I've been playing around with the idea of publishing all of my content in one place - what would that look like? What would be lost, with respect to the social network effects that exist in other hosted services? It seems strange to be posting blog entries here, short updates to Twitter, photos to Flickr, etc... I've been wondering what it would look like if I just posted everything here, and then looked at ways to get it out, to rebuild the social network in a distributed, decentralized way.
One thing I've been struggling with is how absolutely trivial this would be if I was still running Drupal. Define some content types, slap in some templates for them, and decide which nodes get promoted to front page. Done. But WordPress doesn't work like that. There's not a clean and easy way to define something like a "Twitter Update" content type, or a "Photo" content type.
Well, actually, there is a clean and easy way. But it involves adding a couple of plugins. First, I added the AsideShop plugin. It's pretty cool, and lets you define what are essentially templates for each of the categories on a WordPress site - superficially emulating the different node templates you can create in Drupal. I created an "aside" category, and told AsideShop to display it differently than the default posts. But... If I was to keep posting Twitter-like updates, my RSS feed would be pretty polluted with garbage that 99% (or more) of the remaining subscribers just wouldn't care about.
Here is a screenshot of what asides look like currently:
The AsideShop configuration looks like this:
So, I added the Advanced Category Excluder plugin, and told it to remove everything in the "aside" category from the main site feed. Easy peasy.
All I have to do is write a regular post, and select the "aside" category. Everything else is handled automagically. I can expose all of the asides on their own page, and through their own feed. Wonder what I'll wind up doing with that...