Daniel Villar has been on fire with the SPLOTs. Not only did he invite me for a workshop last month in Coventry University (and that site is a SPLOT), where we got pre-made versions of them available on Conventry.domains, he recently put three different ones into play for his new OWLTEH project.

Beyond this, Daniel has provided a bunch of good ideas that have recently made their way into several themes.

If you are ready to bail on the first paragraph because I just launched into SPLOTs, I have a SPLOT that explains SPLOTs.

I know of these because he tweeted them.

But if you are creating sites with these WordPress themes I have built (as well as the three Calling Card ones, WP-Dimension, WP-Highlights, and WP-Big Picture — I need a favor.

I want you to… SHOW US THE SPLOTS!

You see, I try to keep a list of example sites people have made with these; it shows the range of ideas people come up with, plus it helps to show that other people have made them.

On each Github repo for these themes I have a section in the ReadMe called something like See It In Action, for example over at the TRU Collector:

Examples of the TRU Collector out in the world

Once you scrape past the shroud of confusion of Github, the beautiful thing about it is that it’s a collaborative editing space as much as Google Docs is. I have a sentence below the list:

If you make a TRU Collector site, please please pretty please, fork this repo to edit this Readme with a link to your new site.

But I think maybe that Grant Potter is the only person who actually did this.

So I aim here to show you how easy it is. You will Fork a Repo and then brag about it.

You will need a free GitHub account (I just made one for my dog to make sure I explained this correctly), its also useful for reporting issues, problems, offering feature requests. Or just sating hi.

If Felix can do Github, why not you?

Okay, so let’s say Felix has made a new site from the Splotbox theme, and he wants to share it as an example. Good Dog.

He clicks over to the repo and then on down to the Readme.md file which in the content for the main repo.

Hovering over the pencil icon (he knows that means edit, not chew), you see that it is labeled “fork and edit”:

What forking means is that it takes an entire copy of the theme from my repo and puts a copy into yours. You make changes, and then send them back to me. I then accept them into the official site.

Then he finds the place in the Markdown code for the examples. Okay, this may look scary, but all you need to do is copy the other examples.

The * in front means its a list item and then the [label](http://somecoolurl.oeg/splot) is how you add a link.

This took Felix about 3 minutes:

The box at the top helps the repo owner (me) understand what changes are being proposed.

If your Markdown looks good, I can add it to the public repo just by accepting the changes.

It looks and sounds more complicated than it really is, but it’s all about distributed editing and managing versions in a way much more efficient than shoving around email attachments.

If this still makes you scream in horror, there’s another simple way, and that’s just to send me a link by opening an issue, it’s more or less like writing a blog comment.

Help me. I cant track them all. The only way I find them is random mentions on twitter, sometimes I can google the phrases I put in my theme footers like Another Splot on the Web or “blame cogdog”.

But forking and proposing changes in Github will get you some code cred, eh? Just like Felix.


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An early 90s builder of the web and blogging Alan Levine barks at CogDogBlog.com on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person.


  1. I forked up the markdown on my entry for the splotbox, but the trucollector I think worked! Thanks for the guide. I thought I had done this weeks ago, but I think I just ended up duplicating the pages without having my changes made to your main project. I’ll keep following these instructions for future projects!

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