AOL, Plugins, Programming, WordPress

Import your chat transcripts into WordPress

Problem: You have years’ worth of chat (AIM/MSN/Adium/IRC) transcripts saved on your computer, and you’d love to stroll down memory lane and reread some of them, but how? Manually open each one in your browser or chat program?? There’s got to be a better way!

Solution: Install IM-porter, the WordPress plugin that imports your instant message transcripts to your WordPress blog so you can read through conversations from ages past just as easily as you browse the archives of a blog.

After activating the plugin, visit Tools > Import > Chat Transcripts. Then, you can upload a single transcript or a ZIP of transcripts.

IM-porter currently supports transcripts from:

  • AOL Instant Messenger
  • MSN Messenger
  • Adium
  • Colloquy

but you can extend it to parse other formats too. (See the README.)

Imported posts are given the chat post format, and you have the option of tagging them with the participants’ usernames, making them public or private, and adding them to a category.

The IM-porter configuration screen.

After they’re imported, chats will look something like this:

A chat imported by IM-porter

The output may not be perfect (the output will not be perfect), but the original raw transcript is saved as post meta so the post can be updated if you want or fixed by a later version of IM-porter.

If you want to style your chats like AIM used to display them (like in the screenshot I included), you can use this CSS:

.post.format-chat .entry-content p {
	margin-bottom: 0 !important;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span {
	color: #00f;
	font-weight: bold;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span.participant-1 {
	color: #f00;
}

.post.format-chat .entry-content span time {
	font-size: x-small;
}

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AOL, Automattic, Blogging

Tturn, Tturn, Tturn

As Pete Seeger and King Solomon wrote, “To everything there is a season: A time to be born, a time to die; a time to plant, a time to start a new job at a new company.”

In that spirit, I’ve left AOL in order to join the team at Automattic. Not everyone has heard of Automattic, but almost everyone has heard of their flagship service, WordPress.com.

At Automattic, I’m a part of the Theme Team: a group of very attractive people with highly specialized skills in the realm of “Making your blog look good.” That’s a daunting task when you’re trying to cater to millions and millions of bloggers (and millions and millions and millions more readers), but I’m enjoying the challenge.

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AOL, Internet Explorer, Microsoft, Mozilla, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape, Thunderbird

Netscape is dead; long live Mozilla.

Tom just posted the official announcement: As of February 1, 2008, Netscape will no longer exist as a product-producing entity.

“AOL’s focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for the size of investment needed to get the Netscape browser to a point many of its fans expect it to be. Given AOL’s current business focus and the success the Mozilla Foundation has had in developing critically-acclaimed products, we feel it’s the right time to end development of Netscape branded browsers, hand the reigns fully to Mozilla and encourage Netscape users to adopt Firefox.

This means end-of-life for all Netscape desktop applications, including Navigator and Messenger. (The Netscape.com portal will still exist as a co-branded AOL service.)

Hindsight being 20/20, AOL should have made this kind of announcement immediately after the Mozilla foundation was established, rather than pitting Netscape against its former self. This is not to say that I didn’t immensely enjoy working on Navigator and Messenger, but I think we can agree that with AOL’s massive Web presence, a little support (and advertising) from them might have meant that Internet Explorer might be trying to dethrone Mozilla as the market leader, rather than the other way around.

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AOL, Netscape, Netscape.com, Social Media

AOL News and Netscape.com

AOL News has undergone a redesign to be more “bloggy” (according to Reuters). Part of this update is that now they’re featuring the top stories at Netscape.com under the “User Submitted News” in the left-hand sidebar.

I wouldn’t mind that section being a little higher up on the page though, maybe replacing any of the nine (yes, nine) links to stories about Paris Hilton being released from prison…

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