Blogger Hacks, Categories, Tips & Tricks

Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Freshtags for Archives
Not content with blogging my comments from other folks' blogs, I'm blogging my comments from my own blog. Ron has added Freshtags to his blog, & has asked for a bit more info about the option for an archive menu with post count. Here's the (hopefully comprehensive) scoop:

This hack uses a bookmarklet and menu combo that allows you to bookmark your archive pages on with a special tag, and a post count. That way you can pull these pages out of and into a sidebar menu that includes a post count & gives your readers a sense of how much stuff you're writing & what's happening on your blog.

To get it working, you need to install Freshtags, & add the code for the archive menu into your sidebar, at whatever point you'd like the menu to appear. You can keep the blogger menu going too, if you like, as I do here for some unknown reason!

After installing the menu, drag the archiving bookmarklet from the bottom of the Freshtags Build Page onto the links bar of your browser. Edit the bookmarklet (by right-clicking & selecting properties)

1. Change the title if you'd like
2. Replace both instances of the word "Vent" in the location field with the name of your blog, so that the bookmarklet reads

...'&description=blogname: '+tidy(document.title)+'&tags=blogname_archive&extended...

Now you're all set for a mammoth session of archive bookmarking.

Visit each archive page in turn. Count your posts, and select the bookmarklet to bookmark them to & add a post count. You'll be prompted to log in to if you haven't already, & asked to enter the post count for the month on a pop-up form. When you're done, the menu will list all of your archive pages with a post count. Check it out on the sidebar here....

As an additional incentive, this archive hack plays very nicely with the Blog Navigator, as long as you bookmark your archive page to at the beginning of the new month with a bogus post count, and then go back & correct the count at the end of the month.

If you're new to Freshtags, check out our introduction to the service.

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Posted at 7:45 PM by John.
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Blogger Greg said...
Excellent synopsis, John!

I'd add that it's a good idea to leave your old blogger-generated archive on the main page, by enclosing it in MainPage and noscript tags:

<MainPage><noscript> ... </MainPage></noscript>

This is since the FreshTags archive is dynamically generated - and hence invisible to search engine spiders. This means search engines may miss your crucial archive pages.

You just need to have one (hidden) non-JavaScript archive somwhere on your main page and the spiders will still be able to get to it. Putting the hidden archive on the rest is superfluous and adds to page download time.

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Blogger Ron said...
Thx John and Greg.

Think it's really helpfull altough I've to read it several times because it's all new to me. But it's learning by doing, right?

My biggest problem is where to locate my archive! I mean the location because that's what I need to fill in.

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