Blogger Tip – Label Cloud

Posted on August 31, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

This is really exciting peeps!

Do you see how the labels assigned to all our posts, labels which we can use to find related material, are presented in a label cloud (look down the right sidebar) – that is the more often a word is used, the larger the word is presented?

The label cloud is just one of the gadgets you can add to the sidebar of your blog via the Layout part of your blog. Until now, making a label cloud was tricky, it involved getting in behind the html and css and adding complicated codes. The instructions were there and it was do-able, but not without hair-pulling and frustration. Not for the faint of heart.

Now, however, you can choose to have a label cloud or not when you choose to put in a label cloud.

As you can see you can choose to show all labels, or you can elect to show only some of them – you will be able to tick which labels to show. You can also choose whether the labels used are presented in alphabetical or frequency of use order as well as how often a label has been used.
Heidi
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Blogger Tips – Posting Comments

Posted on August 24, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Most blogs have a Comments feature that allows visitors to attach feedback to a specific blog post. It is an optional feature, you decide whether you want Comments or not. Personally I’d love more feedback on my blog posts – practise your skills on this here post.

Making a Comment is easy, all you have to do is click on the Comments link at the bottom of a post and write something in the window that pops up. This blog has been restricted to members only but if you are logged in to the blog and are reading this, you will be okay to post a Comment too.

If you do invite/allow Comments you can have a degree of control if you moderate the comments. This means that comments are not posted until the blog administrator publishes them manually – this overcomes the worry of ‘spam’ comments.

How do you enable Comments?

  1. When you are signed in to your blog, click on Settings in your dashboard.
  2. Then click on the Settings tab along the top underneath the blog name then on the Comments link below that.
  3. To enable Comments click in the Show radio button.
  4. The next part is where you determine who may leave a comment – Only Registered Users, Anyone or Only members of this Blog.
  5. There are several more settings to look at but the next important one is Comment Moderation. Here you can choose to click in one of the radio buttons – Always, Only on posts older than (and you specify a number of days) or Never.
  6. Here you can also choose to enter an email address to which a notice will be emailed when a non-member leaves a comment on your blog. Leave blank if you don’t want to receive these emails.
  7. You might also choose to use Word Verification for Comments – this requires people leaving comments to complete a word verification step, which will help reduce comment spam.
  8. When you’ve finished all the steps, save your specifications by clicking on the Save Settings button.
If you choose to moderate comments you will get a notice that there is a comment on your dashboard – click on the link and then in the new window select each comment and decide whether or not you publish it to your blog.

Let me know if this helps – click on the Comments link below this post – NOW!

Heidi
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Blogger Tips – Introduction

Posted on August 17, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I’ve been asked to write some blog posts to refresh the memories about blogging of those staff who have completed the SLNSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 Activities course. For those staff who haven’t yet given the Libraries 2.0 a go, take the plunge now, it’s a lot of fun.

So back to basics for this first post. What is a blog?

The word blog is a contraction of the word weblog. A blog is a specific type of website.
The main features of a blog which make it different from a regular website include:

  • Content is presented in an ongoing series of data entries or posts – kind of like a diary or journal
  • Posts are displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent entry on top so the latest news or information is easy to identified
  • There are Comments areas that allow for reader feedback regarding posts
  • Links can be incorporated to other websites, other blogs and a variety of other links
  • Pictures and videos can be embedded in posts to enhance the content or give more information
  • Posts are given topical tags which enable readers to find similar posts

The content and purpose of blogs vary enormously; some are personal diaries, some focus on a specific subject such as politics or travel, and some are primarily “newsy” and informational.

Blogs are being used in libraries to communicate with borrowers/customers, to provide Readers Advisory through book reviews and to highlight collections, events and exhibitions. Blue Mountains City Libraries have several blogs running (take a look if you aren’t familiar with them):

And we are using this blog to enhance communication between staff and for professional knowledge sharing. Don’t be shy about posting and sharing something that you have found interesting.

Here are some examples of how other libraries are using blogs:

Here is a short video about blogging (you’ll need to watch it between 12pm and 2pm because it’s on Youtube):

Now, if you didn’t do the SLNSW Public Libraries Learning 2.0 Activities course, give it a go, there are video and written instructions on how to start your own blog in Week 2.

If anyone has problems with any aspect of blogging I may be able to help, just give me a call.

If anyone has a topic you would like me to cover in these Blogger Tips posts, just let me know.

Heidi
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Zemanta

Posted on June 22, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Having read about it in the Blogger Buzz blog, I’ve just installed Zemanta on my home computer. What’s Zemanta? It’s a program that makes adding pictures, web links and post labels to your blogs easy peasy.

Image representing Zemanta as depicted in Crun...
Here’s a list of stuff Zemanta does:

  1. As you write your blog post, Zemanta opens up next to the Blogger post editor screen. After you’ve written something Zemanta looks at the words in your post and suggests images and video that may be relevant to your post and then, with just one click you can insert the picture/video into your post, saving you from having to trawl google images for a suitable picture and saving it to your ‘puter somewhere before using the uploader to get the picture in your blog. I used it in this here post to add the Zemanta logo thingy.
  2. Zemanta looks at what URLs (web page addresses) might be appropriate. These appear immediately below the post editor in Blogger, and by clicking on them you automatically create the links. This time you save the time it would take you to copy the URL from the website (after you’d spent time looking for it) and then going to Edit Html and entering the URL for it to be turned in to a link as I showed you in a recent post.
  3. Zemanta suggests labels for your post based on the text of your post.
  4. Finally, “Latest Update” gives you a list of blog posts from other blogs writing about similar topics. It’s a great way to discover sites talking about similar topics, and if you’d like to point your readers to those articles for further reading, clicking on them in the sidebar inserts them as “Related reading” links at the bottom of your post (see below).

If you have a few minutes, the following video will show you how it all works.

Enjoy.

Heidi

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Put this in your diary

Posted on June 19, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Blogger will be turning 10 in August. In anticipation of that momentous date, the Blogger team thought it would be interesting to share some fun facts about Blogger:

•Every minute of every day, 270,000 words are written on Blogger
•Millions of people worldwide use Blogger to publish to their blog each week
•Almost two thirds of Blogger’s traffic comes from outside North America (What’s the #2 country after the U.S.? Brazil, followed by Turkey, Spain, Canada, and the U.K.)
•The most popular sport for our bloggers? Soccer (that’s football to the rest of the world), more than four times larger than the #2 sport, baseball

The team want to know more about the users of Blogger— about what Blogger has meant to you over the past decade. Do what you do best: tell your story. Write a post, and then let us know about it by filling out this form. Read the full
Blogger Buzz post for more details

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Blogger Tip – Making a web link within your posts

Posted on June 18, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |


(Vicki taught me this one)

I use this in Readers in the Mist to add a catalogue link to book titles and I will use that for this example although the method is the same for other websites.

  1. Do your catalogue search (/find your website).
  2. When you’re at the page with the title details (either one title only or all the different copies), highlight and copy the web address (URL) from the address bar at the top of the page.
  3. In your Blogger new post window, click on the Edit html tab at the top.
  4. In the Edit html window, click on the insert link icon (third from the left) and paste the URL into the window that appears.
  5. The code will then be put at the bottom of your post. It will look something a little bit like this: < href=" http :// bmccstaff. blogspot. com / > (I’ve had to put in some extra spaces here and below so they don’t disappear, bear with me)
  6. Into the space between the > and the you enter the name of the web page so it appears in the published post as a link, eg Blogging for Dummies

Heidi

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Blogger Tip – Labels for your posts

Posted on April 3, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

I thought I’d do Blogger tips from time to time to explain stuff that you might need. If anyone has any suggestions for topics, email me: hcolquhoun@bmcc.nsw.gov.au

The first one I’ll do is on Labels for your posts.

As already explained in your invitation email, you need to remember and give each post one or more labels so that posts on similar topics can be found again.

The labels go down the bottom in the Labels for this post area. You’ll see that beside it there is a Show all link. When you click on that all the labels that have been previously used are listed there – look and see if someone else has used an appropriate label before you go adding another, that’ll help with consistency and with finding stuff again. If you need to do a new label you can use any term you like.
You’ll also notice that if you start to type in the Labels for this post field, if the letter(s) have been used before the words will come up and you can click on the appropriate word and it will be pasted in for you.

Please remember to separate your labels with a comma. Using any other punctuation will create one long label instead of numerous ones.

Once we have used a label more than once the labels will appear in the label cloud in the right hand sidebar. The larger the word in the word cloud, the more often that label has been used.

To see all the posts with a particular label just click on it.
Heidi
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