Sunday, December 29, 2019

Crowdsourcing the "New Blogger"

Our chance to influence what Blogger is like

Reproduction of the invitation from Google to "try  the new blogger."
Did you get what you wanted this year?

I didn't, but check out the new user interface at, now under development.

Now is our chance to influence the user interface we will be using for years to come.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

What kind of blogger will you be?

Catalogs, journeys, civic blogs, and more

What kind of blog do you want? Consider these five types.

A drawer from a card catalog, with cardsA hand holding a fanciful set of gears set against the skyA drawing of an unfolded map with a route marked across itA woman stands to address a meeting

Catalog blogs
Rating and sharing
Tutorial blogs
Teaching and showing
Journey blogs
A story in time
Civic blogs
Engaging in an issue
Aggregator blogs
A focused news beat

There are other possibilities, of course.

Monday, June 24, 2019

News aggregator blogs

Types of Blogs

A group of newsboys circa 1909

Imagine getting a carefully curated set of links to recent news about a topic that interests you, every week.

This type of blog benefits from a tight focus, knowledge of the subject, and regular periodic publication.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Tutorial blogs

Types of blogs

A hand cups a complex set of interlocking gears

Photos, video, sound, screen capture, and links make blogs great platforms for collections of "how to" posts on a given subject.

(Notice I said collections, plural.)

If you have expertise to share, a blog can be the ideal hub.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Civic blogs

Types of Blogs

Some blogs exist to promote civic engagement around an issue of concern.

Many shed light on local issues that would otherwise fall through the cracks.

They stimulate and enrich public discussions about everything from the tax rate to bike lanes.

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Managing labels

Use these tools (circled in red).
Labels group posts together on pages by category.

They are a great way to organize your blog.

But how can you manage them?

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Journey blogs

Types of Blogs

The tarot car "The Fool," depicting a youth approaching the edge of a cliff
A journey can be a trip, a year at school, a diet, a divorce, a struggle with cancer.

You are bound for a different place than where you started, and the blog tells the story of how.

Like the catalog, it is deceptively simple. You just put one foot in front of the other and at some point you have created a body of work.

The journey, in installments, is the original form of blogging. It is the "log" in "blog."

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Catalog blogs

Types of Blogs

Say you live in a great pizza town. You could try a slice of every pie in town and write a blog post about each.

Compare! Rate! Criticize! Rave!

Several months and many meals later, you've got a blog. And maybe a following—people are passionate about pizza.

Easy peasy.

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Back. Up. Your. Blog.

A life preserver
One click.

One click will save to your hard drive all the posts and pages on your blog, published and in draft. Comments, too.

Another click will save your blog's theme.

Do I need to say it?

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Never delete a Google account

Yellow post-it note with "never" written on it.
Well, hardly ever.

So, you are done with Google!—or at least with your account, and are ready to erase it from your digital life.

Not so fast.

Friday, March 15, 2019

Also too clever

The name of this blog is a nod to a project that, for a few months in 2010, was arguably the state of the art method for showing your blog in chronological order, oldest first.

The Rube Goldberg cartoon, "Self-Operating Napkin," illustrating an absurd contraption.

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The incredible shrinking feeds

A set of matryoshka dolls
The list of my posts related to blog feeds, below, is generated automatically. It updates itself whenever I add another blog post to the "feeds" category.

Q: How did I do that?

A: I used a feed.

Friday, March 1, 2019

Adding images to Blogger

Blogger editor > toolbar > Insert Image > options

Maybe a picture is worth a thousand words. A photo or graphic can attract the eye, set the tone, explain, demonstrate, or illustrate.

Update: The user interface has changed, so my screen shots and step-by-steps are no longer 100% valid. Maybe I will revise this once the new interface settles down.

Every blogger should know all the ways to add an image to a blog post or page.
The Insert Image button in the editing toolbar
Click Insert Image
Here's a guide.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Dragging images into your blog

Update: Until further notice, I recommend that you should not drag images into your blog posts.

You can drag photos into your blog, from your desktop or the web.

An image is dragged into a blog post from a folder on my computer.
Drag, drop, wait, format, and done!

This feature is not new, but for a long time (some say a very long time) it was buggy and produced blog posts that screwed up the way blogs and feeds worked.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Add an image "from a URL"

toolbar > insert image > Add Images > From a URL

A URL (Universal Resource Locator) is the unique address of a file on the Word Wide Web.

"From a URL" displaying an image when a canonical URL is entered
The image shows when the URL is right.
If you know the URL of an image file, and if that file is public, you can post it directly into your blog at Add Images > From a URL.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Add images "from your webcam"

toolbar > insert image > Add Images > From your webcam

Update: This option has been discontinued. My guess is no one will miss it.

Not everyone has a webcam, but if you do you can insert a photo from it into your blog (and your blogs's album in the Archive).

The top of the "From your webcam" option
It's one of six options in "Add images," the pop-up you get when you click the Insert Image icon on the toobar in Blogger's editing window.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Time runs out on Google+ comments

February 4 is the last day to save your blog's Google+ comments

A broken hourglass with sand flowing from the bottom

If you are reading this on February 5 or later, I am sorry. Google did a terrible job of warning affected bloggers that their comments were at immanent risk.

If you are reading this in time, here's what you can do.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The writing on the wall for Google+ comments

Bad news for anyone who ever used Google+ comments on their blog.

Rembrant's painting of Balthazar's Feast: mysterious writing on the wall
Mene, mene, tekel upharsin
Google will start deleting them on April 2 Update: or maybe February 4!. 

it will be impossible to leave a new Google+ comment after February 4—next Monday.

Friday, January 25, 2019

Adding "from your phone"
(really, Google Photos)

toolbar > insert image > Add Images > From your phone

Update: The user interface has changed, so my screen shots and step-by-steps are no longer 100% valid. This option is now simply called "Photos."

Want to put a photo into your blog?

Someone at Google thought "from your phone" would be easier to understand than "from Google Photos."

The top portion of "from your phone" showing a row of images

I can see the point of that, though I am as likely to interact with Google Photos from my desktop as from my phone.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Adding images "from
Google Album Archive"

toolbar > insert image > Add Images > From Google Album Archive

The top row of "From Google Album Archive," showing four albums
Partial view. Each box is an album. Click to enlarge.

"From Google Album Archive" is one of six ways to add images to your blog from "Add Images." (You get "Add images" when you click the Insert Image tool in Blogger's editing window.)

Update: The user interface has changed, so my screen shots and step-by-steps are no longer 100% valid. This option is now a sub option under "Blogger."

The top row in this view shows four of the albums in my album archive, including one for this blog.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Adding images "from this blog"

new post > toolbar > insert image > Add images > From this blog

Add Images with From this blog selected, showing images from the blog
Partial view. Click to enlarge.
"From this blog" lets you insert images you've previously added to your blog.

It's one of six options you'll see once you click the Insert Image tool in Blogger's editing window.

Update: The user interface has changed, so my screen shots and step-by-steps are no longer 100% valid. This option is now simply called "Blogger."

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Upload photos into Blogger

new post > toolbar > insert image > Add images > Upload

Picture are great, and you can add them right into your blog from Blogger's edit window.

"Upload" lets you import an image from your computer or other device.

The top half of the Add Images tool with Upload selected
Click to see at full size.

"Upload" is one of six image-inserting options available from "add images." That's the window you get (shown, in part) when you click the Insert Image tool in Blogger's editing window.