Jul 212010

While I was in the UK the power must have cut out for a while at home.  As well as causing oven timers to beep in protest, this black-out stopped my webserver.  Frustratingly, a hard drive check warning prevented the server from rebooting normally, and so this website has been down for the last week or so.

But I am now home, and this server is buzzing along happily again on top of the filing cabinet.  It’s good to be home.

May 172010

When I first started using WordPress to construct this website, it had “categories” and not “tags”. Since then, I have tried to improve my use of categories and tags have come along to add another complication to the fray. I have now finally reached a system that I really like.

One of the difficulties of a personal website (as opposed to a blog on a specific topic) is that there is such a variety of post types. Sometimes the site becomes a little soap-box where essays can be delivered. Other times, it is a news feed to keep family and friends updated about exciting travel activities. It is also a valuable way to store and share helpful tricks and insights.

So I have now culled my category list down to six distinct topics, and a seventh “uncategorised” overflow pigeonhole. Within these broad categories, posts are further grouped by tags. It is possible to browse posts by category, or by tag. While I’m not claiming that this sort of organising strategy is anything new or unique, I think it is finally a functional way to hold this site together.

I have also revamped this site visually and under the bonnet. Here are some of the more technical details.
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Aug 022007

I’ve just had yet another battle with the organisational structure of this site. It seems there is a cost to enjoying the categorisation benefits of using blog software – how does one construct useful categories?

I have tried to use subcategories to make the list clearer, but such a solution has simply not been able to handle the breadth of diverse situations thrown at it. What if a post fits in both the “Photography” and “Free as in Speech” categories, but the former is a sub of “Projects” while the later is a mother-category for a different set?

So now I am trying a more powerful, albeit slightly less neat, approach. Every category is on an even playing field. Complicated posts can be put in any number of categories, and all combinations are possible and reasonable. The hierarchy has died, and a new era of category democracy has arrived.