We have a blog ring now.

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

Wanna see a random Tripawds Blog?

Every Tripawds Blog is now linked together in a true Blogger style Ring of Blogs. Users can now stumble upon another totally random three legged dog blog by following the links now found site-wide here at Tripawds. Each Tripawds Blog now has a common navigation strip, something like this…

» RANDOM TRIPAWDS BLOG » FORUMS » CHAT » DIRECTORY » JERRY’S BLOG »

By clicking the RANDOM TRIPAWDS BLOG link, you will be taken to the next RANDOM TRIPAWDS BLOG which has the same strip for visiting the next RANDOM TRIPAWDS BLOG, and so on, and so on.

For those wondering just who might be blogging about their dogs here, this is a easy way to discover what you’re missing. The top 100 active Tripawds Blogs are always listed on the directory page, but cruising the blogs this way should be more fun. We hope you enjoy it.

The only problem I see so far, is that many Tripawds members create a blog upon signup, but never actually start blogging. 🙁

So why not drop on comment on those blogs to let them know what they are missing? The more stories we can share here, the better a resource this community becomes for those facing cancer or amputation with their dogs.

So, how did I do this?

For anyone interested, I implemented this Blogger style blog ring for WorPress MU using these two free plugins available from the WPMUDev.org project repository:

WPMU Footer HTML
This WPMU Plugin enables you to insert any HTML into the footer of all blogs posted within a single WPMU install. With a little hacking, it will place inserts in the header too. Sure, it’s takes a little hardcode effort to customize, but for a CSS neophyte like me it just worked better than Global Header which had the sweet Admin interface I preferred.

WPMU Random Blog Redirect
This mu-plugin allowed me to create a global link to http://tripawds.com/?random which will redirect readers to a random Tripawds blog, in classic StumbleUpon-like fashion.

I am always cautious about installing old WPMU plugins, especially those that appear to be no longer maintained or supported. I much prefer to install the plug and play plugins available with our WPMU Dev Premium membership. But I wanted to make this specific functionality work, and I carefully tested things first on our development installation.

This version of Random Blog may be two years old, but it is apparently working fine. And since the discussion about WPMU Footer that helped me get it working seems to have disappeared into the ether, I’ll share how to ad header inserts in this global footer plugin…

First, I’m using v. 1.0 since v. 1.1 had some issues with the header inserts, which I just added right before the final php function:

add_action(‘wp_head’,’jas_wpmu_css_footer’)

Correct, the header insert code goes after that for the footer. Whatever, it works for me! No promises for anyone else. 😉

But your saying Jim, banner ads are in the header too? Using the WPMU Dev Premium Supporter plugin, we are able to automatically remove banner ads from all blogs while keeping the community navigation strip. I did this by wrapping the ad code within an optional Supporter script and placing HTML for the navigation after that.

Hope this helps clear up any questions about the new Random Tripawds Blogs navigation strip, and how it got there.

UPDATE: Download WPMU Footer HTML v.1 here.


To remove ads from your site and others, upgrade to a Tripawds Supporter blog!

I am impressed. And relieved.

Tripawds is a user-supported community. Thank you for your support!

WordPress makes importing blogs simple. Now, this may not be specific to MU, in fact it isn’t. But after burying myself in database dumps far too deep for for my liking while migrating Jerry’s original blog to this new Tripawds Blogs community, I was prepared for the worst when users asked about importing existing Blogger blogs to Tripawds.

I knew importing posts and comments would be no problem. But I assumed all images would need to be downloaded and provided to us so we could upload them to the user account account here. Then, I figured I would need export database tables for the new imported blog and search/replace image URLs to point to the proper /blogs.dir/files/ directory. After all, that’s how I had to make images display after finding this helpful post about to migrating from WordPress to WordPress MU.

But you can forget all that. After playing around in my new sandbox, I discovered that image URLs from Blogger posts are absolute and migrate absolutely. I created a test blog on Blogger, then ran the import from my Tripawds blog, and voila! Images displayed just fine. As long as the Blogger (or other blog platform) account remains active, with the hosted image files in place, everything should be just fine. And better yet … no upload space quota is used by those images hosted at Blogger.

The only drawback I noticed was that post labels get imported as categories, instead of tags. But then I bet the WordPress Categories and Tags Converter tool does just that, just as well. It’s amazing what you can learn by actually doing something.