RSS feeds and WordPress plugins

I’ve set up my homepage to show some RSS feeds. One from this blog. One from my OSM user diary.

Showing multiple RSS feed is kind of the most basic example of a “mashup”. A web development problem you can solve with five minutes of tinkering. Sure enough I did manage to find a free script from somewhere and get a feed showing in five minutes, but only because I consciously said to myself that I wasn’t going to spend hours choosing which free script to go for. I knew this was a danger from past experience of wading through all the websites offering free scripts, looking for the right one. So I then spent a while tinkering because it wasn’t quite right, then regretted my choice of script, and wound up accidentally spending several hours re-coding it from scratch. This was mostly an irritating kind of tinkering, but…

I also had a go at making a WordPress plugin (to extend the features of my blog). This was fun, and amazingly easy. There’s tutorials about coding wordpress plugins, but I didn’t need to read any of that. I just fiddled with someone else’s code. It’s nifty the way wordpress automatically latches onto your php file and presents meta-information like the title of the plugin within the admin interface, and gives you the option to “activate” the plugin. I called mine “Harry’s cache deleter”, and made it delete the cache of my homepage RSS feed whenever I add or edit a blog entry. Just a matter of calling the add_action function to have my code invoked on add/edit events.

So let’s test it out right now… Publish!

Old beezly.org.uk blog posts

Beezly’s website used to be a drupal site with several people (anyone who fancied it) having access to write blog posts. I chipped in a number of posts myself, going back to 2004 as it turns out. At some point more recently he did some software migrations (fiddled with it a lot), and I had thought he must’ve carelessly thrown away all the old blog posts. I couldn’t find them any more. This even prompted me to go poking around in the waybackmachine to try to rescue my old posts and bring them onto this site with fudged timestamps (retro-blogging) Quite a lot of hassle, and only partially successful. For example I remembered writing an old blog post about passing out on a ski-lift which I hadn’t managed to rescue from archive.org

But I wasn’t looking closely enough, or maybe the ‘older entries’ links were missing during one stage of his re-skinning. But I noticed today that in fact beezly does still have all the old posts in his database still.

Here are my posts on beezly.org.uk going back to January 2004 :

Hurrah! Thank goodness for that hey? What a relief that my carefully crafted words have not succumbed to link rot after all. I thought there had been a dreadful gaping hole in the blogosphere all this time </sarcasm>

Update in 2017 (over a decade after writing these blog posts): Actually beezly’s website disappeared again, so I’ve just been rescuing them from wayback machine into the archive of this blog. All except for “New Swiss house” and “Long weekend of beeriness”, which seem to be gone forever. I guess we’re not missing much though

Postholiday

I am back from a week’s holiday in the South of France. Immediately I’ve dropped into a firestorm* of emails to respond to, things to to prepare for, and political fires to extinguish.

So I will blog about beautiful French vineyards and other such relaxing things ….later.   Right now I’m too busy and more importantly I’m just not in the mood.

* “whirlwind”, “quagmire”, “steaming heap of poo”.  What’s the right word here?

London Bloggers Meet-up

I suppose I really have to blog about going along to the London Bloggers Meet-up last night. It would be rude not to.

It was held at the Dogetts Coat & Badge, which is a favourite of mine actually (We’ve taken Francine’s brazillian visitors to this pub for traditional english grub, and views over the Thames) . Last night the beer in the upstairs function room was flowing free (thanks stella) .

I think there’s quite a few competing meet-up events for “bloggers” in London. This is the first time I’ve been to one, partly because I wasn’t sure if I could really call myself a blogger. I’ve been properly blogging on harrywood.co.uk for eight months now though, so yes, I suppose I am now officially a blogger.  ….but still more of a “wikier” perhaps. 

So who are these London bloggers? This is something I had been wondering. Obviously anyone and everyone can be a blogger. It’s easy, and very mainstream these days. People from all walks of life. Female and male. Old and young. There was some evidence of this in the room, but of course there was still a heavy bias towards the usual IT demographic. 25-35 year old males. I’m sure blogging itself still has this bias, despite being increasingly mainstream. But also this was a meet-up of those bloggers who are keen enough about blogging itself (rather than just being keen on non-tech topics they blog about) to come along to a blogging meet-up, which I guess makes it more of a tech meet-up. Even so, it wasn’t a purely geeky gathering, which is good.

At the other extreme perhaps,  are the people who actually do jobs relating to blogging. Social media agencies, Web2.0 consultants, whatever you want to label them. Some people talked about PR type roles. I was surprised by the number of these people there seemed to be. Of course it isn’t surprising that such people would choose to come along to a London bloggers event, but I guess it’s surprising to come face-to-face with a fledgling industry which is emerging out of something as fun and chaotic as blogs

Anyway…. enough of this blogging about blogging

Retro Blogging

Home Technology ClockI’m planning to flesh out my embryonic blog a little, by importing some blog posts from the past, or bits of writing which could be blog posts but originally were not. I guess I’ll set the posting timestamp to a false value indicating approximately when I originally wrote it. This will mean they disappear into the archives, which is right, because it’s stuff I wrote a long time ago, but it’s wrong because nobody will know what I’ve most recently added to the site. So I guess I’ll add some links to this blog post, to reference the new old stuff.

It’s also very tempting to set false timestamps on posts when I’m catching up on events from a few weeks back. Is that cheating? Making it look like I wrote a blog post on the day I got back from my weekend away, rather being slow and disorganised and posting several weeks later? Maybe yes. I guess I will refrain from doing this.

Another thing I could do, is write brand new blog posts about previous things that have happened to me many months or years ago. It seems like there’s some interesting memories which should have been blogged, and would have been if I had just got on with it sooner But I could get quite carried away with this type of Retro-blogging . Trying to catalogue all the key events of my life to form a complete time line (lifelogging?), and basically writing a lot of stuff about ancient history which would disappear into the archives and never get read. So I think on the whole, if a memory is worth dredging up, then I will write it as a current blog post about a past event.

…but I do have some old bits and bobs and blog posts which I’ve written in the past, which I will be fudging the timestamp on.

New old stuff :

2007/07/22 – Drive by contributions – The typo that never got fixed
2007/04/18 – A bundle of fun with Google Reader
2006/08/08 – Munkyfest/
2005/07/20 – Google moon
2005/06/10 – Technological order and chaos
2004/04/29 – Upperthong weather station
2004/04/19 – Me being nosey and prejudgmental
2004/04/15 – London Friday Night Skate
2004/03/31 – MS Outlook – Ctrl Enter
2003/10/02 – Disco Ball

These are mostly from older versions of beezly.org.uk where I used to add blog posts occasionally. The newer new old stuff was buried in my previous attempt at a bliki. And that disco ball one was buried in some old experimentally hand coded attempt at bliki system.