It took me nearly twice as long as I had expected, but at last the new blog is up and running. There are still a few minor tweaks left but I can do them "on the fly."
The reason I changed from Simple PHP Blog to Pivot was that SPHPB had issues and the developers didn't seem to be working on them. They came out with a whole new version after I started using it but they didn't fix any of the egregious bugs. Instead they added new features, many of which were broken.
I finally got tired of it and searched up this software. Since it is a new software there are things that both of us need to learn. I'm sort of on my own but I've got a little tutorial for those of you who leave comments. Also a bit more of the story of changing the software.
All of that is right after the page break.
I turned out I had 230 or so entries in the SPHPBlog version. One of the reasons I picked Pivot was because there was a script I'd found that would export all of my old entries into a format that Movable Type could understand and Pivot said it would import that kind of file for me. I didn't want to leave another "orphaned" blog out there like I did with my original blog, "Don't Make Me Uke." It's still on blogger (though it's broken right now... another long story but I'll get it fixed soon).
Turns out that I can export the blogger entries and import them into here but I think I'll give that a pass. At least for a while.The import went ok except for three problems:
- They lost all the pretty formatting.
- The tags I was using are treated as "categories" on this blog -- a whole 'nother thing, I assure you -- so that had to be manually futzed with.
- Everybody who left comments with their email now had their email address showing. Ack!
That last was especially irritating since I actually had to go into the code of the old blog to keep them from showing. Luckily it was fixable and in just a few moments here I'll tell you how to keep your email from showing up should you leave it with a comment.
Let's talk about comments now. There are several features about this blog software that I like better than the old. Here are a few of the ones I like the best and a little explanation of each.
You can become a "registered commenter" here. Note you are not required to register in order to comment. What registering does for you is it "locks down" your user name so that you don't have to worry about someone pretending to be you leaving some sort of spam or flame comment.
When you're a registered guest here you can choose to receive email notifications when I post a new entry.
It allows you to set your default preferences for receiving email about a new comment -- more about this in a moment -- and whether or not you want your email address to show up in your comment.
You can choose to get email notification when a new comment appears in a post you've previously commented on and choose whether or not your email shows even if you're not registered. It's just when unregistered you have to click a couple of checkboxes for this every time you leave a comment.
That's the link that takes you to the login page. If you're unregistered there's a link on that same page (again, we'll get to that in a moment) that takes you to the registration page.
But before we move on to that, I'd like to point out the two red arrows on the pic.
Arrow number 1 points to the checkbox that allows you to receive email notification of new comments. As I said before, you can use this feature whether you register or not.
Arrow number 2 points to the checkbox that needs to be checked if you've left your email address and you don't want your email to show. If you choose not to register, make sure you check that box anytime you leave a comment.
If you're already registered, just use the handy little login form and go for broke.
If you're looking to register, click the link that the red arrow points to.
Allow me to stress this one more time. You are not required to register in order to leave comments on my blog. You are not required to leave your email in order to leave comments on my blog. I'm not going to "harvest" your emails and start spamming you so I don't care one way or another.
The thing about being notified of new comments is that it tends to encourage more "conversation" in the comments section. I've just noticed that ability (the emailed notifications) on friends blogs who're using Blogger and a couple more different platforms and have really been enjoying the feature. I didn't choose Pivot because of that feature, it was just a happy discovery as I learned more about it.
OK. Let's move on to the registration screen. My sweet Fallen Angel was my tester on this feature and we accidentally (oops!) discovered the thing about emailing notifications of new posts. I don't want you to receive any unwanted emails from me so we'll go over the process now.
The stuff you have to fill in is pretty self-explanatory. You do have to give a valid email here as you'll get a confirmation email with a validation link before your registration is complete.
It's the three option buttons that are important.
The option with red arrow number 1 pointing at it is where you choose whether or not you want your email to show in the comment. This can be changed each time you make a comment, it's merely your default position.
Red arrow number 2 points to the one that confused the FA and me. If you'd like to have email notification when I post a new entry, choose "Yes" here. Remember that you can just bookmark the blog and check every now and then or you can subscribe via RSS. The email notifications are for those registered visitors that would like them.
Red arrow number three points to the option of receiving email notification when someone posts a new comment. It is specific to posts you've commented on and, like the email option it's merely your default. You can change it on any given comment.
If you have any questions about all of this... ummm... leave me a comment!