« Self Guided Tour of Blogs Continued | Main | The Book of The Century (So Far) Continued »

August 24, 2005

For Blogger Nerds Only Revised and Extended

If you are not a blogger nerd, you don’t want to read this post.

Previously I posted here on how to add a Tag with del.icio.us link to the bottom of each post and to insert that along with comment and trackback links into the feeds of each post so that they show up in feedreaders.  Since then I’ve cleaned up those changes, generalized the process of adding to the link list at the bottom of posts, added linkable labels to my sidebars, added a Technorati search for incoming links and Email this post links, and learned to deal with the problem of feeds which are too long for FeedBurner.

This post replaces the previous post entirely and adds the new capabilities.  If you already made changes like the ones I suggested previously and want to make these, you will be somewhat punished for being a pioneer (so what’s new?) and have to think about how to morph your previous changes into these.

Some disclaimers: (only #5 changed)

  1. Most of the real thinking that went into these changes came from Colleen and Laura at TypePad who have been very patient with my requests for help filed as trouble tickets and from Joshua at del.icio.us.  They are not responsible for my mistakes, however.
  2. I’m not responsible for my mistakes either:-} These changes should only be implemented by a trained (self-trained is fine) nerd on a test blog first.
  3. My templates are derived from TypePad templates and I am not claiming any ownership in either the templates or the changes.  If you are a TypePad blogger, you are entitled to use and modify these templates.  If you are not, these templates will be useless to you.  However, I welcome comments and trackbacks  from people who can translate these capabilities to other blog platforms.  Comments already posted here are for those with other platforms who want to add the tagging capability to non TypePad blogsites.
  4. This implementation uses TypePad’s advanced templates which are only available with a Pro membership to TypePad.  Advanced templates are not available if you are using Mixed Media Templates.
  5. If you have already modified your templates, then obviously you have to be careful that my mods and your mods don’t clash.  My mods are commented with my name.[added: had to take most comments out because they propagated into feeds and, in some case, made them too long]
  6. I only do tech support for Mary and my mother.

So, if I haven’t scared you off yet, here’s what you do:

To add “Tag with del.icio.us”, “Incoming links”, “Email this post” and other links to the bottom of each post on your TypePad blog

  1. If you have not already done so, convert the template set used by your blog to advanced templates.  TypePad documentation here tells you how to do that.
  2. MAKE a test blog and choose the new template set for it using Apply Design.  Leave your real blog alone at this point.
  3. Use Edit Templates on the Manage your Design page to make the following changes.
  4. Retrieve my template footer-extension, change as appropriate, and add as a new template module with this name to your template set.  This module contains what I want to have added to my footers.  The first href is for adding the de.licio.us link; the second one adds a link to a Technorati search for incoming links to the post; the last href implements the “Email this post” capability (thanks to sharp-eyed Kelly Evans on the new virtual team for my book for spotting this in the MovableType documentation and Colleen at TypePad for telling me how to use it with TP).  The hrefs in between are links to locations in my sidebars which are described below.
  5. Retrieve my templates entry-list-1 and entry-individual-1 and add them as new template modules to your template set with the names entry-list and entry-individual (drop the “-1”s).  These are based on modules in the TypePad documentation so I don’t BELIEVE that you have to worry that yours will be different UNLESS you’ve already modified these.  All I did was add a statement to $MTInclude the contents of footer-extension here so that these don’t need to be changed each time we think of new links for the footer.
  6. Edit the four existing templates Main Index Template, Category Archives, Date Based Archives, and Individual Archives replacing each instance of <$MTWebLogIncludeModule module="entry-list"$> with <$MTInclude module="entry-list"$> and each instance of <$MTWebLogIncludeModule module="entry-individual"$> with <$MTInclude module="entry-individual"$> respectively.  This change includes the two modules we added in step #5 above rather than the standard version of these modules.
  7. Save and Publish your changes and take a look at your test blog.
  8. If the changes worked with no unintended side-effects, apply the new design to your real blog and take a look at that.
  9. Remember always to be able to back out changes.

Note that Joshua describes a different way of making a similar change here.  The difference makes me suspect that template sets may vary depending on when you created your TypePad blog.

To add links to the bottom of your Atom and RSS feeds

  1. If you have not already done so, convert the template set used by your blog to advanced templates.  TypePad documentation here tells you how to do that.
  2. MAKE a test blog and choose the new template set for it using Apply Design.  Leave your real blog alone at this point.
  3. Use Edit Templates on the Manage your Design page to make the following changes.
  4. If you haven’t already done so, retrieve my template footer-extension, change as appropriate, and add as a new template module with this name to your template set.  This module contains what I want to have added to my footers.  The first href is for adding the de.licio.us link; the second one adds a link to a Technorati search for incoming links to the post; the last href implements the “Email this post” capability (thanks to sharp-eyed Kelly Evans on the new virtual team for my book for spotting this in the MovableType documentation and Colleen at TypePad for telling me how to use it with TP).  The hrefs in between are links to locations in my sidebars which are described below.
  5. Retrieve my template feed-extension and add as a new template module with exactly that name.  This module adds category, permalink, comment and trackback links to the bottom of your feeds AND incorporates the links you put in footer-extension.
  6. Retrieve my templates atom-1 and rss-1 and use them to replace the whole contents of the index templates named atom and rss.  These are based on modules in the TypePad documentation so I don’t BELIEVE that you have to worry that yours will be different UNLESS you’ve already modified these.  Although the change was somewhat complex, the net of what I’ve done is to get these modules to $MTInclude the template feed-extension which, in turn, $MTIncludes footer-extension.
  7. Save and Publish your changes.
  8. Use FeedValidator or a similar tool to check both your atom and your rss feeds from your test blog.  Warning are OK; errors are not.
  9. Look at your feed in a feedreader.
  10. If the changes worked with no unintended side-effects, apply the new design to your real blog and take a look at that with FeedValidator and a feedreader.
  11. Remember always to be able to back out changes.

To add linkable addresses to your sidebars

  1. If you have not already done so, convert the template set used by your blog to advanced templates.  TypePad documentation here tells you how to do that.
  2. MAKE a test blog and choose the new template set for it using Apply Design.  Leave your real blog alone at this point.
  3. Use Edit Templates on the Manage your Design page to make the following changes.
  4. Look at the templates sidebar1 (left) and sidebar2 (right) in your template set.  Anywhere you want a label,  insert html that look like this <a id="blogroll"></a> replacing blogroll with whatever you want your label to read.
  5. Anywhere in a blog template (I did it in footer-extension, see above) that you want a link to that label, use html that looks like this <a href="<$MTEntryPermalink$>#blogroll">Blogroll</a> where blogroll gets replaced by whatever label you used.  Note that this will open the individual template for the particular post and scroll the viewer so that the labeled object in the sidebar is at the top of the window.
  6. Save and Publish your changes and take a look at your test blog.
  7. If the changes worked with no unintended side-effects, apply the new design to your real blog and take a look at that.
  8. Remember always to be able to back out changes.

Because I write my posts with Microsoft Word, the HTML produced when they are pasted into TypePad is very fat.  When I added the extra links at the bottom of the RSS feed, the whole feed grew to more than the 256K which FeedBurner will accept.  In order to reduce the size of the feed, I modified the RSS template by changing each occurrence of <MTEntries> to <MTEntries lastn="18">.  This specifies that only the most recent 18 posts go into the feed instead of the default which I believe is 20.

Note that there is currently a bug which TypePad is working on which makes new blogs using COPIES of advanced template sets function incorrectly.  So it is a little more complicated to leave yourself a way to back out changes than it will be when the bug is fixed.

Please comment promptly with any mistakes I may have made or suggestions for making this easier.

| Comments (View)

Recent Posts

Don’t let the Perfect be the Enemy of the Good

I want Judge Moore to be Guilty – That’s a Problem

Google Now a Target for Regulation

The Zen of Bicycle Tire Changing

The Vermont Legislature MUST Understand the EB-5 Disaster

Comments

blog comments powered by Disqus
Blog powered by TypePad
Member since 01/2005