Facebook, Themes, Twitter, WordPress

Keyring River: A new WordPress theme to complement Keyring Social Importers

It’s no secret that I use Keyring and Keyring Social Importers to import my activity on third-party services into a WordPress blog. All of my Facebook posts and photos, Twitter updates, foursquare checkins, and Reddit comments and submissions are archived in a single location; this makes it simple to see a snapshot of my online life at any point in time. I’ve even imported my IM chat transcripts from over a decade ago.

I’ve long been searching for the perfect WordPress theme to showcase all of this data. Typical blog themes didn’t work because each “post” needed different styling based on the service it came from, so it was unlikely that I was going to find what I needed already built for me.

But then, I came across an effort by David Hariri to build a non-WordPress lifestreaming product called River. While I’m already committed to using WordPress, his frontend design was exactly what I had been looking for. Luckily, David’s project is open source and MIT-licensed, so I was able to use his design and adapt it to a WordPress theme. With that, I present Keyring River:

screenshot-1

Keyring River is a new WordPress theme coded specifically to complement Keyring Social Importers. It’s feature-poor and purposefully so; there are no sidebars, no footers, no menus, no comments — just a search box and a list of activity. For maximum enjoyment, install Jetpack and activate the Infinite Scroll module so that you can scroll infinitely into your online history. See it in action on my example lifestream blog, where I’ve imported my Twitter and Reddit history.

The timestamp on each entry links to the single-item view in WordPress, and the logo links to the item on the service it was originally posted on. Amuse yourself by scrolling back a couple of years, finding an interesting Facebook post, and reviving discussion on it!

Keyring River currently supports posts imported by the following plugins:

…and of course, regular WordPress posts.

Download Keyring River from Github, and let me know if you put it into practice. Taking ownership of your data is important, and more importantly, it’s fun!

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Blogging, Clean and Sober, Programming, Themes, WordPress

New WordPress Theme: Clean and Sober

Today, I’m releasing my site’s theme (the design you’re looking at right now) as a free open source theme for WordPress. I’m calling it Clean and Sober, and it’s compatible with WordPress 3.4 and up. Here’s the default homepage:

The default Clean and Sober homepage.

It’s designed mainly with single-author blogs in mind, since I initially wrote it for (this) single author blog, and there are not a lot of graphics (zero, to be exact), since I am, how-you-say, very bad at doing art.

This is the first WordPress theme I’ve released in five years (the last being Greencode in January of 2007), and the first one that I’ve tried to make compatible with all of the Theme Review Guidelines, and let me tell you, it is exhausting. Major props to the themers who can do this more than once every five years.

Some notable notes:

  • Post excerpts are displayed on index pages beneath the post title. If no excerpt is defined, nothing is displayed there.
  • You can define one menu, which is displayed beneath the header. If a menu item has children, they will automatically be shown in a dropdown menu.
  • On pages with an author (posts, pages, etc.), the author’s bio will be displayed beneath the content if the author has written a bio and saved it in their profile’s Bio field.
  • On pages without an author (search results, the homepage, etc.), you can choose a user to be displayed as the default author. This is handy for single-author blogs that are identified solely with one user. This setting can be changed from the theme customizer.
  • The contact links on the right side of the bio are defined at the bottom of your profile page.

It works well for my needs, but I’m interested to see all the new and exciting ways that other people can break it by trying it on their blogs. Give it a shot and let me know how you like it in the comments, or just take a look at this gallery of screenshots:

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Blog, Greencode, Nerd, Nintendo Wii, Themes, WordPress

Optimizing Your Website for the Wii

I’ve optimized my blog (and thus my Greencode WordPress theme) for browsing on the Nintendo Wii. So if you read my blog on the Wii, it will look like this:

My website on the Wii

It was pretty easy, and you can do it too, by following these two simple steps:

1. Create a Wii-friendly stylesheet. This is similar to creating a mobile-friendly stylesheet, and it involves enlarging the text, removing superfluous crap, and just making your site easier to read from a distance. You can see the stylesheet I created here.

2. Serve the Wii stylesheet to Wii users. The user-agent string of the Wii will be something like Opera/9.00 (Nintendo Wii; U; ; 1309-9; en), so in PHP, you can accompish this like so:

if (strpos($_SERVER['HTTP_USER_AGENT'], "Wii;") !== false){
[... wii stylesheet ...]
} else {
[... regular stylesheets ...]
}

And just for fun, I also added an “Optimized for the Nintendo Wii” watermark in the top-right corner and enabled the Wii stylesheet for anyone who adds “?wii=1” to the end of a URL. For example, here is the Wii-friendly version of this post.

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