Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Getting “Techie” With Blogging!

While promoting your blog is a pain in the ass, adding all these javascript gadgets & stuff in the sidebar is an equally big *head*ache! For me at least! But you guys know me – I never give up! So here’s a list of all my latest “blog-achievements”, as far as the functionality/layout aspects are concerned!


Prologue: When I started this blog, I knew nothing about blogging. I used to visit blog links given in people’s orkut profiles, and it used to say at the top - “Create Blog”. One fine day, I decided to click on it. Luckily, it just asked for my Google ID & password, which was fairly uncomplicated for a “first step”! So I moved on. Then followed the rest of the wizard and managed to successfully publish my very first post! My sidebar consisted of just the Archive, About Me, the little Blogger icon and a short list of the 5-6 blogs I knew of!


Layout: When I started this blog, it didn’t have this “Lighthouse” template. Instead, it had the “dark dots” one! After that, I changed to a couple of other layouts also. Finally, as my posts started become longer and longer, I couldn’t afford to waste the 1.5 inch column on either side of the blog. I realized that this “lighthouse” was the only template Google offered that allowed me to use the full screen width! And so the “lighthouse” it was for me! I’ve often thought of switching to a new template, now that so many non-Google blogger templates are also available on the net, but, they either don’t use the full space, or they are too flashy. My philosophy is: Do you want to highlight your painting, or the frame holding that painting?


Labels: At the time of birth of this blog, I had no concept of “labels”. I used to see the word mentioned here & there, but, I never figured out why anyone would want to “label” their posts. They weren’t school books! Or jars of spices in the kitchen! So I never used this feature. But by last year, I had over 100 posts, and I had begun to understand how labels helped people read posts related to a specific topic only. And I also realized how they helped “SEO” your blog. So I started going backwards through all my posts, adding labels to each one of them. When I had “labeled” more than 50% of my posts, I added the “Labels” widget in the sidebar & fiddled with settings to show the labels under each post.

While the widget in the sidebar showed up, the labels under each post wouldn’t, no matter what I did. I saw other blogs using the same template which were able to display labels beneath each post, but mine simply wouldn’t… and so I gave up on it last year! Eventually, couple of days ago, I created another blog with the same template, copied its un-tampered HTML code into Notepad, and then compared it line-by-line with the HTML code of this blog! Found out that the entire piece of code for this section was missing from my blog’s HTML! Copy-pasted it from the new blog… and it started working! I finally got labels under each individual post on this blog!


Tag Cloud: Well… once I had the labels showing up under each post, it was only logical to get that “Label” widget back in the sidebar, which I had deleted earlier! And then I found the code for this tag-cloud, with instructions for replacing the original “blogger code” with this one! Tried it… and this worked too! In fact, I also found the code for the “animated cloud” version and managed to get that working too, but it was slowing down my blog considerably. Also, it wasn’t working properly in Internet Explorer (I have IE 6)… so I switched back to this stationary cloud. Oh btw, I still had a lot of posts “unlabeled” at the time this “tag cloud” went up. Remember, I had only finished labeling over 50% of my posts when I realized they wouldn’t show up under the post anyway! So yesterday, I finished adding labels to the rest of those posts! Phewwww!


New “Subscribe” Buttons: Had been postponing this RSS thing for over a year now! Finally decided to attack it head-on & figure out what exactly did “Feed Burner” do! Then searched for some “uncommon” images for the button & finally settled with these 2 “Hum-Tum” cartoons – “Hum” for “Kaddu” and “Tum” for you readers obviously! Cool, right? :-D So now you can subscribe to my posts as well as the comments on them


“Recent Comments”: After the “tag cloud”, this one was fairly easy. Tweaked the code a bit to hide the date & time of comment, and set the “number of characters displayed” to 50 instead of 100. That’s all. Btw, I had to choose between “Recent Comments”, “Recent Posts” and “BlogRoll”, because I have very limited space on my blog for these widgets, with just 1 column to play around with. I figured “Recent Posts” would be redundant, as I already have an expanded Archive. And between BlogRoll & “Recent Comments”, I felt that people who took the time out to comment on my blog deserved this “place of honor” more! :-p


“Know More About Me”: Have also added some “static” links to the sidebar, relating to posts which give a new visitor an insight into this blog and its author. If it was a Wordpress blog, I would have achieved this by making different “tabs” on the top of the page. But since it is a Blogger blog... I decided to do it this way!


“My Web Presence”: I have also managed to add static links taking you directly to my FaceBook profile, Orkut profile, Twitter account, and some other blogging communities I’m a part of. You can “email me” directly from this section. You can also send me a message on yahoo messenger from this section!


“Share”: I found a new piece of code for letting your readers share your individual posts on social networking websites. The earlier button took you to a new page where you could select the platform where you wanted to share the post (FB, Digg, MySpace etc), but this one opens a popup menu as soon as you hover your mouse over this button, and you can select the site directly from that menu. One step less. Oh and I also edited the image on this button – didn’t like the dull orange “SHARE”, so changed it to a bright red “Share This”! Looks more cheerful, don’t you think? :-D


“Followers” Widget: Well, much as I tried to “procrastinate” on this one, my “name mate” (like there are soul mates, you know) made me figure it out! If not for her, I would have probably got this widget on my blog sometime next year – that’s what I’ve usually been doing… adding all these new *functionalities* to my blog at a lag of one year! But now that I have got it working, it has also solved the problem of “no space for BlogRoll”. People can see the blogs I read in my blogger profile. Btw, it doesn’t show all the blogs I read; I decided to retain all the Reiki related blogs in my Google Reader only.


So there… I think that covers it all. In the end, I would just like to thank all those techie guys who have made all these widgets for blogger and allowed us to use them freely in our blogs. And I also want to thank all my blogger friends who have helped me get the hang of blogging in the last 2.5 years! Please continue informing me about any new stuff, in case you see me getting "outdated" again! He he he! :-p


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29 comments:

Sumit said...

Waah ji waah! Tussi great ho... techie ho aap to!

*goes back to making a list of techie things needing free consultation.*

Corinne Rodrigues said...

Hi Kaddu - nice, nice - you have a new follower!
C

Kaddu said...

Sumit:Thanks for the visit dude! Just checked out ur blog... it's neat! Especially liked the "headings" in ur sidebar! LOL!

Ab aa gaye ho yahan, to plz join the party! :-D

Kaddu said...

CorinneThanks C! You are most welcome here!
Wow! I now realize why the other "Kaddu" (@ Spirals) asked me to install this followers widget!

Sumit said...

Thanks Kaddu! Btw, nice display pic! :P

Kaddu said...

Sumit:"DP" u mean! Ha ha ha! Another of my very special blogger friends "enlightened" me on this one! =)) I can't imagine what I'd do without all u guys!

Dreaming Eyes said...

hi kaddu...you sound vry intelligent...keep it up..wud love to read more...take care..

Kaddu said...

Dreaming EyesHa ha ha ha ha! Reminds me of DayDreamer's comment on "I Changed My Mind"! =))
Keep reading further DE... you'll soon realize I'm mad!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Kadambari said...

Hey! Thanks for the mention Kaddu! So, you have grown from a newbie on the block to a tech savy, popular blogger! Way to go! :)

♥ÐÅyÐяєÅмє®♥ said...

lol

widget walon par itna pyar...dekh k dil garden garden ho gya ....

Kaddu said...

Kadambari:
He he! Well I must confess, I never thought I'd stick to this blog for so long! I mean I usually get bored with things so quickly na!
:-p

Kaddu said...

DayDreamer:
:-D To ab kaun se phool khil rahe hain us "garden" mein?
=))

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Ek blog ki kahani, Kads ki zubaani :)
My favorite sidebar items? The RSS Feeds jodi and COLORJUNCTION [even though its easily the most infuriating little game I've played in my bloody life. abe I NEVER win!!].
People, did you notice? This blog is worth $400 Mil.

Tim Scullin said...

Hey nice post! I totally agree getting the sidebar widgets to work just the way you want can be such a hassle. Looks like you made it though! ha Keep up the good work!

Kaddu said...

Abhiroop:Where have u been dude? We missed u here last few days! Btw, one of my nick-names is "Kadzilla"! (Remember Godzilla?) Ha ha! So u beware ok! ;-)

LOL! The Commission Junction has been left ONLY for you! Guys! This is an official public announcement! The CJ has remained in my sidebar only for Abhiroop! 'Coz he has given my blog such an awesome testimonial at the Blogger's choice Awards! :-D

Kaddu said...

Tim:
Thanks for dropping by Tim! Yeah! I like the way my sidebar looks now! :p I must say, I found a lot of "free" blogging tips... shared by other "Tims" shall we say! LOL!... that helped me set all this up! :-D
I do hope u'll stay, now that you have come! Ha ha ha!

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Public Announcement no 2:I suck at Color Junction :(

'Kadzilla' is funny. All nicknames have great history. What is this one's?

PS I refuse to be scared

Kaddu said...

Abhiroop:
Yeah! As a matter of fact, they do! Most of my nicknames indeed have some story behind them! In fact, I wrote some thing on it back in school, just before my class 12th board exams. I think I mite still have it in my diary. Hmmmm. I'll see if I can find it, & then I'll post it here.
About "Kadzilla", i don't really remember! I think Shreesh will have to elaborate. But he's gone on a blogging "maun" these days, so I'll hv to coax him out of it! LOL!

बालसुब्रमण्यम said...

I don't see any ads on your blog. Is it a conscious decision that you have taken not to carry ads?

Otherwise, registering with AdSense can fetch you a neat amount over time, and make your blog earn at least a portion of the amount that it is worth (400 million dollars!).

Kaddu said...

Bala:
Thank you for the vist Mr. Bala! Finally! :-D
About Adsense... well, it doesn't seem to work too well on a personal blog. Not very relevant ads, the readers are not interested in clicking on them. In short, it's a total waste of a good chunk of space in my sidebar! But yes, if someone wants to directly rent some ad space on my blog, for his/her website, then perhaps something can be worked out. Depends on what that site sells. :-D

k.ø.c.h.ü said...

yeah yeah addin widgets n editin html gifts u hemorrhoids !! n hiiiiiii first visit here..

Kaddu said...

k.ø.c.h.ü:
Sheeeeeehhh! Not hemorrhoids! Plzzzz! n helloooooo! welcome here! ha ha ha! :-)

Mahesh Nayak said...

Good job dude. Sorry for the late reply though.

Kaddu said...

Mahesh:
Thanks dude! No issues, u r forgiven! 'Coz u r my blog's oldest & most faithful follower! Ha ha ha ha! :-D

Kaddu said...

Obhiroop Dada!
I just managed to clear off the board again in CJ !!! Yayyyyyyy!

Obhiroop said...

Grrrr. Look at you gloat. Shameless.

Kaddu said...

Obhiroop:
Ha ha ha ha! Hey I didn't know u cud add a name & URL like that to ur comment in this kinda comment form! Btw, it's interesting to know that u're attempting to make urself bald! If not a win, this game might just be able to give u a new hairstyle after all! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha....!

Abhiroop Banerjee said...

Game Over! Pieces left: 12
I need this. NOW.
Take it off. It mocks me. I have nightmares about not finishing the pieces in time to reach my own wedding.

I didn't know we could use custom names either, till I saw the option 'Name/URL' in the drop down.

Kaddu said...

Abhiroop:
=)) @ "not finishing the pieces in time to reach my own wedding"! =))

Btw, Game over! Pieces left: 1 :-D
He he! The picture sure was funny!

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