Wilkie Martin - Surviving Publication

Author of the unhuman series of addictive comedy cozy mysteries set in the Cotswolds. This documents my encounters with publishing and includes things I hope will be useful later. It also covers some local writing competitions and reviews some writing events.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Roshi Fernando at Writers in the Brewery 25 November 2010

This evening celebrated National Short Story Week.

Roshi's first book, Homesick, a composite novel featuring inter-linked short stories about Sri Lankan immigrants in the UK, was published in September this year. She is currently working on a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Swansea and writing a novel. She won the Impress prize for new writers in 2009.

Roshi gave the brave few who ventured out on a bitterly cold evening a fascinating insight into her work. She said that she had been trying to work on a metafiction (fiction about the nature of literature) novel, which wasn't working well, so she tried her hand at short stories. Some of these worked really well. She was influenced by the way immigrants cling to aspects of their own culture, often observing traditions that are neglected in their country of origin. After one of her stories won the Impress prize, an agent wanted to see her work and after much hard work she was published.

At first she was pleased but then found it awkward when stories that had been private were in the public domain, getting attention. This was especially embarrassing with stories that had sex in them. Her editor found the book was sad and Roshi realised that it was because of the issues she raised in it. She does not intend writing another 'issues' book in the immediate future. Now she has been recognised as a writer, she finds it something of a mixed blessing, although it does offer her opportunities. For instance, she has been invited to speak at a literary festival in Galle Literary Festival(Sri Lanka) about Freedom of Speech in Sri Lanka.

She produced some hints for aspiring writers.
- Winning a literary prize is a good way of getting noticed!
- Use disparate elements to make a good story (e.g. she wrote one about a mute Muslim boy who was a fan of Charlie Chaplin).
- When a story gets stuck, put some movement into it.
- Make sure you do enough research.

After Roshi, some local writers read some of their work - unusually (possibly as a reflection of National Short Story Week) there was only one poem. I read, No Bed of Roses, a short ghost/horror story that seemed to horrify the audience. Well, someone had to lower the tone.

Roshi on Amazon

Some previous Writers in the Brewery evenings

Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010
Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery

#WritersintheBrewery 27 May 2010 Nigel McLoughlin
Writers at the Brewery April 2010
Jenny Jones at #WritersintheBrewery 25 March 2010
Cherry Gilchrist at #WritesInTheBrewery
Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery Writer's workshop

About Writers in the Brewery


Coming up:
27 Jan 2011 - John Richardson

24 Feb 2011 - Anna Saunders

31 Mar 2011 - Arthur Cunyngham

28 Apr 2011 - Simone Mansell Broome

Friday, 29 October 2010

Mac McFadden at Writers in the Brewery 28 October 2010

Mac McFadden is a performance poet originally from Merseyside but who now lives in Bicester, Oxfordshire. Mac treated us to some very funny and often touching poems, many based on growing up, getting mucky, tragic relations with girls and the difficulties of being a poet in a macho community. Others, such as one about taking tea with the queen in a kebab shop and about a girl with rice crispies in her hair may have been more fanciful. Mac uses ingenious rhymes and satisfying rhythms and tempos while moving between funny and thoughtful works.

For a sample of his work then see this playlist of Mac's videos on youtube, there are not from his performance at Writers in the Brewery but do include one from the night, Marmite:
Mac Macfadden playlist

His set went down extremely well with a packed audience and caused a few qualms for local writers who were to come after - it was a definite case of 'follow that!' However, we did and, I think, we acquitted ourselves well. Amongst the other readers were Annie - 'poet laureate' from the Forest of Dean and Peter Wyton Gloucestershire 1000 'poet laureate' from Cheltenham. There was a good mix of poetry and prose.

I read Rebel Spirit, a silly poem about my great grandfather's sticky end in a pool of jam. One member of the audience claimed it was brilliant - I should have got it in writing!

My earlier postings on Writers in the Brewery

Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery
#WritersintheBrewery 27 May 2010 Nigel McLoughlin
Writers at the Brewery April 2010
Jenny Jones at #WritersintheBrewery 25 March 2010
Cherry Gilchrist at #WritesInTheBrewery
Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery Writer's workshop

Monday, 25 October 2010

Add an artist page in facebook

Facebook includes an option to create a customised page as well as a normal personal account. Separate pages on facebook get listed in search engines like google.

This is how we added a page.

  • logon to facebook
  • go to http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=904#!/pages/create.php
  • complete 'Official Page'
  • select 'artist' then 'writer'
  • enter the name for the page (take care - this can't be changed after it is created without deleting and recreating the page)
  • if appropriate, confirm that you are the right person to be doing this
  • 'Create official page'
  • go though the steps to add some content
  • upload an image
  • edit page information
  • complete the wall settings
  • add some 'info'
  • complete the settings, switch off 'publicly visible' until you are ready to publish the page
  • on left hand panel, select 'write something about' and complete some basic information.
  • If you want additional tabs
  • select 'Home'
  • on left panel expand 'more' under 'applications'
  • select 'adverts and pages'
  • at the bottom of the list select 'Static FBML' application
  • and 'add to page'

  • select 'Home'
  • on left panel expand 'more' under 'applications'
  • go through the options one at a time

  • for additional tabs
  • edit application 'FBML 1' which is your new additional tab
  • edit the name of the tab
  • and enter the text or html for you want to appear in it
  • 'save changes'
  • 'add another fbml box' if you want another one, this is at the bottom of the page
  • at the top select 'edit' next to your page name
  • then under applications select the new 'FBML 1' and edit and save as before
  • if you want to add youtube videos on your additional tab, see http://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/how-to-customize-your-facebook-page-using-static-fbml/

  • select 'edit' at the top by your page name, then select 'view page'
  • drag and drop the tabs to the order you want
  • remove any you don't want
  • select 'wall' then add any links you want to be on your link page
  • select 'Home'
  • on left panel expand 'more' under 'applications'
  • select 'wall settings' and change the landing tab to be the one you want to appear first when people open your page
  • 'view page' to check it appears as you want, and, if you are happy, set its profile to public
  • Connect to twitter if you want your page updates to be notified to twitter
  • If you have a blog or website, select 'promote this page..' and copy the html given onto them
To edit the page later,

  • Home
  • in left hand panel, expand 'more' under 'Applications'
  • select 'Adverts and pages'
My Related Postings

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
Starting on facebook

Like my facebook page

Thursday, 2 September 2010

The easy way to share a blog on social networking

There are so many different directories and social networking sites that allow sharing of links that it is difficult to keep on top of them all. However, we found a nifty little gadget that does this for you by allowing direct links to many different networking sites all from one simple little icon that you add into your blog (or website).

  • Go to http://www.addthis.com/

  • choose the server (website, blogger, wordpress, myspace)

  • choose the icon you want

  • then follow the instructions to add it.

Much easier than trying to maintain a list of them.

My Related Postings

Include an option on your #webpage so it can be added to delicious.com #social #bookmarking

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Staying alert

I wish I'd found out about this earlier but it's never too late. With Google Alert you can get automatic notifications about new blog, website, etc, entries. When I want to keep track of what is happening at any other event, for instance a literary festival, and to see what others have made of it, then I now use Google Alert. I can even get it to tell me when sites link to my youtube videos. You just enter a set of characters giving the information you are looking for and how often you want it and Google Alert does the rest for you. Switch the Alerts off whenever you want to. Very useful.

I've also seen some recommendations that you setup random searches for any material that you put online, so you can see if anyone else is using it.

Very simple to do. If you have a blogger, google or youtube account (etc), just click on 'my account' at the top and then select google alerts and add any you want. Go to the same place to change them.

(paper stand image from http://www.freefoto.com/ .
This image
http://www.freefoto.com/images/04/24/04_24_61_thumb.jpg?ffid=04-24-61&k=Newspapers )

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Which blog directories to use

Whether a blog is a necessary part of generating your author's platform depends upon how you feel about blogging and whether you have anything to write about on a regular basis. This posting is related to how my blogs are being published. As this is a technical one I'm handing over to @whispproduction.

Good luck.

Hello authors, and thank you Wilkie.

We have helped with some aspects of setting up this blog as just writing it isn't enough and you have to do some legwork as well. Although having interesting postings is the best way to get your blog noticed, a blog directory needs to have regular postings. Until there are several entries some blog directories will ignore it, no matter how good the content.

There are lots and lots of blog directories around, some of which are no longer used (or don't seem to be). So which should you register with? And what do you have to do to register, and what do you do once you have registered?

When setting up you will need to create an account your chosen directory. Make sure you have your email details and the rss/atom/feed address (in blogger you can get this by logging on and going to 'Settings'->'Site Feed' and copying the link from there), and the URL of your blog (http://xxx.blogspot.com). Consider what type of blog you have (Technical, Entertainment, Arts etc) so you know where you want it listed. Also, create a blog description you can copy during the setup. If you have a picture handy you can add this with the profile details, where this is allowed. It's obvious, but do remember to save the logon id, email and password information you use so you can access the directory later.

Once you have created the account and linked to the blog, look in your email for a mail from each blog directory service as they require confirmation that you are the owner and this is normally done through an email prompt. Technorati and bloglines send a unique code which you will need to include in a posting. Until this is done you are not identified as the blog owner.

We logon and check the blog directory entries at least every couple of weeks. We've found they benefit from regular maintenance in the form of visits and searches using the blog search tools the directory provides just to make sure it is refreshing with the new postings. It makes sense to use the blog directory anyway as it is providing you with a free service and it is only polite to use it if you want to reference your blog. For this reason we'd recommend not using all of the blog directories that exist (though it depends how much time you want to dedicate). The ones you use are up to you. To provide you with a starting list the ones we have registered Wilkie's blog with are below. If you have found this blog entry then one of these is likely to have helped you find it - if you know which, then we'd love to know. If you have no idea then don't worry.

  • www.technorati.com
    This was going through a period of change when we registered the blog and was reconfirming ownership of all blogs registered in a bid to tidy up it's lists. It took two goes but it did eventually accept the blog. It has good search facilites and regularly updates with the new blog postings. It seems to be quite widely used and we have found references to it from quite a lot of places. If we do a Google search on the blog then it's reference for the blog appears in the results.
  • http://www.bloglines.com/
    It was only after registering on this blog directory that searches using http://www.ask.com/ started to show results on Wilkie's blog, so this is a good one to do. This is also the one that Wilkie uses most to view other blogs.
  • http://www.blogcatalog.com/
    This has good referencing in it and has the advantage of allowing you to link to other social media like twitter, facebook and others. It also allows you to establish a blog network. We logon and check the blog regularly with this. There is sometimes a bit of a delay in picking up new postings so occasionally we have asked it to refresh the entries. If we do a Google search on the blog then it's reference for the blog appears in the results.
  • http://www.bloggernity.com/
    If we do a Google search on the blog then it's reference for this blog appears in the results. Registering on this directory moved the returned results in Google for it up the results.
  • Google reader
    This is available as part of the google set you get when you start a blogger blog. Just login to Blogger, and choose 'my account', and add google reader.

The more often you post the more likely other blog directories will find the blog. We didn't specifically register with any of these (or we hadn't at the time of this posting), but after several months of postings their robots or search bots started to pickup up this blog (we know this from the list of bots given in the stats for the blog in feedburner.com).

  • SimplePie, Caibu, BlogPulse, BlogSphere, Cuill, IceRocket, MSN News Blogs, Moreover, Planet, PubSubHubHub, Radian 6, Search Bot, Sphere, Twingly, ia archiver bot
Each of the ones we manually linked to (apart from technorati's which is still under development) also allows you to create a button with a link from your blog to the blog directory. The buttons created look like this:

Subscribe with BloglinesBooks Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directoryblog search directory

If you register with the same directories and you want the same buttons as this blog then you can use the following code. To add it to a blog created in blogger (in blogger designer create a new gadget of type html and copy this code into it). Here is the code:

<a href=http://www.bloglines.com/sub/http://YOURBLOGFEEDADDRESS>
<img src="http://static.bloglines.com/images/sub_modern10.gif" border="0" alt="Subscribe with Bloglines" />

<a href="http://www.blogcatalog.com/directory/entertainment/books/" title="Books Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory">
<img src="http://assets.blogcatalog.com/buttons/blogcatalog5.gif" alt="Books Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory" style="border: 0;" />

<a href="http://www.Bloggernity.com/" target="_blank">
<img src="http://www.Bloggernity.com/images/80x15.png" alt="blog search directory" width="80" height="15" border="0" />

For individual buttons:

  • bloglines - do a google search for bloglines buttons as this is the easiest way to find them, choose the one you want and copy the code (http://www.bloglines.com/about/subscribe)

  • bloggernity - at the very bottom of the webpage select 'link to us', select the button and copy the code

  • blogcatalog - logon, on you page, select 'blog catalog button', select the button and copy the code.

If you found any other directories helpful, then let us know.

If you want to register with lots of blog directories and are looking for a list then we found this very good, resonably recent list, compiled by iWoodpeckers http://www.iwoodpecker.com/submit-blog-to-50-free-working-blog-directories/

Good luck with your platform and book.

Wilkie's Related Postings

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Blog reader

Monday, 26 July 2010

Sprucing up the website

Building a website and an author's platform can be a big distraction, or would be if I had to try to do it all myself (finding out how to first). Luckily when I decided my website wasn't up to scratch and wanted to rebuild it I had help. In the review with Whisp Productions, we looked at what other writers were doing on theirs, how they laid them out etc. What follows is a guest posting from Whisp Productions with details of the changes they have made to my website that we hope will be useful as we're assuming that other writers, like me, need some technical help with some aspects of building a platform. So over to Whisp.


Wilkie's previous website was a fairly simple site as it was built using Frontpage with a few buttons to navigate around the page. This worked ok, but the main problem we found was that the website took up the whole of the screen and wasn't very easy for a reader with a wide screen to read. When we reviewed other websites with Wilkie we found that the ones we liked best were those with a more blog-like layout, that didn't display text across the whole width of the screen. The rebuilt website now has more blog-like pages that appear in the middle of the screen. It also allows the website to look similar to this blog (which was previously changed using the new template editor - see Using Bloggers new template designer).

It was rebuilt using the RVSiteBuilder tool on Wilkie's hosting service, so unless you use on the same service, sharing the instructions on how it was generated won't help. However, what may be of more interest are some of the additional bits and pieces that we added to the website. We hope you find the following useful.


1. We do not want search engines to archive every page (especially those with time dependent material or competition information. So we added a meta setting to each page where Archiving isn't wanted:

<meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOARCHIVE" />

2. We added another meta settings, to tell mobile phones to format the information differently for the small screens.

<meta name="viewport" content="width=670, initial-scale=0.45, minimum-scale=0.45" />


3. The file sitemap.xml is for search engines. If you keep it up to date it tells them which files on your site have been changed so it doesn't have to search them all. Put it in the root directory. For example:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
- <urlset xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
- <url>


4. The file robots.txts also gives instructions to search engines. This tells them which parts of your website not to look at. Put it in the root directory of the website. For example,:

User-agent: Googlebot-Image
Disallow: /

User-agent: taptubot
Disallow: /iphone/
Disallow: /mobile/
Disallow: /m/
Disallow: /mobi/

User-agent: *
Disallow: /adirectorynottobesearchedbyanybot/

Sitemap: http://www.yourwebsite.com/sitemap.xml


5. We added a favicon.ico file. This is a very small image file that appears in internet explorer at the left of the address box. Again, this is in the root directory.

6. We added an apple-touch-icon.png file. This, like the favicon.ico file, is an image file that is used by iphone apps to display with the website.


7. Add a connection into Wilkie's youtube videos. For this we've used a video strip. The code for this can be built on youtube, but we added a line before and a line after the code that youtube gave us. The lines we added are:

We built the youtube code as follows:

Goto youtube home page. You don't need to logon.
At the bottom of the page click on the 'Developers' link.
Click on the 'Widgets' link.
In the 'Widgets' description in the middle, click on the link to the Video bar wizard.
Fill in the information:
Horizontal or vertical.
Untick the popular video feeds unless you want these too.
Fill in the name of the youtube channel you want.
Then click to show the code and copy it to your website.


9. Add a connection to Wilkie's twitter so that a subset of it shows in the side bar.

In twitter.
At the bottom of the page, select 'Goodies'.
Click on 'Widgets'.
Click on 'My website'.
Then on 'Profile widget'.
Complete the Settings, Preferences, Appearance, Dimensions to what you want.
When it looks like you want, click on 'Finish & grab the code'.


10. We also added a link to this blog on the website so that the titles of the last 5 entries are shown. We've done this using the www.feedburner.com services that can be linked to your blog.

In feedburner.com.
Choose your blogname.
Select 'Publicize'.
Choose 'BuzzBoost'.
Change the settings to get what you want.
Copy the code that is given.

Wilkie's Related Postings
Some of the above settings and files were used before the site was rebuilt and the instructions for these were included in some of Wilkie's previous postings.

Changing my website for #iphone users
How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Adding a website icon for iphone and stopping page not found for mobiles
Adding free blog subscription options
Add blog to website
Starting an author's platform

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Skip Walker at #WritersintheBrewery

On 24 June, Writers in the Brewery were pleased to welcome Skip Walker, editor of the Wilts and Glos Standard.

Skip spoke about her career, as a reporter and editor. Following Oxford, she became a trainee journalist at the Daily Express, where she spent far too long in the pub but did receive a good training. After three years she moved on to working for Distillers, becoming assistant editor of the house magazine (where she was not allowed to mention Thalidomide). She moved on to be editor of the SWEB in-house journal and then to working on an encyclopaedia for Robert Maxwell. After time spent at Weapons and Warfare and Camera magazine she moved out west. She became a district reporter in the Forest of Dean, then editor of the Marlborough Express (which failed, though it was failing before she got there!), and worked for the Dursely Gazette, the Stroud News & Journal and finally the Standard.

Skip suggested that writing as a journalist was not difficult, providing you like sticking your nose into other people's business. You have to be interested in people and then start writing the story at the beginning and end when it stops. Accuracy is important.

She talked about how easy it was for a writer to get into print in the Standard, if they were not expecting to be paid, though up to 40 stories per week are not published due to space constraints. If a writer wants a little money, she recommended approaching Cotswold Essence, which pays £60 for articles!

It was an interesting, informative, encouraging and amusing evening. Thanks to Skip.

There will be no Writers in the Brewery in July, because of an exhibition. Our next speaker, on 26 August, will be broadcaster, writer, poet and ecologist, Matthew Oates.

Contact Skip

Writers in the Brewery

My Related Postings

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Using Bloggers new template designer

I've just had to redo a step in generating my #author's #platform. My posting Making a blog on #blogger look more like a website detailed the many changes we'd made to my blog to customise it and to make it look more like my website. We lived with it for a few weeks while we looked at other people's websites and blogs, and came to the conclusion that we had gone the wrong way. Instead of making the blog look like the website we should have made the website look more like the blog! The shorter lines of text generally found on blogs was much easier to read than the wide lines allowed on the website. So we decided to change both the blog and the website again. We started with the blog and found that blogger now makes customisation changes much easier. Although you can still amend the html as we mentioned before, there is now a template designer that does it all for you.
  • In blogger,
  • go to 'Design'
  • then select the new option 'Template Designer'.
  • Choose the template you want and customise the fonts and colours, and choose a new background. The template will be applied to your current blog.
  1. The only problem we found with this was that all the gadgets we had on the site were moved into the side bar, including those we had at the bottom of the blog. However, the 'Layout' option in the new 'Template Designer' allowed us to move them back where we wanted.

  2. Then the only other thing to do was to reapply a couple of the html change that we had before.
  • This included adding back the options available from feedburner to add links at the end of every post to share the blog. See Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites

  • And also, to remove the blogger navigation/toolbar bar that appears at the top of the blog (if you want to that is).
    Near the top of the code, just before
    /* variable definitions
    insert the following code

    /*remove toolbar start*/#navbar-iframe {display: none} /*remove toolbar end */

The next job was to make the website look more like the new layout of the blog. This was also easier to do that we expected as the site hosting my website now also includes a design tool. So we have rebuilt the website too.

Good luck .

My Related Postings

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

#WritersintheBrewery 27 May 2010 Nigel McLoughlin

On 27 May 2010, Nigel Mcloughlin http://www.nigelmcloughlin.co.uk/ an Ulster poet, now based in Cheltenham, visited Writers in the Brewery. Nigel has been short-listed for the prestigious Hennessy Award and placed in the Kavanagh Awards and The New Writer Poetry Prizes. He is Reader in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire and Course Leader on the MA in Creative & Critical Writing, as well as being editor of Iota magazine. http://www.iotamagazine.co.uk/ . In this role, Nigel said that contributors’ poems are judged anonymously so that content stands on merit, not on the writer’s reputation. He talked about his life and read from his works, including his recently published collection Chora. He read poems about Ulster, homelife, wildlife, music and observations. It was a witty, warm, moving and compassionate collection that I enjoyed very much.

After the interval, I read my short story "The Love Rat" about Cupid appearing as a rat to bring love to two lonely people.

My Related Postings

Writers at the Brewery April 2010
Jenny Jones at #WritersintheBrewery 25 March 2010
Cherry Gilchrist at #WritesInTheBrewery
Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery Writer's workshop

Writers at the Brewery April 2010

On 29 April 2010, Writers in the Brewery welcomed some of Swindon’s BlueGate Poets http://www.bluegatepoets.com/. They are a poetry group which aims to advance the enjoyment and development of reading, writing and listening to poetry by encouraging local talent and voices at every level. The group’s founders are local poets, who, collectively, have years of experience of organising and running poetry groups, workshops and participating in the Swindon Festival of Literature. The group takes its name from the blue gate at the Richard Jeffries house, where it meets. Richard Jeffries http://www.richardjefferiessociety.co.uk/ was a famous writer and naturalist living in Coates near Swindon.

It was an enjoyable evening with this warm and friendly group, who presented their work with great enthusiasm and chatted about their poetry to a disappointingly small audience. We did clash with the final pre-election leaders’ debate but I’m glad I attended the brewery instead. I especially remember a great little poem about a seahorse and a very effective sestina but many of their works struck a chord.

After the interval, I brought the tone down with my nonsense poem about the sad demise of a gardening gourmet.

My Related Postings

Jenny Jones at #WritersintheBrewery 25 March 2010
Cherry Gilchrist at #WritesInTheBrewery
Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery Writer's workshop

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Making a blog on #blogger look like the website

Is it really a month since my last post? And 6 weeks since the Festival of Writing in York? Well it is, and it is also time for my next post.
The rewrite of Inspector Hobbes is now on Chapter 9. But this posting is actually a more technical one. In my posting Setup a blog on #blogger so it looks like a website blog I showed how I made the address of my blog on blogger look like it belongs to my website. This was because I'd read about separate blog and websites being one of the The top 5 author website mistakes on http://www.authortechtips.com/. A mistake was not to have a common look to them. So we have made some changes to the blog so it looks more like the website. These changes are in progress, and fall foul of one of the other top mistakes - having a non-professional website that relies on someone making changes for you when you have time. We are still perservering with doing the website and blog ourselves, and hope to give both a revamp. If you have a blogger blog that is using the scribe template, then the following can be used to make it more individual.

This is what we changed on my blog template, which was originally the scribe template.

Good luck. If you change the standard template take lots of backups of it so you can go back to what you had before.

Template Changes

This assumes you have a blog on blogger, and that you have a blog with the 'scribe' template. Other templates may have different code, so the following probably won't work for them.
This also assumes that you want a blog that doesn't have the standard backgrounds, and one that isn't down the middle of the page with a clear space around it. The standard backgrounds are replaced with white.
  • Logon to blogger
  • Go to 'layout'
  • Go to 'fonts', and choose a font that matches your website.
  • In the layout, select 'edit' for the navigation bar, and select the transparent light option.
  • In the layout, select each text and 'edit/html' gadget
  • In the html for each add the following to set the text (if you want font georgia that is)
    at the start add
    <span style="quot, serif;">
    at the end add
  • Preview the template
  • Go to 'edit html'
  • Tick 'show widget code'
  • At the top of the page, download the current template (in case this doesn't work!)
  • Then near the top of the code, just before the /* variable definitions
    insert the following code (if you don't want the blogger tool bar to appear at the top of the page)
    /*remove toolbar start*/#navbar-iframe {display: none} /*remove toolbar end */
  • preview the template and if you are happy save it, and continue editing to change the blog display as below
  • In the html code, search for

    /* Defaults----------------------------------------------- */
    body { margin:0;
    font-size: small;
    background:#483521 url("http://www2.blogblog.com/scribe/bg.gif") repeat;

    and add /* and */ around the 'background' line so that it isn't used

    /* background:#483521 url("http://www2.blogblog.com/scribe/bg.gif") repeat; */

    This stops the background that appears around the edge of the blog.
  • Preview the template and if ok save it.
  • Search for

    /* Layout----------------------------------------------- */
    #outer-wrapper {
    border-$startSide:1px solid #332A24;
    border-$endSide:1px solid #332A24
    width:0 margin:0px auto;
    padding:8px; text-align:center;
    font: $bodyFont;

    Put /* and */ around the background-color and width

    /* background-color:#473624;*/
    /* width:700px;*/

    This removes the background color around the blog inside the blog box.
  • Preview the template and if ok save it.
  • Immediately after this code find

    #main-top {
    background:#FFF3DB url("http://www2.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_top.jpg") no-repeat top $startSide;

    And comment this with /* and */

    /*#main-top {*/
    /* width:700px;*/
    /* height:49px;*/
    /* background:#FFF3DB url("http://www2.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_top.jpg") no-repeat top $startSide; */
    /* margin:0px;*/
    /* padding:0px;*/

    This removes the empty area above the blog.
  • Preview the template and if ok save it.
  • Immediately after this, search for

    #main-bot {
    background:#FFF3DB url("http://www.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_bot.jpg") no-repeat top $startSide;

    And add /* and */ around the background

    #main-bot {
    /*background:#FFF3DB url("http://www.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_bot.jpg") no-repeat top $startSide; */

    This removes the background from behind the blog.
  • Immediately after this, search for

    #wrap2 {
    background:#FFF3DB url("http://www1.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_mid.jpg") repeat-y;
    margin-top: -14px;
    margin-$endSide: 0px;
    margin-bottom: 0px;
    margin-$startSide: 0px;

    Add /* and */ around the background and margin-top and width.
    And, set the width to 90%

    #wrap2 {
    /* width:700px;*/width:90%;
    /* background:#FFF3DB url("http://www1.blogblog.com/scribe/bg_paper_mid.jpg") repeat-y; */
    /* margin-top: -14px;*/
    margin-$endSide: 0px;
    margin-bottom: 0px;
    margin-$startSide: 0px;
  • Preview the template and of ok save it.
  • Immediately below this, search for

    #wrap3 {
    padding:0 50px;

    Comment /* */ around the padding

    #wrap3 {
    /* padding:0 50px;*/

    This removes the blank space before the blog starts.
  • Preview the template and if ok save it.
  • A little further down, search for

    #main {
    padding:8px 0;
    word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
    overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
    #sidebar {
    padding:8px 0;
    margin:0; word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
    overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

    Change the two widths to 80% and 20%

    #main {
    /* width:430px;*/
    padding:8px 0;
    word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
    overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */
    #sidebar {
    /* width:150px;*/
    width:20%; float:$startSide;
    padding:8px 0;
    word-wrap: break-word; /* fix for long text breaking sidebar float in IE */
    overflow: hidden; /* fix for long non-text content breaking IE sidebar float */

    This proportions 20% of the screen for the left hand gadget area, and 80% for the blog text area.
  • On 'layout'
  • select 'add a gadget' of type #html' and paste this code into it
    <a href="http://blogger.com/" title="BLOGGER"><img src="http://buttons.blogger.com/blogger-powerby-blue.gif" /></a>
    As the blogger tool bar has been removed above, this inserts an acknowledgment that the blog is powered by blogger.
    Or use one of the other buttons from http://www.google.com/support/blogger/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=41435

  • All my website pages have a common block at the end that gives 'Send' and 'Receive' contact options below. By opening the webpages html we've copied the code for this. Then in blogger, in 'layout', we've 'add a gadget', of type 'html' and pasted the code from the webpage in to it.
  • By default, when one of the other pages is open, the template I use (scribe) puts a 'Home' link at the end of the post. As this has been renamed to 'blog' this should be changed so that 'Home' means the website.
    After the <body>section look for

    <b:if cond='data:blog.homepageUrl != data:blog.url'>
    <a class='home-link' expr:href='data:blog.homepageUrl'><data:homeMsg/></a>
    <b:if cond='data:newerPageUrl'>
    <a class='home-link' expr:href='data:blog.homepageUrl'><data:homeMsg/></a>
    change <data:homeMsg/> to Blog
There may be better ways to do this, but this is how we've change it (so far). It gives us a blog that has the same banner and font as the website, and overall it has a similar look.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

My Related Postings

Setup a blog on #blogger so it looks like a website blog
Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
How to add additional pages in #blogger
How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites

Monday, 19 April 2010

Ducks, Geese and Writing

The Festival of Writing (#festivalwriting) happened at York University over the weekend of 9 -11 April 2010 and I was there. So were about four hundred other writers, literary agents, publishers and book doctors. I think this was the first event of its kind in the UK but plans are underway for next year. I went there to learn from published authors, for a couple of one to one sessions with agents, to find out about the publishing industry and to meet people. I thought it might feel strange to be a student at University again, after a gap of thirty years, but it wasn't. I'm sure that was because nearly everyone I met had a similar interest. They were friendly, good fun, hard working, hard drinking and entertaining. Student accommodation has improved immensely since my time and I did miss the old squalor, degradation and misery but, then, I'm funny like that. The University grounds contain the largest plastic-bottomed lake in Europe and the noisiest, nosiest collection of ducks and geese.

The weekend was divided into keynote addresses, workshops, one-to-one meetings with agents and literary death matches. Best selling author Katie Fforde, a Stroudie, kicked off the event with a witty address built around her ten rules for writing success. Perhaps the most important one is to persevere; it took her eight years of hard writing to get published, which is not an unusually long time-scale.

Then there were workshops. I attended ones on creating a sense of place; the likelihood that Ebooks are the future of publishing; plotting; publishing and using the media to promote a book. These consolidated workshops and courses I'd done before and provided some valuable new insights. Claire Siemaszkiewicz's Ebooks workshop was particularly insightful. In addition she brought some sample e-readers, which have come a long way since I first saw one. I was surprised that this workshop wasn't better attended, though I suspect some were put off by Claire being an erotic fiction publisher. They missed out on a very informative session. Her surname should be borne in mind, if only for use in the new version of Scrabble.

I had one-on-one sessions with a literary agent and a talent scout. Though neither said (as I'd hoped in my more optimistic moments) that my novel was the best they'd ever read, they provided insightful criticisms that I think will enable me to get it right in the end. They certainly provided the impetus to rewrite the first chapter as soon as I got back.

On Saturday evening we enjoyed a gala dinner, followed by the Literary Death Match! In this a selection of established and unpublished authors read and performed pieces of their work in an effort to win over the audience and judges. This was great fun, with the unpublished writers holding their own rather well. The popular vote went to Adele Geras for her moving episode based on the sack of Troy but Mary Flood, unpublished as yet, won the judges' vote. From the also reads, Veronica Henry's erotic story was hilarious, as was Toby Frost's bizarre fantasy (from an excellent book - which I am now reading The Wrath of the Lemming Men http://bit.ly/9sa9HB). I also loved John Taylor's moving and evocative piece.

Roger Ellory provided the Festival's finale. His was a funny but revealing address. He referred to a poll that suggested that being a writer is the second most desired profession, after Premier League footballer. For those believing it to be a romantic and lucrative profession, he provided some thought provoking figures: 80% of books published in the UK sell fewer than 500 copies; the average published author can expect to make £7000 a year; only 2% of published books published can be classed as 'best sellers. If you're going into writing to make lots of money, then you may be disappointed. However, if you write because it is a passion then you have a chance of success. He, like Katie, stressed the importance of persistence.

When I got home I was exhausted and my head was still spinning. I'd learned a lot, been entertained and met some fabulous people. Looking back, there were other workshops that I would have liked to attend, had time permitted. Maybe next year.

Thanks to the Writers' Workshop for hosting it.

Workshop Notes

Workshop notes http://www.festivalofwriting.com/notes2010.html

Other blogs and comments on the festival:

WritersCircle – York Festival of Writing Report http://www.mywriterscircle.com/index.php?topic=27232.0

Butterfly in flames – Festival of Writing 2010, York http://www.butterflyinflames.net/Site/Butterfly%20in%20Flames%20Studio%20Blog/3D5E7F3C-345A-45EB-AA68-51D85E6F5D38.html

Matt Hoilton – There and back again.. or a Day at York http://matthiltonbooks.blogspot.com/2010/04/there-and-back-againor-day-at-york.html

Jane Lovering – Getting Snappy http://janelovering.blogspot.com/2010/04/getting-snappy.html

Verity Ferrel – York Festival of Writing April 2010 http://verityfarrell1.wordpress.com/2010/04/15/york-festival-of-writing-april-2010/

Miranda Dickinson - Gives Us another view of The York Festival of Writing

Davina Pearson - The festival of Writing – Wow http://www.davinapearson.com/component/content/article/1-blog/45-the-festival-of-writing-wow

The Word Cloud Event – Festival of Writing http://www.thewordcloud.org/events/profile/66

The Word Cloud Forum – Festival of Writing

Authonomy Hisghlights from Festival of Writing http://blog.authonomy.com/2010/04/highlights-from-festival-of-writing.html

The Elephant in the Writing Room – York Festival of Writing: how was it for you? http://theelephantinthewritingroom.blogspot.com/2010/04/york-festival-of-writing-how-was-it-for.html

Debbie Alper – York wrapped up http://debialper.blogspot.com/2010_04_01_archive.html

Julie Cohen – The Festival of Writing in York

Emma Darwin Ducks, dreams and cross-channel ferries: the York Festival of Writing http://emmadarwin.typepad.com/thisitchofwriting/2010/04/ducks-dreams-and-crosschannel-ferries-the-york-festival-of-writing.html

Sue Moorcroft Tell us about the York festival of Writing 2010 http://romanticnovelistsassociationblog.blogspot.com/2010/04/sue-moorcroft-tells-us-about-york.html

Penny Legg – The York festival of Writing

Linda Jones – A wonderful weekend at the York Festival of Writing http://www.gotyourhandsfull.com/2010/04/a-wonderful-weekend-at-the-york-festival-of-writing.html

Penny Grubb – First Festival of Writing http://pennygrubb.blogspot.com/2010/04/first-york-festival-of-writing.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Strictly Writing – Diary of 2010 Festival of Writing

Liz Fenwick – the York Festival of Writing http://lizfenwick.blogspot.com/2010/04/york-festival-of-writing.html

Cath Bore – Crime Doesn’t Pay http://cathbore.wordpress.com/

Cath Bore – What Katie said to do next… http://cathbore.wordpress.com/

Davina Pearson – Revisions and Conferences http://www.davinapearson.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44

Thursday, 8 April 2010

twitter hashtags for #writers and #writing

As a newbie on twitter I've found a few hashtags useful to search on when looking for writerly tweets to see whats happening in our world of literature. I found quite a few different tags being used and as I'd like to keep a list of these where better than by putting them, and sharing them, in a blog?

So far, I have found the following:


And these related ones that I've come across while looking around the twittersphere,


If you know of any others please let me know.

My Related Postings

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
Include an option on your #webpage so it can be added to delicious.com #social #bookmarking
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Starting to use social bookmarking and the favourite sites/blogs manager deli.cio.us
Starting on facebook

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Jenny Jones at #WritersintheBrewery 25 March 2010

Writers in the Brewery welcomed author Jenny Jones. Jenny has been published frequently in the horror and fantasy genres but is now working as a psychotherapist. She has found that her new profession has gives an insight into why she writes horror fantasy and spoke in defence of the genre, which some people look down on as not being 'real'.

She believes the genre is the equivalent of fairy stories for grown-ups, or at least those grown-ups who have retained some of the childlike capacity to use their imagination. The fascination with horror is a left over from our earliest memories, such as the terror of being born and the inability to escape from things that may be frightening. A baby that has been left alone with its own fears for too long may well be damaged for life. A good horror story takes us back to childhood fears. Despite everything, horror is a popular genre especially among teenagers who are going through so many changes. After all, our worst fears may threaten to overwhelm the heroes but normally, by the end of the book, they have triumphed over them.

Jenny recalled that the first story she remembered writing was a horror story. She didn't consciously decide to write stories in the genre; that was just the way they turned out. She found them cathartic. That may be the reason why she has found writers in the genre to be so easy to get on with - they have written out all the bad stuff.

My Related Postings

Cherry Gilchrist at #WritesInTheBrewery
Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery Writer's workshop

Monday, 22 March 2010

Changing my website for #iphone users

Continuing the building of my author's platform; we have been considering where the website can be seen and think a few simple tweeks to the site should make it more readable on an iphone. As with a few of my previous posts you may notice the input of someone far more technical than me in this one.

First we added an apple-touch-icon.png file which gives a preferred icon for the website - similar to favicon.ico but used on iphones. (See my posting Adding a website icon for iphone and stopping page not found for mobiles)

Then on each webpage page we added an extra setting that gives some default settings to be used on the iphone.

On the website, for each page
  • open the html

  • add a new setting into the same area as the other meta settings to set the default display for a mobile (this is near the top by the <head>:
  • add the setting

    <meta name="viewport" content="width=670, initial-scale=0.45, minimum-scale=0.45"/>
Thank you to http://www.hanselman.com/blog/CommentView.aspx?guid=7cd08e9b-4f31-4035-8411-8c99bf0bcf1e which is where the instructions for this came from.

And thank you to Selene for letting us test this on her iphone.

My Related Postings

How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Include an option on your #webpage so it can be added to delicious.com #social #bookmarking
Adding a website icon for iphone and stopping page not found for mobiles
Adding free blog subscription options
Add blog to website
Starting an author's platform

Monday, 15 March 2010

Adding a different 'tweet me' button to blog

In my last posting I wrote how we'd just added a 'tweet me' button to my blog. However, as we are getting some errors returned we have now swapped for a different button using tweetmeme.com.

See http://bloggerstop.net/2009/04/tweet-it-and-retweet-buttons-for.html for the instructions.

Or follow the steps we took (and using some of the code from there):

  • In blogger.com.
  • In 'layout' .
  • In 'edit html' .
  • Download a copy of the template first.
  • Tick 'expand widget code' (on the right hand side just above the code box).
  • Find this code (towards the bottom)

    <div class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-1'>
  • Add the following code:

    <b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == &quot;item&quot;'>
    <script type='text/javascript'>tweetmeme_url = ' <data:post.url/>';
    <script src='http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js' type='text/javascript'>
    <b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:blog.homepageUrl'>
    <script type='text/javascript'>tweetmeme_url = '<data:post.url/>';
    <script src='http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js' type='text/javascript'>
  • This puts the 'tweet me' button after each posting and after posting on the home page, but not on the additional pages.
  • Preview, and if all ok, save the template.

My Related Postings

Losing twitter and adding a 'tweet this' button to blog
Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
How to add additional pages in #blogger

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Losing twitter and adding a 'tweet this' button to blog

Losing tweets

I noticed some of my tweets were getting lost. I did a search to see if others were having the same problem and found they were. Some were having a problem with any tweet that contained a hashtag (#) field. So I tried the same tweet without the #, but it still got lost. Further investigation suggested that the likely cause was the long url (in this case, to a radio show on the BBC iplayer). Using the tinyurl.com site to create a new shorter url to the radio show I retwittered and this time it didn't disappear.

Adding a 'tweet me' option to my blog

Another search found various options for adding a 'tweet this' onto a blog. The one I've chosen is supplied by i-stuff.blogspot.com. It opens twitter with a prefilled tweet saying 'This is really interesting - ' and gives a tinyurl link that goes to the blog page. It doesn't give the title of the blog though.

To add it in blogger
  • go to 'layout'
  • select 'add a gadget'
  • select 'html' type gadget
  • paste in the code from the i-stuff.blogspot.com link
  • move the gadget to where the option is wanted

My Related Postings

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Adding free blog subscription options

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Cherry Gilchrist at #WritersInTheBrewery

Cherry Gilchrist, a #writer on such diverse topics as mythology, alchemy, personal relationships and Russian art and culture drew a good crowd on the evening of 25 February 2010, at Writers in the Brewery. She talked about writing life stories, a popular genre at the present. Everyone has their own unique life story, though most will not be commercial. This does not mean that they should not be written. They may be of great interest to the writers' children, grandchildren and friends and can be cathartic for the writers. She pointed out that people undertaking the task do not have to be in their declining years as further volumes can be written as time passes. People's life stories can give a fascinating insight into family and social history from the writers' own, unique, point of view. Though they should aim to be authentic and accurate, Cherry pointed out the unreliability of memory. It was an interesting and engaging talk from a writer who knows her stuff. . Her new book, 'Your Life, Your Story', was published by Piatkus in Feb 2010. For anyone interested, Cherry also runs life story writing classes, courses and consultancy, see www.write4life.co.uk/ or www.cherrygilchrist.co.uk/.

Following Cherry's talk other writers, including two from Swindon's Bluegate Poets (http://www.bluegatepoets.com/) entertained us with poems and prose. I read a short story called 'An Unfortunate Entanglement', about a drug smuggler getting netted by the law, which seemed to please the audience. I thought it was a most enjoyable evening and would like to thank all those who took part or supported it.

If you went too, let us know what you think.

The next Writers in the Brewery, with children's author, Jenny Jones, will be on 25 March 2010 from 7 - 9 pm.

My Related Postings

Sue Chad at Writers in the Brewery 28 Jan 2010
Writers in the Brewery Nov and Dec 2009 review
Writers in the Brewery
Writer's workshop

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Setup a blog on #blogger so it looks like a website blog

Looking for tips for setting up an author's platform we came across a link to The top 5 author website mistakes on http://www.authortechtips.com/. Some points hit home, particularly that it is a common mistake to have a website with a seperate blog that is built on blogger.

My blog is a separate blogger one. While it is possible to change this to use a different blogger or to use opensource tools to add a blog to the website, we have decided to keep the blog on blogger but to make it appear as if it is connected to the website. This means we can continue to create blog postings using the blogger tool.

The address of the blogger blog

This is how we have done it.

Making a blog on blogger look like it comes from your website domain

To do this you need: a blogger blog and a website, and you need to be able to logon to your website domain administration.

Changing the website so it points to the blog on blogger

My website has a page in it's navigation called 'blog'. However this was just giving a list of blog titles (provided by feedburner and as described in Add blog to website), it wasn't actually opening the blog.

But we used the following method to show the blog.

  • In you website source.

  • Create a blog.htm, add to the website navigation, and load the website.
  • Go to domain administration for the website.
  • Within the website options setup a page redirect request for this blog.htm to go to the blogger blog.
    From http:\\www.yourwebsitename.com\blog.htm
    to http:\\yourblogid.blogspot.com

So selecting 'blog' in your website's navigation will take you to the actual blog.

This is all you need to get to the blog from the website, however if you want the blog to appear to have come from your website and not from blogger continue as follows.

Set blog on blogger so that is appears to come from the website domain

  • Go to domain administraion for the website.

  • In the DMS zone editor.

  • Create a new CNAME.

  • Set
    address 1 = blog.yourwebsitename.com
    address 2 = ghs.google.com

  • You don't have to create the blog domain (blog.yourwebsitename.com), just use it as the name.

  • (In the setup instructions for doing this that are given in blogger, settings for the A record in DMZ are also given. We didn't set these as our domain server doesn't let us. The redirect still works ok through. The help in blogger also gives information on how to obtain a domain name if you don't have one for your website.)
  • Logon to blogger.

  • Select 'settings' from the main menu.

  • Select 'basic'.

  • At the top, select 'export blog'.

  • And 'download blog' to you local machine so you have a copy if it all goes wrong.
  • Then select 'layout'.

  • Select 'edit html'.

  • And select the option at the top to download a copy of your template (again, just in case of problems).
  • Select 'settings' from the main menu.
  • Then select 'publishing'.

  • Select ' custom domain'.

  • Select 'switch to advanced settings' which is next to 'already own a domain'.

  • Enter the name of your blog (blog.yourwebsitename.com).

When you ask for the blogger blog (yourblogid.blogspot.com) it appears with the blog name on your website that you have given it (blog.yourwebsitename.com).
address yourblogid.blogspot.com returns blog.yourwebsitename.com
address blog. yourwebsitename.com returns blog.yourwebsitename.com
address www.yourwebsitename.com/blog.htm returns blog.yourwebsitename.com.

The blog is still in blogger, and can be amended, and new posts added using the blogger website.

Adding a link from the blog back to website

Now the blog appears to be a part of the website, we've added a gadget to the blog so there is a 'Home' link that takes you to the website.

  • In blogger.

  • Select 'layout'.

  • At the top 'add a gadget'.

  • Choose type 'html'.

  • Enter the text 'Home' and a link to the website.

  • Save the gadget and position where wanted.

  • Save the template.

And, because we also have additional pages in the blog, we've renamed the previous additional page which is called Home' (the default) to 'Blog'.

  • In blogger.

  • Select 'layout'

  • At the top, next to the pages, select 'edit'

  • Rename the 'Home' page to 'Blog'

  • Save the page settings

  • And save the template

Good luck with this. Let us know how you get on.

My Related Postings

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog
How to add additional pages in #blogger
How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Adding free blog subscription options
Blog reader
Additional blog setting
Add blog to website
Creating a Blog

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Stopping old #webpages from appearing in search engine #cache results

When we did a search in google and retrieved some results for my website we had the option to see older cached version of pages. One or two of my pages have time specific events on them or deadlines (i.e. the deadline for a writing competition) and it would be nice if we could prevent the older versions from being available when they are out of date as no one wants to find out information for a competition that has already closed.

On the webpages where we specifically don't want an old version to be available from the cache we've told the search engine not to keep the history by adding the following command into the webpage html source within the <head> and </head> area.

<meta name="ROBOTS" content="NOARCHIVE">

Let us know if you try this too and how you get on.

My Related Postings

How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Include an option on your #webpage so it can be added to delicious.com #social #bookmarking
Adding a website icon for iphone and stopping page not found for mobiles
Adding free blog subscription options
Add blog to website
Starting an author's platform

Friday, 19 February 2010

Linking twitter to facebook and adding twitter to blog

You can link twitter to facebook so that all your tweets appear automatically as status updates on facebook. It is easy to do, and also pretty intuative once you know the option is there. However, this blog keeps details of how I'm setting up my author's platform, I'm including this here too (as much as a reminder of the step as for anything else).

Also below are details of adding options for a twitter button or the tweets so they are available in a blog.

Link twitter to facebook

You'll need a facebook and twitter account setup already.
  • Logon to twitter
  • select 'goodies' at the bottom of the screen in the navigation
  • select 'widgets'
  • select 'facebook'
  • select 'facebook application'
  • select 'allow'
  • either
    select 'Install Twitter on facebook'
    logon when twitter takes you to a new window for facebook (although this way didn't work when I tried it)
    on another explorer window logon to facebook
    then back in twitter
    select 'Install Twitter on facebook'
  • logon again to twitter from the facebooks app so it will add a link back to twitter
  • select +allow twitter to update your facebook status
  • select 'allow status updates'
  • in facebook
  • select 'applications'
  • you should see twitter in there

Add a 'follow me' twitter button to a blog

You'll need a blogger and twitter account setup already.

  • logon to twitter
  • at the bottom of the page select 'goodies'
  • select 'buttons'
  • choose the button you like
  • and copy the code that appears in the popup
  • logon to blogger
  • select layout
  • add a gadget
  • select type html
  • and paste the code there
  • move the gadget to where required

Show the twitter entries on a new page on the blog
(see also How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website for adding twitter to a website
and How to add additional pages in #blogger for how to add new pages to blog)

  • logon to twitter
  • at the bottom of the page select 'goodies'
  • select 'widgets'
  • choose 'my website'
  • choose 'profile widget' type
  • and set the settings/preferences etc
  • copy code
  • logon to blogger
  • in 'postings'
  • in 'edit pages'
  • add 'new page'
  • add the title
  • select 'edit html'
  • and paste the code

My Related Postings

How to add additional pages in #blogger
How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website
Adding free blog subscription options
Additional blog setting
Creating a Blog
Starting an author's platform

Thursday, 11 February 2010

How to add additional pages in #blogger

We have just discovered options to add additional pages to my blogger blog. They appear at the top of the blog just under the blog description and are useful for static content, or a common Comments page, if you want one. Some blogs have used this for an 'About Me' page or something similar. We've added 4 new pages (so far) 'About My Blog' a description of the blog, 'My Blog Headings' as a history of previous postings, 'Index of Blogs by Subject' listing previous blog entries under topics, and 'Comments' to give a common place for comments (to replace the 'General Comments' blog we created earlier).

The instructions for adding a new page for 'My Blog Headings' are below. There are full instructions on how to do this in the normal blogger help (go to 'postings', 'edit pages' and follow the help information in there). Or follow the steps below if you want something that looks like mine and if you to are using blogger and feedburner.

To do this, in blogger.com

  • go to 'layout'
  • choose 'edit html'
  • take a backup of the template now in case it all goes wrong (there is an option at the top of the page to do this)
  • tick the 'show widget code'
  • look through the code until you find this

    <div id='crosscol-wrapper' style='text-align:center'>
    <b:section class='crosscol' id='crosscol' showaddelement='no'/>

    change ='no' to ='yes'

  • go to 'postings'
  • select 'edit pages'
  • select 'new page'
  • set the name 'My Blog Headings'
  • if you have feedburner setup for your blog and you want the headings on the new blog page
    save the page so far.

    1. Logon to http://www.feedburner.com/.
    4. Select 'Publicize' .
    5. Select 'BuzzBooster'.
    6. Set Number of items to display = All
    Open Links in = Same window
    Display feed title = unticked
    Title = completed
    Display favicon = unticked
    Display item author name = unticked
    Display item content = unticked
    Display item publication date = unticked
    Display link to feed = untick
    7. When the page redisplays, copy (Ctrl+C) the commands given at the top of the screen in the 'Your BuzzBoost is ready' area.
    8. Go to the web page source, select html and paste (Ctrl+V) the code selected above.
    9. Back in blogger, 'edit pages', on your new 'My Blog Headings' page, select 'edit html' and paste this code.
    (see also my previous posting Add blog to website)

  • select how to display the pages, I chose 'as buttons'
  • and 'publish'
  • The 'About My Blog', 'Index of Blogs by Subject' and 'Comments' were done the same way with plain text entered instead of the html from feedburner. The 'Index of Blogs by Subject' will need amending every time a new blog is added as, unlike the 'My Blog Headings', it isn't updated automatically. And obviously, the settings on the 'Comments' page were changed to allow comments.
  • To change the order of the pages you need to be logged onto your blog. In 'Customise', select 'View Blog' and select the edit icon next to the page titles. This will give you a popup to let you drag and drop the pages to swap them around.

My Related Postings

Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Adding free blog subscription options
Blog reader
Additional blog setting
Add a comment policy
General Comments
New posting order
Add blog to website
Creating a Blog

How to #twitter your blog updates and add twitter to #website

I've been persuaded to open a twitter account as another step in building my #author's #platform. It should also be useful in providing a mechanism for sending blog updates and for adding latest information to my website without having to reload the website (or that is what I'm told it will do).

Apart from creating the twitter account I've had help with the following. Apparently this is how we did it. You'll need a website, a twitter account, a blogger account and a feedburner account for this approach to work. These are the settings we've used to start with, adjust them to give what you want.

Good luck if you try this. Let us know how you get on.

First create a twitter account

  1. in http://www.twitter.com/

  2. create a new account

  3. on the top right navigation bar select 'profile'

  4. then select '+' picture

  5. and select a picture to be used next to your postings

  6. on the top right navigation bar select 'settings'

  7. select 'time zone'

  8. and save settings

Publishing blog entries to twitter automatically with feedburner

  1. in http://www.feedburner.com/

  2. open your blog

  3. go to Publicize

  4. select Socialize

  5. under Select an account, Select a twitter account

  6. enter your logon/email and password

  7. for post content - title and body

  8. tick include link

  9. tick leave room for retweets

  10. for hash tags 'create hash tags from item categories'

  11. tick 'Use inline hash tags'

  12. additional text set to '#blog'

  13. item selection, set item limit to 1

  14. item order set to publish date

  15. keywork filter leave blank

  16. and Activate

Setup twitter so it can be added to website

  1. logon to your http://www.twitter.com/ account

  2. at the bottom navigation bar choose 'goodies'

  3. then choose 'widgets'

  4. choose widgets for 'my website'

  5. choose 'profile widget'

  6. on the left select 'preferences'

  7. tick 'poll for new results'

  8. tick 'include sidebar'

  9. set 'behaviour' to 'load all tweets'

  10. set 'number of tweets' to 10

  11. tick 'show avitars'

  12. tick 'show timestamps'

  13. tick 'show hashtags'

  14. on the left select 'appearance'

  15. select the square box next to each item and select the colour wanted
    move the arrow slider up and down to the palette you want then select a colour in the palette given on the left (or type the code of the colour)
    'shell background' - light blue - code 559ec2
    'tweet background' - light blue - code 97cfed
    'links' - dark blue - code 3507eb
    'shell text' - blackish - code 0f0e0f
    'tweet text' - blackish - code 0f0e0f

  16. on the left select 'dimensions'

  17. tick 'auto width'

  18. then select 'test settings' and amend anything to get settings wanted

  19. then select 'finish and grab code'

  20. and copy the code that is given

Add twitter to website

  1. go to website html source

  2. and add the code copied above

Writing blogs that go to twitter

When writing the blogs only a very small amount goes into the twitter line, the heading plus, possibly, the first part of the posting. Add #'s in the title and start of the posting before any words you want twitter to tage so they can be included in the twitter search categories eg #blog, #author, #social , #SocialBookmarking
You can search in hashtags.org for tags to use.
Add them before you publish the post though as this twitter link doesn't recapture the blog if you amend it after it is first published.

My related postings

Include an option on your #webpage so it can be added to delicious.com #social #bookmarking
Include options on #blog to add the posting to #social #bookmarking sites
Adding a website icon for iphone and stopping page not found for mobiles
Adding free blog subscription options
Additional blog settings
Starting an author's platform
Add blog to website
Creating a blog


You can also add twitter to facebook and to your blog, so check back on this blog for more information, or subscribe to the free blog updates, or follow @wilkiewrites on twitter to see when the details are added.