Geoffrey Long
Tip of the Quill: Archives
Speed bumps.

I had the plan all worked out in my head. I'd done the preliminary research, I'd laid the groundwork, now all there was left to do was the doing.

Whoo boy.

What I was trying to do (still am, actually – if anyone can help make this work I'd be grateful): use RSS aggregator functions to collect my entries on other weblogs and systems (43Places, 43Things, Corkd, etc.) and get them all to automatically appear as posts here. There are multiple tools out there that claim to be able to do this ( and Reblog, to name two), but I've been banging my head against this problem for the last couple of hours, due to the constraints of Dreamhost.

I never thought I'd type that phrase, so for the sake of incredulity I'll do it again: the constraints of Dreamhost. requires additional Perl modules to function, so I need to have shell access to the server to add the missing components. No big deal, but I've now been waiting almost fifteen hours for the "instant" permissions change (from FTP-only to FTP-and-shell) to take effect. Next!

As for Reblog, I got the whole thing almost working until it came time to install the Movable Type plugin, and then I slammed into the proverbial brick wall. The error it threw was a generic "internal server error", and my time spent on the Eyebeam support site only revealed that the Reblog guy, Michael Frumin, is something of a jerk. In one instance he went back and forth with a user (who was even offering to pay Frumin to make the plugin work) over and over before finally telling the poor user to change hosts, and on another thread Frumin rudely told a politely confused user to "forget about the categories" that the user needed, and then brusquely declared that the user "wasn't using [a product] correctly." Wow. Not only am I now not surprised that Reblog isn't working, I have no desire to waste any more time making it work. If the thing ever breaks I know exactly the level of support I'd have to look forward to.

So now I'm considering options. I still like the idea of being able to make a post in one place and have it syndicate itself here, but this is rapidly demonstrating that it may be more of a headache than it's worth. Anybody out there have any great ideas?

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