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Tuesday, July 31, 2007

How you can help Blogger Tips and Tricks

First, whatever follows are completely voluntary and no one should feel obliged to take up any suggestion.

A reader asked how to get smiley face for his blog and I did a post Free Smiley Face for your blog. The animated graphic for that post was obtained from a site but they said their graphics are free to use, but a link back to their site will be greatly appreciated, which I have duly done. I thought I would follow their example and indicate that I will appreciate a link or links to my site, but on a completely VOLUNTARY basis with no obligations.

Many bloggers have got helpful information from my blogs, especially Blogger Tips and Tricks plus help via questions in the comments and via emails. While I am happy to help out, like any other bloggers, I will like to have more inbound links from other sites and to have more traffic, so I thought I would follow what the site that provided free graphics did, which is to asked to be linked to on a completely VOLUNTARY basis (no obligation). There are many ways you can do it, and I will outline some of them to you below and try to make it easy for you. It may help you get to my site or sites faster and it may help your visitors find the information and help they need.

In fact one reader made a banner for me and used that to link to my site from his without me asking, and I am really grateful for that. You can see what he did below. Try hovering your mouse over the banner and/or clicking on it:

blogger resources, help for bloggers using Google Blogger platform

If you like to put that in your post or sidebar, etc, all you have to do is to copy and paste the HTML in the scroll box below either directly into a post, or via a HTML/Javascript Page Element in the LAYOUT.

<a href="" target="new"><img src="" alt="blogger resources, help for bloggers using Google Blogger platform" title="Get great information and help here by clicking on banner"></a>

If the banner does not fit into your sidebar, all you need to do is to first find the width of the sidebar (refer to How to find the width of your blog Header, main column (posts), sidebar. And if you want the banner to fit into the sidebar, all you need to do is to resize the displayed banner by adding the attribute width="W" into the <img tag. You don't need the height="H" attribute as the banner will automatically keep the aspect ratio constant. For example, <img src="button URL" width="100">.

Update: I have found the kindly soul, Peter 2, who created the button for me without asking and have put the button in his blog as a link to mine. His blog is St. Vincent's Hospital Darlinghurst - Male Nurse. The clickable button is currently fifth from the bottom of the left sidebar. Thanks, Peter 2.

Another way is to just add a simple text link using the Link List (see Add Link List to New Blogger sidebar, either among your other links or in a separate Link List with the title "Blogger Resources" or something.

You may also chose to include a single text link by using the HTML

<a href="" target="new">Blogger Tips and Tricks</a>

Alternatively, you can use a HTML/Javascript to add the "blogroll" by pasting part or all of the following HTML:

<h2 class="sidebar-title">Blogger Resources</h2>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Blogger Tips and Tricks</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Blogger for Dummies</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Testing Blogger Beta</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Dummies Guide to Google Blogger</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">Generating Revenue from your Site</a>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">AdSense Alert</a></li>
<li><a href="" target="_blank">FireFox Alert</a></li>

Friday, July 27, 2007

Change pointer or cursor (mouse icon)

To change the cursor or mouse icon, click START > SETTINGS > CONTROL PANEL > MOUSE > POINTERS. Double-click on any one of the cursor in the COSTOMIZE window, and select a cursor in the pop-up. Click APPLY.

For more details, refer to How to change mouse pointer for Windows XP

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Free Smiley Faces for your blog

Got an email from a blog reader:

"Great blog you have there. Really lots of helpful tips. Thanks !

There's this one thing that I've always wanted Blogger to have and that's the ability to add smileys to my blogs. I've searched your blog and wasn't able to find any tips there. Googling for this topic also didn't yield anything fruitful."

One way I can respond could be:


Thanks for the compliments.

Peter (Blog*Star)
Smiley Face

Since this blog needs updating once in a while, and it is easier to answer in a post, I will answer him here. Go to Free Smiley Face Graphics, right-click on a face that you want, select "Save image as..." (wordings may be slightly different but similar, and you being an intelligent fellow I am sure will know which one to select). Save the image into your computer in a folder where you can find it again.

Now, click on the photo upload icon Blogger photo upload icon, browse to the image you just saved, for the layout, chose "None", click "Upload image" and wait for the uploading to be completed. Confirm that the image you uploaded is the one you want, then click done. I very much prefer preparing my post in the EDIT HTML Blogger EDIT HTML/COMPOSE mode button mode because I find it much easier. If you are in the EDIT HTML mode, you will see the HTML for the image at the top of the post editor. Just highlight all the image HTML, right-click, select "Cut", scroll down to

Peter (Blog*Star)
and paste the HTML here.

To make things clearer to you, I will paste the HTML which I cut and pasted as described above in a scroll box below:

<a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href=""><img style="cursor:pointer; cursor:hand;" src="" border="0" alt="Smiley Face"id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5088797826767139490" /></a>

Note that there is a alt="" attribute added in the original HTML which I changed to alt="Smiley Face". This is good practice as search engine spiders cannot read image but can read what is typed between the "" in the alt="" attribute and will help the search engine figure out what the image is all about. It is good SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practice. Further, if for any reason the image cannot be displayed, instead of an empty box, you will see the text "Smiley Face".

If you are in the COMPOSE mode, you will see the actual image right at the top of the of the post and you will have to drag it down. If the post happened to be a long one, you will have a lot of dragging to do. This I do not like. Also, you will not be able to do the alt="Smiley Face" attribute. This is why I prefer the EDIT HTML mode, and I would encourage you to do the same.

For more information on uploading and manipulating of images, refer to Uploading and manipulating of images in Blogger.

BTW, the site where I got the free Smiley Face image said their images are free to use, but they will appreciate (voluntary) if you could link back to their site, which is what I have done above. Similarly if you have found my blogs useful and have got help from me, I would also appreciate if you could provide a link (completely on a voluntary basis, don't feel obliged) back to my site.

In fact one such person had done it and made for me a button to link back to my site without me even asking, and I will show below what he has done. The button below was done by him. Try clicking on it and see where it takes you:

I have been meaning to make a post to show people the different ways they can link to my blogs and make it easy to do it but had been too busy. I hope to do it soon and will put a link here when I am done. However, please remember, everything is voluntary and nobody should feel obliged to.

Update 31 July 2007: OK, here is the link to How you can help Blogger Tips and Tricks (on a purely voluntary basis, no one should feel obligated).

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Hyperlinks in Profile (About Me)

A blog reader comment in the post Making "About Me" a single line (hyperlink) that link to the full profile. For your convenience, I paste the relevant part of the comment below:

I see that you have embedded links into the demonstration profile. Can you tell me how you do it? I've gone so far as to try and figure out how to make a completely new and separate profile (and suppress the old profile) just to be able to embed links, but the easiest thing would be just to keep the old blogger profile, as I'm happy enough with it. IF I can have links, that is.

I tried to answer in the comment but found that in my response, there were long unbroken lines which will extend into the right sidebar or worst, cause the sidebar to slide to the bottom of the post. I will have to delete that comment and answer her here:

Putting hyperlinks in your New Blogger profile (About Me) should be no problem. This is what I have in my profile editor:

I am just a simple retiree trying to pass his time usefully and fruitfully, blogging and participating in the <a href="">Google Adsense</a> program to supplement my pension. I am an introvert who don't laugh easily, and even harder to smile for the camera. If you want to know why I am laughing, surf over to <a href=""> My first grandchild attend his grandfather's 58th birthday gathering</a>

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents by Reporters without Borders

In many countries like mine, the press are not free and subject to harsh rules and regulations. In mine, the newspapers need to renew their publishing licence every year, and it can be taken away anytime. For survival, the journalists have to practice self censorship. It has been relaxed very slightly in my country, but the draconian publication rules are still there. There are many political blogs which publish news that never appear in the daily newspaper and are accused (often falsely in my opinion) as spreading rumours and unsubstantiated news. However, quite often, what was published in the blogs which were initially denied by the authorities or by the person referred to often eventually turned out to be true. For example, a Malaysian political blog said the recently widowed Prime Minister was going to get remarried, and it was denied. Eventually, the Prime Minister did really got remarried. Also, bloggers who accuse political figures, high ranking police officers, head of Anti-corruption agencies are dismissed as unfounded, but the accused never take the step of suing the bloggers to clear his/her name (those are not anonymous blogs).

Are you a political blogger publishing posts that exposing faults of governments, corruptions, etc.? If you do it with your name and profile public and make no attempts at covering your tracks, you will have to be careful, check accuracy of your information and source reliability, etc., but the blog will be more credible. However, if you are not careful, you may expose yourself to law suits, possible jailing and so on.

Some may still still want to blog about misdoing, etc., but want to look after their own skin. If you are one of them, perhaps this downloadable PDF book Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents from Reporters without borders can help you blog anonymous and to get round censorship. It will also help you set up and make the most of a blog, to publicise it (getting it picked up efficiently by search-engines) and to establish its credibility through observing basic ethical and journalistic principles.

I myself have not read the book as I am not a political blogger (I don't have access to good, reliable information) and can't comment much, but Reporters without borders have a good reputation and I think it will be a good read. In my case, the only posts that I have made that might be considered "political" are
Candlelight vigil for Revathi (and for Malaysia),

Candlelight vigil for Revathi (and for Malaysia) Part 2,

Unity threatened by continuing infringements of religious freedom booklet and

Flag of Malaysia and flag of United States of America, and these are in a blog that is actually meant to promote Malaysia and which I do not really want to publish in that blog. However, concerns for the direction my country is taking override my reluctance.

Update 20 July 2007: If you want to see what some are up against, have a look at Flag of Malaysia and flag of United States of America (refer to the update in red at the bottom of the post) and Malaysian blogger says his detention aimed at scaring government critics.
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