A FavIcon for your Blog

Favicon?

Just in case you don’t know, a favicon is the little symbol you see in the url bar and next to a website’s title in the tabs and bookmarks.

If you want one like that for your blog, this’ll tell you how to do it. It’s really pretty simple.

FavIcon SourceYou need a source graphic. Take or make a square picture. For my blog I created a simple 64×64 graphic.

Go to Chami’s FavIcon Generator, enter your picture’s location, generate your favicon.ico and download it.

Copy the favicon.ico from the downloaded zip to your blog’s root directory.

Open your theme’s header.php and add

<link rel=”shortcut icon” href=”http://yourblog/favicon.ico”>

above the php stuff (there should already be other links that start with “<link rel=” - just add it there).

You’re done. Look at your blog and you should see your favicon.


Share This

Popularity: 31% [?]

Tags: ,

How to add a widget to the sidebar

There are basically two ways to add widgets to the sidebar. The easy one for people who use a widget-ready theme, and then there’s the way for people who are either using a non-widget-ready theme or are weird German guys with too much time on their hands, who prefer to mess with the code. Uhm, yeah, that would be me.

The easy way

Go to your admin panel and click on presentation. Under “widgets” you see your sidebar(s). Don’t worry, that’s just the widgets. The non-witgetized parts of the sidebar are not shown. You didn’t lose them.

Widget - opens in new windowDrag a “Text 1″ widget into your sidebar.

Click the configure button on the right.

Paste the code you copied from the widget provider (i. e. BlogCatalog) into the big text field.

Close it, click “Save Changes” and you should be set.

The harder way

Open your sidebar.php in a text editor. I prefer to have the widget above the meta section of the sidebar, so I look for it in the code. Ah, there it is.

<li><h2>Recent Entries</h2>
<ul>
<?php query_posts(’showposts=10′); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<li><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>”><?php the_title() ?></a></li>
<?php endwhile; endif; ?>
</ul>
</li>

<li><h2>Meta</h2>
<ul>

It will look different in your theme. Just make sure you found the meta part. Before you edit anything, you should make sure that you have a backup copy of the file. Now I will paste the code from the widget provider into the theme, which results in this:

<li><h2>Recent Entries</h2>
<ul>
<?php query_posts(’showposts=10′); ?>
<?php if (have_posts()) : while (have_posts()) : the_post(); ?>
<li><a href=”<?php the_permalink() ?>”><?php the_title() ?></a></li>
<?php endwhile; endif; ?>
</ul>
</li>

<ul>
<li><script type=”text/javascript” src=”http://www.blogcatalog.com/w/recent.php?id=XXXXXX”/script></li>
</ul>

<li><h2>Meta</h2>
<ul>

As you can see, I also gave it ul and li tags, to match the rest of the sidebar. Save the file, upload it to your ftp, thus replacing your old sidebar.php. You should be able to see your shiny new widget now.

I hope this was of help to you. If it was (even if not), drop me line. I’m always interested in feedback.


Share This

Popularity: 41% [?]

Tags: , , ,

Dosh Dosh - thorough and inspiring

Before I started to take blogging more seriously, I didn’t like feed readers. I was pretty happy with just using my bookmarks.

My own blog was in German, and I updated it only sporadically. It was just an outlet for my thoughts, when I felt like writing them down. After a while I thought “Hey, maybe if I blogged in English, I could have readers from all over the world.” Yes, I admit, I also thought I could make some money this way.

I started browsing the web. I checked out blogs and read a lot about blogging. When I discovered a blog named “Dosh Dosh“, I did what I refused to do before – I got myself a feed reader. The certainty not to miss new posts was worth changing my habits.

Since then I got to know quite a number of bloggers and their blogs. One thing hasn’t changed, though: When it comes to detailed, thoroughly written articles, I have yet to see someone beat Maki. On his about page he writes:

Most of the content you’ll read on this blog is directed towards this end: Detailed reviews of websites, programs and products will primarily examine their role in short or long term monetization strategies.

The emphasis here is definitely placed on detailed.

Take some time and look through his archive.

Some recommended articles for the aspiring blogger:

This review has not been part of some kind of exchange, and it has not been paid or asked for. It’s simply a recommendation.


Share This

Popularity: 26% [?]

Tags: , , ,

The Social Web Part 4: StumbleUpon

Yes, this 4th and last past part (for now) of the Social Web Series is devoted to one single service.

StumbleUpon not only combines a lot of the features that put the 2 in Web 2.0. It’s easy to use, community driven and delivers a constant flow of targeted traffic to your blog.

How to start

It’s pretty simple. Go to the StumbleUpon website, download the toolbar, register as a user and you’re set. When you visit a website you like, hit the “I like it” button (The thumbs up).
StumbleUpon will learn what you like and compare your interests to that of other stumblers. When you hit the stumble button, you will be send to sites that where stumbled by people with interests similar to yours.

What else can I do?

Edit your preferences. When others look at your profile, you should let them know a little bit about you.

Voice your opinion. After stumbling something, write a little comment. I always appreciate it, when people tell me, what they think about my posts. Don’t you?

Add some friends. Look for people who share some interests with you, browse through their stumble history and add them to your list of friends. That way you add another source for StumbleUpon to better guess just what exactly you might like.

Join groups. There are many groups on StumbleUpon, built around a specific interest. Join the ones that you feel fit your interests.

Use the forums. After you’ve joined a group, browse through it’s forum. There might be some pretty interesting discussion you don’t want to miss.

Use feeds. You can see who stumbled your posts by entering http://www.stumbleupon.com/url/ followed by the post’s address. If you want to be informed of new reviews, you can add it to your feed reader by subscribing to http://www.stumbleupon.com/reviews.php?url= followed by the address.

I hope you will give StumbleUpon a try. It’s really worth it, no matter if you’re just looking for an interesting site or have your own blog in mind.

If there’s anything unclear, you can always check the official or the unofficial faq.

The Social Web Series
Part 1 - Social News Sites
Part 2 - Social Bookmarking
Part 3 - Blog Communities
Part 4 - StumbleUpon


Share This

Popularity: 20% [?]

Tags: , , ,

The Social Web Part 3: Blog Communities

Have you noticed the small avatars in my sidebar? You have seen them on other blogs too? Well, if you haven’t been curious enough to check them out, you might want to do it now.

Blog Community Services

What these services have in common is the possibility for you or your blog to join communities (or neighborhoods). All of them also provide a widget you can customize and then display in your sidebar (or wherever it pleases you).

MyBlogLog

Recently acquired by Yahoo. MyBlogLog is the biggest of the communities, at least for now. I don’t know what Yahoo has planned for them, but they should implement features soon, or I’m sure we will see others take MyBlogLog’s place. As a visitor you can join blog’s communities. A blogger can place a “last visitors”widget on his side, which shows pictures of them, if they are registered at MyBlogLog. He also gets to see nice stats (the restricted version is free) about his blog.

BlogCatalog

If your looking for an objective review, you should take this with a grain of salt. BlogCatalog is my favorite of all the community services. It’s intuitively designed, has neighborhoods, friends, and like MyBlogLog you can get a widget that shows your visitors. What makes BlogCatalog the community of my choice are the discussions. It’s got a forum full of other bloggers, with whom you can talk. I think I’ve met more nice and interesting people there than anywhere else on the web. Since the userbase is spread pretty much around the globe, you have round-the-clock communication. Okay, I’ll stop here. I sound like a fanboy.

Bumpzee

Bumpzee goes another way. Where the others’ communities are single blogs and their visitors, Bumpzee communities are made of blogs who center around a common topic. Every community has it’s manager. Before you can join, he first has to approve your blog, to keep out spammers. Instead of just linking to the member blogs, Bumpzee reads their feed and links to the posts. In addition to the “latest visitors” widget you can also use a voting feature. Check it out. While the features look really nice, it doesn’t feel as homely as BlogCatalog to me.

The Social Web Series
Part 1 - Social News Sites
Part 2 - Social Bookmarking
Part 3 - Blog Communities
Part 4 - StumbleUpon


Share This

Popularity: 37% [?]

Tags: , , , , , ,

Close
E-mail It
Socialized through Gregarious 42