[Site Upgrade] Plan for Fixing and Normalizing the Blog Content Types

Sean Reiser

[Site Upgrade] Plan for Fixing and Normalizing the Blog Content Types

As I mentioned in the first post in this series, this site is the result of merging a number of sites.  The blog is a combination of:

  • 2 Separate Previously Self-Hosted Blogs - Both blogs live in its own content type.  They are very similar in structure and are pretty standard (Title, Image, Body, and Category) and live in the site for archive purposes..
  • Imported Live Journal Posts - For a while I also maintained a blog on Live Journal.  Years ago, in the site's Drupal 5 days, I used a module which migrated the live journal posts.  It used its own content type and have stayed that way for the past 12 years or so.
  • My Current Blog - Much like my previous blogs, when I restarted blogging 8 years ago, I wanted to do it with a clean slate.  Again, it contains Title, Image, Body, and Category.
  • Notes - About 6 few years ago, Dave Winer changed his blog over to doing shorter, titleless posts in addition traditional longer posts with titles.  I liked this concept and implemented on the site.  It's basically just a body field (I didn't put a cap on the length).  Since Drupal nodes require a title, I user node_api to auto populate the title which was hidden in the theme.  Over time, other functionality was added to the content type:  
    • An Image Field
    • A Main Link Field  - unlike the links in the note's body field, I scrape the link's meta data (image, title, description) and display it like a link on Facebook
    • A Body Background Color Field -Much like the same feature on Facebook, this adds some ability to add visual interest.
    • An Audio and Video Media Fields - Adds self hosted audio and video, if I ever decide to podcast again.

    At the end of the day, this gives my blog page the appearance of a cross between a Facebook news feed, Tumblr and a normal blog feed, which I feel works well with my style of blogging.

My first thought was to merge the older blogs and Live Journal posts into the current blog and have 2 types and then it occurred to me... the thing separating the Note type from the Blog type was the titleless nature of notes.  If I added a "use title" flag to the Note content type, I could bring all the posts into 1 content type, which will make future updates and maintenance easier.  That's the plan.