Yesterday I setup a test blog on scriptogr.am. I am quite experienced with blogging and content management systems, and have used a range including WordPress.com (hosted at WordPress), WordPress.org (self-hosted), Moveable Type, Blogger, Joomla, MODx and others. Currently I have 2 sites on WordPress (self hosted), 2 on Squarespace and 1 on MODx.
I am not really looking for another CMS (I am happy with WordPress and Squarespace), but listening to Mac Power Users Episode 121 (The Website Show), I was a bit intrigued by the concept of Scriptogr.am – a new (and evolving) CMS that uses Markdown as the format to write the blog, with files simply saved into a Dropbox folder. Push a sync button on a management page, and presto, your post is live.
My initial experience was good – visiting the home page you are provided with clean information, and are presented with a very simple signup process. The steps are basically to link your Dropbox account, enter basic details and you’re up and running.
Once you’re setup, a blog is created at scritogr.am/username (where username is the username you created) with an initial post providing an overview of how to use Scriptogr.am. All very easy.
I will talk about creating a blog post or page in a separate post, and for now will stick to my setup experiences.
Clicking on the “Settings” tab on the Dashboard brings up a settings page where you can manage details like
- Username, Real name, E-mail & Blog description
- Profile & Cover image
- Accent colour
- Mobile layout (on/off)
- Time zone
- Custom domain
You can also see your Scriptogr.am ID, which will be used with third party apps to log you in.
The first few items are self explanatory, but the next couple bear some thought before using them. As the screen shots, I uploaded a “Profile image” and a “Cover image”. Unfortunately you can upload, but I can find no way to delete an image once uploaded, so if you don’t like the result, your only option is to upload another file.
Personally I don’t like how the Cover image is handled, and now I am stuck with a pretty crappy shot . Why they convert a cover image to 960×960 confuses me, as this is a banner, not square. Should be something like 960×250, which is coincidentally the size used on the Des Paroz On The Go blog.
I see no reason not to use the Mobile Theme option (it is off by default), and its good to set time zone.
I’ve tried setting up a custom domain (blog.desparoz.com), but as of this writing it doesn’t seem to work.
You may note that the top of my Scriptogr.am blog has some links to my other sites. These were easy to setup. Each link is simply setup as a post with the type of “page”, and a header link attribute pointing to the target page.
I’ve also changed the theme. Clicking on the “Tools” link in the sidebar brings up an option for “Themes archive” where there are several themes available for easy adoption.
Another early gripe relates to the way images are handled in the Dashboard. When you click on upload (e.g. for Cover image or Profile image), nothing seems to happen, until there is a sudden change. The same applies when you click on a different theme for preview. There needs to be some feedback that lets you know that something is happening!
Setting up a Scriptogr.am site is very straightforward, but with what seems to be a couple of bugs at that time. This could be that I am missing something obvious, or it could simply be a bug (or perhaps as yet undeveloped functionality). What I do like is that the effort results in a clean and functional blog.
- I have discovered one way of making the cover image go away – I changed to another theme that doesn’t seem to use it! ↩
- IMHO, the image is good. Its the way it was cut to a 960×960 square then rendered at some crazy dimensions that makes it pretty crappy. ↩
- This might be an issue of this subdomain having previously worked to WordPress.com, so I’ll give it another day or so before making a final judgement. ↩