Dear blogs readers of this blog and the following blogs:
Blogger for Dummies
Tips and Tricks for Blogger or "Son of Blogger Tips and Tricks"
(slotted for conversion to custom domain taking long time because I want to make sure both URLs, one with www and one without www, goes to same website. Now you don't need to worry. All you need to do is to register for a domain direct from your Google Blogger post editor via Google Apps and that is automatically done for you. I did it for another blog)
Dummies Guide to Google Blogger
(intended "online book" which took long time to get off because I did not have the structure for it)
Testing Blogger Beta (now New Blogger).
Some of you may have left comments or contacted me via email, but have not been getting prompt response. I apologize profusely. I cannot help it. There were various things which kept me very busy.
One of them was my country's recent extraordinary General Election in which the corrupt, unfair and deaf government which ruled our county for decades through divide and rule racial politics, very unfair electoral system with what many considered a biased Election Commission, gerrymandering, unethical election tactics, very tight control over the mainstream mass media, etc. We had to chip in to help bring changes to our country and bloggers, the Internet, NGOs (non-Government Organizations), many citizens' initiative and online independent newspapers played a crucial role. They lost control of many states and only managed to cling on to Federal power by a wafer thin majority of votes. Many think they would have lost that as well if not for stuff like postal votes. My two blogs contributed a tiny part:
Blog for Positive Changes in Malaysia
Digital Candlelight Vigil
(reluctant "protest" blogger)
I also had to help a bit (not as much as I should) in preparation for the election, campaigning and also acted as polling and counting agents on election day itself.
Another reason was I got an unsolicited email from the publisher of "for Dummies" books and was asked if I might be interested in authoring such a book. Of course I was, but I explained my situation and requested for extension of dateline for submission of proposal which was kindly granted. I was advised to purchase some "for Dummies" books to get familiarized with their format. I invested in a Blogging for Dummies book by Brad Hill (that obsolete book was still on sale in book shops and Amazon at time of publishing). I found some inaccuracies and obsolescence and emailed them. I was told I bought an older version and there was a new version, Blogging for Dummies by Susannah Gardner and Shane Birley
I have also other tasks to do, including updating my blogs, responding to comments and emails, etc.
I sacrificed precious time to draft out a proposed Table of Content and just to make sure the format was in the format they wanted, I sent to them as an interim proposed Table of Content hoping for feedback so when I send them the final proposed Table of Content, it would be in the format they wanted. They also asked for statistics for traffic to my blogs which I sent to them in a separate email. Now even before the extended dateline, I was told that they had already selected an author. I requested for reasons, not PR (public relations) and was told my proposed Table of Content was good and in the format they wanted. However, I was rejected because of my correspondence style (too many emails).
Now I have already told them that while I have published research papers, I have never authored a book nor have had contact with any book publishers before. So after investing money in their "for Dummies" books, putting in hard work, sacrificing precious time which I could ill afford, I though they should at least have the decency to wait till the extended dateline plus let me know that they do not want too many emails so I have a chance to correct myself. It was not based on my proposal nor my knowledge or abilities which they said were impressive. Plus if I had bought an obsolete "for Dummies" book, I should have been offered a replacement, but no, none was offered. I obviously felt cheated and unfairly treated.
Anyway, I have long have the opinion that printed books for topics which are frequently changing like Google Blogger, especially after they have upgraded to a much improved blogging platform, are headed in the direction of the dinosaurs and an online book may be a better option as they are easily updated and new chapters added as new features became available. I am thus planning to publish an online version of Blogger for Dummies using the Table of content as the framework. However, just to make sure that is not infringing their "for Dummies" trademark, I have contacted them and am awaiting their response. If I have a chance, I would also like to get some opinion or opinions of intellectual properties professionals.
Whether this online version of Blogger for Dummies gets off the starting block will depend on the above plus also availability of time as I don't expect to get much returns on this effort plus will have to put in much efforts and time to make it a good, easy to follow and understand online book. Anyway, let us see what the future holds