Friday, 27 February 2009

More blog news

I promised when I started this blog that I wouldn't blog about blogging and now I am doing it twice in one week!  Nevertheless, I have some "Emm in London" news and need some feedback and so it has to be this way!

Layout
I have been wanting to switch to a three-column layout for a while and have finally rolled out my new layout. I tried to keep as much to my old theme as possible because I liked it. It's not perfect, but this layout is wider and it gives me more space and freedom in my sidebars. I couldn't use footer bars in my old layout and that is definitely a plus in this layout. The picture in the header is my own, which is much better than using a template but I think I might need to work on the header a little bit.

Importantly, this layout allows me to use the "more" tag. That means that if I have a very picture-heavy post, then I can write an excerpt and put the rest of the post behind a tag for people who have slow Internet connections or are on dial up.  Would that appeal to anyone?  I know Mike suggested once that I start a photo blog but to be honest, this kind of is my photo blog and the purpose of starting the blog was primarily to upload my photos and give a bit of a story behind them.  So I know I have some serious blogger friends out there - let me know your thoughts on "more" tags!

I am still trying to get the layout looking decent.  Please let me know any problems with my use of yellow or any problems with loading times or pictures not loading!

Followers
If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that Blogger and I are no longer BFFs.  I follow a lot of blogs but in my defence, most of those blogs are photo blogs and I like to sit in bed and scroll through them on Google Reader and comment on the ones that catch my eye.  Well, with the recent following-debacle that I posted about two days ago, I realised that I was now following all of those blogs on an "anonymous" basis.  That means that if I was following you - you wouldn't know about it and most of us have noticed that our "following" numbers are right down.

Having been in the blogging game for 8 years now (been on Livejournal since 2001) I know how important it is to spread the love and "anonymous" just doesn't do that.  It looks like you need to click on every single blog you are following, edit the settings and after about 5 clicks, you can follow them publicly again. 

Thankfully, I found a bit of a work around:  I added all of those blogs to a category on Google Reader and then imported that entire category by clicking "add" in Blogger Home and selecting "import from Google Reader" and then "follow publicly".  What a mission but now I am spreading the love again and you should see me following you again!

I don't like the new "following" widget but  my whole layout looks funny to me right now so I am sure I'll get used to it all.

I'm sure I had something more to say.  Oh well... maybe that was it.  Going to central London tomorrow for movies and dinner with friends.  Hopefully I'll have something interesting to post about.  28 days until we go to South Africa!

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7 comments

  1. Thanks for the "work around" - in the US we call it a "short cut." I am so ticked at blogger/google/whoever for changing my following status on all these blogs. Lame-o! I was a proud to be an early follower for some of the blogs, and now I'm going to be at the tail end. Urgh.

    Good luck with the blog layout - it looks good to me.

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  2. @ Forrest: It is a shortcut in a way, isn't it? But so many sites change the way they operate and become near impossible to use and I think "work around" is our way of describing how we will work around the sites owner's stupidity!

    I can't see whether or not I'm at the tail end now. The interface on this whole Google Connect thing is so confusing even for someone tech-savvy like me!

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  3. Emm - it is totally stupid. I can't figure out how to do it the way you suggested, so I'm just laboriously going in to each one (fortunately, not an enormous number) that I'm following and switching to public from anonymous. The good news is that I have not apparently lost my place in the lineup. The bad news is that my profile still doesn't show the blogs I'm following, and I'm damned if I can figure out how to do it. Think I will go take a nap and try again later!

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  4. Emm I like the layout, as for the "more" tag, well you can view it two ways. Firstly it is more compact but secondly it means the viewer/reader has to complete another action.

    Back to layout-I have wanted to make MTF three column for a while now, can I ask where you got the template from? Also was it easy to move widgets etc?

    Finally to Google, thanks for the work around. I just wish they would tell us their plans!

    BTW thanks for the link in the post.

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  5. Your blog seems fine to me, however you jazz it up.

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  6. I like the new look! It does seem very much more spacious. You ask about the "more" tag - if I'm honest, I find it a bit irritating. I've seen some people use it only on the older posts, with the newest one shown in full. Would that be a good compromise?

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  7. @ Forrest: Oh no! Well, at least you're following me again and that is what matters! (Am I allowed to say something so bold?)

    @ Mike: I see you got a new template too from the same people! It looks really good - well done! And I'm always happy to give some linkage!

    @ nightcabcontroller: Thank you m'dear. Nice of you to say!

    @ Sheila: Thnak you! Oh, so you find "more" tags annoying. I read most of my entries on rss and must admit I get irritated when i have to click through to read the rest of an entry so it must be similar with a more tag. I will use them sparingly then.

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