Monday, November 05, 2007

closed circuit to bloggers

The blog template has been giving me fits. The slightest error while cutting and pasting HTML can ruin everything. In the past few days, I have updated the sidebar to add a few bells and whistles like the "Recent Comments" list. I thought it might encourage more of you to post comments. As always, I prefer non-anonymous comments. Part of the problem I'm having is that several of the sidebar elements disappear on the post pages and/or archive pages. Another part of the problem is that the changes I made looked fine in my Firefox browser at home but were messed up in my Internet Explorer at work. I think that I made my Google search box too wide, causing the sidebar to appear below all the blog posts. Changing the size of the search box was easy enough. The hard part has come trying to upload the new template to my server. I keep getting a message telling me that the upload is taking longer than expected. It usually stalls after uploading 12% or less of the files. Also, this very blog post has been resisting my repeated efforts to upload it. At this point I would be surprised if anyone ever gets to read it.

I know that some of you will suggest I switch to different blogging software. In fact, I got an email from a reader over the weekend inviting me to try WordPress. When my friend Bean relaunched his blog, he switched to TypePad. I'm not ready to think about that right now. I have written 922 posts using Blogger without any major problems. My current difficulty is probably a minor hiccup.

Something else came to light in my sidebar updates. I put in a newer Technorati widget, which announces to the whole world that my "authority" number is 9. How lame. Unless, as my friend Chris suggested today, Technorati numbers are like golf scores. Most of the other blogs I read have much higher numbers. For example, Left of the Dial has a 28, Knoxville Trivia Blog has a 42, Reality Me has a 54 and The Kat House has a 581. I don't even know where to begin to up my number.

Maybe posting a link to my RSS and Atom feeds will help. Shortly after the Knoxville Symphony's Blogger Night, Tish from the aforementioned Kat House pointed out that my RSS feed wasn't listed on my site. That's because I didn't know how to do it. I've been occasionally skimming through the help topics, trying to figure it out. Now I think all you do is post a link to right?

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Anonymous Doug McCaughan said...

Blogger is the gateway to WordPress. I started on Blogger against the advice I was giving my clients which is "do not rely on 3rd party solutions!" Now, you have blogger ftping to your own site so you are protecting your content. I was using a blogspot address so when Blogger decided to suspend my account I lost all my drafts and all my content. I had no backups and they did not respond to me for 6 months.

I highly recommend is the same thing as Blogger, a third party solution. is open source software that you host and control. It is well supported by the community with wonderful plugins. The code is easy to work with for non-technies. Search engines like WordPress. As a bonus, WordPress will import ALL your Blogger posts and comments so you lose NOTHING and gain much more control by switching to WordPress.

Of course, you have hundreds of CMS choices. I'll happily advise and help you choose some blogging software.

Anonymous Doug McCaughan said...

Btw, I show your rss feed as

Anonymous Doug McCaughan said...

I've never questioned the technorati authority number. Looks like it was introduced in May.

"Technorati Authority is the number of blogs linking to a website in the last six months. The higher the number, the more Technorati Authority the blog has.

It is important to note that we measure the number of blogs, rather than the number of links. So, if a blog links to your blog many times, it still only count as +1 toward your authority. Of course, new links mean the +1 will last another 180 days.

Technorati Rank is calculated based on how far you are from the top. The blog with the hightest Technorati Authority is the #1 ranked blog. The smaller your Technorati Rank, the closer you are to the top."

So The Kat House is well linked to! (Memes help with that). I wonder if comment feeds count as links. So by having my url in a comment have I increased my technorati authority? Would seem useless as I could falsely increase my authority by spamming blogs.

Blogger Byron Chesney said...

Looks like Doug pretty much covered everything.
Make sure in your blogger settings, under "site feed" that you switch to "advanced mode" and set all options to "full."

Like Doug has already pointed out, the Technorati numbers are pulled from the number of blogs linking to you. So all of those links that I have to your site from my Knoxville Trivia site are only counting as one on your Technorati authority.:(
The numbers fall off as the links get older. I have been at 52 before and all of a sudden dropped into the 30's. It's frustrating.

The widgets don't play well with classic templates. When I switched to the new blogger templates most of my issues went away, however, I don't think you have that option since you host on your own site and not bloggers.

Also, since you host on your own site, then your posts should all be archived somewhere in your root directory. So you shouldn't have to worry about losing content by switching to another blog company. Of course, moving all of your 922 posts would be time consuming! YIKES!

Blogger Frank Murphy said...

Update: Blogger has acknowledged that uploading to FTP hosts like mine.

Anonymous Tish said...

Hi, Frank!

Use the RSS feed that Doug listed, and link it to the orange RSS feed button. That is what new readers to your site typically look for. It's a quick way to scan over your page and subscribe to the feed.

I moved my blog from Blogger to Wordpress in May, and all posts and comments were transferred successfully. I was amazed at the options Wordpress has compared to Blogger. You even get information on where your visitors come from without having to install some other site meter.

As for Technorati Authority and Rank, it is difficult to maintain, because it is based on the number of blogs linking to you over the past six months. I have found that the best way to increase your authority and rank is by frequenting other blogs and commenting on them. By establishing new friendships in the blogosphere, you will naturally get lots of links back to your blog. These days, most everyone does some sort of speed linking - usually on a weekly basis. If your blog is in their feed reader, there's a good chance you'll get linked that way. Participating in memes is another way to meet new bloggers, and at the same time, increase your authority.

I also highly recommend that you join MyBlogLog, BlogCatalog, and any other social networking sites. They will bring an incredible amount of traffic to your site!

Have a great night, and thanks for the link!

Anonymous Doug McCaughan said...

Btw, Mozilla provides the Feed Icons as a free download.

Blogger Frank Strovel III said...

I have to join the chorus and say that moving from Blogger to WordPress was a move I should've made sooner. After so many template screw-ups and being unable to post too many times, I got my own domain name and made the move.

You don't have to get your own domain and can use, of course, but it's inexpensive and also offers more options. I use BlueHost. Adding "bells and whistles" is a breeze.


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