The World in the Satin Bag has moved to my new website.  If you want to see what I'm up to, head on over there!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Argument Continues (with some tips thrown in)

First, because this whole thing about WordPress and Blogger might annoy the crap out of you, or bore you, I'm going to give away some interesting links and information.
First is the TW Blog. I've become a weekly contributor there, partly because I've become a mod at the TeenageWriters site and partly because I'm editing their first anthology. I do the writing tips/discussion type stuff. Two posts of interest to anyone that reads this blog would be The Golden Rule and Enemy #1: Info-dump. The former is about none other than that infamous "show, don't tell" rule and the latter is quite obvious I think. Check them out because I think they are rather helpful, and perhaps if you have any comments I'd love to hear them.
Another thing of interest is that I have volunteered and been accepted to help do book reviews with SQT at her F & SF Review Blog. She's becoming very active in the SF/F community and trying to get her foot in the review door by asking for ARC's and the like. She recently sent me an ARC of Ragamuffin by Tobias Buckell and in response I've started on Crystal Rain. SQT will be reading Crystal Rain as well and I'll simply add in my thoughts after she does her review. Ragamuffin is my primary review focus for the moment though, and perhaps other books will show up and I'll have new things to read. I'm very honored to be a part of this project and would like to thank SQT for letting me join up. It's something I really want to be able to do, but never new how. Now I have that opportunity. So thanks again SQT!

Now for my rant about WordPress and Blogger. I mentioned it earlier that I was considering going to WP. The reason was because WP offers some features that are not available in Blogger and may never be available. So I started researching and playing around with WP and Blogger to see what my limitations of both were. And now I'm at a stalemate on the issue.
One of the things I really liked about WP was that it allowed me to have separate pages where I could put links and the like so they don't clutter my main page. This would allow better organization and such. Blogger doesn't have this feature. But Blogger allows me to upload for free my own CSS and XML templates and to customize almost without limitations my webpage. I can move columns, etc. WP doesn't have this feature unless you pay for the CSS function to be added to your free blog, or if you get your own webspace and download the WP PHP set, which means far too much work for me.
It would not be an issue for me about switching if I knew that WP had more functionality in regards to their templates, but unfortunately they don't. In fact, the templates provided by WP are rather bland and boring, which means that despite having those lovely extra pages and uncluttered main pages, I won't be able to do much to the look of my template other than changing the header image, which is easier to do than in blogger. So I'm in a predicament here. I really would like to have those extra pages. Maybe Blogger is planning to do this, and if they are, I'm sticking around forever. I do like how there are many features built into WP that you have to add to Blogger, but I lose so much functionality in such a trade by not being able to customize the way my blog looks in regards to colors and the like. This is rather annoying to me because WP does have quite the reputation.
Another problem is the apparent frequency of WP not working, as in the server is down or some such. I've never had this issue with Blogger. Well, that's not entirely true. Over the course of almost a year Blogger has been down maybe twice, once at a god awful hour that I shouldn't have been online anyway, and the other was a technical issue. But in the last month of using WP (for the TW blog), I've had two separate occasions where the site wouldn't work or it was horribly slow. Is this common in WP, or am I a fluke?

So, to say the least, I'm a little stuck on this issue. I may not be moving any time soon. Likely in the next 3 months or so you might see my blog here at Blogger change significantly from what it is now to something with 3 columns so that I can organize all my stuff. I just wish I could add pages to the site instead.


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  1. Awwww, twas my pleasure.

  2. One thing you could consider is getting a free host, from anywhere really, and then setting the webspace up exactly like it is here and just linking to that.
    What you could do is just take the HTML that makes this page run, place it into the free host's template and then make links direct to there. that way you can change anything template-wise, and also have seperate pages for your stuff.
    The only problem with that is making sure that you don't put too much on each page, otherwise it will be too large for the space you will be given.

    It would seem a logical thing to do, that way you can keep your blogger love, and then any links you wanted to add can be placed on the side menu (like your profile for example) and they just link to this free wevbspce that looks exactly like blogger.

    I don't know if it would be easy, or even if it would work. but it seems like it would, and since it is free it wouldn't hurt to try right?

  3. This sounds all too technical for me!

  4. I just don't want to have to get a webpage, get space, domain, etc. right now. Too much work. I want to be able to download a template and just install it and be done...

  5. I see, sorry about that i assumed you,like, really wanted links and stuff now.

    I agree if it were as easy as getting a template then that would be great. does blogger house some kind of fourm you could go and suggest it? maybe there is already a solution to your problem.

  6. Well suggestions do get heard and I imagine in the future they'll bring such features. I know with Wordpress they add new templates whenever one gets suggested that is quite good. But again, word press has like 30 templates up there, which is a lot more than Blogger has, but you can't do anything to them.
    So it's all going to just be patience for me...

  7. I've tweaked my blog like crazy on blogger and so far it's been okay. Hard to complain when it's free. But yeah, I have to do my own links to other blog pages rather than just navigate through an easy link bar or something like that. I tinker with mine endlessly to try to make it more user friendly.

  8. Well that's an idea. I didn't even think about that. I could easily manipulate a template to have 'links' to other blogger pages where I could put stuff. I hadn't even thought of that.

  9. If you look at my page, on the sidebars I have small images that match the banners on the other pages that you can click on to go to your page. They're pretty easy to do actually. It's the best solution I've been able to come up with so far. Sites like Hackosphere are where I've gotten most of my hacks.

  10. I might try to do that. I think it would be interesting to put up buttons on a side bar that link to othre pages designed the same way but with different stuff on it...ha...this is cool

  11. Congrats on the review thing!