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idiotgirl - But how do you really feel? ;)
Content aside, some of these are reasonably attractive pages. From comments above, it seems that this software would work well as an updating tool (for current company news or whatever) for literate site owners or clients with no Shakespearean aspirations who don't know any HTML.
I'm still trying to get a grasp of it too. What's involved in setting it up?
So a variety of choice, I chose #3, because I liked their news aggregator, but other programs have their points too. It was quite easy to set up.
SmallTime - If I follow you correctly, #3 is what I'd choose too. #2 doesn't seem to be applicable to what I'd want the blogger to do. #1 would require me to be better with CGI than I am.
#3 seems to be the solution that would require the least amount of individual setup for a wide variety of clients, some of whom have pretty rudimentary hosting.
Which software package of those you list did you use?
Two "blogs" which seem to be using the medium well... though they are not necessarilly the personal diary type models.. More like flexible timely databases that unlike most database sites, are OK for Search engine Opt.
Both are Movable Type driven.. not an advert, im sure same things can be done with Grey matter etc. just that i was browsing the MT stuff, as we are experimenting with it..
Good links. Morningnews was a nice concept, too. I've found some nice blogs that allow users to dynamically change font sizes through css and cookies. I think it's a wonderful way to go. I used to be a big fan of tiny type. Then I realized all my friends wore glasses. Nice there's been some pretty slick alternatives implemented at some of the blog sites. That's what got me started on my whole 'blog crawl' in the first place.
Simmerstock was a wonderful resting spot on the web and another welcome attraction on the blogging highway. Nice use of... everything.
I must go to the kitchen now. For some reason I'm particularly hungry.
Although not directly a blogger type system, it certainly could be used as one. It blurs the lines between a forum, blogger, guestbook, and email.
Not sure what I'm going to do with it. There are other systems out there like it I think that you could use in a similar way.
Am I correct, combining info from several of the above posts, that if I just wanted to use the software for content updating, Greymatter and Movable Type would be sufficient? Looking at the sites with the Radio features, you can set up some extremely complex navigation systems... In fact, looking at Simmerstock, I couldn't easily describe what they have done.
Brett - The test page looks great... clearly a descendant of the forums here in terms of look and feel. Conceivably, you could use it to get responses to articles elsewhere on the site, though the forums here already work well for that, and having two systems going could just get messy. Maybe you could license it....
I'm working with a site that has an "ask the expert" feature that lets users fill in a form and e-mail a question to a resident expert in that topic. The user gets an e-mail reply, and the best Q&A items (i.e., those that might interest others) get posted on a web page.
Currently, as the person responsible for maintaining that site, I must do the editing to add a new content page, add appropriate links to it from an index of questions page, etc. Not overly difficult, but one more thing on a crowded "to do" list.
If I could create an easy web interface, the "expert" answering the questions would be able to post the good Q&A items, and have them added to an index of some sort. Would a blog program like movable type be good for this purpose, or is there some other free or inexpensive content tool I should look at?
The purpose of the content is twofold: to help visitors to the site find answers to their questions, and to create spiderable content on a variety of topics related to the site's theme. Any thoughts? Thanks!
I've been asked to set up a community site for a non-profit family support group of about 500 that's independent but connected with a department at a large local university medical center.
It'll be simple in design, but will need interactivity features, which is the whole idea behind the project in the first place.
They don't think chat is applicable at the beginning, but with a couple years of chat hosting background I know it's actually very do-able on a scheduled, moderated basis.
Message boards will be member-access only and need to be protected from spider access, but there's a very applicable concept here. Since the doctors are involved, it could well be that a question and answer feature for the medical questions and issues, would best be publicly available for the benefit of those not in the group as well as those in it who will be "members". So content added in this way seems like it could be just the ticket, since medical people could add applicable content on their own time and at their own convenience without needing any webmaster type of assistance.
It's just in the very beginning of the planning stages, and being an independent project there's no red tape involved. So the concepts here could be a very innovative model for this type of site.
Anyone have any ideas or thoughts?
(edited by: Marcia at 2:41 pm (gmt) on Jan. 2, 2002)
That's exactly what they are Roger! Understated and misuderstood. There is an opportunity for the promoter who can figure out the right sales pitch. The product is there - it's just a question of getting the right message across.
For anyone who wanted to have a weekly update to the front page of their site, or some kind of manual-entry news section, etc., I can see how this sort of set-up would make the actual website maintenance a much less daunting prospect.
inspired me to extend a bit...
my personal take on the advantages of having a GM/Movable Type type system.
1. As you said, makes it easy to have new regular content on front page.
2. Archives are automatic - by category, Month, week, author - whatever. No more manual archiving. Just keep on adding new content!
3. Automatic RSS generation. No more separate manual creation of RSS
4. Automatic Weblogs.com ping.
5. Comments system makes your news pages more dynamic, with hopefully people visiting more often to see responses to their comments
6. You can have an automated dynamic listing of last entries anywhere on your site.
7. Standardisation of style and structure elements and a discipline for keeping content separate from formatting. Makes for less mistakes! great for compliance without thinking - freeing you to concentrate on quality of content rather than having to worry about formatting and style.
8. Allows for multiple authors with different "rights". No more worries about different people overwriting files, changing formatting unknowingly, giving them FTP access. They dont even have to know anything about HTML, empowering (Oops! bad word) non techies to contribute.
9. Incredible flexibility on layout and style - unlike PHP Nuke/Nuke derivative sites, which tend to all look the same, the average reader need not ever know that this is a GM site, this is a MovableType site etc.
10. Search engine friendly, no auto numbers and characters in URL's can choose own URL's. unlike database driven news sites.
You have to do this all online while connected. To people on expensive pay per minute telecom AND ISP charges it is more expensive to have to create news while online, rather than write offline and then connect for a few minutes to upload by FTP.
We are testing out this on a new directory of our site. -one of our columns.. But for new websites its design mechanism that should be considered seriously. Wish it was around 7 years ago!
Write offline in plain text (BBEdit, Notepad, Wordpad, or even *gasp* MSWord with no fancy formatting), then connect to your online admin area, and cut and paste the text into the "add a post" form in the blog script. (This also allows you to spell check your entries before posting, if your text program of choice includes that feature.)
Shouldn't be noticeably slower than using FTP.
There is, however, no better place to go than to the blogs themselves. There are some 100,000 of them.
Start, for example, at Doc Searls Weblog [doc.weblogs.com] and follow the "Blogrolodex" links from there... Doc lists many of the most brilliant minds currently writing on the Web.
Some, e.g. RageBoy [rageboy.com], are taking it all the way. Mind you, RageBoy doesn't merely take it all the way - he hangs his mind way out over the edge and sprays all and sundry with a large and ugly meme gun. Chris Locke, RageBoy's alter ego, has just published The Bombast Transcripts: Rants and Screeds of RageBoy [gonzomarkets.com], and the Harvard Business Review adjudged Locke's recently published Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices [gonzomarkets.com] one of 2001's ten best business books.
The value of blogs as media and marketing tools has been the subject of much navel gazing and introspection. If you thought the Web as a marketing tool was dead, you've now got good reason to believe the opposite. Locke and countless others like him (well, similar, anyway) are proof positive of the power emanating from the myriad micromarkets making up our cyberverse.
Blogging and related Web activities hold enormous hope for the Web as a mature medium. They offer a damning counter to the notion of Web Entropy discussed here [webmasterworld.com].
The future is out there - it's already changing our lives :).
I am personally not a very good page designer, I have always had to hire that part out. Frankly I'm stunned at just how much freedom this will offer me. Now I am free to focus on content. :)
Do the SE's spider these things well?
Basically you want a system that builds on the server side, and doesn't create pages, say, via a database, "on the fly". Most of the CMS or blog software are template based, so you have freedom to develop most of your underlying mark up. So, from there you are in your own using good SEO principles.
Also make sure each page is not entitled the same,or with some useless crud, the TITLE is important as you know.