Why Wiki?

on Wiki today featured pic of day
on Wiki today featured pic of day (Photo credit: shivanayak)

I use a few online tools for writing – each with a very different purpose.

My wiki (running the same MediaWiki software which is used to run Wikipedia) is used to grow content, gradually, in bits and pieces. I’ve just started doing this recently. The process for me generally is to just jot down some ideas and then fix them up later. I am collaborating with myself – wiki is good for that sort of thing.

This blog (running WordPress) is used to publish full thoughts in date-stamped bursts.

Also, I’ve started developing a strategy for iterating between the two tools by using the blog as a place to periodically snapshot content from the wiki (e.g., the content of this article originated on the wiki a few days ago). That allows the wiki page to continue to evolve and morph into something else, which can then be snapshotted again between the two systems in a few months when the content is something significantly different.

I use Google Docs to write longer pieces (and to write piece which I prefer or need to keep private), in a more introspective environment and non-webby type environment. Yes, Google Docs is, to me, “non-webby” in the sense that it is very focused on creating a writing environment that is similar to what you get with an old-school word processor.

Features Learned Today – Tweaks to Thesis Theme Installation

It was an intense day in my WordPressed brain today. Hard at work migrating Songwriting Scene to it’s new home on a SiteGround server, using the Thesis theme.

Learned today how to:

  • Turn the text banner into an image banner. Big kudos goto Chris Pearson, for designing the Thesis framework so that this change is easy, and to DoubleMule for explaining how to customize the banner using easy CSS.
  • Adsense – Found an “Advertising Manager” plugin, but not quite getting ads to appear yet.
  • Google Analytics – Easy(!) to add into the script footer in the Thesis theme.
  • Make effective use of the Thesis theme’s “teaser” feature

Still to do:

  • Add our Twitter widget to the sidebar.
  • Start working on some CSS styling to give the blog a unique look.
  • Add our newsletter and post subscription sign-up form (an Aweber form).

Sunday’s Savior

Had another albatross this weekend – I had found a dandy backup plug-in for my WordPress blog, but could not for the life of me figure out how to configure the SMTP settings for my blog with my hosting provider. The problem was threatening to consume the remainder of my three-day weekend, and possibly delay the migration of my wife’s songwriting blog.

I had found a few “SMTP” plug-in’s that looked like they might be helpful, but was having trouble finding one that was also compatible with the later versions of WordPress.

To the rescue came Configure SMTP – compatible with my version, has thousands of downloads, and got SMTP configured for me, as promised. Now my database backups are scheduled to mail to me daily.

I don’t remember how exactly I stumbled into this handy SMTP plug-in – I think I found it linked somewhere in a forum or wiki page for MailPress (which I had initially tried for solving my problem, but it fills a different need).

Now just gotta figure out how to backup the other various files and what-not (media, etc..) in an automated way.