Mixing Blogs & Social Networks with Movable Type

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

However, it feels like there’s still a significant amount of work for
the team to do to make implementing this stuff easier. I’ve had an
initial poke at adding the community stuff to this blog, using the instructions here,
and it’s non trivial. For a start, the profile page is a central
template, meaning the same template is used for all blogs in the MT
install – that’s going to be quite a design challenge, as we’ll have
over 100 blogs using that template. And, in its default form, it relies
on the default stylesheets to look good. Here’s how it looks on my blog
right now:

Thumbnail image for CP Profile
I can either redesign the template to make it work well with my
stylesheet, or I can redesign it so it isn’t dependent on the blog
style and use the default one. Neither of them are simple tasks and are
reasons that the hype will outpace the average blogger’s ability to
integrate this stuff simply. A lot more work on the documentation would
help – or an alternative deafult profile template that adapts a lot
more easily to various different stylesheets.

Still, that doesn’t mean I’m going to avoid doing it. We’ll definatly
be making use of this new functionality on our most active blogs in the
months to come. It’s just a pity it’s not easier to use out of the box.

That said, now that the Community Pack is a core part of the non-Open Source version of MT, I’d expect to see significant improvements in its integration in future versions. In particualr, I’d love to see the Action Streams plugin intelligently implemented, so you could start following commenters and authors to their activity elsewhere. Let’s see where Six Apart take it from here.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.