Goodbye blogrolling.com

I must admit that back in the days, blogrolling.com was a relief to an emerging community of bloggers. With a minimalistic interface and fairly good documentation, it was the only thing needed for managing links. However, things has changed recently and this dear and near service is no longer favored amongst weblogger due to frequent down times and slow service that it offers.
I’ve been looking for a replacement for a while and took a couple of different approaches. Though due to the fact that Kathy’s weblog was using MovableType and it’s a perl based system I couldn’t go very far. This was the story till recently I ported Kathy’s weblog to WordPress with internal link management feature built into it. However, this was not a complete alternative to blogrolling.com as it didn’t update the links automatically (later on I learned WordPress has built-in support for an in-house update tracking system called Pingomatic). The piece that completed the puzzle was a plug-in called WordPress Blogroll Update Plus which adds the updating to blogroll feature of WordPress. It has a fairly simple installation (as it’s the case with the rest of WP plugins) and just a handful of configuration options.
I’ve installed it on Kathy’s weblog and am waiting to see how it works. I’ll keep you posted.

Heck of a day!

I was talking to my little sister on Yahoo when suddenly thought it would be nice to set up a website for her on my hosting. She’s been blogging for a while on wordpress.com and from what I see, she’s into it and will continue (not like me that post one blog every few months). So started by getting the domain and then setting up the dns servers, accommodating the new site on my hosting space, setting up wordpress on her new web site, importing the entries from her old weblog ….

Then one of our friends called and asked for a lift. She was locked out and her husband wouldn’t return till midnight. Not shaved for two days – one of the good/bad things about working from home – I had to shower and shave in 5 minutes and be there ASAP as the temperature was dropping sharply.

Later in the night, before going to bed, I suddenly thought, well, if my sister can go to wordpress why not Kathy. I tried to toss away the thought for a while but didn’t work so I started by installing wordpress on one of the spare domains and then trying to set up everything – which I should say is nothing compared to the torturous process of setting up MovableType (hey, Mena, are you listening?). And then found the Persian translation – which is one of the better Persian translations I’ve seen so far – then the luxurious process of choosing a template and uploading it – thanks to Ali – time came for my all time favorite, dealing with exporting entries from MovableType. It wasn’t working simply. I couldn’t export the entries thanks to 36000 spam comments and close to 15000 pings. I tried it a couple of time with no luck and then I gave up as it was 4:15 in the morning and I had to prepare for a kick-off meeting for the morning.

To make a long story short, it took 4 precious hours to export those 1200 posts with 9000 comments into wordpress but the result was well worth it.

This afternoon, when showed the new wordpress admin pages – don’t forget the Persian translation – to Kathy and got the positive node from her (she’s one of the harshest critics of overly complex software) I knew that this one is coming to stay for a long time thanks to those overzealous fellas doing WordPress.

So ladies and gentlemen please put your hand together for our beloved WordPress.