Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, August 31, 2005
In a week of 10th birthdays (well, one other, at least....) Drikoland is 10. Happy Bloggy Birthday!!

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Posted at 8:28 PM by John.
Want one show but not the whole subscription? Want to pick the individual episodes from podcasts that you're interested in? Kevin at Feedblog points out that with Feedburner you can use your feed instead of the show's feed...

I can just link to the [original show's] .mp3 in my blog post. Feedburner should be smart enough to add an enclosure for the .mp3 file and then I can subscribe to my feed within iTunes.

A meta-feed of a feed of a file.... oh, the boxes within boxes will make you crazy!! Masterful strategy for picking your podcast, though!!!

Posted at 6:21 PM by John.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
Darren at Problogger suggests that we could meaningfully consider the inter-relationships between blogs as a series of topical spheres within the larger sphere. This is both interesting & useful. I would like to suggest that blogs can also have multiple identities. A blog might be very strong on a single topic that only a few folks are interested in, & therefore be a big blog in a small sphere, whilst also commenting less definitively on bigger issues, & taking a peripheral place in a larger sphere.

There's a social aspect to this too. Regular readers, commenters and subscribers here form a sphere of sorts that has very little to do with any "top 500" action, but has a great deal to do with how this site develops from day-to-day. Those readers also contribute to other spheres, many of which I am not a part of. That sense of multiple developing communities is one of the things that I find so involving (addictive?) about this process.

Posted at 4:33 PM by John.
Try something new for free. Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion points out that there's a browser birthday party online today, & that we can all stand to benefit!!
In honor of their 10th anniversary, Opera is giving away free copies of their browser today only. The browser is available for Windows and Mac and it's a $39 value.
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Posted at 2:23 PM by John.
In an "about time you did that" move, I have added an e-mail form to Freshblog so that if you want to reach me without leaving a public comment, you can. It is mighty lo-tech, but I think it will work. So e-mail me, why don't you? (It'll pop-up a new window, because I was having difficulty making the ads go away after submission if I kept it in the same one....)

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Posted at 11:35 AM by John.
I notice that the longer this information is out there, the more specialised purposes it is put to, & the more folks are able to add their own unique twists or fit the technique to their needs. Grand!!

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Posted at 10:38 AM by John.
I guess that depends what the question is. The tool's been set up as a way to moderate "objectionable content," but mostly discussed as a way to tag the splogs. Maybe the button should say "tag this splog," & then the issue would be a technical one (getting control of adsense scamming &c) rather than a cultural one (taste / freedom of expression / censorship). Blog Herald reviews the backlash against the button.

Posted at 10:23 AM by John.
Monday, August 29, 2005
The first of many, I'm sure. As a consequence of this great project at BlogHerald, Brian at Solution Watch has:

- Received about 30 more new readers to my feeds
- Sent the message across to others such as TechCrunch, who mentioned my Social Bookmarking list. This then got spread onto,, Popular list, furl and all these other bookmarking lists.
- Trackbacks and comments from other websites
- About 600 more unique visitors than my average daily visitors with you and the other sites combined
- And lastly, Paul Scrivens of 9rules Network, has asked me to join his Network.

A little traffic, a little love, and a broader audience who are interested in what's going on on the blog. This project is such a great idea....

Posted at 7:43 PM by John.

One splog at a time, so not the mass hosing-down of the stables that I think is required, but hey, it's a start. Visit the site to report the folks who are making the rest of us look bad. Hopefully they'll figure out how to report a bunch of sites at a time.... They have bookmarklets, at least.

via RSS Blog

Posted at 7:14 PM by John.
A thought and a comment.... or two....

The thought. How hard would it be to have the same sort of word verification system in place for each new post that is now in place for each new comment? Perhaps also for the whole site republish? That way there'd have to be a literate human involved, right?

The comment. (whose side are you on?) the "Make Poverty History" corner tag that some folks use on their blog disables both the "next blog" button and the "flag" button.

I read on blogger help & elsewhere that the "flag" button is intended for objectionable content, rather than for splogs.... oh, well....

Posted at 5:25 PM by John.
are the rage in the blogosphere this week. Check out Google Blogoscoped:
30 bad ones out of 50 overall – that makes it around 60% spam on Blogspot. Google itself shows there are around 7,500,000 pages hosted on Blogspot. If we extrapolate the number, we might estimate Google is hosting 4 million spam pages. (Of course, this number is by no means in any way precise.)

Even though I expected some amount of spam, I was surprised just how much it is. From the small sample I took it looks like on average, a site hosted at Google’s Blogspot is more likely to contain spam than anything else.

and the RSS Blog, where I ask in all seriousness... what is it that legitimate blogspot users can do here? As we all know, moving to a different URL is mighty tricky & undoes a lot of good inbounds, good work & goodwill. This is a slightly bigger issue for Freshblog, too, because I've built this blog to the pinnacle of internet journalism (hah!) with tips and tricks for a service that might not love me back....

Clicking through "next blog" & flagging seems like a drop in the bucket, if more than half of blogspot's 7,500,000 pages really are bad. Let's see where this goes... In the meantime, big bloggers, please remember the 40% of blogspot users who are legit!! Thanks!!

Immediate Update: So I clicked through 25 or so "next blogs" 'til I hit one that had the nav-bar disabled..., & I only flagged 5 blogs... 20%. Interestingly I only saw 4 different spam-blogs. One republished so fast that it showed up twice. Ouch!! So... Let's call 60% a high estimate and my 20% a low, based on time-of-day, & the random nature of the "next-blog" button. Still a significant enough issue to warrant a serious clean-up.

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Posted at 10:04 AM by John.
Here's the scoop on making the most excellent clusty work for your blog searches: Search Engine Watch via Micropersuasion:
So, is Clusty Blog Search tapping a bunch of unknown engines? Hardly!

You'll find results from several well-known blog engines:

* Blogdigger
* Daypop
* Feedster
* Technorati
* Blogpulse
* IceRocket

The advanced Clusty Blog Search interface is where I start most of my blog searching.

Check out the article, check out the engine, & let's see if navigating a corner of the blogosphere is a little easier w/ clusty!!

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Posted at 9:54 AM by John.
While we're blogging about bookmarklets and customising them for neat new purposes, here's the scoop from Newsgator Herald about a single bookmarklet that will do double -duty for Yahoo MyWeb and
Vander Wal has written a combination bookmarklet for both networks, which takes two of my favorite bookmarklets (for and Yahoo MyWeb 2, put them in a javascript collider to get a United Tag Tool (drag this to your browser's bookmark bar).

By clicking on this bookmarklet you get the tag interface populated with the title. You also get a MyWeb entry pop-up window.

I wonder whether there's rel="tag" attributes in there, which would make it good for technorati too..... Investigating.

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Posted at 10:28 AM by John.
Friday, August 26, 2005
Google Blogoscoped holding up blogpulse as an example of a super-wordy site that explains itself w/ text rather than going the simple & intuitive (google) route. I hadn't really thought about it, but it makes sense:
I like blog search engine Blogpulse, but their tools are way to wordy (no, they’re not alone in making this error). And it’s not that people don’t read online, it’s that people don’t read tools. (Or the manuals of those tools, in particular if the task at hand is fairly self-explanatory.) So you could say it’s a modal error; instead of writing the shortest possible text to guide the user through the tool, Blogpulse feels talkative. They should have these kind of texts in their blog, but not attached to their tools.
Filed in: blogpulse, inbounds, search, blogtech, cosmos
Posted at 7:44 PM by John.
Boing Boing:
Zookeepers in Xi'an, China are trying to help a 26-year-old chimpanzee quit smoking. According to an AP report, she started smoking 15 years ago by snatching butts left behind by visitors.

Whilst interesting, this post is also a test of the bookmarklet described in the previous post. Seems to be working great!!

Filed in: madness, nature
Posted at 3:02 PM by John.
From Ken's Meme Deflector comes XBlogThis!, an extension of blogger's "blog this!" bookmarklet that loads before the blogger window, and allows for the automatic insertion of comma delimited technorati tags & for a choice of formatting for the quote you select on the source page. Ken has tested the tool on Firefox & all is well. If you want to add technorati tags your posts in blogthis!, this bookmarklet is the tool for you!!!

Here's two other versions of the bookmarklet that are integrated with Both include the rel="tag" attribute that enables tag search services to identify the links as tags. The first points to an individual's account (in this case, mine) & is useful for generating the technorati / combo tags that are the crucial tool for the categories method used here. This version is


I have made some very minor changes to the script so that the tags link to my account (and as we know by now, will still be visible in technorati!!) As before, all that you need to do to make this bookmarklet work for you is to right click it on your links bar, select properties, scroll through the script to the very end and replace my signon at the end of the URL***** with your own. Now you can tag & categorise with blogthis!! Tag keywords should be seperated with commas.

The second version takes a cue from Graywolf, and points to the "all posts for a given tag" page on Your post will eventually get buried in an avalanche of posts with the same tag, but the link in your post will take your readers to similar material. You don't need to edit / customise this script because it doesn't point to an individual account. This version is


Drag one to your links bar & give it a try. Let me know if it makes life easier!!

For the scoop on categories & what this all means, see my 3 category methods post.... which will soon be a 4 category methods post, I guess, because now you can tag with blogthis!! Thanks Ken. Awesome!!

See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Posted at 1:48 PM by John.
As if there aren't enough scripts running on this blog already, I have added Blogger Hacks' Farrago recent comments list to the right-hand sidebar. It is set to only show on the main page, because it only scans posts on the main page for new feedback. If you comment on something from last july, it won't get picked up. Still, it's a great hack for seeing what the front-page buzz is. I should call it "recent comments on current posts", I guess.....

If it slows everything down I'll look at the template again & see if there's anything I'm not using any more that I can edit out. Let me know what you think!! Better still, leave a comment & see your name in lights on the Freshblog main page!!

Update 7/30/06: For a recent comments hack that will show you recent comments across your whole blog, & not just the new comments on your main page, check out Hearsay.

Posted at 8:58 AM by John.
Thursday, August 25, 2005
Have been noodling a post about spam & splogs, after reading that icerocket and others are considering not even indexing blogspot blogs because such a significant proportion of them are not legitimate.

I'll be less than happy, along with any number of others, I think, if my blog comes to be regarded as junk simply because of the domain name.

Anyway, on the up-side, blogger has a couple of new tools in the fight to keep their good name. First, you'll notice a "flag" button on the toolbar at the top of the page. This reports objectionable / questionable / tinned processed meat content to blogger & asks them to take a look at the blog for possible violent destruction. (I may be overstating the consequences just a little.....) Note, though, that the spam blogger who has colonised my previous blogger URL with poorly-written porn has managed to retain the toolbar without the buttons, which makes it tricky to report.

Second, there's now a "squirmy random word" image generated for each commenter to repeat. I have not had comment spam here, but have enabled the image in the hope of forestalling any...

For more, see Mark's series of posts tracking the anti-splog backlash at escape from obsession.

Posted at 8:34 PM by John.
Darren at Problogger explores the cornering of information as a strategy for blog promotion and traffic.
The great thing is that because blogging is so global you don’t necessarily have to be a maven of some mega popular topic in order to be successful. Recently I’ve had contact with a number of bloggers that have come to dominate (in a nice way) the tiny niches that they write in and in doing so have become quite prominent.
His comments are open for folks to either "name a maven" or to toot their own horn about their special field of maven-ness.

Posted at 1:14 PM by John.
<     >
I'm back,
and reading for a day to find some things to write about.....
Posted at 1:06 PM by John.
One of the greatest gifts I think you can give your blog is a burned feed from
Feedburner. Here's the scoop, in the usual what / why / how format.

What is it?: A feed is a version of the material that you post on your blog that is publishable on other sites and readable in "feedreaders" like bloglines and kinja. These services let you keep current with multiple blogs at once.
Feedburner explains it all:
Consumers use RSS reader applications (or one of a growing number of online services) to collect and monitor their favorite feeds in one place (RSS content from a publisher, viewed in one of these readers, is often called a "feed"). RSS makes reviewing a large number of sites in a very short time possible. RSS [also] permits instant distribution of content updates to consumers.
There are 2 main kinds of feed - atom and RSS. Blogger automatically generates an atom feed for your blog.

Why change it?: A lot of feedreaders don't read atom, & although it is possible to have a second feed in RSS format, that's confusing for your readers & possible subscribers, & feedreaders that index the way a search engine would won't see the second feed anyway.

Blogger only offers an atom feed. Feedburner feeds are "smart" & can take an atom feed & turn it into RSS, meaning that you can offer one feed that can be read in multiple formats.

Feedburner "smartcast" will automatically add rss headers to any sound file that
you link to, turning it into a podcast.

The feedburner "chicklet" displays the number of subscribers that you have right
on your blog, giving possible subscribers some sense of how hot your content is, & helping them to join in!!

The feedburner feed is browser-friendly & doesn't look like code, so the nervous
subscriber is soothed & reassured as they sign up for your content.

Update: As Fritz points out in the comments, & I neglected to mention, the other reason to switch is for Feedburner's stats, which will let you see how your feed was accessed, how many people subscribe, and what the recent trends are, as well as which posts from your feed are attracting attention. Sign in to feedburner once you're all set up, & select "view stats"....

For other services & options, see the Feedburner's info for publishers.

How do I do it?: Ah, the tricky part.... It isn't impossible, but it's slightly involved. There are two main parts

Step 1: Sign up for the feedburner feed by following their "blogger quick start" instructions in the top right of the main page.

Enter the URL of your blog on the Feedburner main page, & click next.

Select the services you'd like with your feed.

Confirm the services & activate the feed.

Place a link to the feed on your blog.

Step 2: Edit your template so that readers will see your new feed and not the default atom feed. This is recommended but optional. Read it through all the way first!!

View the source for your web-page in a text editor (view -> page source or similar)

Copy out the Meta-tags. If you haven't messed with these before, they begin with <meta and end with a closing style tag </style>. Blogger inserts them all
with one tag, so you won't see them in your template, which is why you have to view source. Mine look like this:

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8" />
<meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true" />
<meta name="generator" content="Blogger" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="blogname" href="" />
<link rel="" type="application/atom+xml" title="blogname" href="*********" />
<link rel="EditURI" type="application/rsd+xml" title="RSD" href="*********" />
<style type="text/css">
@import url("");
@import url("*********");

Paste the meta tags that you copied from the text editor into the head of your
blog template, immediately before the existing blogmetadata tag. (no good reason
... just easy to remember....)

Delete or hide the blogmetadata tag. You just replaced the single automatic blogger tag with the complete text of each individual meta tag, so you don't need it any more.

Now, after all that, there's one and only one line that we're going to edit. Be careful not to edit neighboring lines because they control the "e-mail this post" and "edit this post if I'm logged in" icons, & we don't want to break those.

The only line we're messing with is the autodiscovery tag. It looks like this: <link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="blogname" href="" />

It currently points to the atom feed from blogger and we want it to point to your new feed. Simply change the URL at the end of the code from the blogger / atom URL to the URL of your new feedburner feed. And we're done. Now if any feedreaders come a-crawling they'll detect your new feed and not the old one. For more info, & to see the poor folks at Feedburner answer the same question eighty-three times over for everyone who ever tried this (including me...) check out the feedburner forums tech tips "track all your traffic" thread!!

For bloglines - If you have an established site & bloglines already tracks one or more of your feeds, they won't stop using the old one automatically. If you e-mail them, however, they'll find the new feed & offer it to your readers. They are fine and helpful people!!

Have fun with feedburner!! Please add to this how-to in the comments if there's clarification required.

See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Posted at 10:38 AM by John.
Sunday, August 21, 2005
Turning down the heat on the "what's this for?" rant from last week, here's a more rational explanation for Graywolf's bookmarklet. If you'd like to generate tags for your posts that link to all related tags on, rather than to the tags that you've posted, this is the way to go. You & your readers will then be able to track conversations and threads using Pretty cool.

Posted at 2:55 PM by John.
Have added a section to my blogger hacks post for reader's hacks. If you've written a post that belongs on the list of hacks, let me know, & I'll add it to the list. The first post on the new list is from BananaStew, and describes how to get some very cool scrolling lists in your template sidebar. Let me know if you've got a post to add to the list.

The pause / break continues, but I'll be back later this week w/ more....

Posted at 2:50 PM by John.
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
but I don't quite see why.... Check out the post from Graywolf's Wolf-Howl, & hit the comments here to set me straight!! As I see it, the bookmarklet as-is, including the signon of an individual user, is useful to folks using as a category manager & tagging their own blog posts. After editing the bookmarklet to replace Ted's username with your own, it makes tags that point to the given tag in your account, and so to everything you've bookmarked on with that tag. I use this successfully to add categories to Freshblog.

If you take out the tags linking to your individual acct, is that helpful? Doesn't it "break" the tool? - or am I missing something?

Posted at 3:51 PM by John.
Freshblog just made the big time. The categories method is now an option on Blogger's very own Blogger Hacks page. Thanks, Blogger!! Much appreciated.
Posted at 12:17 PM by John.
Monday, August 15, 2005
<     >
A brief break
Just as Freshblog is riding a wave of traffic, energy and interaction with readers, and just as I finally have something to say, 'tis time for a break. I'm not going far, and I won't be gone long, but there won't be too much new stuff here for a week or two, especially since blogger won't let me post-date & auto-publish. Please stick around & watch for a big return of the hacks series!!
Posted at 8:34 PM by John.
Micropersuasion links to Ted Ernst's tag bookmarklet. For a detailed how-to, see my how-to for the bookmarklets method.
Posted at 6:04 PM by John.
As previously promised, I have asked bloglines to turn off Freshblog's default atom feed & go forward with the feedburner feed as the only subscription option. Watch for an expanded blogger hacks: the series post about what, why, & how.
Posted at 5:28 PM by John.
Been a while since I wrote a round-up of the folks who are making use of for categories. Here's the latest:
In a related issue, (another technorati rant) I have dropped a half-dozen links & 6,000 in the rankings since I last checked. Are they cleaning house or is there something screwy going on? KB Cafe has the scoop.

Filed in:
Posted at 5:08 PM by John.
Thursday, August 11, 2005
Photo of your Fridge: No, I can't think of a good reason either, but hey, take the shot & e-mail it to these dudes for their survey of fridge-kind. Imagine what we can learn about each other from gazing intently at a fridge, frozen in time... The zen of the soy cheese... the karma of the carrots.

via Core77.
Posted at 12:32 PM by John.
The Rocketeer has a gallery of very cool retro-looking Star Trek business cards on Flickr. There's cards for the key players and some incidental TOS characters. Excellent. They're cool coz they're old, and not coz they're trekky, which is interesting....

via BoingBoing

Filed in:
Posted at 11:45 AM by John.
See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Alright. Blogger Hacks: The Series. If we're going to do this then I should make some effort to be systematic & cover topics in a sensible order. Let's imagine you've got a new blogger blog, & a default blogger template, but you haven't messed with the code in the template too much & you'd like your blog to be visually distinctive. A new template may be a big part of the solution.

Blogger offers default templates when you register for a blog, & some of them are pretty cool. You can dress them up pretty well too, by changing the colors of links etc. If you want to move beyond the defaults, though, here's some places to look:

  • Updated 5/9/06: This blog uses a template generated by PsycHo. (Freshblog eval.) This is a great tool, and your template will validate straight off the site, at least until you paste in all your old code chunks!!

Some things to know before you change your template:

  1. Images - Although they'll let you add images to posts, blogger doesn't have a way of handling images for templates. The work-around here is to have web space somewhere else that you can upload the images to, & then modify the <img src=""> tag to point to the location of the image. It will slow your template down a bit, but I think it's the only way to keep the images tied to the template.

Updated 5/9/06: You can host your template images on blogger if you upload the image in a draft post, then grab the image URL out of the draft & use it as normal in your template. This is probably quicker than hosting images on an external service, but I haven't tested it...
  1. Existing Modifications – If you've already made some changes to your default template, they won't make the move with you unless you cut & paste. I recommend changing your template while your blog is young, before you've customised your sidebar too much!! I also recommend wrapping features that you add in begin & end comment tags to help you remember what all this stuff does, like this:
    <!-- begin statistics --> put sitemeter code here <!--end statistics-->

  2. Posts – If the template you pick is already set up for blogger, & has <blogger></blogger> tags with post formatting information between them, your posts will make the move. I can't guarantee that the template you choose is really blogger ready, so backup your existing template and preview your new template before you save it.

Disclaimer: There may be other things that you should know.

Whichever template you pick, here's how to make the switch:

  1. Log in to Blogger

  2. Click on the “change settings” gear-wheel on the dashboard

  3. Click the “template” tab at the top of the screen.

  4. Select & Cut (ctrl-x) your existing template text. Paste it into word, an e-mail or a text editor so that you have it as a backup.

  5. Paste in the new template text

  6. Click “preview” to see how things will look.

  7. If you like it, click on “save changes”

  8. Republish your entire site

    And there's your new, cool, unique “no-one else has it but me, & it didn't cost me a dime” template.

    Disclaimer: None of these links are recommendations or endorsements. I haven't tested these templates

Other Resources for template mods:

Good luck changing your template. Remember – backup & preview!!

See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Posted at 10:29 AM by John.
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
<     >
Feed Switch
A brief reminder: If you subscribe to Freshblog's atom feed in bloglines, please edit your subscription to point to the new feedburner feed. On Monday I'm completing the move to Feedburner by turning off atom in bloglines. I'm trying to offer a single feed & see all my subscribers... er... I mean both my subscribers!! ;-) Since the number of subscribers now passes my personal threshold for absolute embarrassment, I've also switched the feedburner icon to their stats chicklet... custom colored for Freshblog and displaying the number of subscribers.
Posted at 8:26 PM by John.
I previously linked to BoingBoing on buying a pre-played & supremely experienced mmg character. Now here's more, on folks who make outfits for the characters, selling them for in-game currency and real-world greenbacks. Interesting, and somehow a little hard-to-get-your-head-'round in a Matrix kind of a way!!

Filed in:
Posted at 7:13 PM by John.
Update July 2006: In order to better illustrate the subtle differences between some of these hacks, the contents of this list has been migrated to the BloggerHacks Wiki. To view all hacks in the wiki, visit the Category: Hacks page, where you'll see a list of all wiki content that has been categorised as a hack. New content submitted to Freshblog will be written up and added there. This list will not be updated going forward. Please visit the wiki to get a better handle on these hacks. For more information, read my post introducing the wiki.

Please continue to leave your comments here alerting me to your great hacks, and by all means add your hack or mod to the wiki. Thanks!!
Original Post:

A master-list of all the blogger hacks that I'm aware of, updated frequently to reflect the latest in blogger hackology. If the instructions or implementation on a hack that appeals to you is unclear, please e-mail & I'll try to help.

If there's no credit next to the link, the hack is one that I wrote. If there's a credit, you'll be taken to the blog of the hack-author to enjoy their creative modifications to blogger.

If you have a hack to contribute, either leave a comment, send me a trackback, or e-mail me.
  • FreshTags: Context Sensitive Category Menus for your Sidebar:
    1. FreshTags: A context-sensitive sidebar display of your tagged content.
    2. FreshTags for Wordpress, from Singpolyma Technical Blog.
  • Categories using Firefox & Greasemonkey:
    1. Categories using Greasemonkey: Basic Script to add tags to your posts.
    2. Greasemonkey Script v2. with added options for styling, and tags that return to the "tag entry" field when you open a post to edit it. By Browservulsel
    3. Greasemonkey Script v3. Post to from inside your blogger account, and auto-populate the submission form with your tags. By Ecmanaut See also revised Freshblog How-to
  • Categories using Javascript:
    1. In-Blog Categories using .js - See Marc Morales, and later posts that describe the evolution of the system. In fact, hit up his October Archives and read back as far as the 23rd. All good stuff.
    2. In-Blog Categories using .js, with integrated in-post search results. From Pappmaskin Diare Techblog, explored and explained further by Gretchen at YLCF
    3. In-Blog Categories using .js. Take the feed for each tag, turn it into a script, & publish the script in a pre-dated post on your blog. From Naked Sex Monkey
    4. Del.icio.us2Blogger In-Blog Categories using .js. In-post search results in a single dynamic post - from Phydeaux3. Original Version: Comprehensive 3-part how-to. Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. See also the how-to for the Tag Cloud
    5. Labelr, by Amit Upadhay. Integrated and easy categories using .js
    6. Collapsible Sidebar display for categories - from 3Spots
    7. Asynchronous Blogger Categories - by Aditya
  • Categories using Google Blog Search:
    1. Categories using Google Blog Search - from Orangewise
    2. Categories using Google Blog Search & keywords in your post titles, from NetCF2.0
    3. Categories using Google Blog Search & Technorati tags as your keywords, from Skeptic Rant
    4. Categories using Google Blog Search, with a .js sidebar menu, by Taher.
  • Manual Categories:
    1. Categories without bookmarking - from Virtual Scratchpad
    2. Manual Categories - Manually add your permalinks to a master-list post for each category. From Theatre of Noise.
    3. Manual Categories with slick expand & contract sidebar menus - from A Consuming Experience.
    4. Manual Categories using a second blog - from Rangga
  • Other Category Methods:
    1. Categories using multiple blogs - from OldCola
    2. Categories for self-hosted Blogger Blogs, using PHP - by Moshare
  • Apply Stylesheets to your Blog:
    1. Print View for your Content using CSS - from You've Been Haacked
    2. Print View w/ possibilities for "stylesheet switcher" - from Aditya
  • Search Your Blog:
    1. Native Blog Search - Pull Google Blogsearch results into your sidebar - by Aditya
    2. Ajaxified Google Blogsearch - by CJ Millisock
    3. Search for Related Posts on the Create Post Page w/ Greasemonkey - by Aditya
  • Comment Submission Hacks:
    1. In-post comment form, Cocomment Compatible - from Singpolyma
    2. In-line comments with images / icons - from Ecmanaut
    3. In-line comments with images, quicktags & live preview - from Basang Panagini
    4. In-line comments (download zipped as RAR file) - from Azer Koculu
  • Comment Formatting Hacks:
    1. Highlight Author / Owner Comments - from Aditya
    2. Highlight Owner, w/ Profile Pics - from Singpolyma
    3. Grammatically Correct Comment Count - by Aditya
  • Hacks to backup your Blog:
    1. Backup your last 100 posts using your feed - from Ecmanaut
  • Nav-bar Hacks:
  1. Use CSS to hide the Navbar - from Blogger Templates. I interpret this as a TOS violation & don't recommend it.
  2. Comment out the navbar - from Tygar-blog. Ditto.
  3. Customise the color of the navbar so that it works with your template - from blogkardesligi
  4. Build the nav-bar into your template- From Saady (see his comments for how-to)
  5. Show / Hide the Navbar with Hover-over - from Bloggeratto
  • Other Hack Collections:
    1. 3 consecutive posts w/ multiple hacks - from Witfits. 1,2,3
    2. Spicing it Up from Saady (templates, tagboards, counters, & a cool nav-bar hack.)
    3. List of hacks from Sushi-Delight.
    4. Dave Goodman's List of Blogger Hacks
I'll take all the input I can get, so please dive in to the comments and trackback to link to other relevant material. Let's turn this post into a one-stop shop for blogger mods!!

Posted at 5:50 PM by John.
Tor has broken out his rants into 3 columns courtesy of blogskins, and he's still categorising the Freshblog way!! Cool template.
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Posted at 5:40 PM by John.
I have never thought of spiders looking at outbounds... I have focussed on inbounds as a way to increase traffic & bring more people here from more places. ProBlogger thinks that quality outbounds probably reflect back on the blog from whence they come, which had never even crossed my mind, and makes me wonder whether wrapping all your outbounds in a blogroll & shrinking them to one line of code does you harm when the robots come....
Posted at 5:25 PM by John.
The fine folks at blogger want to know what you think. Log in & let them know, by all means. Plenty of chance for some positive feedback too. As I hope we're proving here at Freshblog, it is very possible to blog for free on blogger & still have a blog that is "automatic, systematic and hydromatic, why it's greased lightening." (channeling Travolta.... sorry!!)

I completed the survey & made sure to ask for tags, since I am suspiciously suspicious that the tags have impacted my traffic for the better, & I think it would be great if they were easily available to all blogspot users. Zenyenta has asked for categories. Hit the comments when you're done with the survey & let me know what you asked for...
Posted at 4:37 PM by John.
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
In response to a comment from GodsDragon, here's some thoughts on how, why & when to make your blogger post titles clickable.

Two sets of tags that we're messing with here. blogitemtitle and itempage / mainpage. To start with the last ones, blogger calls these conditional tags & they govern which parts of your template are displayed on main & post pages. You can wrap certain elements of your template in these tags to force them to display conditionally.

As for blogitemtitle, clickable blog post titles seem to be a feature of the newer default blogger templates that I've messed with, but if you're old-school, or using a special template from blogskins, for example, then your titles won't click. All these edits are for code between the blogger tags. Specifically we're going to replace the blogitemtitle tags, and add some extra stuff between them. Please back up your templates first!!

Here's 3 reasons to make your post title clickable, & 3 ways to do it if you'd like to add the feature:

1: Make the post title click back to your main page.

Why? I don't know really. Some sort of home link from in-post is useful, but I don't think a reader will expect your post title to be it. Anyway....

<BlogItemTitle><span class="PostTitle">
<a href="<$BlogURL$>">

If you want this to only work on the permalink post page, wrap both the opening link tag & the closing a-tag in itempage tags, like this:

<BlogItemTitle><span class="PostTitle">
<itempage><a href="<$BlogURL$>"></itempage>

2: Make the post title the permalink.

More useful, esp to jump off the main page to the post page. For this one...

<BlogItemTitle><span class="PostTitle">
<a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">

For clickable titles on every page, just replace the existing blogitemtitle code with the snippet above.

If you want this to only work on the main page
, wrap both the entire opening link tag & the closing a-tag in mainpage tags. You need 2 seperate sets of these tags, because if you include <$BlogItemTitle$> in the wrap, your title won't show on the post page. The solution? Leave the existing non-clickable post title in your template, wrapped in itempage tags, & add the above code to your template wrapped in mainorarchivepage tags.

3: Make the post title link offsite to whatever link you put in your link field.

This makes use of the <BlogItemURL> tags. Podcast? Link to offsite media? If your post title is "Dave's Show #3: The Spielberg Interview" then you'll want to link to the MP-3 from your title field, I guess. First enable the link field in your blogger settings. [dashboard > settings > formatting]. If you want the link to appear in the body or footer of your post, you'll have to add blogitem code to your template:

<a href="<$BlogItemURL$>">Link</a>

If you want the link to appear as your post title, you can combine blogitemURL and blogitemtitle tags as follows:

<span class="post-title">
<BlogItemUrl><a href="<$BlogItemUrl$>" title="external link"></BlogItemUrl>

making clickable titles that point to the link you specify in the link field.

A combination of 1 & 2 ought to be possible too, using item page and main page tags. Make the title the permalink off the main page, & the link back home from the post page. Try this:

<BlogItemTitle><span class="PostTitle">
<itempage><a href="<$BlogURL$>"><$BlogItemTitle$></a></itempage>
<mainpage><a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkUrl$>" title="permanent link"><$BlogItemTitle$></a></mainpage>

Hope these are useful edits for you. I may even roll something out at Freshblog!! Code, of course, made visible by the fine people at Centricle.

See other posts in Blogger Hacks: The Series

Posted at 10:49 AM by John.
Monday, August 08, 2005
If you read Freshblog in Bloglines, here's a heads up. In 7 days I'm going to ask Bloglines to delete the default atom feed & go forward with Feedburner, so that any new subscribers get the smartfeed. If you're one of the small band of atom subscribers, (holy cow there's 17 now...) & you're willing to do me a minor favor, please edit your subscription to point to the new feedburner feed. Thanks.
Posted at 8:17 PM by John.
Zoli points out that the volume seems high & the service seems slow once again. For my 10c, I notice that even when the search shows my new inbounds, the summary still lists 43 from 35, or whatever, despite pings & tags & such.
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Posted at 6:54 PM by John.
Again with the internet technology forcing real-word interactions. This time a real goodie!! Where's George meets Geocaching, but with heavier and more interesting material. Tag your books then leave them places for folks to catch, read & re-release. What a great idea!!
Book sharing has never been more exciting, more serendipitous, than with BookCrossing. Our goal, simply, is to make the whole world a library. BookCrossing is a book exchange of infinite proportion, the first and only of its kind.

Let's get right down to it. You know the feeling you get after reading a book that speaks to you, that touches your life, a feeling that you want to share it with someone else? gives you a simple way to share books with the world, and follow their paths forever!
The "3 Rs" of BookCrossing...

1. Read a good book (you already know how to do that)
2. Register it, and label the book
3. Release it for someone else to read ...and get notified by email each time someone records journal entries for that book.
via Birmingham Metroblog

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Posted at 6:43 PM by John.
You have five seconds to doodle something, and then your doodle will be taken from you and morphed into the doodles of previous doodlers. Now that's interactive art!!

via Google Blogoscoped

Posted at 6:29 PM by John.


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Posted at 5:28 PM by John.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that I was interested in starting a podcast. let's say I can figure out the blogging part, the feeds part, & even (probably) the audio editing part. Everything from the computer onwards.

Here's my question. How, oh casters of pods, do you make your audio? Can you use a digital MP3 recorder / dictaphone, or does that get you a poor quality recording to work with? Do I need microphones and mixing desks and the like?

If you'd like to tell me what works for you, please leave the good word in the comments!! Much appreciated.
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Posted at 4:01 PM by John.
Friday, August 05, 2005
Great & succinct assessment of the shortcomings of various cosmos search services, and a thought about total links v. new links:

The RSS Blog: "More and more, I see people reporting how many total links Technorati, IceRocket, PubSub and BlogPulse have found that point to their blog. These numbers are utterly meaningless. The important number is how many new links you are finding with these tools....A new experiment is in order. I'm gonna write down how I find new links. So, please link to this article, so I can write them down..."

Consider the article linked (sneaky ploy for inbounds or sincere investigative effort? ;-) Let me know if / how you find the inbound.

I guess it's true that the principal use for these tools ought to be finding new links that enable a conversation to occur as close to real-time as possible, rather than rank-bragging or "top 500" membership.

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Posted at 1:18 PM by John.

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