BTRIPP (btripp) wrote,

Missing the old days around here ...

I'm coming to the end of my LONG process of setting up a spreadsheet of all my book reviews - which will then get translated into an "index site" (that I've done the basic design/coding structure for over the past few days). This will let me point folks at it to find particular books or authors (I'm going to have it set up both ways), which will then have links to the specific page over on my book review blog, as well as a date of when the review went live, which will have links to my new review collections, depending on the year.

Now, this project doesn't SOUND like it would be the massive mountain to climb that it has been ... but that's because it's not as straight-forward as it might be. In the spreadhseet, I have the basics, author (or authors') names, book title/subtitle, date of the review, ISBN, etc. It also has three URLs, one for the version that shows up in here, one for the version over on the review site, and the Amazon affiliate short link (hey, I can dream of making some change on this, can't I?). However, getting this info (efficiently, at least) involves opening up FOUR sites, two of which (the blogs) I have to update with the new Amazon links, and a new "sig" (my older ones still trying to grab the image from the defunct for the graphic, and pointing to my old Ning site), which also will now include the buttons for affiliate sites and freebies. And, since I'm "in there", I'm also checking for typos (some reviews have had a bunch), and making sure the other links are still working.

I might not be quite so obsessive about this, but I'm using the review site entries as the raw material for my review books, and having those as "clean" as possible, makes assembling the books easier when I get to them (I've now gotten as far back as 2009 on the books, and have two years "ready to go" via the spreadsheet/update process).

I'm currently working my way back through 2006 ... and it's really becoming quite a "trip down memory lane". While the review site just goes from book to book, on my old entries here, I end up having to back through everything, from silly memes to wailing and gnashing of teeth. Most emotional are the family posts, The Girls were 10 and 6 back then and I was doing a LOT of "Daddy stuff", which is interesting to surf past. More grim is how bad things were back then for me financially/emotionally ... and (with occasional breaks for hopeful situations that would eventually be dashed), nothing much has changed - except, perhaps, my no longer being able to BELIEVE that anything is ever going to work out. Back then I had "hope", now ... well, I'm getting out resumes again, but I'm pretty much just waiting to die.

Anyway, it's strange to see all the old familiar names that used to be actively around here back in the day. A scant handful are still around, with the others scattered to the winds (a few crop up on FB, but it's hardly the same - especially since FB throttles the reach over there so much).

Oh well.

I am finally "seeing the light at the end of the tunnel" on this project (I think I have only 85 more entries to do), and then it will be a chunk of time of taking the info and slapping it into an HTML skeleton (with actual CSS - I had to break down and use some "newfangled" coding to make it look the way I wanted it to) across 57 web pages (1 "top" index that will link to the "by author" and "by title" pages, with A-Z plus # sub-pages) ... which will, of course, take quite a while (although not as much as I had feared when I was doing "test runs" on the code after I figured out how to do different looks with CSS on the "a" tags).

I had initially wanted to do a searchable spreadsheet/db, but to be able to incorporate that into a web site was looking to involve learning more coding than I really wanted to do, so setting this up like this is going to have to suffice. Yes, I will be constantly having to update the pages as I get new reviews done ... but that will be minimally stressful, as I can just plug those in to the alphabetical/numerical listings where they "ought to go", as I post the reviews - which regular readers of this space will recognize is only 2-3 times every couple of weeks. Probably another 15 minutes of work to keep that updated each time I've cranked out new reviews.

Speaking of which ... I need to get my butt (and netbook) over to Starbucks to dive into the current "to be reviewed" stack!

Visit the BTRIPP home page!

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