Saturday, January 29, 2011
A very neat 'tweak' of the Followers' gadget, on The Real Blogger Status blog, shows what can be done with some thought, and Static Pages.
Chuck, the owner of the RBS blog, has presented his'Enhanced Followers as a static post, via the Edit Pages editor, and has written about his method, in Tweaking The Followers Gadget. As I often am, I was prompted to follow it up, if you'll excuse the pun, and write a post, in my style, about the same thing - because I like lotsa pictures!
Utilising the Google Friend Connect site, is a sure way to get your code - apart from just adding the Gadget from your Design Screen 'Add a Gadget'. It also gives you the opportunity to design the gadget in colours, and size, that you prefer. You must remember, that the code you get, can only be applied to that particular blog! New blog - new code.
Another way to add it to your blog, is like Chuck did - to copy it from the page source, using your Browser - by viewing page source. Chuck's post explains how he set up his static page display. As he says, it may need good bandwidth and a little time, to view it. Something to keep in mind. Having both a gadget in the sidebar, and his 'enhanced Follower' displayed, as Chuck does, gives his readers the choice, as well.
When you visit Google Friend Connect site, if you already have Follower gadget on your blogs, you'll find that Blogger has already added your sites.
If you click on 'Settings' you may see:
"This community was created by an third-party service, such as Blogger. You should not change these settings unless you are no longer using that service to manage your community." I have no problem with Blogger managing my community. It's OK, with me.
The next step is to design your gadget - colour, and size ...
Then, last but not least, get your code ...
You then add this code to a Static Page via Edit Pages...
Add a 'Pages' gadget to your sidebar, to display links to your Static Pages.
Not regarding myself as a 'techie', by any stretch of the imagination, I classify anything like transmission units, as requiring help from the 'powers of the blogosphere', and I rate my mate, Chuck, as one, and he's approachable.
When problems occur, you get frustrated, perhaps, or even flustered. One thing you must remember, or three things, really, is to remain calm. If I have a problem which drives me nuts, like, for instance, sites not loading, or blank screens, or possibly sites timing-out, or 404s, I think about it, I discuss the symptoms, possibly with Chuck, try and find a reason, and then, generally, I refer to, what I call, 'Chuck's techie bible' - PChuck's Network, for my answers. It covers a huge range of technical and testing information, not just about general blogging, like The Real Blogger Status blog. I may not always be given an answer, but, 99% of the time, I find out how to help myself !1
Such was the case with MTU. I wrote a small post on MTU some time ago, when I had a previous problem with packet size, and briefly touched on testing for packet loss.
The above mentioned article by Chuck, attends to the matter of testing in far more depth. Packet size can be tricky, and time consuming, to pinpoint accurately, but Chuck runs you through it clearly.
Once you have determined the data bytes size, as Chuck 1 suggests: "...The maximum that anybody can use is 1500, which includes a 28 byte header. You specify the amount of data, not including the header, in the ping command. Start with a data size of 1472...", then it's time for DrTCP. Scary, eh? Well, it is, and it isn't - as long as you add your information in the correct 'box' and don't go touching things you don't need to, it's a gentle lamb.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Removing an 'Admin' Member of a blog, is very easy, yet it can only be done by another 'Admin' - hopefully, the blog Owner. I have written about protecting yourself as an administrator of a blog, before. However, we still see bloggers in the Help Forum, asking :
"How do I regain my 'Admin' status on my blog. I was removed - by accident." (of course)
When you look at the Settings - Permissions screen, of a blog with more than one 'Admin', you see that there are two 'Remove' options. That means, in the following case, that Bob can 'remove' Roberto, and vice versa. I need to trust Bob implicitly, or he could snatch my blog away from me, etc.
OK. Let's pretend that Bob doesn't want Roberto as an Admin anymore. He clicks on 'Remove' and begins the process...
This next image shows the next (and final) step to remove an Administrator. Bob clicks on the orange button - "Remove Blog Member", and Roberto is gone ...
Bye, Bye, Roberto.
You'll also notice in the above image, that there is no longer any 'Remove' option.
The 'last' administrator of a blog can NOT be removed. Bear this in mind.
It's the same for regular Team Membership, too. The Administrator can 'remove' any other Team Member, but not him/herself.
The Administrator Vs. Author status is something you should be very protective of. Inviting co-administration of a blog is a dangerous step. If you do take it, remember how easy it is to lose your blog.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Sometimes, a blogger will want to make a link for his/her readers to be able to email him/her. Making a Link is relatively easy, and the Email Link is no exception - just different.
With a normal Link, to another blog, or site somewhere in the Blogosphere, the HTML looks like this:
The Email Link is only slightly different. It looks like this, where 'mailto:' replaces the http:// (the protocol) and your email address replaces the URL. You, of course, can change the text to suit. 'Email me!' is variable.
<a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">Email me!</a>
The Link will open a Microsoft Office Outlook session, with your Email Address in the 'To' section, for your reader to email you.
Naturally, you would set-up an Email especially for this type of exposure. Why not? They're FREE!
BTW - Happy Australia Day to all Aussie ex-pats!
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Back in August, 2008, 'Follower' was a relatively new idea, a new concept, perhaps, and certainly, a new gadget to play with. It hasn't changed greatly, in as much as, 'How To Start', since then, as it is still as simple as finding a worthy/interesting blog, clicking on the right button, selecting the profile you wish to use, and clicking 'Done'.
I know of at least three (3) ways to start Following a blog (I'm sure someone will tell me of another, or that I'm wrong). Any reader who follows this blog, the Report, will know that my aim is to make things as simple as possible, so that even I can understand them. Some bloggers aren't as 'techie' as others, and I am one of them. Although Following is a mammoth social interface, it is a simple process to use. Let's have a good look ...
"There are several ways to become a follower of a blog. One of the easiest ways is to visit a blog that has added the Following widget and click on the "Follow" button under the Followers widget".1
When you click that Follow button, this next screen will appear ...
Select the Account for the profile 2 you'd like to use (in this case it's Google), sign-in, and you're done.
Once you are a Member, sign in to Follower itself, or go to your Reading List and click Manage, then check all your details on the Site Settings screens
You can also Follow another Member's blog by clicking on the Member's photo avatar, searching his/her Links, selecting one, and navigating to that blog. For example, 'JT' 3 is a Follower of the Report blog, and has a blog about Bee Hives, (but not the kind you would think). I Followed JT's blog. Once at his blog, the process was similar to the above ...
(I like the little Congratulations pop-up)
In October, or thereabouts, last year, Blogger gave the Navbar a Follow button. 'Great!', said some bloggers. Well, maybe it is, in it's own way, but the function of that Navbar Follow is different 2 to the Follower gadget.
If you want to Follow via the Navbar, you must be logged into Blogger. When you click on the Navbar Follow button, this screen will appear ...
Choose to Follow Publicly, or Privately, and then click the orange Follow button. The next screen will show the Follower gadget displaying a shadow avatar, which is temporary. This shadow avatar will disappear when you sign-in for the first time - confirming your account... see: The Real Blogger Status 2 (this really is a good read, if you want to understand about this aspect of Following).
Once you 'sign-in' to Follower for the first time, the image from your Blogger profile will display, and you'll also have full use of the Site Settings. (Of course, anonymous Followers won't have an image icon!)
... and thanks to Sue, for drawing my attention to the 'Add' function on the reading List (which I thought would be seen in my link to the previous post from 2008), so, just for her, I'll add way No.4.
The 'Add' function on the Reading List, at the bottom of your Dashboard, is also a way Following. It's a simple option of adding a URL in the space provided, click 'Next', selecting Publicly, or Privately, and it's all done.
Finally, what's the difference between a Follower and a Friend? Find out HERE.
1. Blogger Help - What is Following?
2. The Real Blogger Status blog
3. Visit the Beehives blog
Monday, January 24, 2011
Changing your Follower profile is a very easy task. You can do it:
- from your Dashboard Reading List Manage (Blogs I'm Following) button, or, alternatively,
- from any blog you are Following, or any Follower gadget, by signing-in to Follower, and proceeding to click Options/Site Settings.
One problem with having different profiles following different blogs, is having to remember which is which - which profile you used for which blog. If you are Following 10 blogs, and want to change your profile for all of them, you have to do each one - separately! I don't know of a central control point where one change fits all - yet.
There are benefits to having just one profile - say, your Google/Blogger profile, listed. By doing this, you don't have to specifically 'add' links to your blogs.
Anyway, say you want to change your Follower profile on one blog, from, say, Blogger, to another profile. Here's how ...
Click on the blue 'Manage' button on your Dashboard Reading List...
The next image is of the Site Settings - Basics screen. Just under the image, is a line that says: "Currently using your ******* profile. Change?" - Click it!
The next image will appear asking you to select which profile you wish to use.
That's how easy it is. You can change from a 'Fantom Follower' Profile to a Blogger, or Google profile, too. Just as easy.
Click on the icon, then 'sign-in' ...
Click on 'Settings' ...
The 'Settings' screen allows you to change your profile ...
Done. One thing to remember, though - change your email address, if needed!
Sunday, January 23, 2011
When you wish to make changes to your Follower settings, from a blog you are Following, you need to be signed-in! If not, you make changes from the Manage (Blogs I'm Following) button, on your Dashboard Reading List (see last image).
Once you are signed-in, your account icon/avatar/or photo will appear above the Follower gadget. Next to the avatar, an Options choice will appear. All you wish to do can be achieved through this feature.
When you click on Site Settings, the next screen, Basics, appears, by default ... see: Google Friend Connect 1
From the Basics screen, the next Option is the Messaging screen ...
The Messaging screen allows you to change your Email address to receive updates. Your preferences do change, from time to time.
Then, the Sites I've Joined screen ...
"This tab shows a list of all the Friend Connect sites you're a member of across the web. Next to each, you'll see an unjoin link and, if you're an administrator of the site, a manage link".1
Finally, the Manage Friends screen ...
"This tab lets you view (and remove) friends you've made using Google Friend Connect. To remove a friend (on all Friend Connect sites), click Remove as friend next to the person's picture and email address, then click Yes to confirm.
This list won't include friends you have linked in from other social networks. To manage these friend relationships, you must sign in to that specific social network".1
When you have completed your adjustments, or whatever, sign out of Follower by ...
Alternatively, if you are viewing your Blogger Dashboard and wish to make adjustments, you navigate to the bottom of the Dashboard, to your 'Reading List'. There, you can click on 'Manage', then 'Settings', to do what you wish ...
1. Google Friend Connect - Customising Your Settings
When I Follow a blog, I use an Account Profile, which is generally based on an email account. You may use Google Gmail, or Yahoo, or a Blogger Account ID, or even Google's Orkut. Each account will have an email listed to receive copies of all updated posts from the blog.
Nowadays, you really don't even have to be logged in to Follow a blog. If you click 'Follow' from the Navbar, you may never log-in! see: The Real Blogger Status.
The exceptions to this arise from subscriptions to Follower which get copies of updates sent to a news aggregator. Follow automatically sends a copy to Google Reader, which is also linked to your Dashboard, and the Reading List.
So, how would I change the Email Address which is registered, without changing the account profile I use to Follow the blog?
(Need I say it?) You, firstly, have to sign-in to Follower/Friend Connect. Then, click on Options, Site Settings, Messaging. The next image will appear, on which your email address - and the option to change it, will appear.
Click on 'Change email address'
When this screen pop-up appears, it will have your registered email address on it. Simply change it to the one you want, and click 'Submit'.
Naturally, verification of ownership of email, is required...
When verification is received, you'll see this message. BTW, all your subscriptions will be listed as well, as they will be updated with the new email address.
Blogger has always offered the ability to maintain some degree of anonymity, whether it be with blogging (Settings - Permissions), Profile Options, or in this case, Following 1.
Bloggers who wish to be 'seen' as Followers of a blog, or use the options of Friend Connect, to introduce the blog to their friends, can choose to Follow a blog Publicly. There's no problem in doing that, and you can even put your photo on your membership profile. That is good. I like to know who my Followers are, what they look like, and, if they are bloggers, too! I believe most people would be the same, however, some people, for personal reasons, will wish to maintain their anonymity. They will choose to Follow a blog Privately - that is, no profile info, no photo, no trace of them in the Follower gadget. No worries. I do, on some blogs.
"An anonymous Follower is simply anonymous, and appears nowhere." 2
Q. - So, how do you tell if you have anonymous Followers? 2
A. - You can't! That's the way it is.
For the sake of this post, I started Following one of my own blogs. The next image shows my avatar - because I am signed-in on that blog - using my own profile sign-on ID. The presence of your avatar simply means that you're signed-in. It has no bearing whether it is your blog, or someone else's. The public do not see it!
How do you choose to be Public or Private? The choice is always there for you - you can choose at anytime, or change at any time. This option only appears if you are signed-on to Follower... You need to click on Options, - then Site Settings. Then, you'll see: "You are following publicly, (or anonymously)". Click it.
The following image, shows a pop-up option for changing from Public to Private.
You also have the option to select Public or Private when initially joining Follower...on the 'Fewer Options' screen.
You can't 'Block' anonymous Followers 2, either.
So, will it be Public, or Private? It's your choice!
1. Blogger Help
2 - The Real Blogger Status
How often do we see bloggers reporting this:
"When I look at my info on blogs I'm following there is no link to my blogs. How do I get a link to my blogs to show?"
As you would be aware, you can become a Follower of a blog, using one of many Profiles - Google, Blogger, OpenID, Yahoo, Netlog, Plaxo, or Twitter.
Follower can be so confusing, I understand why so many Bloggers have queries. There are so many ways to do things, so many combinations of screens, options, profiles, and ways to join. You can join by using the Navbar Option, the Follower Gadget option, and by adding a blog URL from the 'Add' Option in your Reading List.
However, to try and keep things simple, so that I, at least, can understand it, there are two main things to remember:
- If you want 'Links' to your blogs, to appear in your Follower 'Info' - use a profile which has blogs attached to it. That is, your Google, linked to, your Blogger profile. Or, if not...
- Use a profile of choice, but attach 'Links', by 'adding' them. Once you are signed-in to Follower, click on Options, then Site Settings, and choose Basic Information:
The good thing about Google is that they can 'in-Link' your Google profile and your Blogger account (to each other) for this purpose... also your GTalk
Either way, to get the best out of your membership options, and to fully realise the complexity of Follower/Friend Connect, you should be 'signed-in' to Follower/Friend Connect. Yes, Blogger and Friend Connect may require a separate Log-in. Your Blogger ID may be a Gmail account, and you may be using Yahoo as a Follower ID. They're different. Also, if you wish to adjust any Settings for your Follower, from one of the blogs you are Following, you will need to 'sign-in', rather than navigating back to your Dashboard.
Friday, January 21, 2011
LABELS: Fonts and Colours
Great News was received from Blogger Buzz, on my Google Reader, today. New Fonts!
The 'How to', 'What are they' and 'Where?' questions, are all answered in the above link.
Is that Great News, or what? Another good reason for using Blogger...
"Web Fonts, brought to you by our good friends at Google Fonts, let you spice up and further personalize your blog. Just have a look at what we’ve done with the post titles and text of this blog! And for those of you interested in fonts for non-latin alphabets such as Cyrillic, Greek and Khmer, we have those too!" 1
As an experiment/test, I changed the font of the Post Title in my Photos blog. Easy as.
Give it a try.
1 - Blogger Buzz - "The Quick Brown Fox"
Thursday, January 20, 2011
As I mentioned in my previous post, Image Uploading in New Editor, via HTML, most of the updates to the Image Upload Wizard, are apparent in the Compose Mode. Even the actual Wizard has been modified, and the change is obvious. Selection of images is different, application of those images is different, and the options available for origination of the images, ie: Your Computer, This Blog, Picasa, or the Web, provides a multi-level platform. All in all, the new image Wizard is a very convenient tool.
What I really, really like, is that you can upload more than five (5) images at one time, and you can also select which image to position, that is, position images one at a time, two at a time, or whatever, and last, but by no means least, you can position the images at the cursor! You can use the Wizard as a 'bank', and keep going back to it without losing the images already uploaded. A great feature.
To begin selection of images for uploading, you simply click on the image icon in the toolbar. This will open the image Wizard.
The next step:
1. Select where the images are, to be uploaded from - either, from Your Computer, in 'This Blog' , from a Picasa Album, or ones being Hosted somewhere on the Web.
These are the options available...
From your Computer -
From somewhere on 'this blog' -
Once you have selected which site you are uploading from, you click on the displayed image you need uploaded. Once uploaded, you position the cursor in your post, then select which images you want applied to the post, and click on 'Add Selected'. The selected images will then be positioned at the cursor.
The Size and Layout of the images, that is whether they are Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, or Original Size, Left, Center, or Right, is governed by the settings chosen by left-clicking the image, itself. You can also add a caption to the image at this point. Removal of the image is also an option, here. (Note: the spelling of Center - the American way !)
... and you can change them if you don't like them! Say, you posted them all as Large images, you could edit the post and reduce, or enlarge them! Great versatility.