Now Featuring: Somebody Had to Say It

There’s a segment that comes on sporadically on a favorite talk show of mine over at WBAL, called “Somebody Had to Say It”. I’ve decided to bring that format here to Technosailor where occasionally, depending on how popular it is, I will be putting together short podcasts of callers saying what’s on their mind.

The idea is that there’s something that just gets in your craw and somebody had to say it, yet no one is. Whether it’s politically incorrect, just not very popular and no matter what topic – politics, religion, tech, blogging, sports, whatever! – somebody had to say it and I’m asking you to say it.

The process is real simple. Leave me a voicemail at 443-450-4646 with your short (under a minute) rant about whatever you want to rant about. Keep it brief, keep it to the point, but tell me whatever you want to tell me however you want to tell me – and use the phrase “Somebody Had to say it” in the call.

Example:
Hey Aaron, somebody had to say it. The way Bush’s immigration policies are going, he may as well run for President of Mexico when he leaves office in 2008.

Not all calls will be used, but I will make every effort to get as many calls on as possible.

Enjoy!

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Problogger Meetup NYC Review

Question: What do you get when you mix a man who has a massive audience for his “Helping Bloggers Make Money” blog, ProBlogger with a New York crowd that eats up his every word?

Patrick Gavin & Darren RowseAnswer: A giantly successful meetup at Connolly’s in Midtown Manhattan.

On Thursday afternoon, I jumped on a train to NYC and headed over to the party, hosted by ProBlogger and sponsored by Patrick Gavin and Text Link Ads. Lara KulpaTons of great peope. Some folks I’ll never remember names for and that’s a shame, but I have to be honest. I did get to meet Phillip Liu who is a bright and emerging star on the blogging horizon as well as cool folks like Lara Kulpa, and Mike Levin. My friends, Darren and Loren Feldman were there and of course I finally met the inimitable Minic Rivera. Joshua Rosenstock busted me down for being slack about my posting over at Washington Hotlist so I have to make amends and start posting again soon.
Aaron Brazell & Phillip Liu
I arrived back here in Baltimore yesterday afternoon but the week is not over. Tonight is the Maryland blogger meetup that I am hosting in White Marsh at Red Brick Station. Please come on out.

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WordPress FAQ: How Do I Use Category Themes?

Is it possible to have different layouts, theme or links depending on the category the user has clicked?

This question comes from Milo Riano. Milo wants to be able to have what I call a “flexi-site”. A Flexi-site is a site that is flexible in terms of display options or layouts. This could really be an extension of the question about multiple blogs as well.

Template Files

The key here is in template file hierarchy. WordPress looks in the theme directory to find the following files, and in this order:

  • category-X.php
  • category.php
  • archive.php
  • index.php

So if you have a blog that you assign a category of “Linkblog” to, and you want the linkblog to be displayed in a different format that the rest of the blog, you could simply find the ID number of the category (We’ll call it 23 for the sake of argument), and you could create a special template file with the unique layout you wish to use, and call the file category-23.php. Now everytime the category page is loaded, the template file category-23.php will be used.

Custom CSS

You can take this approach a step farther through customized CSS stylesheets. As most templates use the inbuilt function

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<php get_header() ?>

to summon the use of the common header.php file from the theme, it is also possible to create custom headers and include those directly.

However, the better solution to this, providing you don’t have a vast number of categories that you want to display different CSS files for, is to simply use the WordPress template tag

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is_category()

to figure out whether to display an alternate stylesheet.

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<php
if( is_category( 23 ) )
{
?>
   <link rel="stylesheet" href="http://example.com/wp-content/theme/cat23.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<php
}
else
{
?>
   <link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<php
}
?>

You can get real creative with this instead choosing to use

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is_category()

to determine if extra CSS can be added after the main CSS thus overriding styles. There are quite a few options and you are limited only by your creativity.

If you have questions for this ongoing WordPress FAQ series, shoot me an email and let me know. By doing so, you’ll get a free link to your site.

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