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Papa’s Got a Brand New Blog

Welcome to post 200. Welcome to the third year of Man Seeking Coffee. Welcome to the new blog.

If you are a regular reader, I’m glad to see you found your way here. If you’re a new reader, then welcome.

Before any of us get too excited about the new blog, I should point out that this is something of a soft opening. To put things in a framework familiar to coffee people – especially those who seek out the bay area’s many quasi-open cafes – this new blog launch is further along than a semi-secret back alley kiosk serving coffee from another roaster but falls short of a grand opening. Let’s just say that the blog is open, even if I’m waiting for a few key pieces of equipment and for the final coat of paint to dry. That said, let me take you on a tour.

In addition to the new banner, font and color scheme, and other intensive aesthetic tweaking (thanks to my wife – focus group of one), one of the bigger pragmatic changes is switching to a three-column format. Instead of every non-post-related element crammed into that single column on the right, you’ll now find helpful coffee-finding tools on both the left and the right. On the left reside the various navigational devices such as the search bar, pull-down menu for chronological searches, the tag cloud and blogroll. Various micro-blogging tools can be found in the right-hand column, including my Twitter feed, Google Reader shared items and recent comments on the blog.

Another, feature are the two menu bars located at the top of the screen. The page menu bar (the top-most one) isn’t new, but it does (and will) include new pages, including pages on each of the roasters I’ve blogged about. Of course, an individual roaster page is not important if that roaster has only one cafe, but for roasters with multiple cafes or multiple wholesale clients, I’ve long since been looking for a way to link the various posts together. These roaster pages aren’t the prettiest way to do this work, but they are simple and effective. At least they will be once I complete them.

The second bar at the top of the screen is for searching by post categories. You’ve always been able to access these by clicking on the category words at the top of a post. However, this search bar allows you to search by any category – post type, cafe rating, or cafe/roaster location – all in one place. Simply pull down the right menu. If anyone knows of a WordPress tool that allows smart searches by multiple categories, feel free to send it my way.

As with any soft opening, there are several changes still in the works, which should make it even easier for you to find good coffee. These tasks are a bit more ambitious though, and I felt that getting back to writing took priority. Getting this new blog in place, however, was the first step to making these other changes possible. Stay tuned for details.

One final note is that the old blog is still alive and kicking at manseekingcoffee.wordpress.com. While I’ve ported over all the past posts into this blog, many of the links here may still direct you to the old blog. If you find yourself suddenly viewing the old blog, do not panic. You are not entering the Twilight Zone. At this point, I have no plans to take down the old blog, although I will be redirecting people to this one. Please be sure to update your RSS readers accordingly.

With that said, please settle in and make yourself welcome. I should be back in a few days with a new post.

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5 comments to Papa’s Got a Brand New Blog

  • Troy

    Great new look. I’m having trouble adding it to my google reader. when i add the new url, the reader still ends up bringing up the blogspot site.

    • I’ve noticed a few quirks as well. Certain browsers seem to be routing me to manseekingcoffee.wordpress.com even though I typed in the more limited manseekingcoffee.com URL. I cleared the cookies and history and that worked fine. I noticed the same issue with google reader. Be sure to use the “feed” URL in your reader. http://manseekingcoffee.com/feed/ That should work.

  • RE: your FF on Win issues, you might try emptying the cache and see if that improves things.

    As far as “smart searches for multiple categories” is concerned, if what you are looking for is a way to produce a single page that displays posts from multiple categories, I am using a plugin called “List category posts” — http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/list-category-posts/

    It works fine for me right now. I am using it in order to produce a page full of links to my posts in the “Tasting notes” category but it can be used to produce pages that include posts from multiple categories as well. The best explanation for how to use it is in the “READ ME” file included when the plugin is downloaded.

    I say it works fine for me “right now” because, unlike a page full of posts from one category as accessed via clicking the category’s link, a page produced using the “List category posts” plugin cannot be paginated (i.e. will not have a “older posts” or “newer posts” link at the bottom). You can set a limit as to the number of posts you want to show up on the page but the plugin does not include a way for you to access other posts in the same category/categories by default. So, right now, I have the plugin set to show all of my posts from the “Tasting notes” category on one page. As the number of posts in that category increases, the page will get longer and longer. I don’t know how I feel about that but for right now I can live with it.

    There is the WP/PHP way — http://codex.wordpress.org/Template_Tags/query_posts. I just haven’t wanted to tackle that beast just yet.

    If you find another plugin let me know.

  • Really like the new look. Everything from the rounded curves to the new header. Good job!

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