Birdhouse Hosting is pleased to welcome, the weblog of SF Chronicle journalist Tom Abate.

I started this blog in January to learn more about the new publishing technologies. I have a strong background in print publishing, and some experience in radio and television. I have owned a business and started a newspaper. I am now a newspaper reporter. In addition to figuring out how all this web stuff works, I am particularly interested in how to make it into a profitable undertaking.

This is the first blog I’ve had the “pleasure” of porting from Blogger to Movable Type. Found a decent recipe for the process (Blogger has no export function!), but wrestled far too long with the fact that its output generated spaces after each “BODY: ” string. Of course I neither saw nor suspected the spaces, nor would have I expected MT’s importer to be so sensitive to them. Hate wasting hours on stupid problems like that. Anyway, using StyleCatcher for minimediaguy’s templating system, and Tom will be experimenting with one-click styles until he finds something he digs. An even more comprehensive Birdhouse project is on deck from Abate — look for that down the road.

Music: Sufjan Stevens :: The Predatory Wasp Of The Palisades Is Out To Get Us

4 Replies to “”

  1. Congratulations, you/Birdhouse are getting some great clients. Tom is up to some very interesting stuff.

    How come you went with MT instead of WP?


  2. Tim, a number of reasons.

    1) I still think MT’s static HTML output approach gives better performance on high-traffic sites.

    2) It’s a real pain in the neck to stick arbitrary PHP into entry bodies with WP, trivial with MT.

    3) The one bit thing missing from MT has been a good community library of templates. Now that StyleCatcher is out, that’s changing, and MT’s implementation of changeable styles is cleaner.

    4) I much prefer MT’s exceptional tag documentation.

    5) I have a lot more experience with MT and can implement customizations much more quickly.

  3. You are right about #4, and it is always easier to mess with something you know. Being personally terrified of Perl, the PHP of WordPress has always seemed friendlier.

    But that style? Tom needs to up his font size (as I have let him know).

  4. Let’s take for granted that virtually nobody is going to mess with the core engine of either WP or MT. That leaves any kind of coding you might do “after the fact” — plugins or addons you might write to enhance the system.

    I agree about Perl. But most of the MT blogs I run spit out PHP pages rather than HTML (a simple setting on the Config page), and I make heavy use of PHP within their templates. The add-ons I’ve written, such as MTBlogMail, are 100% PHP.

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