Skip navigation

Category Archives: blogging

I’ve made some changes on this blog and hope to make some more soon (and maybe even post occasionally).

I’ve decided to switch from Blogger to WordPress hosted on my webserver.  I generally prefer to host myself whenever I can and Beth is planning on switching her blog to WordPress so it seemed like a good time to do it too

I’ll probably change change the theme around a bunch, but I kind of like WordPress so far (except that it is a bunch of nasty PHP).

Just trying out the Android app for Blogger.  It actually seems pretty nice.  Maybe it will convince me to actually use this blog again.
The only complaint I have so far is that it doesn’t let me pick labels from a list which is a problem considering the fact that I don’t remember any of the labels I’ve used in the past.

I’m not exactly what you would call a “good” blogger. I can go months without actually posting anything (I blame facebook and twitter for taking care of my desire to talk to myself). So I found it a little odd when I started seeing a few comments on some old posts.

I didn’t delete them immediately because I didn’t initially understand them. In one case, there was a comment from an Anonymous user on a two year old posting about video game consoles. The funny thing was the comment was sort of on topic and had no links in it. Then a day latter there was another similar comment.

Finally, a day after that there was a post that starts out by apologizing for being off topic and has some sketchy looking links in it. The links have their href tags (or some attempt at a blogger shortcut for that) messed up which does not help make it any less sketchy.

Then next day, another identical copy of the same comment shows up (and I hadn’t removed the first one yet at this point).

I’ve removed those comments, but it seems like a lot of work just to try and slip in a few sketchy links onto a blog that gets basically zero traffic.

Just makes me wonder if a tiny boost in page rank is really worth that much to people.

Of course it would be really funny if I was wrong and those were actual people, in which case I would have some apologizing to do, but I doubt it.

I haven’t really posted anything since started my new job so I think it is time to start again. I didn’t actually have any reason for not posting, I just never got into the habit of it. So, since I grow tired of just using Facebook status updates to ramble about things into the void, I’m giving this a shot again. Let’s see how it goes.

It looks like I was wrong about the problem with Facebook notes since it was able to import a new blog entry without duplicating everything else. So I guess the first time was some sort of fluke. Definitely the kind of time when I’m happy to have been (probably) wrong.

Yesterday I wrote about Facebook Notes importing an external blog rss feed.

For some reason, I assumed that because it gave no errors it worked properly. Of course I should know better than that. I noticed today that it had each entry (and it went back a full year) listed twice except for the most recent one which was posted after I put it up. I deleted the extra entries, but I suspect that once it updates from the feed again and sees this new post the same thing will happen again. My feed looks okay to me, so I don’t think that is where the issue lies. I guess I’ll see for sure after this post gets noticed by facebook.

I just discovered something that Facebook does that I wanted to have in Myspace for a long time. There is a Facebook application called Notes. It is sort of a poor-man’s blogging tool, but it can import an external blog through an rss feed. That mean I can do this blog on blogger (assuming I ever post anything) and have it automatically show up on Facebook. I think it is very cool that I can have a blog on Facebook without having to trap my info in Facebook. Myspace has a blog, but has no way to import from another blog unless you want to copy and paste text each time (which is a really poor solution). I appreciate being able to fully participate in the flavor of the month social network while still keeping my data where I want it and can control it.

I trust Google. I really do. At least more than I trust any other company that I deal with regularly.

At the same time, I’ve been using computers long enough that there is only one kind of backup I trust completely: a backup that I control on local medium.

So, in light of that, I have a python script to help create backups of blogs on blogger.

The script, is available on my webpage under the GPL v2.0.

This is a fairly primitive script, but it does have some nice features (especially the fact that it works well unsupervised as a cronjob). There are two main requirements. First, you must have python installed. Any halfway reasonable UNIX-like system will have it, and it exists for Windows as well. Second, you must set the feeds in the blogger dashboard to ‘full’.

Once those two things are taken care of, just run the script followed by the name of the blog. In my case, it would be:

./ netpurgatory

This gets an xml file with the 100 most recent posts and the 100 most recent comments. (Kayhan pointed out that contrary to what I thought, you can only grab 100 of each thing, not 1000 with this script. Hopefully I can find some way around it before moving to using the Google API.) It cannot get more than that or get photos that are up (probably in a picasa album). I hope to fix those by moving from a simple python script to the Google API for blogger and picasa. Those provide much more powerful features (but they require installed libraries) and should allow for a more complete backup. For the moment however, my script will do.

I’ve got something in the works to backup gmail accounts as well (using the libgmail libraries), but that will have to wait a bit.

I decided to try labeling posts from now on. I’m not positive if I like it, but it is unobtrusive enough that it can’t hurt. Luckily, I’ve made so few posts so far that it wasn’t very hard to go and label everything.

So I’ve finally been updated to blogger beta which uses the normal google accounts. One less login to remember is a very nice thing.