06 February 2007

Parent Hacks admin: New community "features"

Now that we've swapped stories of public restrooms, marriage challenges, and vomit, I think it's fair to call ourselves a community. There's a good balance of likemindedness and diversity here -- the vibe is positive yet real. No playdates...yet...but support and camaraderie all the same.

I've been mulling over adding community features to Parent Hacks but haven't hit on any "ah, yes!" services, either because they'd require lots of setup and back-end work (not in the cards right now), or because they'd clutter up the discussion already happening. Then it occurred to me (prompted by a chat with Jim of Baby Toolkit) that many of you maintain blogs, photo collections, and bookmark lists of your own -- why not distribute PH's community features? Why not let the discussion happen in the comments of your blogs and Flickr accounts, and the link-sharing happen collectively?

The magic of tagging makes it possible. If you write a blog post, upload a Flickr photo, or save a bookmark to del.icio.us you think Parenthackers should know about, tag it as parenthacks. I've created a new "Community" section in the left sidebar, where I've linked to the following pages:

So now, we can visit you where you live, so to speak. What's more, all these pages produce feeds, so you can keep track of updates using your feed reader (that's my plan, at least). AND, it's a nice way to spread the wealth, traffic-wise.

I realize this new community "feature" assumes some Webbiness on your part. I know not all of you have blogs or accounts at Flickr and del.icio.us, or even know what tagging means. If that's the case, speak up, and I'll write up a how-to page of explanations and pointers.

All thoughts welcome.

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I think that's a great idea. I could use a little "how-to" on this though.

Hi Asha. I would appreciate a how to page. I think I know about some of this stuff, and I use some of it, but not all of it. Bust out your inner technical writer!

I know Feedburner and SpringWidgets have a thing where you can set up an rss feed widget and let people publish it on their sites...I haven't tried it out yet, but the info is here: http://www.feedburner.com/fb/a/publishers/springwidgets

Maybe we could set something like that up for ParentHacks?

I'm excited to see what starts popping up in these places.

A nifty hack for del.icio.us users is looking up popular sites based on how many people have recently tagged something the same way.

So. To find what's currently popular that's be tagged with "parenting" just go to http://del.icio.us/popular/parenting or perhaps you are interested in what's popular and tagged with "babies" ( http://del.icio.us/popular/babies ). You can put just about any word of phrase (crammed together into a single word) at the end of the /popular/ url and see what is popular for that particular topic. Many times, it'll be nothing, but others prove to be very interesting.

Right now, you'll only see the main Parent Hacks page if you lookup up http://del.icio.us/popular/parenthacks but that will surely change as more of us start doing this. Then we'll see what's popular among our fellow Parent Hackers.

So if I write something incredibly profound on my blog (not likely but let's assume for argument's sake) and put 'parenthacks' in the little box that says Tags, it'll show up on your list? That is cool. I've wondered why people tag their blogs. I've also wondered what del.icio.us was too.

LizP: Which blogging platform do you use? The new Blogger supports tagging (they call them "labels"), as does TypePad (you need to customize the display of your posting page inside of TypePad to make visible the field for tags). In blogging platforms that don't support tagging, you can simply include a snippet of HTML code in your post. Here's the shiznet from Technorati:

http://technorati.com/help/tags.html

cranky mama: That FB SpringWidget is so cool! I will definitely set one of those up for folks to use. I am such a fan of Feedburner -- I need to dig around a bit more on their site.

Wow, cool, I didn't know you could do that, I've never used Technorati or delishhhhhwhateveritis. I'll see if I can make this work for me, but I'm not sure.

As long as we're talking admin stuff, can you fix it so that when I check the "remember personal info" box in the comment area, it actually really does save my info? Thanks!

Oh, also -- for anyone else out there on livejournal, I created a parenthacks feed a while back, you can add it to your Livejournal friends page at:
http://syndicated.livejournal.com/parenthacks/

Kristi: The "Remember personal info" thing isn't a setting I can change -- I think it has to do with your browser's cookie settings. Can anyone back me up on this?

Just when I start to think I have some computer literacy I'm proven wrong. I will need a tutorial on this topic!

I'll see if we can get Jim to write up an instructions page tonight. He's good at explaining this type of stuff for the completely confused. I offer him lots of practice in this area.

Dear Editor,

My blog is on my Yahoo 360 page. Just recently they added the ability to tag your blog entries. I don't know if they're just for the 360 world or they can be searched from everywhere.

Typepad thought I was a spammer when tried to explain using Technorati tags.

So you can find it on my blog

http://linuxactivist.blogspot.com/2007/02/parent-hacks-tutorial-technorati-and.html

I will post a run down of tags on http://del.icio.us tomorrow.

Okay, Asha. I don't know why it's disappeating, I think my cookie policy should be pretty liberal. I saw somone else mention on their blog last week that they'd "fixed" their comments area to not lose people's info, but I don't remember which blog it was or what platform it was or anything. Thanks, anyhow.

Kristi,

I am having the problem as well. It saved my information yesterday but today it's gone. I've been having this problem with other sites and I think it has something to do with the tabs in IE7.

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