Saturday, July 19, 2003

New features at the Dean blog

We did a little tinkering over at the official campaign blog this afternoon. With the watchful eye of Mathew Gross over my virtual shoulder, we overhauled several things:

  • Comments now have permalinks. If you see something that someone says that you want to share, you can now share it by simply copying the link next to the person’s name.

  • Comments are now published on the page with the individual entry; this both makes permalinks possible and makes it easier for more browsers to handle (several browsers don’t like pop-up windows).

  • Each blog post now has a form you can use to mail a copy to a friend. This is a nice little tweak that’s actually documented in the Movable Type doc that I’d completely missed. Implementing couldn’t be easier, and is a nice new feature for the thousands of visitors that drop by the Dean blog.

What’s so gratifying about working with Mathew, Nicco and Zephyr is that they are so quick to seize on a good idea and make it happen. Or, in today’s case, to seize on a good idea and IM me. :)

There have been some great observations lately from some heavy hitters in the blogosphere — Doc Searls, Mitch Ratcliffe and David Weinberger. I’ll write more about these (especially the requests for a Slashdot-like system for the Dean blog) later. In the meantime, it’s great to see the tech community start to build a community around the campaign.


  1. Rick - Santa Cruz For Dean is now updated for mailing posts as well - thanks for the great idea (everyone on MT in regional/local should be using this to help organize)....

  2. A British Journalist by the name of Greg Palast
    (you can find him on the internet) uncovered that
    the 2000 election was fixed by Jeb Bush and others
    This information if exposed to the public will put
    an end to the Republican tyranny. For the sake of all the people that fought to make this a free
    country--expose this

  3. Hi Rick,

    I run MacSlash, a fairly popular Mac site that runs the latest version of Slashcode, getting a fair amount of hits.

    I'm truly excited by what Howard's doing with the internet and would love to help out if you need any help implementing a slash-like system, or if there's anywhere else I can be of assistance helping out online.

    My AIM name is AcaBen, and you've got my email address in the comment info.

    Thanks, good luck, and let me know how I can help. :)


  4. Aha! Someone with the ear of the campaign internet team... and sub-100 comment postings. :-)

    Rick, you are tracking the folks at, right? Your comments in this thread seem to speak to them a little bit, to me...
    -- j

  5. Jay - I originally subscribed the hack4dean mailing list, but jumped off after the traffic got high and the discussion quickly exceeded by technical skills. I'm in touch with a few of their folks from time to time though. And I think there's some consolidation coming down the pike - probably a few months from now - when we'll see several disparate efforts converge. More later...

  6. Great job. It looks great. Thanks for the changes.

  7. Rick,

    Good to see you added mail this page functionality...I was just thinking last week how that'd be nice to have on the blog.

    Do you know if blog for america uses mod_perl for their CGIs? If not, using it would speed up the comments considerably, because the CGI program doesn't need to be forked every time the link is clicked (it remains in memory).

    Just thought I'd ask.

  8. You're doing better than me, Rick; I don't appear to be *on* the list yet. Even though one of them sent a carbon to me of his forward to the other and said "this guy sounds like a winner". :-)
    -- j

  9. Rick, would you care to share how you accomplished that feat (both comment permalinks and mail to a friend)?


  10. John - Happy to. I'll document it over at my personal blog:

    Look for it later today. Pretty simple stuff.


  11. Thanks, I have figgured out a lot of MT after migrating to it from PHP based logs, but any new tricks are beautiful things :)


  12. Rick,

    You must have the ear of the webmaster(s) over at Dean HQ -- you might want to let him or her or them know that the blog's stylesheet frequently doesn't load in Mozilla (at least Moz/Linux 1.3 and above, which is all I've got to test with). About 75% of the time, it's being served with a MIME type of text/html instead of text/css, and Moz won't accept it, making for one heck of an ugly blog.

  13. JHP - I noticed this as well the other day. Just started recently - I'll see what the issue is. Thanks for the heads-up.

  14. FWIW, I'd be happy if their CSS specified everything *but* the body copy font and size -- I have those set to something I like, and they re-set it to something horribly small.

    For a campaign with an "accessibility" plank...
    -- j