejoe.net. It's busier because my BlogPoster "microblogging" script generates short, Twitter-style posts from the Linux or Windows (or anywhere you can run Ruby with too many Gems) command line, uploads them to the web server and send them out on my Twitter and Mastodon feeds.

I used to post to this blog via scripts and Unix/Linux utilities (curl and Unison) that helped me mirror the files locally and on the server. Since this site recently moved hosts, none of that is set up. I'm just using SFTP and SSH to write posts and manage the site.

Disqus comments are not live just yet because I'm not sure about what I'm going to do for the domain on this site. I'll probably restore the old domain at first just to have some continuity, but for now I like using the "free" domain from this site's new host, NearlyFreeSpeech.net.

Tue, 20 Sep 2011

From setback to on track

Update: It's all coming together now.

Using self-hosted Wordpress with Polldaddy's Javascript embeds allows that code to pass through to the RSS feed. Hopefully I can hack the CSS for this today and be testing it tonight.

So what am I doing with all of this?

We already run online polls at Dailynews.com, and they are one of the few things our aging CMS does natively. (We need native photo galleries and video, but we have native ... polls.)

But the mechanism is awkward, there is no automatic archiving of poll results. And here's the kicker: Changing the home-page poll requires modifying the home page itself.

And I want editors to create these questions themselves. I don't need to be waiting seven days a week for editors to come up with questions, e-mail them to me, and then have me code up the poll question.

So with this combination of Poll Daddy, WordPress, RSS out of WordPress, then Feedburner (and Feedburner's BuzzBoost output), I will have a syndicated poll question that can be controlled from a WordPress blog.

If I had both the skill and the time, I'd build some of this outside of all of these vendor-supplied products. Probably the next step will be coding custom output from WordPress that eliminates the need for Feedburner to be in this equation.

As we move our entire blogging operation from Movable Type to WordPress, the more I can learn about custom output, the better, because I have a whole lot going in in Movable Type that isn't just blog listing and blog entries.

Original entry from Sept. 6, 2011:

A project that was going so well three months ago when I last worked on it ran into serious problems today.

Things that worked June 1 did not work Sept. 6.

This happens to be an unholy mix of vendors, Javascript and RSS.

Vendors can make things easier at the outset, but they change on you.

I spent the greater part of today trying to salvage the thing.

Tomorrow, moving on. More meetings than I'd like. Time to get some perspective (translation: clean up my desk).