Steve Pilgrim's Radio Weblog : Out of the rat race and onto the web!
Updated: 6/5/2002; 12:17:35 AM.












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Wednesday, February 13, 2002

Lessons from History

Some of you have followed my travails as I've tried to come up to speed with Radio, web site creation, HTML, etc. I'm not up to speed. It's been 30 days since I got Radio.

However, this week's information will serve as an afterburner for me. I provide it to you if you're still wrestling with Radio and unsure about how to proceed. It boils down to one man's opinion about how to accelerate from a standing start with Radio, HTML, web site building and the like.

The breakthrough came (for me) when I figured out how to learn this stuff. No - I haven't learned it yet, but I think I know how to learn it now. Here's my recipe, with a whole lot of help from Dane Carlson, Dave Winer and John Robb, and I hope it helps you:

  • Go here and re-read what made you buy Radio to begin with. (Pay particular attention to the 11 screen shots and the sidebar called Key Radio UserLand Features.)
  • Read the Help items found on the Radio menu at the top of the desktop copy of Radio (remember, you have a desktop copy and a cloud or public copy)
  • Next, read the Prefs, but don't change anything you don't fully understand
  • Somehow, get yourself adopted. The best way to do this is locate a web log you really like and point to it in one of your posts; then, email the person with specific questions. Usually, you'll find a helpful soul there!
  • Start posting and linking to other posts. Practice!! As you work read all of the . They hide good stuff. (Don't worry about "the look" just yet. Use themes to change everything at once, at least until you get a bit better understanding of themes, templates, etc.)
  • Start using the News Aggregator. Use the help screens as needed.
  • When you get ready to move beyond just posting inside one of the "canned themes" that Radio provides, you're in a world of HTML. Sorry, but I've learned that we've got to learn it. That's what templates are and they require hand-coding or, at least, copying and pasting of HTML code. Here's a good place to go to get started. There are some good books out there as well. If you need more information about books for this stuff, email me.
  • Now, the next two bullets - this one and the next one - are breakthroughs. Read this Q & A, then this amplification.
  • Learn from history. This links you to today's Scripting News which contains a phenomenal wealth of information about issues that we're all facing with HTML, including tables, CSS (that's cascading style sheets) and other issues that are not so vital today, but will be vital tomorrow. Reading this now will prevent most of us (the group I call newbies) from boxing ourselves in.
  • For those ready to move further/faster, take a look at: Dan Bricklin's post and then visit Andy Sylvester's Radio Userland Resource Directory.
  • Finally, I'm not yet ready to edit the look of my site; nor am I up to speed on the really slick ways to use categories. That will come and when it does, I'll add to this post. Developing web services, posting to other web sites, building my own theme and some other stuff is still fuzzy, too. We'll get there.

Hope this stuff helps!

4:20:51 PM     Comments[]

I'm doing lots of testing off line. Posting may be rather sparce today.
8:11:38 AM     Comments[]

© Copyright 2002 Steve Pilgrim.

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