Automattic, the folks behind WordPress.com have a great quote on their company site, “Blogging is too hard.” I totally agree.
Why did you start your personal blog anyway? You wanted a place online to share things you found interesting and occasionally write a longer article, maybe even a rant. Right? Did you want to start a magazine site with 40 categories carefully arranged on a complicated home page? Or did you want a blindingly shiny site that looked like it had been attacked by a pack of floor buffers? Probably not. Did you want something simple and cool looking? Something easy to post to? Something that looked and worked like the tumblelog-style WordPress theme MNML? (What’s a tumblelog?)
Maybe. Let’s take a closer look at it.
The first thing you’ll notice about MNML is the header—it’s now the footer! I think this is a great layout for a smaller blog where you don’t necessarily want to highlight reams of old content. If you’re more concerned with the immediate, highlighting what’s important to you right now, then the MNML WordPress theme might just be for you. But don’t forget, there are still search and archive pages! Your content isn’t lost.
Quick Posting At The Speed of Thought
When the Prologue theme first dropped, I zeroed-in on the in-theme posting ability it showed off. Right away I thought, “I want that!” Well, now you can have it too.
When you’re logged in, the quick-post form will appear at the top of your index page. Neat, huh?
Now, with MNML it’s crucial that you have a category called “Asides”. This category + the quick-post form + and the MNML stylesheet are going to give you some nice minimalist-looking aside posts. This is what makes MNML a tumblelog. Think Kottke.org and you’ll get what I was going for.
Fans of the Prologue theme will notice I’ve added a series of links to the form, a link to the fuller “Write Post page” in the backend as well as links to sign out and visit your profile, exactly like what’s found at the top of the Dashboard. I may not build a quick-post form into every theme but I’m definitely going to consider building those handy links in.
Progressive Enhancement might not be the right word. Regressive Punishment? Okay, wait, maybe it’s not that bad! What I’ve done with MNML is send a separate stylesheet directly to your IE6 visitors (click on the image for a closer look). It’s actually not that bad looking. And at the very least, it certainly fits into the MNML style.
Notice the link in the top right of the header? “Still using Internet Explorer 6?” This is not an affiliate link. All it does is refer your IE6 readers to the download page for Internet Explorer. IE7’s not that bad and I figure it’s easier to convince someone to upgrade the same product rather than switch to a completely new one.
Don’t like the link? Remove it. It’s fine by me.
And speaking of Progressive Enhancement, your Safari readers get a nice little text shadow on the Blog title. You’re welcome.
Get Found and Be Heard
MNML is based on The Sandbox making it safe and search-engine optimized for WordPress. On top of that, I’ve made a few more tweaks, recommended by Chris Pearson, that will help you get heard and help you get noticed.
MNML Isn’t So Minimal, Is It?
I guess MNML isn’t so minimal after all! On top of all that, MNML is GPL licensed. That means it’s free and free forever. Do with it as you please.
One more thing about the styling: while MNML is a Tumblelog style theme it isn’t a tumblelog theme exactly. It does have an aside category but it doesn’t have any other special category styling. This is intentional. I want posting to be easy. I don’t want you to have to use and remember special formatting for each post. MNML, and tumblelogs in general, are supposed to make blogging more fun. Not more of a pain.
Have at it!