Thursday, 29 September 2005

Hacking Blogger to get categories

As you might notice, I'm going to try and implement Categories here at Not PC to make the archives more accessible -- the Classic blogs down there on the sidebar can only endure so many more new entries before they start to take over, so categorising all of them seems the way to go.

I'm going to start with the workaround for Blogger posted at FreshBlog. Feel free to suggest improvements.


  1. I did this for a while at Labour Scandals. Very useful, but cumbersome to implement. I even wrote a little Excel spreadsheet that automatically created the categories as links for the sidebar. But in the end you could probably earn enough money in the time it takes to maintain this system to buy space on a webserver somewhere and install WordPress.

  2. You could create a post called 'It's A Classic... Write It Down,' and add all your links to that post, and then have that post linked in the right-hand column. It'd save you space, and instead of updating the template with the links, you just need to update the post. Much tidier. If you do it this way, you can have the right-hand column linking to a number of posts, with each of the posts showing a whole bunch of links themselves.

    You can see this in action on my journal, under the 'Information' section.

  3. You're right, AL, that all of the hacks look like a lot of work, but to be fair, migrating from Blogger looks like more work.

    I'd thought of doing what you suggest, Alan, but don't you find the extra work for each post -- particularly if the post has a number of categories -- to be a little tedious?

    That said, I see still hasn't set up my tags, so I guess I've done something wrong already. :-/

  4. I have no extra work for each post. I'm only mentioning to you that if you have a list of links that are categorised, then you could create a post for each category and put those links into that post. It only applies to links to other sites, not to categorising all your posts. I misunderstood the nature of the 'Classic' categorisation on the right-hand side when I was writing my comment, so my earlier comment doesn't apply to that. My apologies.

    The only problem with the categorisation method, which is why I haven't implemented it on my site, is that it applies categorisation on their site, which is also taking the visitor away from your own site. For me, anything that takes the visitor away from my site in an attempt to show them more of my site's content is just another way of helping them go somewhere else.

    I'm not going to worry about categorisation until (Google) introduce their own internal categorisation method, which I suspect will be soon, considering the amount of interest in it. Keeping visitors at my site is of upmost importance to me. It's a method of keeping their interest by keeping them at the site as long as possible. Any external links are designed by me to open in other windows, so that any link they take outside of my site will still keep my site open in a browser window.

  5. "Migrating from Blogger looks like more work"

    Not true these days - for example you can import Blogger posts and comments into WordPress and other platforms using supplied scripts. You should probably wait until WordPress 1.5 comes out though (next month or two), as it comes with a true WYSIWYG post/comment interface.


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