Seven Things I’ve Learned Blogging

I’ve had this little presence on the web for just over a year now, and thought I would make a list of the few things that I’ve learnt along the way, some from reading, and some from doing.

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The Googlized Feedburner

In case you took a weekend away from the computer, which I apparently didn’t, Google has just bought out Feedburner. I’m not sure what this will mean for me, although they have promised to keep the service up and running. I imagine there will be some re-branding, and I’m hoping for better integration with my other Google services, like Blogger, Analytics, and AdSense. I’ll keep my eyes open, and let you know if something really crazy happens.

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Gmail Image

Although Nexodyne continues to work well, I came across another site that allows me to add the nifity envelope to the image, so I decided to change my little “Email me” picture. The site gives you three options, but the downside is you have to host the image yourself (Nexodyne would host it for you) and it only works for GMail. If you have another email provider, check out Nexodyne, but if you like the envelope and have a Gmail account, get your own image here! (The only downside is figuring out how to get a transparent background - Photoshop doesn’t seem to like me today)

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FeedBurner Fun

A service I’ve known about for a while that I finally decided to check out is FeedBurner. It seems to be the ideal set of tool for dealing with your RSS and Atom feeds from your site. For those unfamiliar, RSS and Atom are a simple way for people to see if your site has updated recently. Bloggers and news web sites are among the most common users, but its use has spread a lot further than that. You can either view the feeds through a desktop program, often your email client, or through an online reader, like Google (that’s what I use).

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My Series

I recently switched to the new version of Blogger. From your end, I’m sure it looks very much the same. On my end, that is for the most part true as well, but there are a few subtle changes. Most that I have come across are in the post editing options. I can edit the posting date, and individually set whether to allow your comments and backlinks, and to edit the post time. Another option that I quite like is the ability to add labels. Because it’s so new I don’t think I’ve really got the hang of it, but for now, I’ll explain the series I’ve started:

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TinyURL.com

Back when the internet started and you wanted to find something, websites had simple names. As more and more people have moved onto the internet, most of the simple names were snapped up and now sell for a small fortune. Adding to the confusion is that is that many websites will pass information back to their server using what appears to be random gibberish to the rest of us (check out the URL next time you do a search at Google or the like). Someone got smart and came up with a solution! Enter tinyurl.com. Enter your long, convoluted URL in and they spit out a much shorter. For example, start with MinchinWeb.BlogSpot.com and end up with tinyURL.com/y6xxef, which granted isn’t a ton shorter, but it shows up a lot better is we go with something longer, like http:// minchinweb.blogspot.com/ 2006/12/ tinyurlcom-on-line-wonders-iii.html, the perment link for this post, and you get tinyURL.com/y3lvrh. Not so shabby! Give it a try for yourself:

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Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

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What Time Is It?

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.

— Douglas Adams

As life goes by, it seems more and more important to know what time it is. Your bus comes at this time, your flight leaves at this time and your meeting across town is at this time. In theory, the better you know the time, the better you are at being on time, right? I wish!

Besides the practical aspects of knowing the time, I always thought it was cool to see the row of clocks behind the reception desk of big companies in the movies. Now I found a way to add that to my blog! World Time Server.com allows you to create a snipit of code and then insert it on your site that displays an analog clock in the colour scheme, size, and time zone of your choosing. I think it’s cool. Here’s my little gallery of world times:

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Dance, Dance Stickman!

Some painters transform the sun into a yellow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun.

— Pabloe Picasso

I was looking up ACSII art on Wikipedia the other day and I came across this, which is too funny to pass up. Who says stickmen can’t dance? Here’s the Macarena!

o o o o o <o <o> o> o .|. \|. \|/ // X \ | <| <|> /\ >\ /< >\ /< >\ /< >\ /<

Too funny!

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