So, what has Michael been up to lately?
A.) Building an 18,000 piece puzzle?
B.) Backsliding 40 pounds, delaying his quest to become an underwear model?
C.) Growing a beard and long hippie-length hair?
D.) Spending hundreds of hours blogging at work?
E.) Racking up credit card debt faster than the national debt’s rate of increase?
F.) Turning procrastination into an art form?
Well, one or more of the above is an exaggeration.
For now, I’ll talk about “D” for a bit. Once upon a time, I reveled that I had job where I could actually blog and get paid for it. Nowadays, I sometimes feel like if I hear the word “blog” one more time, I’ll scream.
Late last fall, I took over administrative responsibility for our university’s Movable Type weblog server. Whew. Running an enterprise-level service is time-consuming beyond my wildest expectations. People at my university are starting to make great use of their weblogs, and I am starting to streamline operations…but it’s a darn good thing I don’t have a sig. o. waiting at home late at night.
The most frustrating part is when I cannot make nagging problems go away. Ever since we rebuilt the server last December, I have been unable to get the ImageMagick Perl module to install. Very, very frustrating. I have spent countless hours compiling, and recompiling, and going over error logs. Bleah.
Sort of related, but not really related, our university is hosting its largest conference ever this weekend. For the past couple of months, I agreed to help our comparative literature department with their website, which happens to be built on WordPress.
I did not do the original site design; however, when I took over the site, I tried to polish the look of the thing the best I could. Would you believe I rebuilt this conference website on top of the K2 template for WordPress? CSS is so powerful. I love that K2’s developers made their template so easily themeable, with full access to the K2 back-end. (I was slightly disappointed, though, that for simplicity-sake, we ended up turning off the AJAX-powered live search feature.) I am currently redoing my alumni class site, using K2.
I really wish an enterprising Movable Type developer could come up with an über-template for that platform, similar in spirit to K2 for WordPress. (Yes, I use and love both MT and WP. Each has its strengths and weaknesses.)
When the conference site was originally created, the conference organizers had little idea of the site’s eventual scope. For example, what once was a single “page” in the blog became 125 separate entries, each with about a page of content that had to be cut from 125 Word docs, pasted as raw text, and reformatted. The site just keeps growing, and growing, and growing. And growing.
I do have to give a shout out to Coffee2Code’s Custom Field plug-in. It proved absolutely indispensable. Custom fields really do make MT and WP powerful little content management systems.