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Friday, January 26, 2007

Enforced Migration To New Blogger Begins

I have been using the New Blogger for some time. Other people haven't and it seems Blogger is making the final push to migrate users. You can read more about this at phydeaux3.

This isn't going to be easy for some people but in the end things will work out. Instead of supporting two blog systems and different sets of servers things will be more unified and will hopefully be more stable. With the changes happening in the last month Blogger has had some of the old issues of fluctuations and downtime which were absent before the first migration began.

Over all things are better with Blogger and I find myself having fun learning about the new capabilities and limitations. Modifying the template can be challenging but it is satisfying when you accomplish doing what you wanted. At the same time, the new widgets make it easy for new bloggers to individualize their blogs.

Blogger has always been a great tool for teaching people about blogging. These changes make that "job" even easier. The migration will be a headache for some but it is a good thing.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Media Nook

The Media Nook

Media reviews by Mike and Cheryl DeWolfe. Reviews of movies, books, games, music and television (though mostly movies and books).

Flotsam and Jetsam

Flotsam and Jetsam

Personal blog of Cheryl DeWolfe in Victoria BC; topics range from politics to crafts to family to life in Victoria.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tutorial: Creating A Blog With A Booklike Format

People have asked me how to make a blog look and act like a book. Basically they want to create webpages without the usual blog features. Quite often they are fair bloggers but aren't used to modifying templates or working with html.

I decided to create a blog and transform it into one large tutorial. The result is "Blog In Book Format". The "book" works fine but the tutorial needs to be edited again. Have a look and let me know what you think.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Changes And Additions

This is a summary of changes and additions to the blogs listed here at Big Blog Directory.


Shutter View has morphed into 3JobBlog and has a new location and design.

The Thoughts of Joshua Davis - the blog has moved to a new site and the blogger will inform me he wishes to relist his blog.

Milky Tea - the blogger has quit blogging.

I will keep both listings until the 60 day time limit runs out.

New Listings

After the last burst of submissions at the end of November things got quiet until Christmas. Here are all the blogs added since the last 'New Listings' post.


Philbillie's Double-Wide

Walter's Philosophical Sounding Board and numerous et cetera


Romantically Cynical

Pero Que No Hay Para Todos


Youra Blog

Gypsy Purple

RennyBA's Terella


Glad to be a Girl


[La Madriguera]

Chihuahua Tales

Adoption Tales

The Fat Chronicles

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Coming Soon To BBD.

Here is a short list of the posts I am currently working on. The first two I hope to finish this week.

  • Changes And Additions - new listings and changes to currently listed blogs.
  • About Me/About This Blog.
  • Posts about comments, memoirs, labels, blog directories, and other subjects.


Blog Name: ArtsyCatsy

Blog URL:

Watch 15 formerly-feral felines train their artist humans to start a new business. Their upcoming website -- Artistic Creations by Cat Lovers for Cat Lovers.

These are corporate cats with a cause ... a portion of all proceeds will be donated to cat rescue organizations.

Philbillie's Double-Wide

Blog Name: Philbillie's Double-Wide

Blog URL:

Stories, anecdotes, tall tales, rants and raves on and around life
on the road, in the studio and in the kitchen with a real-life, honest-to-god touring band.

Hop in the van with this independant San Francisco Americana/Roots-Rock
outfit as they bring their act all over Europe and Scandinavia.

Amusing descriptions of the everyday in a foreign land as well as glimpses into the studio and acerbic observations on the music biz world of rum, buggery and the lash.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Html Links Within Posts And In Blogrolls

When people asked me for the URL of my blog they sometimes asked how to create the link. I created a links page and wrote:

To link to my journal:

(a href = "")Firemind(/a) - replace the () with <>.

I then went on to explain how to link to individual posts.

I did it this way because it worked and I didn't know how to display html code in a post.

I have come across several posts showing how to display code in a post. The latest being 'Displaying code inside a post' at Beautiful Beta. A reader (Shelly) left a comment there that led me to Quick Escape - a tool which turns the html into postable characters.

Now I can show examples like this:

<a href="">Big Blog Directory</a>

Blogger makes it very easy to create sidebar links now. We don't have to paste the code into the templates but just add the URL to a link list widget.

If you would like to add a graphic link, such as a button, to your sidebar you need to use a HTML/JavaScript widget and add code like this:

<a href=""><img src=""></a>

The code will create a clickable button like this:

Walter's Philosophical Sounding Board and numerous et cetera

Blog Name: Walter's Philosophical Sounding Board and numerous et cetera

Blog URL:

Description: This is my Philosophical Sounding Board, where I put thoughts into writing, and sometimes ask questions about things that I think need a question. Sometimes also my thoughts about certain subjects, mostly having to do with people.

I also write a great deal of poetry.

Monday, January 15, 2007

BBD Stats Show What You Want

I was checking the visitor stats for BBD and noticed that posts about template modifications were getting a lot of attention.

Here are the "popular pages":

Here are the search engine query keywords:

I haven't done a lot of template "hacking" and I am still learning my way around the templates. I experiment a bit and read blogs that specialize in Blogger hacks. If you have any questions feel free to ask. I might not know the answer but I may be able to direct you to someone who does.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Pero Que No Hay Para Todos

Blog Name: Pero Que No Hay Para Todos


Description: Without theme, pretensions and most of the times non sense!!!

Description: Sem tema, sem pretensoes e, muitas vezes, sem sentido!!!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Gypsy Purple

Blog Name: Gypsy Purple


Description: This blog is about a gypsy at heart who loves all things french, creative and fun. This blog is about sharing all the beautiful and creative things I love and find, while rambling on and putting her very bohemian thoughts to "paper"

Update: 33 Blogs Listed And Other News

25 Blogs were listed in Big Blog Directory at the end of November 2006. I just listed number 33 and I am waiting for submissions from a few more bloggers.

Only about 1/3 of the listed blogs link back to BBD. I made reciprocal links optional and I still think that was a good idea because it made it easier to join BBD. It made it easier for me too because I could list a blog as soon as the information arrived. I didn't have to wait until they added a text link or button. I do find it a little frustrating when I visit a blog and see links to other directories but not this one.

Most of the requests to be listed come from the Bloggers group at Flickr. I respond to these requests when I can and wait for submissions that sometimes don't arrive. I may have to write a 'How To Get Listed' piece for the topic or something similar so people realize that they have to participate in getting their blog listed.

When I blog here I submit the posts to The Canadian Blog Exchange. This has brought some traffic to the site. I don't submit the BBD blog listings themselves. I prefer that visitors come to this blog and look around before searching for blogs.

I will write another post and mention the blogs that were listed since November.

RennyBA's Terella

Blog Name: RennyBA's Terella

Blog URL:

Description: This Terella is about Norway and the Nordic countries; the significant four seasons, our culture and habits.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Are You Reading This?

David King is writing a series of posts called Inviting Participation. King talks about Passive and Active Invitations and later posts will go into more detail and present ways to use these ideas.

I found my way to his blog in a typical fashion - by following links.

I had been looking at my 'Links Page' at Firemind and thinking about cleaning out the dead blogs. One of the dead blogs (Bacon and Eh's) had a vibrant community of readers who sometimes turned the comments into a mini forum. I visited the blog often and ended up in the blog's blogroll. I still get the occasional referral from there.

I visited the blog and wasn't surprised that nothing had changed. I decided to browse the blogroll and found myself reading posts in a blog called Bloghorrea. Nothing really caught my attention until I saw this video:

I followed the links from the video to King's blog and saw a new post (the one mentioned above) talking about the video. I went "whoa" because I realized I had been seeing and accepting passive invitations.

Let's look at the invitations:

  • The link to Bacon and Eh's on my links page worked and was easy to find.
  • Bacon and Eh's hasn't been deleted and the blogroll still works.
  • Bloghorrea is browse-able and it provided an interesting video (content).
  • David King provided an interesting video with links to his blog.

Each step provided easy access or interesting content or both. By being accessible they weren't difficult to check out. By being interesting they encouraged further exploration.

I have been reading and thinking a lot about ways to attract readers. People often think blog promotion is all active and consists of linking, commenting, and listing a blog with as many services as possible. Active promotion is fine but it needs to be mixed with writing good content and making the blog accessible. No one wants to read trash or put up with bad design.

Passive invitations are subtle but they can be effective. I'll write this post and submit it to an aggregator. I'll post King's music video on 2 Lazy 4 Video with a link to this post. I'll leave active invitations alone for a while... at least until I read King's post on the subject.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Search Engine Widget Reviews

I have been experimenting with some search engine widgets in my test blog.

Widget: Blogbar


Description: Blogbar is a free search engine bar you can add to your blog. I found this at Google Gadgets.

Review: This is the nicest looking of the several I tried. It doesn't slow down the loading of the sidebar or present any other problems. Unfortunately it has too many search options I don't use so it's not for me.

Widget: BeeWak


Description: Another search engine widget I found at Google Gadgets.

Review: The BeeWak widget isn't as nice looking as Blogbar's but it works fine. If I used Beewak I would probably use a text link to the website to save sidebar space.

Widget: Technorati Searchlet


Description: Technorati Searchlet "enables site-specific and weblog search across Technorati's entire database of posts." It is currently in beta.

Review: This is an interesting idea and I would like to see how it develops. I am most interested in the search this blog feature but I haven't been able to get it to work yet. It may work if embedded into a template.

I am not sure if I would use the searchlet in my blogs because Blogger already has several search features built into it.

Smilies For Blogger

I guess it was inevitable that someone would find a way to add smilies to Blogger posts. I use them sometimes in my personal blog but wondered if actual smiley images would add to a post or detract from it. Now I can find out.

Aditya over at 'The Last Word' provides a script to add smilies to blog posts.

Now we'll have little yellow faces popping up on blogs everywhere. I may even add the script to Firemind. :)

Note: Aditya's blog and similar hack/tech blogs can be found by clicking on the "Beta Blogger Hack Feeds" link in the sidebar.

Friday, January 05, 2007

2007 Weblog Awards

The Seventh Annual Weblog Awards (the bloggies) have arrived. Think about the blogs you enjoy and consider nominating them. (via Shutter View)

Blogger Provides Custom Domains

I stopped by Phydeaux3 and saw that Blogger now offers custom domains. Nice.


Blog Name: P-r-o-L-i-g-h-t

Blog URL:

Description: advices, review, tests and photos.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

BBD Blog Poll

Take my blogging poll. There is also a link in the sidebar. I will also post a link at my personal blog (Firemind).

What Blog Program Do You Use?
Blogger (Blogspot)
Blogger (your own site)
Wordpress (
Wordpress (
Wordpress (your own site)
Moveable Type
I don't have a blog. free polls

Blogger: Using A Widget To Create A Clickable Header

I like using graphic headers in some of my blogs. When I upgraded to the new Blogger I found it difficult to reinstall the headers I had used before.

I have been reading various blogs and experimenting in my test blogs. I finally figured out how to change the template code so that I could use a graphic as a clickable header.

I tried it out at my test blog using a header from 2 Lazy 2 Blog.

I liked the hack and was going to use it at '2 Lazy' until I saw this post at Blog U. The idea was a lot simpler than mine and had the potential to be very flexible. The only problem was that the graphic wasn't clickable since it used the 'Picture' widget . I took my html code and put it in a 'HTML/Javascript' widget instead and it worked. Check it out here.

This is a great way to add clickable graphic headers to your blog.

Glad to be a Girl

Blog Name: Glad to be a Girl


Description: Just a place to leave all the thoughts swirling round my head. And provide an opinion on books, movies, restaurants, accommodation and zany websites as I go.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Blog Name:Who?

Blog URL:

Description: More random nonsense. The thrashings about of someone trying re-define her universe.