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Riethof, Brussels

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Friday
Oct032008

Squarespace is why my Blogs look so professional and arty

Today, for a change, I offer you a peep into the motor room of HUIBSLOG.

It is called Squarespace, a New York based publishing system for websites and blogs. The following report, made by a customer of the service for a tv-station, transforms itself into a forceful publicity along the road. Enjoy!


You see, this is why I am not only not anti-american, in spite of my severe criticism of some (temporarily) dominating trends in conservative and pseudo-conservative American political theory and practice, but even an admirer of the seemingly bounderless creativity and imagination in that country/continent. An Europe that would mentally realise the vastness of its space, could also generate it. But that is still far away.

 

How come, that I embraced Squarespace?

Many years ago, I started blogging, in French, with the blogging service of the Paris daily Le Monde. This service was, and still is, based on the Wordpress format. I like it, but there are too many constraints. I am still publishing and republishing there at  Toto Le Psycho, a blog dedicated to "Francité", as viewed by an adoptive French son from the Lowlands of Holland and Belgium.

When I decided, three years ago, to publish a website, dedicated to the profession of local urban developers in Europe (E-Urban), using the four languages HUIBSLOG is also published in, I discovered Squarespace. It is a New York based commercial group that provides artistically designed tools foor the technically middle experted bloggers. That's a definition, I can live with for myself. I am not a great code writer. I exercised myself during the nineties, but at the introduction of PHP, I quit.

The Squarespace solution allows me to profit from meta-code inventors, servicing people like me, who are happy with the vast flexibility for designing and who are too much occupied with content to allow themselves the time for testing and re-testing every code snippet.

 

E-Urban Up and Down, and soon to be reborn in a new shape

E-Urban still exists with Squarespace, but gradually it's role has been taken over by European actors who are more in the middle of the profession than the professionally retired person who I am. The website will be transformed during the coming weeks. Two existing blogs (E-Urban Journal and E-Urban Newsletter) will continue and integrate the other departments (reference, thinktank, etc.). E-Urban.eu (a reserved domain for the e-urban sites) will also host my four Euroblogs (At Home In Europe and it's three sisters in French, Dutch and German). Plus some new initiatives that will be revealed shortly.

 

Language Switching and Filtering

Although Squarespace offers but a few specially designed language switch tools, it was easy to discover workarounds that are convenient to my European readers, who mostly master two or three of the blog languages and would not appreciate to have to switch every time between languages,but who like to be able to filter now and then for a specific language and/or subject, for more efficient reading.

HUIBSLOG

In April 2007, I started this blog on Squarespace, independently from E-Urban, but taking benefit from my experiences with E-Urban. I discovered that readers prefer a blog built around a person above blogs that are dedicated to a specific range of subjects or cultural areas. HUIBSLOG is a small success (réussite, Erfolg, succes). It is still growing, in spite of its built-in overstretch ("I embraced too many millions", said my grandfather-in-law, when he was a Komintern agent in 1921 Shanghai.) Simplification and streamlining are a becessity. Recently, my whole US-oriented Legal Alien in New York Blog was republished here (category Legal Alien, if you want to read it serarately here). The Dutch-Belgian De Lage Landen (in Dutch) will follow soon (category DLL). Both blogs will continue to exist, crosspublishing with this blog. I am considering the same operation for Toto in French.

 

Cheap dollars for Euro-value

Returning to the Squarespace System: The new version 5 allows still more flexibility than the former versions and architecture and maintenance are ever easier. The big systems (Blogger, Wordpress), are fine. But if you want something more on the aesthetic side, consider paying some few (and for us, in euros, now so cheap) dollars a month...

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Reader Comments (2)

I'm using SQUARESPACE to create to parallel blogs, one English one French, for two distinct markets. It's been pretty smooth, but I am having trouble customizing the SEND EMAIL widget. Have you built or come across one? Specifically, I can't figure how to label my fields (Your Name/Email/Question) in French.

cheers,

l

March 8 | Unregistered CommenterDave Hamilton

Dear Dave,
I customized 2007 the SEND EMAIL widget for 4 different languages, including the field names, in: E-Urban (http://e-urban.squarespace.com).
Take a look. I hope, this helps...

March 8 | Registered CommenterHuib

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