I spent a few hours last night reading through my early blog entries on Toni's Corner of the World while I re-established comments on the old posts that I'd disabled after reading The Price of Closing Comments on Old Posts. Since upgrading to MT4.2 with TypePad Anti-Spam the need for comment moderation has practically ceased. This anti-spam program catches all the nasties and the reason for disabling older comments no longer exists.
It was an interesting look at my early blog experience while I went through each post to turn comments back on. I started using Movable Type back in December 2004 on Toni's Corner of the World, and the learning experience has been an upward curve ever since. During April 2005 I started learning CSS and was posting entries every day. Many of my posts during that time were short, just a paragraph with very few links to what I talked about.
Around that time I started to take a closer look at the Movable Type template system and discovered plugins. I was looking at photo galleries. I discovered Learning Movable Type and spent a whole month adding examples from LMT to my site, fluid layouts and converting to PHP were all new experiences for me. Until then I didn't even know what PHP was, and a fluid layout???? What is that? During April I was staying up till 2 am deep in code. I integrated Gallery into my MT blog, a task that required me to add an extra 13 templates, and then getting the CSS right was a major feat for somebody who had previously used tables and old font calls.
By the end of April 2005 I started sharing code snippets. By May 2005 I was obsessed with valid XHTML, which I attributed to using Markdown for MT posts. The code was valid without me having to know anything about it. I redesigned another site, using all my new-found skills, changing it from tables to CSS and made it fully XHTML validable. The project took me over a month and it was something I was immensely proud of.
In August 05 I had a go at Blogger and I still manage to post there quite regularly (Toni's Alternate World). I had a go with MSN Spaces in October 2005, but it wasn't long before I realised the limitations with Spaces. You couldn't add any extra code: it was stripped out of the posts, and before long I was frustrated and moved everything to a new MT blog. My favourite blogging platform was Movable Type.
By August 2006 I was had 8 weblogs, something I attribute to the Style Contest, where I kept discovering themes that I totally loved, and so designed new sites around.
- December 2004: Toni's Corner of the World
- April 2005: Inspirational Tidbits
- August 2005: Toni's Alternate World
- November 2005: Spitting Into the Wind
- December 2005: The Playground
- May 2006: The Billy Lids
- May 2006: Loving You
- June 2006: Fully Sick
- June 2007: Babble On
- March 2008: Toni Hambilton Online
My love affair with Movable Type has only intensified over the years, and over the last 4 years I've learned so much about the blogging platform that these days I'm a passionate advocate for MT with new bloggers. Through reading these older posts I realise just how little I knew when I first started out but I've kept at it, learning all the time.
To all those people who give up quickly and say MT is too hard to learn, I say there's plenty of support out there if you look for it. Every problem I've had, I've searched through the forums and site searches until I've found a fix. Most MT bloggers are more than willing to help if they can. It's as easy as leaving a comment.