Friday, March 30, 2007

Different profiles for different blogs in the same Blogger account Part II

If you have different blogs in the same Blogger account, you will have the same profile for all the different blogs. Some have tried to get around this by inviting himself to a blog, and then trying to remove the "original" owner, but that is not allowed by Blogger.

Here is a workaround on how you can have a different profile for different blogs in the same Blogger account. Delete the Profile Page Element from the Layout. Add a New Page Element, selecting "HTML/Javascript" (Selecting Text is also possible). Put "Profile" for the title of the Page Element. Have a profile photo ready and uploaded to the Web, and get its URL. If you do not know the width of the sidebar, get into the template editor and look for this block of code

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 150px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
}

The above is for the blog Generating Revenue from your Website and it tells me that the width of the sidebar is 150 pixels wide.

Then in the window of the HTML/Javascript, Type <img src="photo URL" width="395" /> followed by the text you want to describe yourself. You can even add hyperlinks if you want as I have done for the profile in Generating Revenue from your Website. You can check it. It is at the bottom of the left sidebar.

To complete this post, I will paste the HTML I used for that profile in the scroll box below:

<img width="145" src="http://lh5.google.com/_jizoPL28qCY/Rb6YrgUk7qI/AAAAAAAAAA0/0ydsqfz-BIk/s1600/BlogStar.jpg"/>. I am just a simple retiree enjoying himself <a href="http://blogger-tricks.blogs.blogspot.com">blogging</a> and participating in <a href="http://adsense-alert.blogspot.com/2006/10/how-can-i-earn-from-google-adsense.html">Google AdSense</a>


A blog reader asked how to make the profile open in a new window. For that you will have to use hyperlink like this <a href="URL of profile" target="_blank"><img src="profile photo URL" width="W"><'center>Write something about yourself></a>. The URL profile may be the actual profile of a blog or a post/blog about yourself. I think I will give an illustration of this by creating one for demonstration. Check out this blog: Alternative Medicine. It is at the bottom of the left sidebar. I have used this technique to create a "All About Me" profile which when clicked take you to the full profile. Note that in the "All About Me", there are some clickable links.

Note that in order for me to ensure the photo fits the sidebar, I have to find out how wide is the sidbar, and for this I have to get into the template editor and look for this script:

#sidebar-wrapper {
width: 150px;
float: right;
word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
}

which tells me the sidebar is 150 pixels wide. So I have to put the attribute width="145" into the <img> tag.

To do that profile, I clicked "Add a Page Element" in the LAYOUT and selected HTML/Javascript and put "All About Me in the title, then typed what you see in the scroll box below into the "page element editor":

<a href="http://peters-profile.blogspot.com/" target="_blank"><img width="145" alt="My Profile" src="http://lh5.google.com/_jizoPL28qCY/Rb6YrgUk7qI/AAAAAAAAAA0/0ydsqfz-BIk/s1600/BlogStar.jpg"/><center>I am just a simple pensioner who spend his free time <a href="http://blogger-tricks.blogspot.com">blogging</a>, participating in the <a href="http://generating-revenue-from-your-site.blogspot.com/2007/03/how-do-i-earn-from-adsense.html">Google AdSense Program</a>, learning lots of things in the process and enjoying every minute of it (click on photo to see my full profile).</center></a>


Of course you have to change the URL of the specially made profile page, the photo URL and the text in the HTML to suit your own situation.

Acknowledgement: This post is the result of a comment by ~HJ of ~HJ's profile in my post How to have different profiles in the same Blogger account (click "BACK" button to get back to this page).

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Backing up your blog Part III

I have written about backing up your blog and have mentioned about using BlogCollector, unfortunately, I have tested BlogCollector on a blog using the New Blogger template, and it didn't work. So what is left now is:

1. to set your blog to send an email to a specially created email address to collect posts (unfortunately, this will not include the HTML that would display images, etc and also if it is an old blog, and you want the old post to be backed up, you will have to do it manually one by one)

2. Manual method. Open each post in the EDIT HTML mode, copy and paste the content into Notepad and save it somewhere safe and easily accessible.

3. Use HTTrack. I have tested using HTTrack and as I expected, it works for both blogs using old classic templates and New Blogger templates. I expected it to work because it mirrors Webpages which does not depend on how the Webpage was created. If you use HTTrack to backup your blog, you can even burn the mirrored site onto a CD and send it to other to view, etc.

What is broadband and why do we need it?

I you use the Internet just for reading and sending emails, a dial-up connection is probably sufficient for you. However, with the introduction of VoIP, embedded audio and video, video conferencing, high definition TV, etc. a dial-up definitely will not do. I you upload photos to your blog, you will need broadband. What is broadband?

A UK Broadband Provider has three pages Broadband Guide, What is broadband and Fast Broadband explaining what broadband is all about, the equipment you need and how to fix it up. There is also a page to explain about Wireless Broadband.

BroadbandSupplies.co.uk has lots of information on its site for residents of UK. For example, they have reviews of various broadband providers like BT Broadband, Virgin Broadband, etc.

There is also a page on Special Offers and Advice on how to compare Broadband Providers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

BubbleShare, another way to put a photo album on your blog

Update: As of November 15 2009, Bubbleshare.com will no longer be available.

Someone asked for ways to put photo album in a blog, so I did some searching and came up with BubbleShare
http://www.bubbleshare.com/
I tested putting up an album and the result is here: Malaysia, truly Asia. The steps to create the album is there. There is also a provision to add audio, but I didn't try it out.

UPDATE 14 August 2009: From 15 November 2009, BubbleShare will be no more and all photos stored there will be deleted. If you have any photos there, you better go there and download all your photos into your computer and find a different file host.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

What is the best template to use for my blog?

I used Ramani's fixed width 3 column New Blogger template (Update: I have since changed to 4 column template) for all my main blogs. The reasons:

To cater to visitors with small screen

From statistics obtained from Statcounter, I find that 5 to 20% of my visitors are still using the small screen 800x600 resolution (Update: now 800x600 less than 2%), and these visitors will just be able to see the whole width of my blogs without having to scroll horizontally when I use Ramani's fixed width 3 column New Blogger template (Update: now using slightly wider 4 column Minima template) for my blogs. (Note: If you are viewing this blog with a large screen, and will like to know how it appear to a small screen visitor, type or copy-paste

javascript:top.resizeTo(800,600)

into the address bar and press enter).

Even big websites with very knowledgeable webmaster like BBC News uses a template which take into consideration visitors with small screens. If you visit BBC News with a large screen, you will probably also see blank "wasted" space on your screen, just like this blog.

If I use other templates, visitors with small screen may be forced to scroll horizontally to see the rest of the right side of the blog if I use a fixed width wider format template, or the main column or sidebars may be squeezed into narrow columns if I use a fluid width template. Also, with a fluid width template, I have to be careful to make sure the width of images, scroll boxes, tables, etc, will fit into the narrow columns when such visitors visit my sites. Otherwise, they may find the sidebar or main column pushed to the bottom of the page or see other problems.

Readability issues

The writer of this site max-width in Internet Explorer recommend that that a good reading width, should be around 60 CPL (characters per line), which is approximately the CPL of the main column of this blog, using Ramani's fixed width 3 column New Blogger template. His recommendation is based on a readability study done by the department of psychology at Wichita State University, entitled The Effects of Line Length on Children and Adults’ Online Reading Performance.

Plain or fanciful templates

Some may find this blog very plain with very little graphic and colors. This is my choice. I do not have to worry about hosting graphics, especially if the graphics for the templates are hosted by someone else. If those graphics disappear from the web, the blogs using those fanciful templates with lots of graphics will have big problems. The solution is of course to host the graphics yourself, but you mus know how to do it. This will probably be discussed in another post. Also, I don't want visitors to be distracted by graphics but I just want to focus on the content.

Choice of templates is a very personal thing

However, some bloggers may not like the empty wide spaces on both sides of this blog when viewing with larger screen resolutions such as 1024x768, 1152x864, etc. For them, they may choose fluid width templates which will adjust the width of the main column according to the screen resolution of the blog visitors (note the reference to width of photos, scroll boxes, etc. above) or use fixed width wider format templates if they don't mind forcing small screen visitors having to scroll horizontally to see the rest of the side of the blog.

Third party New Blogger templates

You can find New Blogger templates modified or created by third parties at New Blogger templates (mostly 3 columns), tested with demonstration and test blogs. This will be updated as I keep adding new templates as time permits.

Another easy feed reader and social bookmarking service

To help build traffic to your website, it is always good to let visitors have an easy way to subscribe to feeds to be kept updated on new posts in your blog. In this way, visitors using a suitable feed reader can keep an eye on your blog for new post, and visit your blog when they see something interesting or useful.

Social bookmarking now is also very important to help building traffic. The problem is there are a multitudes of social bookmarking services and feed readers. I have written a previous post on an easy way to social bookmarking for your blog at Easy social bookmarking for your Website (click "BACK" button to get back to this page. A reader of my blog alerted me to a similar service AddToAny.

I have used AddToAny to add an icon for my blog reader to easily add my blog to their feed reader at Good Health Information. You can find the icon at the top of the left sidebar. Click on it and see what happen. I have also added a "bookmark manager" to the same Page Element (to save valuable real estate above the fold. If I use a separate Page Element to add the script, there will be a large empty space between the feed icon and the bookmark icon. By adding the script in the same Page Element, using a <br /> tag to put them on separate lines, I have greatly reduced the white space between the 2 icons). If you are interested in the scripts I used for the two icons, I put them below in the scroll box:

<a href="http://www.addtoany.com/?sitename=Good%20Health%20Information&siteurl=http%3A//good-health-information.blogspot.com/&linkname=Subscribe&linkurl=http%3A//good-health-information.blogspot.com/rss.xml&type=feed"><img border="0" width="110" alt="Add to any service" src="http://www.addtoany.com/add-sub.gif" height="17" title="Add to any service"/></a>

<br/>
<a href="http://www.addtoany.com/?sitename=Good%20Health%20Information&siteurl=http%3A//good-health-information.blogspot.com/&linkname=Bookmark%20Manager&linkurl=http%3A//good-health-information.blogspot.com/rss.xml&type=page"><img border="0" width="91" alt="Add to any service" src="http://www.addtoany.com/addbm-b.gif" height="29" title="Add to any service"/></a>


The advantage of AddToAny is that it is very easy to use. The advantage/disadvantage (depending on how you look at ot is that you don't need to register for an account. This also means you have no way of finding out how many people are subscribed to your feed.

Acknowledgement: I was tipped off about the existence of AddToAny by BlogmasterPg

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Backing up your blog Part II

I have previously published a post How to backup your blog in which BlogCollector and HTTrack was mentioned as one of many methods to backup your blog. Recently, someone asked a question about BlogCollector, saying he couldn't get BlogCollector to work. Since I haven't used BlogCollector after New Blogger templates was introduced, I decided to make some tests.

I used BlogCollector to try to backup Testing Blogger Beta which is a blog using a New Blogger template in a New Blogger account. BlogCollector failed to backup this blog.

I tried BlogCollector on Blogger for Dummies which is also in a New Blogger account, but still using the old classic template. The backup was successful, backing up all the 60 posts in the blog.

So the conclusion is that you can use BlogCollector for blogs using the old classic Blogger template, but not for the New Blogger template. For that, you will have to use HTTrack or other methods.

Update 9 August 2007: This update should have been updated earlier, but BlogCollector has already been updated to backup New Blogger blogs. However, I haven't really have time to test it but I think it still can backup photos. The best way to backup blogs is to do the tedious manual method by editing each post in the EDIT HTML mode, save the content of the post in a Notepad file and save them one by one, but it is a lot of work.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Megaglobe: A new innovative search engine

Which search engine do you normally use for your searches? Google? Well, there is a new innovative soon to be launched search engine Megaglobe which uses a new patent pending technology called "pay per valid click". Google AdSense is having problems dealing with invalid clicks (defined by them as clicks generated through prohibited methods. These prohibited methods include but are not limited to: repeated manual clicks, or the use of robots, automated clicking tools, or other deceptive software. Invalid clicks also include clicks by the publisher clicking on ads on his own site or asking or encouraging others to click on the ads. If found out, such publisher will get their account suspended. Invalid clicks are a major headache for Google AdSense and their advertisers.

If this new "Pay per valid click" technology by Megaglobe works, it will give Google AdSense stiff competition as it may attract advertisers who are put off by invalid clicks to switch to Megaglobe. In addition to the new "Pay per valid click" technology, another feature which may induce advertisers to switch to Megaglobe is that it will be available in 50 currencies. Also, Megaglobe is a member of the prestigious Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), which include among its members Google, Yahoo! and MSN.

In addition to this "Pay per valid click" technology, Megaglobe will be available in 45 different languages.

Well, we will be able to see how good Megaglobe when it is launched, which is expected to be soon. One more thing for webmasters (which include all bloggers). Do not wait for Megaglobe to be launched. They are allowing webmasters to add their websites. I have added all my blogs to Megaglobe.

People Search Engine

Re-connect with your past through a People Search Engine. It's a fast and easy process to Search For People and locate lost friends. Search through Public Records to find out what a People Search can uncover.

The Web is constantly changing and it requires an adaptive mind to keep up. Whether you are someone looking for more education or pursuing a career in teaching within the technological field, a masters in educational technology is a great first step to take in the right direction.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Add Music to your blog: Another easy way

Here is another easy way for you to add music to your blog. Go to eSnips. There you can upload your music file and other files like videos, photos and files. Here we will just be discussing music, but videos, etc., should be no different. You can check out this post where I have used eSnips to embed a music player into the post: Testing embedding own music in post.

Update: eSnips.com have been inaccessible for some time. An alternative is to convert Youtube video to mp3 then embed an mp3 player for music in your blog. This app makes converting video easy.

The best way to go is to first sign up for an account first. Then you can have a folder for your files which you can refer to whenever you need to. If you have your own music file, first upload it. You still can have music if you don't have your own music file. All you have to do is to choose one which is available to the public in eSnip. If you don't have your own music file, or you want one that is available in eSnip, click on fresh from the "DJ Community" and click on a selection. Click "MP3 Widgets" and you will be presented with a page where you can copy the script to add to your blog (see screenshot (click to enlarge):

eSnip widget preview

The default is to only play the music if a visitor click on the Play button. However, you can make the player play the music automatically the moment the page opens by choosing Yes in the Auto Play drop down menu at the bottom of the preview page (see bottom of the screenshot above). This setting (autoplay) is not favoured by many because of fear of unwanted interruption like when a person is surfing at night and there is a baby sleeping nearby. The person will have to quickly exit the site to stop the music playing. That is why the default is set to "no".

Update March 16 2007: Got a tip about Odeo from Brad of Brad Linder's Digital Home. I tested embeding a selection into this post Testing embeding musical from Odeo. However, unlike eSnip, they don't give you the option of whether you want autostart or you need the visitor to click the "play" button to play the music. In this case, a visitor will have to click the "play" button to start the music.

UPDATE 5 November 2007: See eSnip music player in sidebar for instructions on how to make the eSnip player fit the sidebar (click BACK button to get back to this page).

Listening to music online

Not satisfied with just putting music on your own site. Like to listen to music on other sites online?

Find places to Listen To Music Online for free. The internet has allowed sites to play Music 24/7. There are literally hundreds of Online Music sites
and even you can Stream Music on your own website.

Related post:
Adding Music to your blog
Adding a MP3 Player to your blog.
(click the "BACK" button to return to this page).

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Free Blog Pixel Advertisement

Got a tip about a site offering free and paid pixel advertisements from Advertisement for blogs, so I decided to do some investigation. I found that site that offer both free and paid image (pixels) ads for blogs, with the free ad limited to 60x20. you can find the link to the free pixel ads site below as it is a condition I provide a backlink to them in exchange for a free pixel ad.

I also found via a google search a free button search, and again a condition for using their free service is a backlink which you will also find below:

ButtonGenerator.com

Free Pixel Advertisement for your blog

Monday, March 12, 2007

Easy Social Bookmarking for your Blog

Social Bookmarking Icons

Found this site that offer an easy way for you to add those social bookmarking icons for a blog or a website. There are now so many social bookmarking sites, and adding as many icons as possible can make your blog or website look cluttered. For example, I found this in the sidebar of a blog:

Social bookmarking icon clutter

Now with AddThis, you can get just a single icon to put on your blog or website, and a visitor clicking on the single icon will get to a page where he can choose whatever social bookmarking service or services he is subscribing to.

I have added AddThis icon for both the blog as well as the individual posts of this blog: Dummies Guide to Google Blogger. You can pop over to that site and test them out.

I will just paste the note that I added as I tried to add those icon to the above blog (note: you can do it without having to register for an account, but I think registering for an account is useful because then you have access to statistics like how many people have bookmarked the blog, etc.)

http://www.addthis.com/
Choose Bookmark or RSS Feed
http://www.addthis.com/account.php
email: xxxx@gmail.com
username: manature
password: yyyy
Message: An account with this username already exist
ignore
signin
Click "Get the code for your button
Which kind of button? Bookmark button/feed button
Chosed Bookmark button
Click radio button to choose the button (chosed the largest one, more visible)
Where? Drop-down menu: "on a Blog"
Blogging Platform: Drop-down menu: chose "Blogger"
Want stats with that? tick "Yes"
Click "Get Your Free Button"
Code for Blog Button:

Note: The codes here are for illustration purposes only. You should get the codes direct from your own account in AddThis as otherwise, you will not be able to see the statistics as it will enter my account instead.

<!-- AddThis Bookmark Button BEGIN -->
<a href="http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php" onclick="window.open('http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?pub=manature&url='+encodeURIComponent(location.href)+'&title='+encodeURIComponent(document.title), 'addthis', 'scrollbars=yes,menubar=no,width=620,height=520,resizable=yes,toolbar=no,location=no,status=no,screenX=200,screenY=100,left=200,top=100'); return false;" title="Bookmark using any bookmark manager!" target="_blank"><img src="http://s3.addthis.com/button2-bm.png" width="160" height="24" border="0" alt="AddThis Social Bookmark Button" /></a>
<!-- AddThis Bookmark Button END -->


To add to top of left sidebar of Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
Click "Add a Page Element" for the left sidebar in the Layout
Selected HTML/Javascript
Pasted in the script
Save
Done

Social Booking icon for the posts

This will involve tampering to your template, so a good thing to do is to backup your template first. If you are new to editing and backing up templates, refer to this post How to backup and edit your New Blogger template. To add the AddThis icon to the bottom of every posts, get into your template editor, tick the "Expand widget template", then look for this line of code:

<div class='post-footer'>

paste directly below the above line of cod this block of codes

<!-- AddThis Bookmark Post Button BEGIN -->
<div><a expr:href='"http://www.addthis.com/bookmark.php?pub=enviroman&url=" + data:post.url + "&title=" + data:post.title' target='_blank' title='Bookmark using any bookmark manager!'><img src='http://s3.addthis.com/button1-bm.gif' width='125' height='16' style='border: 0px; padding: 0px' alt='AddThis Social Bookmark Button' /></a></div>
<!-- AddThis Bookmark Post Button END -->


Preview, and if satisfied, save the template.

Update 14 March 2007: I find it so useful, I think I will add them to this blog as well.

Update 21 March 2007: I got a comment which seem to indicate that the blogger didn't understand how AddThis easy social bookmarking works, so I thought I will do an update to explain further. When you install the AddThis easy social bookmark icon AddThis easy social bookmark icon, the icon include many social bookmarking services. When clicked on, it will open up a pop-up (see screenshot below, click to enlarge):

AddThis easy social bookmarking expanded pop-up

from which you can select a whole range of social bookmarking services. Try clicking on the icon just below this post or the icon at the top or the left sidebar and see what happen.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

How to put an image or logo on the side of the blog Header

Perhaps the easiest way to describe how to add an image or logo on the side of the blog Header is to describe step-by-step how I got to display the photo of a baby at the side of the Header of this blog: Baby Center - everything about baby care.

original photoI have to start with an image, and this was the photo I started with. Then I have to create an image with background color the same color as the background color of the header, which is white. I opened Irfanview (click "BACK" button to get back to this page) and in the menu bar at the top, click Image > Create New (empty) Image, and a pop-up window will appear:

Irfanview: create new (empty) image

In the Dashboard, for that blog, I clicked Layout, then the TEMPLATE tab, then the EDIT HTML sub-tab to open the template editor window. I searched for this block of codes:

#header-wrapper {
width:750px;
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;
}

That tells me the Header is 750 pixels wide, so I set the width of the New (empty Image to be 745px and the height to a suitable figure. I clicked on the "Background Color" button and selected white as the background color of the empty image I am going to create. When I am done, I clicked OK and I will be presented with an empty image (without that box with black border). Using the mouse, I "click, dragged and dropped a box where I want the photo to be pasted in and below is the screenshot of what I ended up with.

Irfanview: New empty Image

Having done that, I copied the above photo of a baby into clipboard, went back to Irfanview and pasted the content of the clipboard into the selection (box with black border) by clicking on EDIT > PASTE in the menu bar. The baby photo will then be pasted into the box (selection). The resulting image is shown below:

Irfanview: Image with photo pasted into selection

Actually, if not for the border added by Blogger around the originally empty white image with the baby photo pasted into the selection, you will just see the photo of the baby at the left. The border you see is not part of the image. Anyway, I would like to show just the baby without the gray background, so I saved the image with a suitable name, opened the image with Paint that comes with Windows, then use the eraser Windows Paint eraser icon icon and erased the gray background of the photo of the baby. I saved the image, then uploaded it into the file section of a Google group Photo Store file section I created just for uploading files and photos, click on the file to open the image on the web, copied the URL from the address bar (alternatively, you can right-click on the photo file, then select "Copy Link Location to get the URL of the photo) to use to put the image as a background as described in this post Adding an image as a background to your blog header

Note that by doing it this way (adding the image as a background), I do not have to delete the text Title of the blog, which I am of the opinion is important to preserve as the Title figures prominently in determining what your blog is all about. I don't think incorporating a graphic Title into the graphic image, then getting rid of the text Title is a good idea from the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) point of view.

5 July 2007: When I set up the Google group Photo Store, it was set up as a private group without me knowing. I tested this method and could view the baby photo (logo) at the left side of the Header without problem. That was because I was signed into the Google account which was used to set up the Google group. What I didn't realise was others who are not members of the Google group would not be able to see the baby photo (logo). Many must have read this post and viewed that blog Baby Center - everything about baby care, but no one bothered to comment to alert me. It was only today when I was using another browser in which I was not signed into that Google account and checked that blog. I was shocked to see that the baby photo (logo) wasn't visible! I now took time to upload the photo into Photo for Baby Center blog and used the URL of the uploaded photo to replace the one in the Google group. The baby photo (logo) should now be visible to everyone. My only regret is those who spotted the problem did not bother to alert me.

How to prevent a website from being found by search engines

How to prevent a website from being found by search engine? This is an unusual request, as the great majority of site owners will like their website to be found by search engine. However, there was a request to do that from my blog reader at Cannot see the toolbar in the post editor window. What to do

Well, if you want to do that, the way to do it is to place a meta tag
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow" />
anywhere between the <head> and </head> tags in the template.

You will need to get to the template editor of course, and to do that, sign into Dashboard, and in the section for the blog concerned, click Layout (New Blogger template), click the TEMPLATE tab, then the EDIT HTML sub-tab, and you will be presented with the template editor window

For ease of explanation, just place the meta tag immediately after the <head> tag so that what you will see in the template will look like this

<head>
<meta name="robots" content="noindex,nofollow" />
.......
.......
.......
</head>

For added measure, you may want any content removed from the Google search engine. You can make the request here: How can I remove content from Google's index? if you have access to the server (which blogspot users do not have) or you can try Remove your URL

Friday, March 09, 2007

Cannot see toolbar in post editor. What to do?

There are frequent complaints of bloggers using the Blogger platform for their blogs not being able to see the toolbar (containing the tool icons for making text bold or italic, for making a hyperlink, for spell checking, and for uploading photos) and/or cannot see the EDIT HTML/COMPOSE tabs in the post editor.

This too has happened to me before, and what I do is to use a different browser (see What to do when you can't publish post, upload photos, log-in, etc. and Why you should be using more than one browser (click "BACK" button to get back to this page).

Other things you can try is to refresh the page, clear cache and cookies or press Ctrl + F5 keys.

Not satisfied with a blogspot address and slow support from Blogger? Register your own domain name and host it with a third party web hosting Company

Are you the type who are not satisfied with a sub-domain like yourblog.blogspot.com and will like to have your own domain like yourblog.com. Some people feel that having your own domain is like having a proper address for a business rather than having your home adddress for the business. Having your own domain, like having a proper business address, command more respect. Further, you and not Blogger owns the domain name, which is not so with a blogspot.com address.

If you have your own domain you can use custom domain and have the blog hosted with Blogger. However, some are still not satisfied with that, as they have no control over the hosting, and Blogger support is far from satisfactory. There have also been many blogs falsely marked as a spam blog and blogger are prevented from publishing post on their blog.

If you have your own domain, and your are not satisfied with the slow and almost non-existent support from Blogger, you can host it with a third party web hosting service like fusepoint, a Canadian privately held company founded in 1999 with offices and data centres in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Quebec City. With fusepoint, you can concentrate on blogging while fusepoint concentrate on managing your application infrastructre and have access to technical expertise from a team that has acquired over 80 key industry certifications.

fusepoint is frequently quoted in Canadian business and technology media including "Security Firms Boom – The Toronto Star (January 2007)". fusepoint is also SAS70 and CICA5900 compliant, which means processes are rigorously audited by an accredited third party each year and consistently operate at the highest levels within the industry.

You can take an online tour of what fusepoint has to offer at Fusepoint Data Center Tour. You can also take an online risk assesment test at Fusepoint Risk Assessment Test

However, at the moment, if you host your blog with a third party web hosting company, and uses FTP to publish your posts, you can only use the old classic Blogger template, and not the New Blogger (formerly beta) template. This, hopefully, will change in the future.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

How to get screenshots of you blog in various browsers

As a blogger, you will like your blog to look good, if possible, in all browsers and at all screen resolutions, etc. You can check how your blog will appear in various browsers and at various settings from Browsershots. At this site, you can get screenshots of your blog in various browsers at various screen resolutions, select whether to enable Javascript, Macromedia Flash, etc. or not. What you have to do is to type in your blog URL (make sure to include a backslash / at the end of the URL) and click "Start". The first time I tried to get screenshots of my blog Blogger Tips and Tricks, nothing happen. In such cases, I probably have to wait. But I found out by doing a refresh, I could get the screenshots. The second time I tried it (on another day), the screenshots appeared almost immediately.

You can see the screenshots of my blog Blogger Tips and Tricks at Browsershots of Blogger Tips and Tricks.

Acknowledgement: Got to know of this interesting site from Vin (Panther) of Beta Blogger for Dummies

How to change the color of the blog background, text in the content, etc.

Someone asked in a comment how to change the color of fonts, etc. With the New Blogger, this is really very easy. Just get into the Dashboard of the blog, click, "Template" tab, then the "Fonts and Colors" sub-tab and you will get this page (see screenshot):

New Blogger: changing fonts and colors

First, choose what your want to change in the left side of the page, then preferably select a color from the blocks of color to the left. You should preferably select colors that matches your blog or colors from your blog. Be careful if you are choosing color for the font, not to choose a color that matches the background, or choosing a corlor for the background not to choose a color that matches the font. That will make the text invisible, making your blog unreadable. Worst, it can get your blog black listed by the search engine as that is considered black hat SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If those colors mentioned doesn't satisfy you, that are other color further to the right. You can also input the exact HTML code for the color you want. For this task, getting the very useful ColorPic will be very helpful.

If you are trying to get the HTML color code for the link on your site, it is best to make a screenshot (press "Printscreen" key, then paste it into the Paint program available in Windows in the Accessories, or use my favourite - the free Irfanview). You have to use an image of your page because most links change in color the moment you place your mouse over it, but with a screenshot, that doesn't happen.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Freelancing and Outsourcing

Do you have some useful skills in Web design, Web applications, Database Web applications, Desktop software and applications, Animation and graphics, Audio and video, E-commerce related skills, Handhelds and PDAs, Mobile applications, Online marketing and Search Engine Optimization, Support and administration, Accounting and Finance, Data Entry, etc., and you have some spare time. If so, you should consider registering as a Service Provider at SupportUniverseTM and bid for projects related to your skills. There is an activation fee of USD11.95, but for the moment, if you provide a link to their site from yours, the activation fee can be waived. You can register here at Freelance Programmers Marketplace. You will get a request for a USD11.95 activation fee, but you can ignore it and reply with a link to the site where you have linked to them.

At the moment, there are Audit Program Management project and Customer Relationship Management system projects for you to bid for. I expect there will be more projects as more project managers get to know about SupportUniverseTM. Once you successfully bid for a project, the Project Owner will pay the agreed amount to SupportUniverseTM in escrow, and you will start working on the project and will have to complete the project within the specified time frame. When the project is completed, the Project Owner will examine to see if the work done is to specifications, and if satisfied, the amount will be paid to you less 7% or USD5 whichever is higher. If the Project Owner is not satisfied, SupportUniverseTM will act as a mediator to determine if the project is done to specification, and will decide pay you or refund the amount to the Project Owner.

If you have work to be outsourced, you can also register as a Project Owner at Freelance Programmers Marketplace. There is absolutely no fee payable for Project Owners.

New Blogger Custom Domain

The New Blogger has recently rolled out its latest feature - custom domain. With custom domain, you can have your own domain name like myblog.com and have your blog hosted with Blogger for free. You may also choose to host your blog with a third party web host or even on your own, but you will have to grapple with various issues like the hassle of publishing your posts via FTP (File Transfer Protocol). A big disadvantage of hosting on your own is that many of the new features of the New Blogger like drag-and-drop Layout, Label List, etc., will not be available to you as you will have to use the old classic Blogger template.

Others who don't use custom domain will have to live with sub-domain like myblog.blogspot.com. Some don't like it because they say the sub-domain does not belong to them, but to Blogger. In addition, some are of the opinion that sub-domain are command less respect from surfers, rather like using a home as an office.

If you want to use custom domain, the first thing you need is to register a suitable domain name. The problem is, the Internet has been with us for quite some time already, and many of the more desirable domain names have probably been already taken. This is where services like www.buydomains.com can come in handy. www.buydomains.com have many domain desirable domain names that you may want to use for your blog. There is a search box into which you can type in keyword/s and search for your desired domain name. They also have Advanced Search to help you narrow down the search.

If you have a domain name which you think may be saleable, you can also put up the domain for sale through www.buydomains.com. You may also start a blog with custom domain (which means that the domain belongs to you, and not to blogger, and you may do whatever you want with it). You take care to choose a desirable domain name with good keywords in the URL, publish posts regularly, get the blog indexed by search engine, and get a high PageRank which will make your domain name more valuable.

You may even join the Google AdSense Program and put contextual ads, search boxes and referral links on your blog and work on it to produce revenue. There may be people who are looking for AdSense ready blogs to buy as then they can start earning straight away rather than starting from scratch.

Friday, March 02, 2007

What to do when you cannot see the graphic text for word verification

In your blogging life, you will come across many situations where you have to complete word verification (typing in the text you see in a graphic) to publish, comment, etc. There will be some frustrating time when the graphic text is not visible. I have come across this situations a couple of times before, and just leaving the text field empty, and clicking publish, review, publish or submit will cause the page to refresh and the graphic text to appear. Today, I tried to comment on a blog. I tried that trick numerous times, and the graphic text just refused to appear.

This time, I cleared the cache and cookies (I usually am a bit reluctant to do this as in many things, I have to start from fresh again), and sure enough, the graphic text appeared. The only problem was I had to sign in again to publish the comment.

Unfortunately, I can't remember if I used my usual strategy of changing browser. If changing browser can help, I would have preferred to change browser as then I don't have to go through the hassle of clearing cache and cookies, and having to sign in again, etc.

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