After much tinkering, false starts, failed attempts and rabbit holes I finally have a new movie and book review system going. Each item gets a fancy 1-5 star rating (half stars are allowed) and an image pulled in from Amazon. Pretty swanky, huh?
You can see the initial results in the sidebar, with the latest movie and book reviewed. I’m not thrilled with the layout yet, but we’ll see what happens.
I primarily wanted a simple and easy way to rate and review books and movies, with the review part being optional. I liked the idea of being able to sort my reviews by rating and find the best in a particular genre. All of this is pretty simple stuff that you can do on other sites, but so far nobody is smart enough to put it all together in a nice format where you’re in control and you’re not giving away your content (ahem, Amazon) but you can still share it freely and add it to your blog and do whatever.
I owe a huge debt of thanks to Jason Kottke for the inspiration as well as some help while stumbling down a rabbit trail. I accomplished this feat of techno engineering using multiple blogs (one is my old ReViews blog, the other is new) and a few plugins, namely MTAmazon and Right Fields. It’s all kind of jury rigged together, especially the book blog, where I added separate fields for the author and the book title. It’s probably overly complicated and will come back to bite me later, but oh well.
It seems I’m always starting new blogs and letting old ones slowly wither and die, so we’ll see what happens here. It’s in part a re-birth of an old blog, so we’ll see if it works out a little better this time.