Thursday, December 10, 2009

ON BLOGGING ~ Tech Support...

BlogAnon: Joy of Confession

Image by Cool Text: Logo and Graphics Generator

Welcome to our weekly BlogAnon meeting where we confess a particular blogging sin and turn to you for support, suggestions and that blogging bond so we know we're not all alone. Don't be shy. Read along and let us know if you identify with us this week.

I have noticed a trend. This is not a new trend. It is old as dirt. So I guess I'm not all that observant. But nevertheless, here it is. Bloggers aren't as tech savvy as their blogs appear to be. We don't know how to make our thoughts as pretty as we'd like. We decide it is easier to just give up the fight rather than track down the answers. This leads to complacency and sometimes, annoyance - especially when we stumble across some new fangled blogger flaunting all their tech tricks like one of Tiger's hot mamas happy to tell the world.

Well I for one have had enough. I have a teaching degree that gathers dust with each day spent working in financial services and it is about time I put it to use. Would you readers like to learn? Would you like someone to go figure out how to do things and then explain it to you in words and phrases that real people use in the non-techie world? I can do this. I am tired of using my lack of knowledge as an excuse for lack of ability.

I will embark on this quest (albeit more in the fashion of Monty Python's Holy Grail than Frodo and The Ring) provided that when I share what I learn and you can understand it that you will be empowered to use it and follow through with the implementation. No more excuses. Now, what do you want to know? What shall my first mission be?

What is your biggest technology frustration when posting? What is the one techie secret you want desperately to be unlocked? What do you not know that you are afraid to ask anyone else? Don't be afraid to share - your blogger thoughts are safe with us!


Sandy Nawrot said...

Well, I think I've told you this before, but I am a technical boob. About a year ago, I decided I wanted to change my column widths, so Beth F helped me, and all I did was manage to completely screw it up, so people who were on Firefox couldn't see my words. I fixed it finally. So I am terrified to touch the damn thing. However, what I would love to know how to do is to add tabs (About me tab, list of past reveiws tab, awards tab, etc.) without blowing the whole thing up.

cardiogirl said...

(Adjusts her fake wig and huge sunglasses while she sets her voice scrambler to low and garbled.)

I am absolutely terrified of the WordPress updates. I dug my heels in and held onto 2.1 for a really, really long time until there was some hacker scare.

Then I lit incense and crossed my fingers while I upgraded to 2.8.5. Very soon after (maybe a month or two) they came out with 2.8.6.

Why won't this end? I hate upgrading. I'm always afraid I'll lose everything. Gah!

Sweep the Leg, can't anything remain static?

Susan said...

Well, I have to confess that I'm one who has to find the answer. Before blogger made instant access to stuff like text color, text size, strikethroughs, etc., I just looked it up and figured it out myself. There was lots of trial and error, believe me!

I still can't figure out how to make a link that works in comments. So that would be good. I would like the things that Sandy mentioned, but not sure blogger will let you do those. Don't you have to be on wordpress or that other one to have tabs?

The Bumbles said...

OK! So Sandy and Susan want to know how to make tabs. Coincidentally that happens to be one goal for 2010 so this is extra motivation to get me going on that. Beth Fish Reads actually has a link to her tab script on her site that I keep meaning to research. I'll share what I learn. And yes - tabs can be done in blogger - just not with auto templates as far as I have found. You have to do it in HTML script of your own or of someone else's creation.

The Bumbles said...

CG - er, I mean woman in disguise wishing to remain anonymous here at BlogAnon - seems to need help backing up. Not physically - backing up her files. Me too. I have no copies of any posts or templates from over a year's worth of blogging. If Google decides to take Blogger away - bye bye Bumbles posts. Another project I've been meaning to research for 2010. How to easily backup posts. Do I have to manually copy and paste the HTML into a word doc and backup that file? Or is there an easier way? I'll put this on the list. As for WP updates - I have noticed they seem to happen often. UpTake and LifeSnips are housed on WP so my posts for them are all created there. I actually wish Blogger would do some sort of re-vamp. They don't have nearly the flexible options and plug-ins that WP does.

The Bumbles said...

Susan - you have to use HTML tags in the Comment box to create links/manipulate the text. HTML is something that I have found is a foreign concept to many bloggers. I have tried to self-teach in that arena for a while. I only know the basics, but having that base gives me confidence rather than fear of all that gibberish looking script that makes Andy's eyes cross and his brow furrow whenever I am creating posts in that view. I'll e-mail you how to do a link in HTML. I'm thinking there is a big need for an HTML tutorial/reference booklet. Maybe I'll write one. Do you think anyone would buy it?

Margot said...

Thank God you brought this out in the open. After a year plus at blogging I can do some of the basics but not much more.

I am so glad you are going to teach this as I have complete confidence in your ability. I will be forever thankful to you for teaching me "short link" or how to leave my blog post link in a comment. (I think that is what Susan is asking for.)

I don't understand what you did. I keep the copied note from you on my desktop and change the information each time. This leads to my request -

# 1. I'd love a good resource for learning HTML. I know there are answers for some of my problems on the Wordpress Forum or at my Theme's Forum. The problem is I can't understand what they are saying. I think they are speaking HTML or is it some other techie language?

#2. I don't know how to back up my blog either. I have a gizmo for backing up my hard drive but I don't think that will work for my blog. (The genius at the Mac store told me what to buy.) I upgrade the Wordpress versions regularly but I know I'm playing with fire.

#3. I'd love to be able to add an index on my pages but I don't know how. For instance, on my list of books I've read it would be great if they could be put in alphabetical order by title and by author. I'm sure there is a way to do that without me going one by one with each book.

As of right now, that's my Christmas Wish List for my little blog.

The Bumbles said...

Margot = An index eh? Hmm. You want a way to sort the list the way you want instead of the way the default plug-in organizes it for you? I remember struggling to find a format for our Travelogue list - I never did find the right method. Maybe my search for a better method of displaying that would help your needs in sorting your books?

Unknown said...

I would love to know how to make tabs as Sandy said, too. I am hoping to soon change my blog to 3 columns though it freaks me out. There are many things I'd like to find out how to do but now that I have a forum to ask, they've all disappeared from my memory. Hence I may return!
Thank you for asking :o)

ds said...

I'm with Sandy, Susan, and Amy. Knowing how to make tabs would be awesome, as would organizing archives, etc. And I'll take as many tutorials in HTML as you are willing to give (I tried--really tried--to make sense of the books on the subject, but even "for Dummies" was beyond my comprehension!).

Thank you for this most excellent idea.

Beth F said...

Yes!!!!!! I can usually figure things out, but I'd much rather have someone figure stuff out for me. I'd like to know more about how to tweak codes -- sometimes I have a hard time shrinking java/html things to fit my sidebars (I use blogger).

Also a go-to link for html codes for symbols and colors would be nice.

kayerj said...

I'm all up for tutorials. I have learned a lot from "Sneaky Momma" That's about all she does on her blog--teach you how to do stuff with blogger. Most of the time I don't understand what I'm doing--but it works. I don't know what I want until I see someone else do it. Last week a blogger told me she thought my photo's would look better if I did away with the automatic framing. I was so excited I emailed her asking for the tip. I felt like an idiot when she emailed me back.

hit customize, layout, settings, fonts and colors and change the code to match your background. Duh!

I really need help!

I've also had it with picking up virus's. My computer is running so poorly now and I've been backing everything up so my husband can reformat. How do you avoid them? And where do they come from?

Anonymous said...

I'm a tech-less blogger. Seriously, some of the crap on my blog is only there because I'm afraid if I try to get rid of it I'll completely screw it up. I've had a book on hold at the library for months. I'm probably going to have to break down and buy one! Any help or advice you can give will be greatly appreciated. Put that degree to use :)