Thursday, November 16, 2006

Boldly Switching to Blogger Beta

Update: 11-20-06: Haloscan comments and trackback have now been restored (hurray!), thanks to the assistance of Matt Hayward, who was kind enough to assist me personally when I got stuck applying his solution. Now I just have to get rid of the Blogger comments that also appear. Also, check out the "Multi-Style Labels", which functions as my new "categories" section. Click on any of the three buttons to change the style/view of the labels. This ingenious hack to the Blogger Beta template comes from Ramani at Hackosphere... plus, in more news, I am working on a NEW post, really I am...

Update 11-18-06:
Well I'm happy to report that creating label "categories" in beta Blogger was not as daunting or time-consuming as I assumed it would be, since you don't have to individually edit every post, but can create labels and apply them to multiple posts from the dashboard. So the blog is basically updated, in terms of post categories, resource links and basic look. I will be tweaking it, of course, and again, that's the nice thing about the Beta version-- it's a lot easier to move things around.

Now the only serious issue remaining is transferring my old comments/trackbacks from Haloscan here. It seems Haloscan is working on an official solution that will be posted soon. So in the meantime I'll relax and let them do their job while I get back to writing ...

Update 11-17-06:
I have been hard at work trying to restore all my resource links and get the blog looking and functioning as I'd like it to. Personally I'm happy with the three column template and the bolder look. Blogger Beta definitely makes it easier to create link lists, and the layout can easily be changed. Also publishing is a snap, just click and it's updated.

However, I have not figured out if there is a way to carry over previous comments/trackbacks my blog had via Haloscan. Apparently there is a "hack" for this but implementing it successfully has eluded me thus far.

Also I expect the task of re-categorizing my posts will be time-consuming, since I'm pretty sure I will have to apply labels to all my old posts, in order to do so.

Let me know what you think of the new layout/look. If you care to, you can comment via email to, rather than here, since I'm not sure if I will keep the Blogger beta comments system or try to restore the Haloscan system.

Besides all this, I am busy writing a real post :)... and hope to have it up shortly.

Although you probably can't tell, I have already switched this blog over to the new Google Blogger Beta platform, which offers improved functionality to Blogger blogs. The new system is supposed to make it easier to quickly change the layout of the blog, to publish posts, and best of all, to categorize posts by using labels-- a feature not previously offered in Blogger. So far, so good.

However, I haven't yet updated my original blog template using the new Blogger Beta tools, because I'm trying to figure out if, and how, I will be able to keep the many customizations I have made. For example, even though Blogger did not previously offer a way to categorize posts, through web research I figured out a way of creating categories for each post. The task was a bit cumbersome, involving modification of my template each time I wanted to place a particular post in a category. What I'm not sure of is how the old categories I created will work within the new "labels" system of Blogger Beta. I may be forced to delete all the posts that I had created to function as "categories".

Still, I hope to come out of this with a fresh new look, and with a blog that's easier for me to use. I'm hoping too that the site will be easier to navigate, as I expand into 3 columns rather than 2 to better accommodate my many links.

Let's hope the experiment works! (I will back-up my old template, just in case)...

P.S. Also please excuse the look of the blog as I work out all the kinks with links, comments, etc.


Alexander M. Jordan said...

This is a test of the comments.


Charlie said...

Hey, my friend, this is a great improvement! A very bold look, easy to read, and I like the organization of your sidebars. It's a lot of work to make these changes, isn't it?

I especially like the Bible resources you've added on the left.

Alexander M. Jordan said...

Hi Charlie:

Glad you like it! I was wondering whether previous visitors might not like the new look. I'm still not sure what I'll do about the comments/trackbacks from Haloscan-- so far I haven't been able to make them work here.

Nice to hear from you,