Yesterday afternoon Greg Martin, Cedarville University, CMCIG chair, contacted me about some of the sidebar information on the IRC blog and the CMCIG blog because we are all learning blogs together. During the course of looking at the CMCIG template, he noticed all of the sidebar links were gone. The existing blog had all of the pertinent information, but the template did not reflect it. Our main concern was if anyone posted to the blog about the conference, saving and publishing would "update" the good blog with the bad template. Why the worry? Any time you choose a new blogger template, it overwrites the existing template and effectively erases sidebar information. Just to be on the safe side, I did a quick view page source and saved the file.
Today, I tested our theory and was unfortunately proved correct. As you can see on the most recent post, CMCIG blog glitch, we currently have only the generic preset links and a completely different template. It's not pretty.
Because luck was with us and Greg noticed the oddity, the links are saved and just need to be re-established on the template. Right now we are deciding if it's time to switch over to Blogger Beta, maybe fool with the template css and set it to reflect the colors on the new ALAO web page, or just rebuild and be done with it. Additionally, the blog is a bit stagnant and I'm hoping we can set up a quick statscounter to see if it is being read even though posting and comments are sparse.
I brought my conference notes home from work this afternoon and will try to finish my reflections this weekend so as not to drag out the process too much longer. In the mean time, wish me luck with the CMCIG blog repairs.
The CMCIG blog is back to normal, the template has been reset and all of the sidebar links re-established. After discussing a few additional options with Greg, I added StatCounter and a few Feedburner "chicklets" for site feeds. We hope this will help with the IG's blog readership. If not, the counter will give us a basis for comparison should the time come to disband the project. By the time spring workshops begin for IG's, we will have a good six months of statistics to review.