Tip of the Quill: A Journal
Welcome to Tip of the Quill 2.0.

At long last, it’s time to finally whip the sheet off the new version of the ol’ weblog. I still need to format the comments and get the archives up and running, but some of the new features are now operational. These include:

More spam-resistant comments
The new weblog is powered by Movable Type 3.15, which allows me to bring back the Comments system with a one-two punch of TypeKey and the new ‘nofollow’ function. I realize that TypeKey is a system that still cocks some eyebrows, but I’m going to give it a shot. If it works really well, I might try to extend that login system to incorporate more than just comment registration, but that’s sure to be a version or two down the line. Please do register with TypeKey and make comments – I miss hearing what all of you have to say. It’s a pain, sure, but if it keeps the spammers from destroying our servers, then it’s what has to happen.
New Photoblog side panel
I’ve changed the animated Flikr box on the left over to a static thumbnail of my most recent addition. I liked the Flikr Zeitgeist function, but I found it was just too distracting. This is brought to you courtesy of Fraser Speirs’ FlickrExport plug-in for iPhoto. My hope is to be able to upload photos more regularly with this new system, but I’m still slightly hesitant about Flickr’s appropriateness here. I’ll admit that I dislike the size options that Flickr provides for their ‘Flickr badge’ function, and loading a larger image and then shrinking it down somehow seems horribly inefficient.
‘New and Notable’ pane added
My favorite new addition is probably the sideblog. You might remember that I’d posted a few short links last week, which were actually just raw material for this new feature. Little things that don’t really warrant a full post will now show up over in the sideblog, which has (of course) RSS feeds of its own. This is powered by CaRP, a GPL’ed cached RSS parser, and was set up with the assistance of the inestimable Matt Jadud. Thanks, Matt! (Oh, and for those code monkeys in the audience, do check out Matt’s new project, The Transterpreter, a small portable runtime for the occam programming language.)
Technorati tags added
Following Derek’s lead, I’ve added support for Technorati’s new tags system. Each post is now followed by a small green link to a collection of similar stories as indexed by Technorati. So if I’m writing about Apple, you can click that link and find out who else is going on about the same thing. This is a function built as an extension of Movable Type’s Categories feature, so I’ve elected to not add tag support to posts much older than December of 2004, and there are a decent number of posts to “Voice: Tip of the Quill”, which shouldn’t snag many Technorati links at all (and God help us if it does, because it means that I’ve probably done something spectacularly embarrasing to set the whole community chattering).
Sidelinks powered by Blogrolling
In an effort to tidy things up a bit, I’ve removed the big archive lists from the left and moved them to a new (eventual) Archives section. This is still being built out, but this has helped me streamline the lefthand column a bit more. Also of help is a new blogroll managed by blogrolling.com. The links there are now ordered based on the most recently updated, so whoever’s at the top of the list has most recently updated their stuff. A useful little trick all around.
Lost time
One thing that I’d noticed about some of my favorite webloggers was their aversion to timestamps on their posts. Dates, sure, but not the exact time, and on reflection that makes sense. There’s no great need to tell you that this post was written at 12:30 AM, so I took it away.
Yipes, stripes
I’m still playing with this one, but stripes are everywhere this season and I thought it might be fun to jump on the bandwagon. I think the new background pattern feels older somehow than the beautiful Don Barnett tile we were using before. This might change around a bit in the next couple of days, but you get the idea.
Back home where I belong
The final change is that after a couple of years at the mt_testing address, the weblog is back home at www.inkblotsmag.com/voice/totq/ – right where it belongs. I think I finally have the hang of this whole “Movable Type” thing. Kinda.

And there you have it. There are some other experiments I plan to try on these pages in the upcoming months, but for now, TOTQ 2.0 is up and running. As always, thanks for reading, and let me know what you think!