Dummy Blog Set Up for Tuesday's Template Demo on The Screen Savers

· Book News, Weblog Concepts

By all rights I should be barbecuing right now and by all means not laboring, but as a mostly self-employed guy who’s job right now is mostly promoting his most recent book, not to mention a guy with not enough time to do all the things he wants to do once he finds them, I’m instead working on the tutorial for my demo on TV next week while B is down in Palo Alto visiting her family.
Here’s my outline so far:

  • What’s a Blog?
  • What’s a Template?
  • What’s Dreamweaver?
  • Blog Tools Discussed:
    • Blogger & Blogger Pro
    • Radio UserLand
    • Movable Type
    • LiveJournal (in passing, templates are fragmented)
  • Tweaking Your Blog Templates in Dreamweaver
    example: Still Blogging After All These Years
  • Making a Blog Template in Dreamweaver
    no example
  • Integrating a Blog into an Existing Site
    example: Agent7
    discuss: Leo’s site (home) vs. (blog) look-and-feel
  • Links:
    • Dreamweaver Savvy
    • Radio Free Blogistan
    • Sample Templates
    • Still Blogging After All These Years
    • Agent7 blog
    • Publisher (Sybex)
    • My other blogs? Uncle John’s Blog, Bite Media, MemeList

I realized I don’t actually want to mess with the design of this site any more, especially not just to show something on TV, and Radio is tuned to just this site for me, so I’ll probably use Blogger and Movable Type examples, depending on the time available.
Host Leo Laporte uses Movable Type for his blog and mentioned to me when I was on last time that he’d like to be able to integrate its design more closely with the look of his Leoville site. But really the thing has to boiled down to dense, flavorful nuggets. TV is like bouillon in your brain. A little goes a long way.
Several other cast members use LiveJournal, but LJ splits up your template into numerous text boxes, and while it would be possible to assemble them, view it Dreamweaver, edit, and then reslice it, it sounds like a royal pain to me and very television unfriendly.
I’ll definitely mention Radio, since the templates are already files on your own hard drive, and can easily be opened in Dreamweaver. The trick is that DMX doesn’t render .txt files as HTML, but I kill two birds with one stone by copying the contents of the file to a new dummy HTML file and editing there, keeping the .txt as a backup until I’m sure the new template is working.
With Blogger and Blogger Pro, it’s just a matter of copying the single template file and pasting it into an empty Dreamweaver window. I’ve set up a demo blog at blogspot called Still Blogging After All These Years to use as a guinea pig on the air.
I may mention it was my friend syrup‘s website that first clued me in to the idea of letting the blog tool handle the entire front page of your site by putting other content into the template. She actually has a personal journal and now a sideblog that I suspect she’s including with an SSI, but I’m not positive of that.
I may also show how I’m using Movable Type to integrate a blog about the books and awards of my writer clients into my agent page at the Waterside web site. This isn’t live yet, but it’s coming along, and it’s a good demonstration of how to put a blog into an existing design. Movable Type has a feature for associating each template with a file you can open and edit directly.
Now that I’m tracking my Amazon rank with JungleScan (portfolio style) and the Books and Writers e-mail notification service, it will be interesting to see if there’s a spike in sell-through during or after the appearance. It may sound crass but like I said, this is my job right now. You rarely get such immediate feedback on your performance in life.