Angst: My Categories are Still a Mess [en]

[fr] Mes catégories, c'est toujours le chenit. J'ai les outils qu'il faut maintenant pour faire le ménage, mais il me manque l'essentiel: quelles catégories un monstre comme CTTS devrait-il avoir?

My categories are a long-standing source of worry.

They were created in an unenlightened effort to “go ontological”, when I [switched to Movable Type]( By the time I [switched to WordPress]( over four years ago, I was already thinking about [cleaning up my categories]( (lo and behold, the birth of Batch Categories — I didn’t waste any time, did I?)

My categories are still [a mess]( WordPress has had [native tagging]( for a while now (I’ve happily retired the [Bunny’s Technorati Tags plugin](, [Rob]( has taken over [Batch Categories](, so it now works rather than just sit there in lists, and [Christine from the Internet]( has written a nice [Tag Managing Thing]( (which seems a bit broken in 2.5.x but might still work).

So, I could use the [category to tag converter]( and get rid of all my categories. I would feel much lighter. Then I can use a combination of Tag Managing Thing and Batch Categories (which allows search by tag, and, actually, I see it now, allows not only addition of categories to selected posts, but tags, so maybe I don’t need Tag Managing Thing for this, and this sentence is a bit long so it’s going to end here, sorry) to re-create nice categories for my blog.

But as always, here is where I stall. What categories should a monster like CTTS have?

Want to listen rather than read? It’s here:

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November 2007 Recap [en]

[fr] Un résumé des divers billets que j'ai écrits en novembre 2007. Je sens que je devrais faire une version française complète de cet article... mais honnêtement, pas le courage de m'y remettre juste là!

A few days ago, I had an idea: why don’t I write a “recap” post of what I wrote during the month? Sometimes I go on writing binges and it gets a bit hard to follow, so maybe this will help. *Note that some of the links here point to older posts, I’m not being 100% strict about “November” — but everything is indeed related to that month.*

So, what was the deal for [November 2007]( Looking back, it was a busy month. Mainly conferences, as I travelled to Berlin for Web2.0Expo, Serbia for BlogOpen, and Paris for ParisWeb in the space of two weeks, giving a talk each time — and [a fourth in Zurich]( when I got back. I also decided and announced that I was [starting a company](, and [moved CTTS]( back to my server, [upgrading WordPress]( while I was at it.

### Talks and Conferences

#### Berlin, [Web2.0Expo](

Although I did [live-blog]( quite a few of the sessions that I attended, I didn’t write a “summary” post like I did for [FoWA]( or [WordCamp]( earlier this year — heading off for Serbia and Paris right after, **and** being sick, I guess, didn’t exactly make for ideal conditions to be a model blogger. So, here’s a list of the sessions I blogged about:

– [Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users Workshop](, and also [her Keynote]( the next day (I got personal thanks from her for these notes, and many people seemed to appreciate them)
– [Jeremy Keith: The Beauty in Standards and Accessibility]( (I really enjoyed his talk)
– [Jesse James Garrett: Delivering Rich Experiences]( (only got the end of the talk, unfortunately)
– [Ankur Shah & Gi Fernando: (Facebook API) Disrupting the Platform](
– [Lars Trieloff: i18n for Web 2.0](
– [Cory Doctorow: Europe’s Copyright Wars – Do We Have to Repeat the American Mistake?](

My [talk proposal]( didn’t make it, but I had a chance to give [“Waiting for the Babel Fish” at Web2Open](, the parallel unconference running during Web2.0Expo, in the Expo area. Somebody filmed a part of it, but unfortunately it never made it to me. It was fun, though — starting out with three people, and finishing with about 20 (the room was clearly hard to find, I myself got quite lost on the way).

I took [photos of the conference (and a few of Berlin)](, of course.

#### Novi Sad (Serbia), [BlogOpen](

I was [invited to Novi Sad in Serbia]( to give a talk about [my experience as a blogging consultant]( I had a great time giving the talk (and before that, taking [silly facial expression photos]( to illustrate my slides) and was taken good care of by [Sanja](, who volunteered to act as my host during my stay.

Unfortunately I fell ill there (food poisoning), but did have time to go out and catch [some photos of Novi Sad](, in addition of [those of the conference](

My talk got [quite a lot of coverage]( (in Serbian!), including [two short video snippets]( (thanks again!).

My departure from Berlin had been quite hectic (wrong airport!) and I was provided with the most scary landing experience in my life, courtesy of JAT airways, when we arrived in Belgrade. Leaving through Belgrade airport to go to Paris was not exactly a fun experience, either. I tell it all in [Berlin, Belgrade: Two Contrasting Airport Experiences](

#### Paris, [ParisWeb](

It was nice to be in Paris, see my friend [Steph]( again after many years, and meet all the fine people behind ParisWeb and the francophone web standards movement — some of whom I’ve known online for years through their involvement in [](, a [web standards-oriented translation magazine I founded]( way back in 2001.

I was pretty ill though and just wanted to go home — no live-blogging, and not many photos. More than half of the photos in my [ParisWeb set]( were kindly taken by [Fabien]( while I was pretending to be a window for [Chris Heilmann’s demonstration of Javascript event listeners]( (( You should definitely check out [Fabien’s photos]( rather than mine if you want some visuals from the conference.

A video of the talk I gave should be available in a few weeks.

#### Zurich, ASCI

After the success of my talk [How Blogging Brings Dialogue to Corporate Communications]( in September, I was invited to Zurich again to give a similar talk focused on internal communications: [Blogging in Internal Communications](

### Starting a Company

November was a busy month not only because of all the speaking and the travelling, but also because I took the decision to become a full-fledged business woman and create my own company. I [announced this]( and also blogged some of my first musings as an entrepreneur: [Competition, Colleagues, or Partners?]( Way more about this in December or under the [Going Solo tag](

### Geeky and Other Stuff

I didn’t just blog about conferences and business stuff. As I mentioned, I also [changed servers]( and [upgraded WordPress]( on this blog, leading to [an update of my Basic Bilingual plugin]( (update which was actually [broken, but has since then been fixed]( — please upgrade if you haven’t), and some [tortured thoughts about cleaning up categories on CTTS]( (I still haven’t done anything about this).

I also [tried creating a Netvibes widget]( (a rather disappointing experience, in hindsight, though it was some fun geeking out).

Last but not least, I [created a focus page on experiential marketing]( after a [quick round-up of Stowe Boyd’s writings on the topic]( (I’ve done some more thinking since then and need to update the page, by the way).

### Selection

If you were to read only three posts?

– [Kathy Sierra: Creating Passionate Users (Web2.0Expo, Berlin)](
– [Being a Blogging Consultant](
– [Experiential Marketing](

Five? Add these two:

– [Blogging in Internal Communications](
– [I’m Starting a Company](

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Tags and Categories, Oh My! [en]

[fr] Il est temps de faire de l'ordre dans les catégories de CTTS. Je veux en garder 20-30. Vos suggestions sont les bienvenues.

The time has come. [Wordpress now has native tagging.]( I’ve imported my old tags **and** my even older keywords (yeah, even though tags and keywords are slightly different… what the hell). I’ve created an [index page for my tags](/tags/) and an [index page for my categories](/categories/). Go and look, then come back.

So, what do you think?

I think the “tags” page looks pretty good (just needs a little CSS fixing so that the huge tags don’t prevent you from clicking on the smaller ones they hide). I mean, it’s a sprawling mess, but that’s what a tag collection should look like. Later, I can add fancy stuff like related tag clouds in the sidebar, or something like that.

But my, look at that listing of categories. It’s a huge sprawling mess, and it shouldn’t be. It should be a concise listing of rather widely defined areas I write in. Not easy. So, dear readers, I’m going to ask for your help.

See, I’ve installed this neat plugin, [Tag Managing Thing](, which does a lot of what I was dreaming up for a possible future version of [Batch Categories]( Well, one thing Tag Managing Thing doesn’t do which Batch Categories did, was to assign posts to categories and remove them. Tag Managing Thing only deals in organising tags and categories — **including** converting one into the other. **Update:** [Rob Miller has a Batch Categories plugin]( which should do the trick. I can’t remember if he used any of my work or started from scratch, but in any case, it looks very much like what I had dreamed up for it 😉 **[/update]**

So, here we go. I want to keep — oh, let’s be reasonable — maximum 20-30 categories. (I’ll convert the rest to tags.) Some of the new or obvious ones will remain: Events, Youth, Social Software (maybe Social Tools?), Languages… Here’s what we’ll do. I’m going to write a list of categories at the bottom of this post, and I’ll keep modifying it until it looks reasonably good. I’ll be (heavily) relying upon your input for this. Thanks in advance. I really don’t think I can do this alone.

New categories for CTTS:

– Events
– Languages
– Youth
– Blogging
– Technology
– Social Tools
– Travels
– Livre (the book)
– …

Please leave your ideas in the comments! The [category index](/categories/) handily gives a post count for each category or subcategory.

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WordPress not Sending Pings Anymore [en]

[fr] WordPress fait des caprices et a arrêté d'envoyer des pings automatiques (trackback, pingback) sans me prévenir. Grinche.

Once upon a time, I loved WordPress because I didn’t have to enter trackback addresses manually anymore — at least, not when I was linking other WordPress blogs, or pingback-enabled blogging tools.

Those days are gone, and I’m not quite sure when it started. I’ve been having a creepy feeling for sometime that I wasn’t getting as many “internal” (CTTS to CTTS) trackbacks as I should. Today, I checked.


You know me, I specialize in weird, not-so-reproducible issues. So, it wouldn’t be that WordPress has stopped sending pings altogether, no, that would be too simple.

WordPress has stopped sending pings *most of the time*. But sometimes, every now and again, it sends one. Or a couple. Or three.

What is going on, would you say?

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