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  • Trudel’s Truth is a “blog” created out of letters Trudel Adler wrote 77 years ago to her family in Germany. Each post is posted on the anniversary of the date on which it was written.

    The blog format seems a natural for a diary. My mother was 21 years old, attractive, energetic, optimistic, and she viewed this country with her eyes wide open when she left Germany and came to Chicago.

    I am sure I am not the first person to use the blog format for a similar purpose but I haven’t been able to find others. I would love to find some and link to them not only to publicize Trudel’s Truth but to see how others are handling the issues that arise and to learn about the experience of other newcomers to this country?

    Suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thank you,


Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • esmi


    Forum Moderator

    Question: What (if any) solutions did you try to handle the post date issues? A traditional diary is like a story, yes? It reads from the oldest entry to the most recent. That’s the exact opposite of the standard blog.

    Additionally you’re dealing with past dates – in your case pre-1970 (which is always an issue in php generated web pages).

    After talking to another WP user who writes serialized fiction, I realised that most of the coded solutions to these problems are often beyond the average author or diary editor. So I’ve (just) started to put together a theme that I hope will deal with some of the problems and I’ve love to hear what people would like to see in such a theme. Nor so much design at this stage (I’m thinking of a basic child-friendly parent theme at first) but in terms of functionality and features.

    Well, before I started I had been warned about the pre-1970 issue and decided not to try it.Then I noticed that a theme (Choco) I was using for another blog (which I had practically abandoned) had a theme that looked like a leather note pad with date tabs that only show only the month and date, e.g., June 15. I am posting on the anniversary dates of the originals, so even though the fine print shows the actual date of posting, including the year, the tabs coincide with the original letters. Since I explain the premise in the sticky at the top, it seems alright. IIRC, 1934 was one or two days off on the day of the week, so I don’t use a calendar format. But it is eerie how some things from the back hit home today. As I am planning what to do on Father’s Day she is asking her family whether they had such a holiday back home.

    My earliest websites were all hand coded but I make too many typos to do anything complex. (See for a really mid nineties looking page. Almost everything I have done is linked there.)

    As to other issue – reversing the order. Since I am simulating posting in real time, the normal blogging sequence works, at least for now. But I was hoping to find a way to reverse the order after a while. What might be simple might be to have the most recent post on top and then a link to the beginning. Even better, of course would be to have the latest post on top and then chronological order below.

    More to think about.. I have to find photos to go with Friday’s post.


    I just had another idea. I don’t know how hard it would be from a scripting point of view, or if it could be done.. But how about a toggle at the top of the home page that would reverse the order from traditional blogging to a story telling chronology?

    I have something similar on a photo album of mine but there it was much simpler. I let the jalbum software create two versions of the site, first one in color and then one in gray scale. Then I put links on the home page of each. It was kind of neat watching the cover photo turn bw and vice versa. But our problem would be much more complex.


    But how about a toggle at the top of the home page that would reverse the order from traditional blogging to a story telling chronology?

    You could make an static page where you ran get posts in reverse, sure. That’s not that hard. Then you only need to post once, and the pages would automagically sort 😉

    <?php $posts = query_posts( $query_string . '&orderby=title&order=asc' ); ?>

    See how it says ASC? That’s ascending (and is normal). Change it to DESC and that should do it.

    You can make a page template that makes the calls 🙂 Assign it to a page called ‘story’ or something, and Bob’s your uncle.

    Hmmm.. So this should let me have the most recent page on top and then order the rest Descending?

    When I am ready, perhaps you can walk me through it. I have some gaps in posts coming up when I might have time. But let’s not talk about Bob. 😉



    So this should let me have the most recent page on top and then order the rest Descending?

    No, that’d just show the oldest at the top. You COULD do what you describe, but it’s a bit more complicated.

    I think I’d need to do that for people who are following it in “real” time as though it were a blog… Or I suppose I could have some kind of link on the first page or a sticky page on top to the newest post.

    Well, the good folks at Reflection Media sent me a custom widget, ADsorter, which allows users to select the order they want from a form on the sidebar (they used to support a plugin that could be changed by the admin but not by users). But strangely, since installing it the default sort order is always Ascending, while the usual blog sequence is descending. Even the “most recent posts” sidebar changes when the sort order is changed.

    So I added some clumsy instructions on the sticky page and included a php link to the latest post as well. Take a look at the opening sticky on Trudel’s Truth.

    I almost clueless about php so I don’t know if there is something in the widget that changes the default but if someone would like to take a look I can send them the file.

    Hi modemjunkie, no php help from me but I just wanted to add that I love your site. I’m rarely impressed with blog content but you have something unique and, IMO, of incredible historical perspective.

    Keep it up! It’s quite a tribute!

    Thank you.

    Reflections Media has modified the php to do exactly what I want. So now, the default order is still in blog sequence but a menu item on the sidebar I have named Sort Post Order allows the viewer to resort into story order. ‘

    One advantage of this is that for my few remaining computerphobic or computerfree friends, yes there still are some, I can easily switch to story sequence and print out the whole thing.

Viewing 11 replies - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
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