azurite: Life is short, talk fast (life is short talk fast)
Every time I go away from Dreamwidth blogging for a while, Dreamwidth goes and gets more awesome. I decided to nix my Premium account because even though I love the site and service, I was using it so rarely I couldn't justify the expense, especially when I've got my own domain and am often trying to post to my various WordPress-powered blogs on sites there.

The problem is, my sites are so new, so thin on content, that I don't have that built-in community.

This gets crossposted to LiveJournal, and why? Well, LJ has been around even longer than Dreamwidth, but LJ also had so so so many issues when Six Apart sold it (even before that, when Brad sold it to Six Apart). I really didn't like a lot of those changes, and I saw a lot of my fellow LJers move over to Dreamwidth. The communities sometimes followed, but not always.

I have a permanent account on LJ, which means it's not supposed to go anywhere, ever. Theoretically, all the interconnected services there are these days should mean that it's EASIER to cross-post and always stay up-to-date, but the real experience of LJ and DW are the Friends List/Reading Page, and these days, if I'm reading anything for a prolonged period of time, it's Facebook. Yes, there are fan communities there too, but it's very much NOT the same.

I never really divided my fandom self from my "real" self-- I'm not afraid to tell people who I am on Facebook or deviantArt or wherever, and I've never particularly cared about "IRL" friends or family finding out about my fandom activities.

"Judge not, lest ye be judged" I guess.

Long-winded entry continues here... )
azurite: (cat and mouse)
I'm finally getting around to working on Indigo Ink, my portfolio website and online resume. I've been tinkering with it in various small ways for a while, but a recent decision to re-watch and actually DO the tutorials in a Lynda.com lesson, "Building an Online Portfolio with WordPress," got me actually working on the project.

The Lynda.com lesson uses an example chef to build the portfolio, making custom post types and taxonomies for recipes, photos, and videos. These post types make sense for a chef, but what about for me? My portfolio has three different types of content: writing (the biggie), graphic design, and website designs.

I made three custom post types to reflect this, but now I'm struggling with the taxonomies. Whereas regular blog posts have categories (hierarchical sorting) and tags (non-hierarchical), what would I use for my three new custom post types?

For the example chef in the Lynda.com lesson, the recipes, photos, and videos all have some common ways of organizing, such as meal type. Then it can be further sub-categorized--hint hint, this would be a hierarchical taxonomy, e.g. a CATEGORY--into things like breakfast, dinner, dessert, and so forth. And even those can be further sub-categorized, into things like meat, vegetable, and so on.

But what about my writing?

Well, I have articles--ones I've written for university publications, and ones I've written for GamingDead.com. I have essays. I have fiction. There might even be further ones. But are these categories? Can I break down the writing custom post type into a category of articles, and then further into specific KINDS of articles? Or would it be better to have something like a "purpose" category, which can span across multiple custom post types? That way, I could say, my reason for writing this article, or designing this website was "school assignment."

I'm trying to find example portfolios that have custom taxonomies that might provide an inspiration as to the architecture or structure of how I should organize my content, but so far, no luck. Any suggestions?
azurite: (fiction - have written)
Dragonfayth, my site for Azureshipping (Seto Kaiba x Anzu Mazaki/Téa Gardner) fanfiction from the Yu-Gi-Oh! fandom, has recently been inundated with spam. I've deleted it all, but as of right now, there's no solution for the problem as a whole.

The people behind the software aren't that numerous, and the package is pretty customized--after all, a fanfiction archive, while something hugely popular, isn't as mainstream as blogs. So it takes a while for updates to go through, patches and mods to be made, etc. And since the software is free, these people all have day jobs that take away more of their time.

I can't blame them, but I've reached the point where I'd rather pay to get a better solution, or use something else.

Since I don't really have the money or budget for hiring someone to make and teach me/maintain such a site for me, I'm stuck trying to find another solution. Finding software ready-made for fanfiction is harder than it sounds. Fanfiction.net and AO3's software is proprietary--not released to the public, not available for free. Same with FicWad, may it rest in peace. And don't even get me started on MediaMiner.org.

Most people who want their fanfiction archives use eFiction. It's been on version 3.5.3 for ages now; the supposed release of 4 hasn't happened yet, and I'm teetering on "lost hope" for it altogether.

Enter: WordPress.

I'm already using it for the new Seventh-Star Network (the main site, seventh-star.net, I'm building a What Doesn't Kill You site for my biggest fanficton project ever, and I've started making subsites for all my other sites for the various fandoms I've been involved in over the years. I've been using WordPress for ages, not just on GamingDead.com, but for sites that I've built for class projects, like Chixflix.

There are plenty of people who post their fics on WordPress.com, but making a fanfiction archive is a bit different.

I've already got a WordPress Multiuser installation setup for all my other sites; it wouldn't be a headache to set up another site with multiple authors (similar to GD) with open registration (still approved based on captcha codes to eliminate spam sign-ups), and utilize everything like making pages for fanfics, using tags for ratings and warnings, categories for...well, categories, and so on and so forth.

It's very, very tempting, but I don't know if I even want to try starting it as an experiment if it's not a good idea.

So, some questions for you:
1 - What does a good fanfiction archive REQUIRE? (For example, the ability to leave reviews)
2 - What separates an okay fanfiction archive from a GREAT one?
3 - If you have experience with WordPress, what do you think its limitations are for posting/sharing fanfiction?
azurite: (fanfiction - canon error)
Long time no write--at least, here. I've been trying to keep up with writing 750 words (about three pages, which is the suggested amount from Julia Cameron's famous "The Artist's Way," except she called them "Morning Pages"), and I've been semi-successful at that, though November has been all kinds of crazy.

I tried to do NaNoWriMo too, and though I've got an explosive opening for my first original novel (set in a fantasy world that my BF David is developing for a roleplaying game), I do not have a full and complete novel by any stretch of the imagination.

In the meantime, I've been trying to set up my sites as WordPress sites now, since learning Joomla! was just too damn difficult and time-consuming, even with a Lynda.com membership. I've been using WordPress off and on for years for various other sites, and it makes sense to use the biggest, easiest-to-use CMS for my own personal fandom sites, too.

Now, it's not (currently, as far as I'm aware) possible to integrate WordPress with every other script out there--I'd love it if there was eFiction and WordPress integration, but there's not. I'm keeping Dragonfayth around as the Azureshipping fanfiction archive, but I'm considering not making Epiphany, the archive I was going to use to gather all of my own fanfiction, using eFiction.

I was considering WordPress, since I'm planning to make all my fandom sites using WordPress as well, and it seemed appropriate (maybe) to make individual sites for my particular epic fanfics, like "What Doesn't Kill You" (especially since the PLANS for that story involve at least two sequels), and "Wax and Wane" (formerly "Only 16").

A quick Google search reveals that plenty of people use WordPress (the self-hosted variety OR the WordPress.com variety) to post fanfic, much as people use Dreamwidth and/or LiveJournal. The thing is, a blog-style format for posting fanfic ISN'T a great idea. It's timeline-centric, and the whole point of fanfics is that they can be found and read by anyone, at any time. You'd need to take extra steps to make navigation so people can get to all your fics, make that navigation obvious, and make it uncomplicated--which is why "Pit of Voles" or not, fanfiction.net is the repository for fanfics on the web. It categorizes everything by type of fandom, name of fandom, world/universe, author, rating, genre, characters, language...you name it.

I could probably very easily post fanfics as "Pages" within the WordPress schema, and have another "Master Page" that I update regularly with new chapters, edits, or whatever, but I'm just wondering if anyone else out there has taken this approach or has suggestions for another.

My main WordPress projects now are getting the non-fanfiction material from my fandom sites up on my new network of WordPress sites, and for those sites that might be specifically fanfiction related, there's a ton of other content to include: ideas, Easter eggs, edits, fanart...stuff like that.

So Yeah

Jul. 8th, 2009 04:45 pm
azurite: (Default)
Apparently none of my Tweets from Anime Expo weekend made it to my journals because LoudTwitter crashed and may not be coming back. That sucks. I wonder if there's another way to import Tweets to LJ and DW? But hey, they are all on Twitter and probably on Facebook via FriendFeed, too (as if anyone cared)! :P

Also, RSS feed for my LJ Friends Page still not working. I used a different one that IS working, but I don't think it's grabbing protected entries (even when I append '&auth=digest' to the end of the URL), and I don't like that. Also, I'm so behind on LJ, reading only the last 50 entries does nothing for me. Trés annoying.

I have yet to make any of the AX recap posts I wanted to, because I tend to be super-exhausted ;ately. My sleep schedule is hell right now and it being summer, I'm not too inclined to fix it. But I do have tons of stuff to do, so I might as well try, tired or not.

Work-wise, I've started on a handbook for the other Student Assistants here at work. My idea is to have the different sections have a portion of their page margin colored, so that someone can easily see all the pages that are in a particular section. Does that make sense? I have no idea how to do it though, and if I should be using Publisher instead of Word or something. Damn Microsoft.

I'm also learning a bit more about PHP and mySQL. I've been trying to get PHPMyAdmin 2.11 installed on the NSLS account so I can manage its databases for Wordpress. It was looking to be too damn impossible thanks to these dumb instance errors and junk, but right now, it looks like it COULD work, if I could just get PHPMyAdmin to install. Is there an "Installing PHPMyAdmin In Plain English" guide somewhere? The documentation sucks.
azurite: (screw it trashcan)
Every time LJ does something stupid -like removing interests, changing strikethrough to boldthrough, suspending users for "bad" interests, removing the Basic account level, etc.- I want to leave.

I remember when I was on Greymatter, and while it was a pain to maintain because of all the coding, I liked it because I could do whatever I wanted. Now, I'm very tempted to switch to Wordpress-- they even allow an easy-import for LJ entries and comments.

Problem(s)?
* I can't find any way of embedding user icons (userpics, icons, avatars, WHATEVER!) into posts. I don't want them up in little headers. I don't want them in footers. I want them either in the upper left or upper right of EVERY post I make, preferably with my name underneath said image. I don't know why this is so infeasible. Maybe it's just me and my lack of knowledge about WP, maybe it's theme-specific... but so far I have found nothing that does this, and it REALLY irritates me. I see user icons as a BASIC function of blogging anywhere.

* Sure, anyone can have a "blogroll" (friends' list), but having to go to different sites, have different sign-ins (assuming OpenID isn't used), etc. is a pain in the neck. You'll end up forgetting to read the various blogs on said blogroll. Plus, the concept of "communities" disappears entirely. As the mod of several, still-active communities on LJ, I'd find parting with them the hardest part. Actually, I wouldn't do it. I'd insist on keeping an active LJ account just for that purpose.

Those are the two biggies, and I'm sure there are others. See, on a daily basis, you take certain elements of LJ for granted. Some of them are found, one way or another, on other blogging platforms, but frankly, it's a bit like switching from automatic to stick or caffeinated to decaf-- getting used to a new way of doing things is pretty difficult at first. So while yeah, I'm thrilled to be able to customize themes and add "widgets" to my WP blogs, I don't like this SIMPLE issue with icons/avatars, and I'm sure there's a ton more that would irk me if I played around with it enough.

January 2016

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