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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Photos - with Captions added via Paint

PHOTOS - WITH CAPTIONS ADDED - via MS PAINT


I've posted about this subject, and may well do it again, because it is constantly coming up on Google/Blogger Help Group, in one guise, or another.

Adding captions, or labels to your images is really simple. It just takes time and inventiveness. Yes, there's more than one program to assist you, but I've found the easiest to use is MS Paint, or just plain Paint. It's located in the Accessories folder in your Windows Program files - FREE!







Try it! It's easy.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Meta Tags - why?

META TAGS - WHY?


What are Meta Tags, and why do I need them? The answers are similar, or at least, concern the same area - namely that of providing information to Search Engines/Crawlers, or Spiders, which are Searching your Site.

Meta Tags provide information to various Clients and, as such, vary in construction/design. They also have different uses, for use with websites, such as Verification of Site Ownership, Content, Redirection, or Description. Client Search Engines will only look for the Meta Tag information that they understand, or want, and ignore the rest. Basically, for Blogger, because a blog does not allow file, or folder control, Google requires only a Template Certificate, or Verification of Ownership tag, and that looks something like this:

<META NAME="verify-v1" CONTENT="+nxGUDJ4QpAZ5l9Bsjdi10l23908vVuFHs34="/>

This meta tag is obtained through clicking on Verify from the Webmaster Tools home page. Firstly, though, you have to Add a Site, then you can verify it.

Once you have your Meta Tag, you add it to the <head> section of your template, and would look something like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">
<html>
<head>
<META NAME="verify-v1" CONTENT="+nxGUDJ4QpAZ5l9Bsjdi10l23908vVuFHs34="/>

etc etc
< SAVE CHANGES >


If you expect your Site to be Indexed by the Search Engines, you best understand a little about Meta Tags and/or Sitemaps. These processes are vital in getting people to, or information from, your site.

* Remember: If you make any changes to your Blog, for example, making it 'Private', you'll lose the usefulness of the Meta Tag and any other associated benefits, such as Page Rank. You'll have to make the blog 'Public' and add another tag/verification.


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Playing with your Google

PLAYING WITH YOUR GOOGLE


Many times, when I was more active on Help Group, I'd come across question threads, seeking advice on a number of subjects which, to put it bluntly, would be easily satisfied with a little thought. If your question is about Google, or its products, look it up - Google it!

For instance, how many times there were questions about Page Rank, or Meta Tags, or Sitemaps, or whatever, I can't remember.

The information about these areas and many more, is just a quick-click away. Try Google Basics!

Google has a site helper, simply called Webmaster Tools.

The first thing to do is create your Webmaster account. See the Webmaster Tools Checklist.

Once you've signed in to the Webmaster site, with your Google account details, go to the Webmaster/Site owners' Help section. There are four avenues to be explored here. They are all easily explained and the information is pertinent to your query:

  • Webmaster Essentials
  • Using Webmaster Tools
  • My Site and Google
  • Sitemaps


There's even a Google Webmaster Help Forum! Go for it! Play with 'your' Google.

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Email Fetching

EMAIL FETCHING


A security suggestion for email users has always been to 'pull' or 'fetch' mail from one email account to another.

For instance, if you have a preferred personal email account, perhaps with Google Gmail, and like NOT to advertise it publicly, or on the web, or through emailing other people, you may set up another email account for this purpose, and 'pull', fetch or 're-direct' mail from that account, or service, to your personal email account - all without divulging its address to anyone else. Therefore, protecting your personal email account address.

If you are the owner of a Domain, as in my case, a GoDaddy domain www.robertosblogs.net, you can create up to 200 email addresses. But, unless you 'fetch' mail from that Service to another service, you have to visit it to retrieve mail, or send mail from it. So, it can be time-consuming.

For my purposes, and those of this post, I created a couple of addresses on my Domain. I then re-directed mail from them to my private email address on Gmail. Why?

Firstly, for convenience - I don't have to log-on to my Domain Service to retrieve, or send, mail. Secondly, I protect my personal email address and advertise only the Domain addresses.

Here's how to do it...

1. Presuming that you have set up your Domain, or other-service email account, go to Settings, on that Email account. You have to enable POP (Post Office Protocol), and you'll find that under the heading; Forwarding and POP/IMAP. Once POP is enabled, mail can be pulled from that account to another (your Personal account) which also has POP enabled. Some services do not use this protocol (alias), or may not advertise the fact that they do. Check with them.

2. Go to your Personal Email account and click on Settings. You now have to Set up the Mail Fetcher. Click on the Accounts ...
  • In the Get mail from other accounts section, click Add another mail account.
  • Enter the full email address of the account you'd like to access, then click Next Step.
  • Google Mail will populate sample settings but we recommend checking with your other provider to learn the correct server name and port - see below. Enter your Password.
  • Decide whether to: Leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server. Always use a secure connection (SSL) when retrieving mail
  • Label incoming messages
  • Archive incoming messages
  • Click Add Account.
  • Once your account has been added successfully, you'll have the option of setting it as a custom 'From' address.


This allows you to compose messages in Google Mail, but have them appear to be sent from your other email account. Click Yes to set up a custom From address.
* - Correct Server Name and Port - In the case of my domain email account, this is mail@robertosblogs.net/ and it uses Port 110 . As Gmail uses pop.gmail.com and Port 995, you have to match them up.




Once you have done this, you will see the 'other', or 'Fetched' address, displayed on your Personal Email 'Accounts' page, in the "Send mail as :" section. You can then, providing you set it up this way, send and receive mail for your 'other' account from your Personal Email account - without advertising your Personal Email address!

* What is IMAP and how is it different to POP ?

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