Yeah, I haven’t been terribly attentive to the site lately, and nobody else has been picking up the slack (you slackers!). The main reason is that I have been investigating upgrading the blog software, and I’ve decided on WordPress (what, you thought I ran out of things to say?).
For authors, the change will be pretty mind-blowing. I don’t anticipate it to a big adjustment, it will just be easier to do certain things, and will have a lot more potential for kick ass features. One of the WordPress idioms (or that of certain themes) is the “aside”. This is basically a real quick post, just 1-3 lines or so, to give people a heads up. We write some serious content here, and I’d like think that some of it is of journalistic quality (I won’t pontificate on the journal). But that also brings a certain intimidation factor, you feel like you have to write a whole article, edit it, proofread it a couple times, etc. Asides take the onus off the writing process, so you can just write stuff like:
X-Men: The Last Stand was outstanding. Yes, you should see it, and yes, in the theatre! Make it a good one!
See how easy that was? Let’s face it, you don’t need a whole review for a movie like X-Men; people on the fence just want to know it lives up to the hype (it does), and those on the other side of the fence won’t be convinced by your review. They also don’t read this blog, because it would steal time from reading GayCowboyBlog.com, and eating pudding. In short, an aside is something you might preface with “BTW…”. (In fact, putting any post in the BTW category – and only that category – will render it as an aside.) Asides can also have comments, so it’s a quick conversation starter. I’ve often said you should post anything you would email or forward to more than one person, and now that can include quick links.
“Pages” are another WordPress benefit. They are separate from posts, but just as easy to create, and perfect for more permanent content. A prime example is Agent (author) pages – each agent can now write his own bio, and include a link to his personal post archive. If you have Rhapsody, Netflix, flickr, or del.icio.us accounts, it should be easy to include content from those in your page… I originally envisioned this site as an awesome knowledgebase of things we thought kicked ass. Pages allow us to slap together an article collaboratively. Best Restaurants. Best TV Shows. Best Movies. Best Albums. Lists are simple and powerful, and as team members of The Crack Team, we have an obligation to the public to disseminate such vital knowledge. We are saving lives.
There might be other cool features, check out the WordPress site (esp. themes and plugins) and let me know what you think. It may take some doing, but a lot more should be possible.
Also, I’ve started to set up “professional” blogs for various people, including Hulagun, Mystery, Masterchief, ThinkTank1, and myself. These are blogs to discuss serious topics related to your profession, and have domains like firstname.lastname.com. It’s stuff you want your name attached to, and while it probably could go here, I know that few of you who read this are really interested in my take on software development and its industry. If you are, good news, I’m creating a blog for that! And Hulagun will talk about design, Mystery, the entertainment industry, Masterchief, robotics, etc. Anyways, if you are interested, please tell me now whlie I’m setting things up.
Stay tuned for more…