I have a great interest in technology anyway, and I want to give credit where it is due. So, I am writing this page to provide you some insight into how this blog works. It is actually pretty amazing.
At its core, the blog runs on WordPress Ver. . WordPress started with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing on the web and fewer users than you can count on your hands and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by millions of people every day.
Everything from the documentation to the code itself was created by and for the community. WordPress is an Open Source project, which means there are hundreds of people all over the world working on it.
“WordPress was born out of a desire for an elegant, well-architectured personal publishing system built on PHP and MySQL and licensed under the GPL. It is the official successor of b2/cafelog. WordPress is fresh software, but its roots and development go back to 2001. It is a mature and stable product. We hope by focusing on web standards and user experience we can create a tool different from anything else out there.”
WordPress is publishing software with a focus on ease of use, speed and a great user experience. WordPress is blessed with an active community, which is the heart of open source software.
As part of the community effort, a lot of people more artistically inclined than me develop “Themes” for WordPress. These themes give each blog it?s overall look and feel. Just like the core software, these themes are freely available. Deep Something uses the “I feel Dirty” theme by Studio ST. It has been heavily modified, and from those modifications, I’ve learned a great deal about Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) which control fonts and other typographical and graphical elements, and I’ve learned a lot about PHP, the scripting language used by WordPress.
Looking down the sidebar at Deep Something, you see a number of different functions and objects there. Many of the administrative objects come along with WordPress, but much of the information on the sidebar comes from “plug-ins.” As with themes, plug-ins are developed by the user community, and freely distributed. There are some really cool ones, and many more available than are used on this site.
A complete list of the ones in use is provided below, but I would like to highlight a few. In the top of the sidebar you will always see a random quote displayed. Each quote is entered into the database through the Admin system, and a random quote plugin called Random Quotes selects and displays one of the over 250 quotes I’ve entered. You can see the entire list by clicking here.
As you scroll down in the area near the bottom, you can see if I am on AOL Instant Messenger because of a plugin I use, and the WeatherIcon plug-in pulls a feed from the National Weather Service to display my local weather.
One of the coolest plug-ins is the fAlbum plug-in that allows me to store my photos on the Yahoo Flickr on-line photo service, but have them pulled into my WordPress theme to de displayed there. You can see the entire photo collection here, and the plug-in also provides a random call function that permits me to display a selected number of random images as thumbnails in the sidebar.
As you can see from the list, there are many more plug-ins running on the site. Many of these take care of certain administrative functions. One of the benefits of blogs is they allow for Comments. Once readers read a post you have made, they can write a comment associated and displayed with that article. Unfortunately, as with most things on the internet today, spammers have learned to exploit those comments, and put their advertisements in them. Luckily, there are two programs through which all comments are ?washed? prior to posting. Akismet and Spam Karma have done an outstanding job of capturing spam comments, and I rarely have to deal with those.
I love to watch movies. As you can tell, I have an extensive personal collection, and I like to write brief reviews of the movies we go out to see. A plug-in called RumMovie allows me to click a button on the toolbar and do a search of the Internet Movie Database, and brings back the basic information about the movie (summary, actors, director, etc.) and the poster graphic.
Site Statistics allow me to see how much traffic the blog is receiving, and I make that information available here. There is also a plugin that allows people to sign-up on the main blog pages to receive email notifications when a new article is posted, and to subscribe to comments as they are added.
Here’s the list of plug-ins being used. And even this is a dynamic list generated using a plug-in.
So, as you can see, some really smart people have contributed to the WordPress community to provide all sorts of functions, and to allow pretty non-technical people to have an on-line presence. I enjoy writing on the blog, and wish more of my friends and subscribers would comment, but hopefully the comments will become more active over time. I am proud that since I started tracking the statistics for the site in June of 2005, there have been unique visits to the site.