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.

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