Structured Blogging

When Pete Caputa wrote about the new Structured Blogging plugins for WordPress and Movable Type, I was very excited to try them out. If you’ve been reading for a while you have probably noticed that I’ve had an event calendar/guide called Exploit Boston percolating since 2002. Inspired by friends who set up Exploit Seattle in 2001, I thought I’d set up the same website for Boston. They’re using a customized version of Slash, the code that runs Slashdot. I gave up trying to figure out how to get it set up for my site and decided to go with Movable Type. At the time, Movable Type was still fairly new and most everyone was using it for regular weblogs. This was before Gawker, Gothamist, etc. I didn’t (and still don’t) know anything about Perl but Brad Choate (who is the uber Perl and Movable Type guy) helped me out with some code to display a special five-day calendar view (not on the site presently) and I was able to turn Movable Type into a reasonably functional calendar publishing tool. Sort of. Without custom fields for event-oriented content, it is truly a pain in the ass to update and maintain the site. That’s probably why it’s been on slow percolation off and on since it first started.

But now there’s this nifty Structured Blogging plugin and also Kevin Shay’s BigPapi and RightFields plugins (the later for Movable Type only and the former for WordPress and Movable Type). I’m excited about the idea that I might actually be able to update the site more often thanks to these new tools.
I took the Structured Blogging plugin for a spin last week. It’s a good start; but I can’t help but wonder if they spoke to any publishers like myself who have been working on existing websites (not ideas on paper) that have had to work around not having structured blogging tools. I would like to see more fields and an interface that can more easily accomodate a lot of fields without making it seem overwhelming.
For concerts, I would like to see:

  • more than one price field (at the door and online ticket sales, for example)
  • driving directions (generating links to Google Maps and Yahoo Maps would be useful)
  • Venue phone number
  • Associate an optional URL with an artist/performer
  • More than one artist/performer (most concerts have at least two bands performing)
  • Age Restriction (all ages, 18+, 21+)

I’ll write more thoughts about the other event types tomorrow.

2 replies on “Structured Blogging”

I think event planner is a separate area than content publisher. The latter is what I need for Exploit Boston and what I’ve started to address in this entry. I think there is definitely overlap, though!

Let me know when and how you’d like to conspire. :)

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