Kind of ironic that Pat is talking themes today because I need some help. My new and possibly last section of journalism starts Wednesday and I want to make sure I’m able to take my Web log use one step further. To do so, however, I need some answers regarding template creation.

If I create a student template, what exactly can I “save” in it? Can I predefine departments? Can I also precreate links to sort those departments in Prefs/advanced/navigation? If I use include macros, can I call a story from someplace other than in that template? (For instance, say I want each student’s Web log to have a list of relevant links that I update…is there a way that I can call the content from a story I have saved in THIS template? In other words, I want to be able to update the links on all their sites by just updating one post.) I think David said there was a way to do this…

Also, I’m thinking about how best to aggregate all of their Web logs into one place. I linked to this page a couple of days ago that talks about not only being able to aggregate but to post back as well. That’s a major time saver as well. Is that only a Radio feature or can I do it in Manila as well?

If I could do those things, create a template that has much of the relevant stuff already set up, and read and respond to all student Web logs from one place, I would a) have taken the next step, and b) simplified my life by a great deal.

Anyone help me here? Chat time???