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Ruminations

I’m going to redo my journal, I think…break it up into a few different blogs, each accessible from its own area on pixelscribbles.com.  I may even password-protect one of them and leave it just for myself, so I can rant and rave and post it the way I’m used to posting diary entries without the danger of Too Much Information.  (I like the Blogger interface, and I don’t really care to keep a separate, local diary.  I don’t think breaking it up into different ‘blogs’ would be as annoying as having to deal with local files versus files on my webserver.)

I think that splitting things off would inspire me to be more careful about how I write.  For example, the post I’m writing now could go in a “site news” area; my long love letter to Fujiwara no Sai could go in an “anime” or “Japan” section; my daily workouts could go in a “health/lifestyle” area, and then I could have one or more blogs just for discussing my thoughts on things.  I think this might inspire me to take more time in crafting…what I do now is little more than a quick ramble and a tapping of the “Publish Post” button.  I would like my posts to be well-written rather than rushed and conversational (Goei showed me recently how beautiful a journal entry can be; when he visited my journal to return my compliment, I was embarrassed that there was nothing of note for him to see).

One danger of splitting things up would be creating too much fragmentation…then maybe one section would get the most posts, or each section would be updated but only once a month or two, etc.  Because of that, I’m going to limit the number of split-off blogs by coming up with very general categories.  A “Japanese Media” category can cover my discussions of anime, manga, j-drama, Japanese music, and more–or I could simply have a “Japan” area, or even a “Southeast Asia” category.  As you can see, I’m not quite sure yet how I want to break it down.

I have been thinking that I would like to create Blogger blogs for all my original site sections, too…get my poetry and short stories up in post form (not that there is much to see in that regard, but it would give me impetus to add to the library).  I could also create one or more photoblogs, which would link to full images in my smugmug account.

The possibilities are pretty endless, but there are problems with this scheme too.  I can’t have subcategories, for one thing.  I was thinking that I could use meta tags of some sort to assign categories with HTML, and that is a possibility.  But that kind of leads into the biggest problem…how to present the blogs.

I was thinking it would be nice to have a main page (probably the root of pixelscribbles.com) where a user could define which blogs they wanted to have show up.  The posts would then all load in reverse chronological order (last post first, like a normal blog), all together and easy to read, with the title, date/time, and which blog they were posted to (e.g., “Sai~~~~ (spoilers, if you haven’t seen/read all of HnG) posted at 7:47 PM in Anime”, or whatever, where the 7:47 PM would link to the post, and the word Anime would link to the blog about Anime).

However, I don’t think this is possible with Blogger…or if it is, I have no idea how.

Blogger does have a tutorial on how to include multiple blogs on one page using includes.  As far as I can tell, though, each blog would load in a separate part of the page.  So I could have one blog on the left hand side and one blog on the right; they wouldn’t be all together.

The only way I can think of to get all the blogs together would be for Blogger to publish each post twice: once in its standard blog and once in the main blog.  But that wouldn’t allow users to pick which blogs they wanted to see on the main page (and plus, Blogger can’t do that anyway–I would have to publish each post to two different places manually).

It occurs to me that maybe, with some crazy coding sk1llz, it might be possible to use includes to pull all the blog content in, and then use Javascript or something to hide the blogs that the user didn’t want to see.  However, loading it all at once would bog down the server and be cumbersome for the end user, and it seems like a messy solution.  Maybe PHP can do it server-side so the user never sees anything but the output, but even then it might take a moment to pull in all the posts, order them correctly, remove the blogs the user doesn’t want to see, and then generate a page.  Plus, I don’t know how to code all that :>

Blogger could solve this problem for me if it had user-definable categories and subcategories for posts.  I wouldn’t even have to make separate blogs, if that were the case.

I feel like an answer must exist already, though.  Does anyone have any ideas?