Though I’m impressed with how quickly a blog can initially be set up and released, I guess I have more of a game plan like Patton invading Sicily prior to releasing my site. There’s a whole culture, language and set of technologies with which I’m not yet familar. Since once a site goes "live" it’s hard to hide stupidity, I guess I’m trying to understand things better to lessen the inevitable IQ decrement. I’m also sure that in a few weeks time I will look over this list with wonderment as to how much of a newbie I really was!
Some of the major items and specific tasks, none in particular order, that must be done and learned to getting this blog running on a routine, easily maintaned basis are:
- Posting and comments formatting, utilities
- Completion of Blog Web page content
- Figuring out navigation and external link references (the general blososphere connectivity)
- Longer-term functionality and its integration
- Efficient (?) update and maintenance procedures.
As items get completed and may reference other posts, I’ll return and add the internal links.
- Generalize the CSS style sheet, with more objectification and logical class names
- Create more consistent, minor style sheet classes and see if they can be referenced through a WYSIWYG editor (below)
- Learn how to have more WYSIWYG editing
- Learn how to enter standard HTML formatting into new post entries (incl. using bullets and numbered lists; when this displays OK that has been accomplished)
- Distinguish between list types
- Add a standard WYSIWYG editor
- Figure out procedures for moving existing and developing Word content for posting to the site.
Posts and Comments
- Decide about use of email address on site and for author posting comments –> do others have concerns about email capture for spam and does that suggest some captcha capability?
- Figure out how to split long posts — such as some of the main articles and white papers I intend to post — into multi-part segments
- Figure out if there is a slick way to use classes or styles for HTML insertions
- Add mechanisms for emailing a post, printing a post or downloading a PDF (where that makes sense)
- Add a standard Next – Back set of links at the bottom of every post for easier internal navigation between posts
- Work out the kinks in the entire Comments to posts area, specifically whether minor WYSIWYG editing should be provided and how to preview comments before posting.
Major templating of a few page types has already been done. However, text and templates for "standard" internal pages are needed for:
- 404 error
- About me
- About me (detailed and bibiography)
- About site (mission)
- BrightPlanet page
- DiDia page
- Masthead picture reference
- Chronology listing (work out formatting, plugin and PHP)
Navigation and External Links
- Add external links, GIFs where necessary, and do the registrations as appropriate for:
- RSS (XML)
- Site Meter
- The selected Wiki
- Creative Commons stuff
- Limit some pages from appearing on site navigation
- Reserve, but don’t yet implement, the entire advanced feature anticipated for detailed categorization and placement
- Replace the current footer section; the queries stuff seems silly
- Separate out the calendar and archive sections
Find a Wiki tool that:
- "Plays nice" with the WordPress environment
- Can use the same style sheet
- Can use the same editor
- Has posted content that is seamless with the site for such things as site searching, categorization, etc.
- Research and better understand some of the spam and privacy protection concerns, especially in comments, emails, robots interactions and others
- Figure out the email return thing where the title line requires the sender to do clever replacements
- igure out the Permalink think
- Figure out the Trackback thing
- Figure out the Blogroll thing and decide if I want to use that feature or not
- Get a better search function and box
- Figure out procedures, icons, etc., for allowing PDF download capabilities
- Figure out how to archive and get formatted posts and pages from the MySQL database.
- Add shortcut icon (favicon.ico) for appearing in the browser address bar.
- Clean up all entries
- Add date stamps/updated dates to all main pages
- Fix all broker links
- Finalize all styles, sizings, positions
- Complete and update this start-up checklist
- Write up an document best practices for starting and then running a blog.
Stuff to Defer Until After Initial Release
[Note: these items were added just prior to initial release.]
- Defer improved search function
- Defer Wiki integration
- Defer adding advanced categorization.
Author’s Note: I actually decided to commit to a blog on April 27, 2005, and began recording soon thereafter my steps in doing so. Because of work demands and other delays, the actual site was not released until July 18, 2005. To give my ‘Prepare to Blog …’ postings a more contemporaneous feel, I arbitrarily changed posting dates on this series one month forward, which means some aspects of the actual blog were better developed than some of these earlier posts indicate. However, the sequence and the content remain unchanged. A re-factored complete guide will be posted at the conclusion of the ‘Prepare to Blog …’ series, targeted for release about August 18, 2005. mkb