Hit or Miss

Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial

As promised, here’s a brief tutorial for MoveableType on combining regular weblog entries with quicklinks (basically, entries from two blogs each using a different template) into one column.

(1/10/04 Update: I’ve also created a second tutorial that combines the entries in a different way, which I’m now using on this website)

The assumption is that you have two weblogs set up in MT, one of which you use for short links. In my “quicklink” weblog, I store the link’s description in the EntryTitle field, the URL in the EntryBody field, and any additional description in the EntryMore field (meaning, I have to use a different template than for my other blog).

I’m also assuming that if you’re smart enough to try this, you know your way around MT Plugins, CSS, and inserting a chunk of text into page using PHP or SHTML, etc, so I won’t have to explain everything.

  1. Download and install the GlobalListings and MTCompare plugins.

    (Stephan’s site is temporarily down, so here’s GlobalListings.pl, which you should put in your plugins folder.)

  2. Step deleted 1/8/04: I had originally given instructions for adding a new tag (MTCurrentBlogID) to the Global Listings plugin, until someone pointed out in the comments below that MTBlogID (which is built in) can be used for the same purpose.
  3. In your main weblog, create a new template called “Combined Entries.” The output file should be called “combined.txt” and you should link the template to a file named “combined.tmpl”.

    Paste the following code into the template box:

    
    

    Here’s the basic idea: As we loop through the entries from the two weblogs, we use the <MTBlogID> tag to specify which template we’ll use to display the entry. It’s likely that the ID of your main weblog is 1 and your quicklink blog is 2 — if not, you’ll need to adjust the numbers in the template above.

    Because I wanted to group my quicklinks together in a box, I use the the <MTIfEqual>s and <MTIfNotEqual>s to insert formatting before and after groupings of entries (if you don’t want to do this, you can easily remove all those other conditional tags).

  4. So that the include file (combined.txt) will be rebuilt when you add to/edit your other quicklink blog, create a template in that blog with the same information (linked to the same combined.tmpl file).

    Make sure you specify the directory path correctly. For example, if your Quicklink blog is in a subdirectory of your regular weblog (i.e. “/quicklinks”), you may need to use “../combined.txt” (and “../combined.tmpl”) to point the files in the proper direction.

  5. Finally, we include the combined.txt file in your main weblog page. I use the following PHP code:
    <? include("combined.txt"); ?>

    If you don’t have PHP or SHTML, you can try the MTIncludePlus plugin to insert combined.txt into your main weblog page.

And there you have it. A fairly simple way to combine entries from two or more weblogs using different templates.

27 responses so far (Respond)

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This site has a useful tutorial on how to use MTSQL to do the same thing, which gives you a bit more flexibility. Also, I posted a tutorial on my site detailing how to combine monthly archives and category archives from multiple weblogs.

Frankie Dintino | 7 Jan 2004
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Thank you! I needed to do this because my sidebar was stretching past the entries, and for other reasons. You made it quick and simple! Thank you!

Zach | 7 Jan 2004
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Quick question, Matt — there’s no reason why the code couldn’t be modified to incorporate 3 or even 4 blogs, correct?

Joe Grossberg | 7 Jan 2004
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Exactly. It would just require a few more conditional tags.

Matt | 7 Jan 2004
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You don’t need to define a seperate tag to get the BlogID of the current Entry — MTBlogID in the context of a MTGlobalListings Container returns the BlogID of the Current Entry as used in my Creating an Updates list for Multiple Blogs, which uses essentially the same concept (which can be seen in action at the bottom of http://ed.fanworks.net).

Crys | 7 Jan 2004
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One question: When you edit the template, do you have to edit, save, and rebuild each blog (1 and 2) separately each time you change the template? I have been, but I don’t know whether that is necessary. It’s a pain.

Zach | 7 Jan 2004
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This is really good stuff, but – argh – there is a hitch with it, from a valid markup point of view. The /ul tag at the top of the template will always be inserted whether or not it’s needed, which will result in an orphaned /ul at the top of #1 weblog.

I notice that the /ul at the bottom of the template code is intended to close the quicklinks list – only it doesn’t seem to do anything, hence I presume the /ul at the top of the template.

Try as I might, I can’t solve this. I’m sure there’s a workaround though.

Marcus | 8 Jan 2004
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I made a slight change in the template to prevent it from inserting the leading </ul> tag.

Matt | 9 Jan 2004
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I just wanted to mention that if people are not yet using the “Post to MT” bookmarklet, it makes things really easy to post to a quicklinks section.

Charles | 11 Jan 2004
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Integrated QuickLinks for MoveableType
Matt gives a good Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial for MoveableType….

Blog-Fu | 6 Jan 2004
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http://www.mariwood.com/sideblog/previously/002622.html
Integrate sideblog links with main blog…

Sideblog | 6 Jan 2004
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So elegant, so clever, so right.
Goodbye sidebar, hello Kottke.

Live in the Delirious Cool | 6 Jan 2004
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Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial
Nice tutorial that explains how to integrate a “quicklinks” blog in with your regular weblog entries. Requires a coupld of…

ETC. Indulging my inner geek | 6 Jan 2004
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Quicklinks Tutorial
hit-or-miss: Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial – integrate your links weblog and your main weblog together. This is very similar to what…

lovelinks | 6 Jan 2004
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Combining Quicklinks and Posts
Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial: This is a handy thing. I’ve always been tormented (high drama here) with the disparity between post styles. Some are long manifestos, and some are just a quick link. …here’s a brief tutorial for MoveableType on combini…

Gadgetopia | 6 Jan 2004
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http://www.hopstudios.com/nep/five/2004_01.html#000381
hit-or-miss: Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial – if you wondered how to make a single blog that has some lng posts and a collection of short posts as well, this shows you one way to do it….

Five Live Links | 6 Jan 2004
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integrated quicklinks
Must implement integrated quicklinks, but with connection to del.icio.us as well… hit-or-miss: Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial…

Gen Kanai weblog | 7 Jan 2004
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Integrate two different blogs
There is a pretty good tutorial over at Hit-or-Miss on combining two seperate blogs with two seperate templates into a single main index using MovableType. It’s really easy to integrate, so if you looking to combine a “sidebar” style blog…

KevinDonahue.com | 7 Jan 2004
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New QuickLinks Box
I decided to implement a box that would appear once under each day heading that would contain all of the links I post for that day. It is mostly done at this point, and you should (crossing fingers) see an…

Stratified | 7 Jan 2004
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Integrated Quicklinks
I’m playing around with Jason Kottke’s idea of putting external links in your weblog’s main content area. To do so, I installed the MT GlobalListings plug-in and followed Matt’s helpful Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial. My code is a little bit different….

Webspiffy | 8 Jan 2004
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http://www.confusedkid.com/pathways/archives/001682.html
Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial…

Pathways | 21 Jan 2004
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A Few Changes
A few things ya’ll should know about: I’ll soon be posting many photos that many of you have seen before. This is because I’ve created a new photoblog whereby I’ll only be posting only pictures, and to flesh this photoblog…

I Do What I Can | 31 Jan 2004
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All Together, Now
Since expanding things beyond two blogs, I’ve always wanted a way to present everything on one page. Thanks to Matt, the last twenty entries from my blogs are listed in reverse chronological order. While it’s not as hip and fresh…

RobbyB.com | 3 Mar 2004
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How I Use Movable Type
In response to Mena’s inquiry as to how folks use MT, here goes: I Do What I Can is run using 5 weblogs, and has two authors. The five weblogs are not distinct blogs; rather I have one for “main…

I Do What I Can | 18 May 2004
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hitormiss.org: Integrated Quicklinks Tutorial…

Pathways | 9 Aug 2004
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Thank you! I needed to do this because my sidebar was stretching past the entries, and for other reasons. You made it quick and simple! Thank you!

Zach | 4 Nov 2009