WordPress meetup in Copenhagen

This is my first attempt at live blogging, and on someone else’s laptop, which is always tricky.

As a newbie blogger, I find it all quite exciting. You can see pictures over on Lisa Risager’s blog. There is no specific agenda. People are just chatting with old friends. Others have put sticky notes on their laptops to indicate what topics interest them. It’s great to walk around and read these topics. Someone is converting from another system to WordPress, but I can’t help there, so I move on. I met two newbies who suddenly made me feel experienced with my two-month-old blog. I could even show one of them something about themes, which made me feel that I was finally a contributor, and not just a taker.

What have I learned?

Well, I was puzzled about the difference between trackbacks and pingbacks. Very nice Philip from blogbar.dk gave me some helpful advice. Pingbacks are automatic, and probably favored by those types who think spamming is cool. Naturally, some choose to block pingbacks in the hopes of avoiding extra channels for spam to their site. Trackbacks require someone to copy and paste the URL for a post, so there is a lower risk of spam coming in that way. So, I will not bother with pingbacks. Not that I have, but now I have no interest in them.

I can see that my theme has an update, and I was bit nervous about that. I don’t mind testing things, but not if you end up with loads of cleaning, fixing, and tweaking. “Theme” Thomas is here so I could quickly ask a few questions about that. Basically, I should just upload the new theme, and if there are problems, I can just go back to the previous level. In other words, now I am not so scared to work with themes. (If you are experienced with blogs or WordPress and laughing at my nervousness now – don’t forget – you were once a newbie!)

I was impressed with Lisa’s pictures on her site, which I have already referenced. Her blog entry was so simple. She just made a link and inset the references to thumbnails of her pictures. Couldn’t be easier. She uses 23hq, which is a Danish site for photo sharing. I haven’t starting taking pictures and uploading them to that type of site, but it sounds quite smart. She doesn’t have to do any editing. 23hq does it all. She uploads one picture and all res-sizing is taken care of by the site.

There are so many aspects to blogging tools. You can start blogging from the moment you install your WordPress blog, but getting to know it well can keep you busy for quite some time. I had never realized that I could edit features of my theme until today. Eureka! This is located under Presentations in the administration panel. Smart!

When I go home, I want to download Widgets from Automattic. “Theme” Thomas demonstrated that. It looks quite interesting. It provides a means to edit your sidebar without going into your WordPress php files. Basically making your life easier so you can get on with writing.

Well, I think I’ll go and wander around a bit more and see what else I can learn.

10 thoughts on “WordPress meetup in Copenhagen”

  1. Yes, you’re right. There’s a wonderful blogging world out there, redy to explore 🙂

    WordPress is no doubt the leading blogging script, which is unfortunately also a vulnerability. If an IT pirat finds a loopwhole, it’s easy to explore thousands of blogs for a whole community of script kiddies. Therefore your WordPress should always be kept updated.

    Right now there’s an important update from version 2.1.1 til version 2.1.2, because somebody hacked the server of WordPress.org and created a loopwhole in the existant version. For those who read Danish there’s more about it here: http://www.tips-og-tricks.com/blog/vigtigt-opdater-din-wordpress-blog/

  2. Karen,

    Thanks for the live update from your meetup. Sounds like fun.

    You wrote, “I had never realized that I could edit features of my theme until today. Eureka! This is located under Presentations in the administration panel. Smart!”

    Dude, this is where the power of WordPress comes into play. The wordpress.com free version lacks this customization feature. I recommend reading the codex to learn about the various tags. You can also edit your plugins at Plugins>Plugins Editor.

    Remember a while back when I said I wanted to learn PHP better? Well, when you look at the code behind the plugins and behind some of the themes, the coding complexity increases.

  3. Britt: Thanks for posting the update tip.

    Tom: I should have added – I didn’t know you could update the theme “so easily” in the administration panel. I thought I had to go straight to the PHP. My problem there was finding the right file without opening one, naw, that’s not it, and moving on to the next, naw, that’s not it, and so on. Seemed so tedious, but now I know it is a breeze on the admin panel. Why I overlooked that link on the Presentations page before, I don’t know. I guess I just zipped by too fast! I downloaded the Ultimate Tag Warrior this weekend, because I learned a cool tip about combining Categories and Tags for categorizing my posts. I also downloaded a plug-in called Widgets from Automattic. Both were easy to unzip and find in my plug-in editor. Both allow/require tweaking in sidebars and stuff. That has to wait until next weekend time-wise. Don’t know if a quick tweak will give problems. Learning to edit the themes was a huge breakthrough that allowed me to edit the h1 date finally. However, when I uncommented the calendar feature hidden there, my entire Sidebar was wiped out. Why? I don’t know. Therefore, I probably need to set aside a bit of time to poke around and experiment. I am not even 100% sure my theme supports Widgets, but that stuff is all related, so I will get it figured out once I sit down and start tinkering. Yes, the admin panel sure beats fetching files, editing, uploading, testing, editing, uploading, etc.!! 🙂

  4. I uploaded your theme to briefly play around with it. Your theme does support widgets, but there is something wrong with the calendar code in the sidebar. When I uncommented it, I got a parse error and the sidebar didn’t show. You can fix this by just deleting that entire calendar code. Once you upload the widgets plugin, drag the calendar widget into place and you’ll see the calendar along with the rest of your sidebar.

    Re Ultimate Tag Warrior, make sure it’s compatible with 2.1. I thought it wasn’t yet, but I may be wrong.

    I am interested in figuring out how to add a few related posts links under my posts. Do you know how to do that?

  5. Tom: I’ll investigate the issues you mention this coming weekend. When I downloaded UTW, it didn’t look like it supported 2.1 at all. However, someone with 2.1 demo’ed it for me, so… I just posted something using tags in preparation for the day when they’ll be visible. I liked the two layers to play with: categories and tags. The way this person uses these two items is to just have a few categories, but expand more on the tags. There seems to be a nice balance that way. It’ll require a bit of thinking and planning to get the right balance, but hey, I’m a tech writer. This is what I do! 🙂

  6. The Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin is definitely one I want to start using. You said,
    “I learned a cool tip about combining Categories and Tags for categorizing my posts.” When you do get the time, please share. WordPress is a fun platform to blog in, isn’t it?

  7. I only had time to do my 2.1.2 update this weekend. The Sidebar Widget from Automattic worked, but the calendar was still weird. I added the calendar to the sidebar using the widget, and I uncommented the calendar in sidebar.php. The sidebar remained in place, as opposed to disappearing, like it did last time. However, the calender was slightly off to one side like it had been ripped out of a frame. I checked my css. There was one item called calendar and a whole bunch of things called wp-calendar. That threw me. Time is precious, so since I couldn’t see a solution within 5 seconds, I commented the calendar out again and saved the task for another rainy day.

    By the way, you wanted Related Posts? I found indications that there is some widget called WP Related Posts that requires the Ultimate Tag Warrior (UTW). However, all links were 404s. Maybe check out the php code next time you see a site that has it, and you can find out what you can tweak in your existing code?

    I moved on to look at UTW. Tags appears on my Manage page, so that is a good sign, even though it looks like UTW only goes to 2.0, and not 2.1.x. I went to http://lorelle.wordpress.com/2005/10/23/the-ultimate-tag-warrior-wordpress-plugin/ where the amazing Lorelle has a post that provides a lot of help – and lots of links – for UTW. This is where you will also find lots of links about categories vs. tags. I won’t repeat them hear because they are all listed neatly on Lorelle’s page. Once again I stopped my updates. Lorelle has excellent advice for the fearful novice. The reason I stopped is: what am I going to do with tags? There are several options (tags for your own site or tags to Technorati, for example). I only recently started adding tags (which you cannot see yet) to my pages, so if I got this working, a lot of posts would show No Tags, which looks silly. And I want to rethink this category vs. tag thing. All in all, this will require a bit of thinking. I would rather think such a thing through several times before I implement it. I believe it will save time in the long run. This means another delay in this project, but that’s life! Stay tuned!

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