Tuesday, August 29, 2006

[Misc] BlogDay 2006 - August 31st

We're on Xerophiles already? You mean we're almost up to Zucchinis?? (Or will that be Zabagliones?) Dang, that's a lot of pupils. So, how do we even dare find the time to explore strange new blogs and seek out new civilizations caramelizations... er, you get the idea.

Well, here's one thought: BlogDay 2006.

The details from the BlogDay website:

What will happen on BlogDay?

In one long moment In August 31st, bloggers from all over the world will post a recommendation of 5 new Blogs, Preferably, Blogs different from their own culture, point of view and attitude. On this day, blog surfers will find themselves leaping and discovering new, unknown Blogs, celebrating the discovery of new people and new bloggers.

BlogDay posting instructions:

1. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting

2. Notify the 5 bloggers that you are recommending on them on BlogDay 2005

3. Write a short description of the Blogs and place a a link to the recommended Blogs

4. Post the BlogDay Post (on August 31st) and

5. Add the BlogDay tag using this link: http://technorati.com/tag/BlogDay2006 and a link to BlogDay web site at http://www.blogday.org

Celebrate!


How cool is that? I missed BlogDay last year (and I'm still kicking myself about it), but I fully intend to join in this year and I hope other members of Food Blog S'cool will too. I encourage everyone to explore far and wide, check out the sites of some of our newest (and some of our oldest) pupils, and more than that, explore beyond the realm of food blogs and off into other unexpected areas of the blogosphere that still touch upon what and how we eat. (Read any good science blogs lately? There are some damn fine ones!)

So, who's with me for the festivities of BlogDay 2006? I think it's going to be a grand adventure!


This Post was written by MizD from Belly Timber.

Shibby Defined

Okay! It's done. I put an official definition of "shibby" up on the blog. After being asked by Sam, Cookiecrumb, Jen, Amy, Penny, and about 30 other people, it's up. So you all know... it's a word I and my friends adopted from a webcomic about a gay couple called Boy Meets Boy, way back in High School. It's not traditional everyday slang.

We also used the word "Yayness" when we could. And the word "heart" in place of "love" for saying, "I heart pasta!" (Like the t-shirt "I 'Heart' NY")


This Post was written by Garrett from Vanilla Garlic


[Misc] Newsletter mailing list

I have a newsletter associated with my blog and can't stand the provider. I would love to dump Bravenet. They are expensive and their service is lousy.

Does anyone have any recommendations for a service or application for managing newsletters and mailing lists that they like? My list is not very large, about 400 people and so far anyway, I am only sending text-based, not html newsletters.

Thanks!

This post was written by Amy from Cooking with Amy

Monday, August 28, 2006

Food Writing Workshop in Los Angeles

Hopefully this is useful not just for LA foodbloggers but all o'you Californians:

UCLA Extension is offering a one-day food writing workshop this fall, featuring a couple of my favorite Los Angeles food journalists, Russ Parsons and Evan Kleiman. It's on Nov. 4 from 9:30 to 5 and costs $130. They're only taking 50 students, so you'll have to sign up quickly (you can register on the Extension website). Here are the details from the course catalog:

In this workshop, food writers and editors provide an overview of the techniques for turning a food-related experience or recipe idea into sellable articles for magazines and newspapers. Panelists share insights into such different disciplines as cookbook production and restaurant reviewing. Guest speakers include Elizabeth Evans, food critic, Orange County Register; Stephen Hamilton, Stephen Hamilton Photographics Inc.; Brad A. Johnson, National Food and Travel Editor, Modern Luxury magazines; Evan Kleiman, owner, Angeli Caffe, KCRW radio host, cookbook author; Russ Parsons, food columnist, Los Angeles Times; Nancy Ross Ryan, Fresh Food Writing; and Pamela J. Wischkaemper, food consultant/public relations.



This Post was written by Erin from Erin's Kitchen

[Misc] Orble

Does anyone know anything about Orble and their paid blogging gigs?

Thanks!

This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Quitting your blog

As we all know, even the best of food blogs don’t seem to last forever. Sometimes bloggers note it is the end (Julie and Julia) and sometimes they just disappear.

I have been posting on Fresh Approach for three years, and I am wrestling with whether or not to keep going. I just feel like it's getting stale, and while I really do love doing it, I cannot for the life of me think of a way to change it up and make it more interesting.

SO, my question is, if I stop posting, does my blog eventually disappear? Can I prevent that from happening in case I want to resume? (That is, if I do stop in the first place) And is it best to put up a "gone fishin’" post or just leave it where it lies…open to interpretation.

I’ll say this though, no matter what, I love being part of the food blog community, and wouldn’t ever want that to end.

I’m curious what you all think!

-Rachael




This Post was written by RACHAEL from FRESH APPROACH


Adding Thumbnail Photo in Alexa

Since my post about Ranking Blogs and how to upload a thumbnail photo of my site to it, Sam had kindly suggested i check out alexa.com. Thanks Sam! Blog Top Sites and Ranking Blogs uses Alexa's thumbnail image of your blogs.

After further investigation, unfortunately, Alexa doesn't allow anyone to upload a thumbnail image but themselves. But, they can do it for you using a crawler.

Click here for a link to get Alexa to upload a thumbnail photo of your blog. Then, click on the link where it says "If you would like to request that we send our crawler to refresh or capture an image for your site, you can submit the URL with this form:" http://thumbnails.alexa.com/update_thumbnail

Type in the URL of your blog and wait for at least 48 hours. I've just done mine and hopefully it works but at least, worth a try!

This Post was written by Mae from riceandnoodles

Saturday, August 26, 2006

New Chow site is up in Beta

I just noticed that the new Chow site is up at Chow.com. You need to log in. I used my Chowhound username and password to get in.

So far, some of the content is from previously published issues of the now closed magazine, but there is a section of the site called The Grinder that points to online food content, including some bloggers in the Scool.

Getting a link here could be a good way to introduce more people to our blogs.

This Post was written by Chris from Electric Stove


[OFF TOPIC] Thank you!

May I just take a moment to publicly thank the San Francisco food bloggers (led by our very kind and thoughtful headmistress, Sam) who took the time to send their best wishes to me for recovery from my stroke. The card I found when I finally arrived home this afternoon must undoubtedly feature the most gorgeous photograph I have ever seen of your hometown!

Thank you Shuna (Eggbeater), Anita and Mike (Dessert First, Kat (Kung Foodie.com), Amy (Cooking with Amy), Jen (The Hungry Hedonist), Catherine (Albion Cooks), Derrick (Obsession With Food), Julie (A Finger in Every Pie), the bunny rabbits at (bunrab.com), and most especially Sam (Becks and Posh) for organizing it all.

I'd also like to thank these other food bloggers for their words of encouragement. They really helped buoy my spirits: my main man Garrett (Vanilla Garlic), Callipygia (FOODCHAIR), Kalyn (Kalyn's Kitchen), kitchenmage (Kitchen Mage), Barbara (Winos and Foodies), AK (Kitchen Parade), Marianne (The Unemployed Cook), David (David Lebowitz: Living the Sweet Life in Paris and i'm sooo jealous! ;-), drbiggles (Meathenge), Anni (Life Is a Banquet), Karen (Like to Cook), and L Vanel (Lucy's Kitchen Notebook). Bless you all.

This Post was written by Willa Frank from Sorry Fugu
Can anyone tell me how I find out if I've used up my photo space on Blogger? I've not been able to upload photos, in any size, for two days. Thanks.


This Post was written by Christine from Christine Cooks

Friday, August 25, 2006

html: bloglines icon

How do I add an icon to my listing on bloglines?


This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good

[Misc.] Media Bistro Food Writing Class

Has anyone taken a food writing class from Mediabistro? I'd be interested to hear what you thought and if you thought much of the information would help a food blogger as well.

I'm interested in their one night class on "Writing the Perfect Food Essay" in NYC. It's only $65 and the teacher David Leite sounds mega-qualified. I am particularly interested in this class because it talks about how to "handle the thorny issue of first-person writing" and "how to avoid sentimentality" -- both issues that I struggle with on my blog.

Maybe if someone else in the NYC food blog world is going, we could meet up before or after the class for a drink.


This Post was written by Chris from Electric Stove


[misc] request for link exchanges

I'm just curious what everyone here thinks about requests for "link exchanges." It seems that lately, I've been getting more and more emails from bloggers (whom i don't know) asking me for a "link exchange," i.e. "i'll link to you if you link to me."

this kind of request puts me in an awkward position. while i understand that this is the web and the power of the web comes from interconnected-ness, i keep my blogroll as a few others do - it is very personal to me.

do i just say "no, thank you?" to the person making the request? the thing is, i don't want to hurt the other person's feelings by not reciprocating the link, because it's not like i think they are unimportant or aren't good enough. but then again, i don't want to just ignore them, or worse yet, just link anyway because i feel bad. and then, i have to admit, i feel the slightest twinge of bitterness that the person has even put me in a situation that would make me feel bad. i may as well confess also that i find it almost, well, i don't really know what the word is, but slightly rude, perhaps?

i've always thought it best to create your own blogroll, link to the blogs you want to link to. the blogs that want to link to you will link to you. you shouldn't have to ask them.

am i thinking too much? being overly sensitive, or perhaps naive?

thanks as always, everyone, for your honesty.

this post was written by sarah from the delicious life

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Cuts

I am using blogger, is there any way to do a cut text as I am preparing a relatively long post and would rather just the first paragraph or two show and let people click on a link to continue reading rather than put the whole sprawl out there.


This Post was written by Garrett from Vanilla Garlic

[photo] Picasa/Hello: Know Your Limits

It would appear that there are limits.
Trust me to reach them!



this is the error I got after loading a few quite a lot of pictures to blogger using the blogger bot in hello and picasa today.

After a few minutes it does in fact let me post again, but not if I am working very fast, which, of course, I am want to do. Anyone else come across this?

If you do - just try again a minute or 15 minutes later, it looks like you don't actually have really to wait til the next day.

This Post was written by sam from becks&posh

Monday, August 21, 2006

[HTML] Help!

Hello Friends!

I spent over an hour photographing and formatting, to prepare a background for my blog title. After a satisfactory preview, I saved changes to template and republished my blog only to find that at the end of it I don't see a background in the title box.
It is most frustrating.



Preview Screen

Actual screen-note the absence of BG in title space

Can someone tell me what is the snag?

I have posted bg in both header {
and header div {

Please help!


Thanks in advance.

This post was written by Nandita of Saffron Trail

Categories for Scool Posts

Hi Everyone,

I vaguely remember that we're supposed to apply labels in brackets to the titles of our Food Blog Scool posts, so that they can be filed correctly, but I can't remember what those labels are and I haven't been using them. I've also noticed that hardly anyone else is using them. Should we be? Would somebody mind conducting a refresher course for all of us? Thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Coding for Pull-Down Menus

Hi everyone,

Sam generously shared with me the code to the pull-down menus for Food Blog Scool's archives. I tried to apply a similar thing to the sidebar of my blog, and I combed the code for typos and thought I got rid of them all, but it's not working quite right. In Firefox, it looks perfect, but none of the links actually go anywhere. In IE, it looks really funky. Does it have something to do with the Java Script? Any other ideas?

Thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Fileden for free file hosting

I needed a place to host some PDF files for download from my blog (Blogger). After doing some research I found fileden, which is one of the few free hosting sites for miscellaneous file types that allows hotlinking directly to the file (without the user going to the host's web page). Many hosting sites seem to delete files after 30 days of inactivity, but it appears that this isn't the case with fileden.

http://www.fileden.com

Here's a link to a review:

http://www.free-webhosts.com/image-hosting/FileDen/

I can't figure what's in it for the company if hotlinks are allowed, since it doesn't direct users to ads.


This Post was written by Peter Cherches from Word of Mouth

Links Font Problem

I know I usually begin my seldom-asked questions with how very tech-challenged I am, and this time it's no different.
I've been trying to make the links on my sidebar smaller, all to no avail. I can't seem to find the correct place on my template to make the changes. I'll stab at it and end up making some other thing smaller :(
These links are under the gif image "Links" and if anyone would please take a look, you will see that the actual link type is larger than any other type on the entire sidebar. I would like that type to be the same size and font as my "previous posts".
Any help will be much, much appreciated.

www.christinecooks.blogspot.com



This Post was written by Christine from Christine Cooks


Saturday, August 19, 2006

[members] New Pupils, A Warm Welcome

I have just signed up a few more Vanilla Pods, a whole class of Walnuts and the start of class Xerophile for you all to check out today. (Xerophiles are plants adapted to life with minimal water that include the natural, edible sweetener, Agave.)

Please give all the new pupils a big hello:

Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once
alice q. foodie
Cravings
Foodie Universe
The Ethicurean
Daydream Delicious
Wino Sapien
Frugal Cuisine
The Suburban Apron Company
Christine Cooks Vegetarian
The Chocolate Lover's Diary
Kitchenography
Alpineberry
Food, Books and Foodbooks
Squirrel Squad Squeaks
BOOK:|:KITCHEN
French Kitchen in America
An Open Cupboard
Eat
Married With Dinner
Mango & Lime
Food & Paper


Everyone please note: I usually actually add your name to the blog roll around the time when I send you the blogger invitation to food blog scool. You won't really be a member unless you sign up with blogger and accept that invitation. I am making this point because about 50 or so members never actually completed the sign up. If you can't see your invite, please check in your spam folder! Thanks

This post was written by sam from Becks & Posh

Friday, August 18, 2006

[Misc] Review Copies

I received the following email from a publicist who asked that I forward it on to any/all interested food bloggers. Please send her your email and blog link if you would like to be on her mailing list.

I am a freelance publicist who has recently started working with a lot of chefs (Rick Bayless is one) and I would like to have blogger info to keep the food sites updated. Would you pass on contact info so that I may send you galleys and review copies of the food books that I work on.

Genevieve Kvam
Publicist
SallyAnne McCartin & Associates
860/435-6464
ghkvam@aol.com


This Post was written by Amy from Cooking with Amy

Bookmark & De.licio.us Trouble

I've just recently noticed that when I (or with any hope, someone else!) bookmark one of my own posts or I post one to de.licio.us, only the blog name A Veggie Venture, not the blog name plus the post title, comes through automatically.

Does any one know how this is controlled in Blogger? And is there a way to choose which comes first, the Blog Name or the Post Title? And while we're on the subject, do others have a preference for order, let's say A -- Post Title first, Blog Name second or B -- Blog Name first, Post Title second?

Many thanks from Alanna at A Veggie Venture


Thursday, August 17, 2006

[HTML] Padding around pics?

This is my first post in the 'scool!

I just posted on my blog and part of the post is photo files of cookbook covers. In Blogger, the preview looks great...but when published, there seems to be white padding around each pic file. I went into the edit HTML page and tried to remove the padding by placing a 0 in front of the number of pixels for padding/border around each of the pic files. That didn't fix the problem and now the text around the pic files is out of whack. Anyone know how I might fix this?


This Post was written by Elizabeth from http://www.elizabeth-spice.blogspot.com

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

[Event] What's up with IMBB?

There hasn't been a new IMBB since the combination IMBB/Wine blogging one...and Alberto hasn't updated his site since early July... anyone know what's up withe the grandfather of food blog events?

posted by Maki from Just Hungry.

Cookies (and not the kind you bake)

Has anyone else noticed a trend of food blogs trying to put cookies on your machine? In the last few days, I have had several instances when accessing a newly-discovered food blog, in which the blog tried to "cookie" me. I am somewhat paranoid about stuff like that, and so I get a prompt any time a site tries to download a cookie, and I nearly always say "always block" (except in a few rare instances). However, I been rather surprised to see this from food blogs and am curious - can anyone tell me why a foodblogger might want to install cookies on visitors machines?

This post was written by Lynda at Food, Books, and FoodBooks.

[Podcasting] [Feeds] Newbie podcasting

I'm hoping to do a podcast sometime over the next couple of months and would like a bit of guidance please. I'm particularly concerned about my feed. As I understand it Typepad has tags in normal blog posts that allow podcast feeds to be picked up. That's what they told me anyway. But I'm not sure quite what this means. Does it mean that if I simply publish my podcast as a blog post it will automatically be picked up by itunes, odeo etc? Or do I need to ping them separately.

On a related podcast point, I'm planning to record the podcast using a combination of SkypeOut and Pamela. Does anyone have experience of this? I was considering using Hotrecorder, but figured that given Pamela is endorsed by Skype, I might find it easier to integrate the two and use. Although I'd be interested to hear arguments for or against other systems. I did read somewhere that Pamela has issues with SkypeOut, although they're hoping to address that in the next release due out in the next couple of weeks. If that release doesn't happen before my podcast (no date confirmed yet) I may opt for Hotrecorder. Arrgh, too many decisions.

Finally, any recommendations for decent headset and mic? I've been using one of the cheaper Plantronics one and the build quality isn't that great. I want to ensure as good quality as possible for the podcast.

This Post was written by Anthony at Silverbrow on Food.

Qumana MT picture problems

I've just started using Qumana as a desktop blog client but my pictures aren't showing up on my blog powered by Movable Type.

This means I'm having to paste the Flickr code into Movable Type myself, which defeats the prupose of using Qumana

I was trying to do a text runaround on a picture ranged to the left of the text. I pasted the code in, adjusted the size of the box to the picture's size 180 high by 240 wide in this case.

Any ideas?

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Ads and Amazon

How do people feel about Ads, Ad Sense, and putting those little Amazon "What I'm reading" imgaes up on their blogs? Pros? Cons?


This Post was written by Garrett from Vanilla Garlic

Blogger Gets an Update

Hooray! Google has, after years of neglect, upgraded Blogger. Some Blogspot improvements, privacy settings, but best of all...categories! I haven't played with it (like all Google products, it's still in beta), but I wanted to let Blogger users know.


This Post was written by Derrick from Obsession with Food

Ranking Blogs

Since yesterday, i have not been able to view Ranking Blogs website to check for stats [it's one of those things that i obsessively check everyday :)]. Is anyone else experiencing this? I've noticed their logo keep changing which i positioned at the bottom of my site. Please would you check on your browser the following address http://www.rankingblogs.com/dir/ and let me know if you too can't access it?

While we're on the subject, does anyone know how i can add a photo of my blog on Ranking Blogs? I've noticed some foodbloggers like Sam of Becks and Posh, Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, etc, have a snapshot of each blogs. How can i add one to mine? Does anyone know?

Thanks everyone!


This Post was written by Mae from riceandnoodles

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Article on Food Blogging

Here is a link to an article on food blogging that features a lot of FBS members.

Posted by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen, using Mozilla Performancing for the very first time, so if it looks weird, that's why.


powered by performancing firefox

Saturday, August 12, 2006

More on Food Photography

I just got an email from a fellow in Australia ponting to an article he's written on food photography. His piece also referenced this article on food styling.


This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Chocolate in Style

Hi Everyone,

The time has come to bring a little style to Chocolate in Context. At the moment, the blog has a perfectly inoffensive look--it's sleek, it's uncluttered, it's easy to read. But it's also little more than a blank piece of white paper with writing on it. What I need is to bring in some quality graphic design--personalize the format a bit, add a signature graphic to the top, and throw in one of those image-thingies that shows up in the address window when you visit the website.

The problem is that the visual arts just aren't my area. Editorial work is. I have about six years experience as a writer and editor, and I've previously been a staffer at both Premiere and Time Out New York magazines in NYC. I'm a top-notch copy-editor and line-editor (of course, that's my assessment of myself--to get a sense of the job I actually do, you could take a look at my blog.) That means that if you're just not getting your point across, you're repeating yourself too often, you think your writing sounds cliched and cheesy, or you just aren't exactly sure where to place the comma, I'm your girl.

So I propose a trade. If there's anyone out there who's really design-savvy but is struggling with his/her writing tone and style, how about we help each other out? I'll take a look at your blog, and give you some pointers, make some cuts, reorganize the ideas in some of your posts (whatever you need) in exchange for you overhauling the look of Chocolate in Context. I was thinking that we could devise a system so that we do an equal number of hours' work on each other's sites--but I'm really flexible and open to any ideas.

Any takers? Please reply here or email me at EmilyStone200[at]hotmail[dot]com. Thanks a bunch!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Blogger and Hosting

There are a lot of discussions on this website about the benefits of hosting your own blog versus sticking with blogger. Most of those conversations are over my head--a sure indicator that I should stick with blogger.

But I've already gotten ahold of my own url address (www.chocolateincontext.com) and I currently redirect traffic from there to my blogger blog (www.chocolateincontext.blogspot.com). Not only is it incredibly simple to tell people to visit chocolateincontext.com, I feel that having my own web address is beneficial to me on a professional level. Of course, as soon as people click on chocolateincontext.com, the reroute happens and they see the bloger address in their web browser, decreasing the professional appearance a bit. So I think I'd like to take one more small step away from blogger, and actually locate my blog at the chocolateincontext.com address.

I know there's an option of doing your hosting BY blogger AT another address. Does that simply mean that everything will stay the same in terms of how I can use blogger's program and storage space? If so, how do I do this? (And are there any downsides?) I know that when I set up the blog, blogger offered me this option, but I'm not sure how to do the changeover now.

Any advice would be appreciated. Many thanks!

Emily


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Target="0"

Every time I link to something, I always include "target='0'" in the code. But it's a drag to do that manually every single time. Is there a way to format things so that when I click on the blogger "link" button, "target='0'" is included in the code?

Thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Me and My Side Bar

As you may have guessed from my numerous posts today, I'm doing some updating on the layout of my blog.

One thing that I've done is to nix the grade-schoolish blogger profile and write my own bio. But I'd like to clean up the appearance a bit more. I'd like to put a border around the bio, but I can't seem to find the right solution. (That is, all of the solutions I've dug up seem way to complicated. Does anyone know of a simple one and/or would you be willing to break down one of the more complicated solutions into a simple step-by-step description?)

I also wonder if it's possible to (why can't I think of the write editorial lingo?) format the text in the bio so that it's flush on both the right and left sides, making it look like a clean column, not the jagged one that it is now. Any ideas?

And I can't remember what they looked like before, but all of my links seem to have centered themselves, instead of aligning on the left, and I think they look goofy. Could someone tell me (I'm sure it's really simple) how I changed my links from being centered to being left-aligned?

Many thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Old Internet Explorer Disappearing Side Bar Problem

When viewed in Internet Explorer, the side bar of my blog disappears from the right-hand side of the page, only to reappear all the way down at the bottom. This is incredibly frustrating because regular visitors find the links that they want hard to find, and first time visitors don't know that the extra bells and whistles (my bio, links, etc.) are there. This is not news. Not only have I had this problem for months but numerous other food bloggers have ranted about this problem on the pages of this blog and numerous others have offered up extensive potential solutions in response. The problem is that the problem is still there. It won't go away! I can't get my side bar to actually appear on the side of my blog.

(NOTE before continuing on: This is only a problem in Internet Explorer. The blog looks just like it should in Mozilla, and I believe in Safari as well. This matter is further complicated by the fact that I can't seem to install IE properly on my computer--but I certainly have access to IE-running computers, so I can check the problem.)

I'm guessing that the problem has something to do with the coding in the blog's template. Someone also proposed that it could have something to do with adsense--I don't think that's the case, but I've removed adsense from my blog anyway. Another possibility is that a coding problem in one of the posts is screwing things up. While I don't rule out the possibility of coding snafus in my posts, someone pointed out this side bar problem to me as far back as March--at that point, the blog was only a few months old and there was very little coding in the posts, so I'm thinking that the template is the more likely culprit.

I took a look at the template today, but I think that this is a job for someone with expertise beyond my own adhoc knowledge of html conventions. I'm not sure what the etiquette is for this, but is there someone out there who would be willing to take a look at my template to see if they can locate the glaring problem (or to just generally help me clean up the mess made by my non-professional coding style)? If that's too much to ask, is there anyone out there who hires herself out for this type of work? Any and all suggestions are welcome. By all means, reply here, or contact me at EmilyStone200[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Before signing off, I'd just like to write a quick thanks to every one of you Food Blog S'cool members. I haven't been participating much recently, but I've certainly been reading along, and this group is amazingly helpful. Thanks!


This Post was written by Emily Stone from Chocolate in Context

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

My blog is at Typepad and I'm using domain redirection, which works pretty well except that the image links for the fullsize images in the popup window all still point to "kitchenmage.typepad.com" instead of "blog.kitchenmage.com" The thumbnail that is automatically created is correctly pathed to my domain, which makes it doubly confusing as to why it's not for the other. I've tested and if I simply change the URL to swap domains, it still resolves to the image, so I am thinking it should work correctly.

This is the case on other blogs and sometimes it causes serious problems. Like Stephen Cooks, which I pretty much don't go to because I've never been able to resolve the URLs for his images, which are all going to whats_for_dinner.typepad.com where they aren't. I sent him mail a long time ago and he didn't have any idea why it was happening so I asked Typepad's people and they never had an answer. (yes, i realize this is some bizarre DNS thing on my side since you can all see the images, but the images should be pathed to stephencooks.com, nonetheless...and I've changed DNS servers and tried from about 5 different computers here...and yes I know that's a lot of computers... laughs)

So you may see why I doubt that I'm going to get very far with Typepad, especially after reading Stephen's (waves at Stephen) mail about image issues. And I really need to fix this because I've got a number of Typepad blogs I manage (some of which I'd rather not have linked to my kitchenmage site in any obvious way like images in posts) in addition to my primary food site and this is true on all of them. Unfortunately. Which means a lot of code tweaking once I figure it out. *sigh*

Thoughts?

This Post was written by KITCHENMAGE from kitchenmage

Upgrading WordPress & HTML checker

I'm running WordPress on bluehost.com, a WordPress website hosting partner. Nonetheless, I have to manually upgrade my old version of WordPress to the latest, greatest, most secure version (couldn't they have just automated the upgrade on bluehost?). *Sigh*. I'm lazy enough about posting, so I'm doubly lazy about actually maintaining my blog under the hood.

Has anyone successfully upgraded to the new WordPress software? Is it painful? Anything I should watch out for? Will it cause significant downtime?

Another issue I've been having: my blog looks like crap in IE. I've written to the template designer, and he says that his template doesn't officially support IE. He also says that any graphics larger than 400 pixels (IIRC) will cause the problems I've been having (namely, the column on the left is incomplete). I'm not certain this is the cause of the problem, as I'm pretty sure my blog looked weird in IE before I ever posted a graphic. I've also read that people have had similar problems as a result of bad code, such as a tag that you forgot to close. Apparently, IE doesn't know how to handle such minutiae and your page gets screwed up. (Why yes, I *am* a Firefox user :).

Has anyone had any similar experiences? Is there an HTML checker I can install on my host and run within the WordPress dashboard? I'm trying to avoid the joy of going through all my posts with a fine-tooth comb, looking for a rogue tag.

Of course, another option is to just ditch the template and install a new one. I really kinda like the template though, and I've finally got it set up just so.

This Post was written by shelly from anopencupboard

Becks & Posh: Lovely Jubbly Bubbly#comments

Gee Sam, I dont't know...you might have to twist my arm on this one...

NOT!

Happy, Happy, Happy, Happy. Champagne, Happy, Happy, Happy.

:-)

Becks & Posh: Lovely Jubbly Bubbly#comments

Slow Photo Loading on TypePad

Loading photos to TypePad has become excruciatingly slow, to the point where it's seriously affecting my workflow and causing me to consider moving to another service. TypePad Helpdesk confirmed this is a problem they are aware of: "The problems you're seeing are probably related to an issue we're working on that's related to high Comment, Post, or TrackBack counts. In your case, the all of the Post and Comment counts are pretty high.[note: I've had the blog about 14 months and there are 309 posts and 1153 comments -- less than 4 comments per post -- and I expect to be doing this for years, so their comment that they think these counts are high is extremely discouraging news] Basically, the database is making queries for Posts, TrackBacks, and Comments and because it's a large number, it might be timing out before the query is complete. This will cause errors like the ones you've been seeing."

TypePad has so far refused to provide me with a timeframe for a repair to this problem so I'm considering moving on...can't spend my life staring at the screen waiting for something to happen (only to get a timeout message and have to start it again).

This has really put a damper on my blogging...is anyone else having this type of problem with TP? Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated...

This Post was written by Stephen from Stephencooks.

Beating down the blogging blues

One of my favorite food bloggers, Lisa of Oslo Foodie, has decided to close down her blog. I'm really sad about it, but boy do I know where she is coming from.

My enthusiasm for keeping up my blogs comes and goes. At the moment I can feel the enthusiasm for the food blog ebbing; luckily I piled up a few articles during a high-energy period, so I have enough to keep it going until hopefully my inspiration comes back. In the past though, I've stopped blogging for weeks and months (and suffered the subsequent traffic drops). Sometimes it's just because I just don't feel like even thinking about food, much less cooking it. Sometimes I just get major writer's block. (My recent receding of enthusiasm was triggered by a number of separate copying/scraping incidents, like this page, which has three of my posts copied intact with links and pictures in 2 of them. I think I'm pretty tolerant about people copying my recipes...but this just went too far even for me.) Regardless of the reason, sometimes it's hard to keep up the energy.

Do you go through blogging blues? How to you combat them? Or is it worth combatting them?

This Post was written by maki from Just Hungry.

No credit, but compensation?

I was recently approached by an popular on-line magazine for the use of one of our food photographs - no "photo credit" will be given, but they are offering compensation (we've never been offered any compensation before, so I don't know if it is a good offer). The firm does seem legitimate, but as I said, this is a first for us. If we agree to let them use the photo(s), is there anything we should watch out for or be aware of? Thanks!

This Post was written by Joe from Culinary in the Desert

MySpace & Site Promotion

I have no interest in the "social networking" aspects of MySpace, but I wondered if anyone had found it a useful tool when it comes to promoting their food site.

This Post was written by Bill from Tea Guy Speaks.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

[Photography] Good Article on Food Photography

This article may be of interest

behind-the-lens-matt-armendariz-food photographer


This Post was written by Andrew from SpittoonExtra etc

(del.icio.us)
Adding "Save to Del.icio.us" to every post

First, I have a del.icio.us cookbook and I love it. It's a wonderful way to save recipes without using bookmarks.

However, today I am hitting my hand against my forehead and muttering. I recently added "save to del.icio.us" to my post template (in Blogger) thinking that someone could click it and it would add that post to their del.icio.us acount. I just found out (by accident) that when someone clicks that link on my post pages, it adds Kalyn's Kitchen (the url) to their del.icio.us page, not the permalink for that recipe. I suppose people who know how to use del.icio.us have been figuring it out and going to the permalink before saving it, but that's not what I had in mind.

Does anyone know how to configure it in Blogger so that you can add the "save to del.icio.us" option and have it appear on each page and save the permalink? I read about it on the del.icio.us page and I see instructions for typepad and wordpress but I don't know enough to know if they willwork for Blogger.

Thanks so much.

This Post was written by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.

Finding other food bloggers by geography

I'm going on a couple of vacations in the next month and would be like to reading food blogs from the places I'm going before I go and maybe even try to arrange meeting up with a food blogger or two while I am there.

I know that the S'cool would get very cluttered if everyone posted their vacation plans etc. on the site, but is there a way to search for food blogs by city or by zip code or maybe there is a map? I've come across a couple of things but they never seemed comprehensive.


This Post was written by Chris from Electric Stove


[Photography] Digital SLR's

I just ordered a digital SLR (Canon Rebel XT) and am anxiously waiting for it to arrive. I hesitated for a while to spend the money, partly because I know that the cost of the camera is just the start; now I need to buy lenses, filters, etc.--essential, I think, in order to use it to take food photos. But I'm confused about what equipment to get. So many of the lenses I've looked at allow you to focus as close as 36 inches from the subject, but I'm used to being able to get right up close to things, almost touching, with the super-macro mode on my current camera. Will I not be able to do that without a very expensive macro lens?

Anyway, those of you who use a digital SLR, how do you use it for food photography? Do you use a macro lens, a close-up lens (one of those that screw on like a filter), an extension tube, or something else? I'd love some recommendations for specific equipment, so please be as detailed as you like. Thanks for any help you can give.

This Post was written by SusanV from Fatfree Vegan Kitchen.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

[Miscellaneous] Qumana

Have you guys tried Qumana yet? These guys sponsored one of my attendance days at BlogHer.

I started playing with their sofware in the days before the show, and I LOVE IT. I can manage all my blogs, be they built on blogger, TypePad, MovableType... whatever. It goes out and picks up the formatting for each blog and loads it to the software.

You can create posts in WYSIWYG or in HTML, and hold them for publishing offline. You can import files or images in much the same way as other blogging software.

The neat thing for me has been to be able to add technorati tags on the fly, and not have to worry about tweaking code for them.

I travel a ton for work, and I hated having create text files of all my posts for fear of losing them to a dumpled wireless connection. This way, I keep all my posts for all my blogs in one software, and when I think of something I want to say, I just pop open a new window and GO.

Totally loving it.

This Post was written by Fatemeh from Gastronomie.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Changing Domains - Pros and Cons

Over the last few months a number of bloggers that I have a lot of respect for have advised me that if I am serious about my blog, I should move it from Blogger. I know that Blogger has some drawbacks, primarily the lack of the ability to easily create categories. However, I really like my blogger blog. I have concerns about moving domains and wonder whether my concerns might outweigh the benefits.

My biggest concern is that I have a large number of links, a high percentage of which are permalinks. Not only are there are all the links from Weekend Herb Blogging, but also I link internally with nearly every post, giving recommendations of other recipes to go with each dish I post about. I don't know whether any of those links would transfer if I switched to my own domain.

I also worry about losing page rank, although I am guessing that you would eventually get that back. I don't even really understand the transition process. Currently I have the domain kalynskitchen.com pointing to kalynskitchen.blogspot.com so my blog can be accessed by either url. Could I keep the blogspot blog up and have that address point to kalynskitchen.com if I made the switch?

I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has gone through this or who has a greater understanding than I do about just what is involved. (That would probably be most of you, since I rely heavily on my brother for assistance with anything very techie.) Thanks in advance for anyone who takes time to give input.

Posted by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen.

P.S. I've already decided that if I move I would use Wordpress, so I don't need advice about that, just about the transition and how things will be affected.

[Events] Reminder

Just a reminder everyone:

We try to keep the promotion of Food Blogging "Events" run by bloggers out of the main body of Food Blog S'cool Posts. The reason for this is because a while back it got out of hand with too many of these posts, and the real message of the school as a place for learning our skills and discussing our art, was beginning to get lost.

So instead I placed a calendar on the blogroll where it could be clearly be seen.
This calendar is now the focus on this site for food blogging event promotion.

Check out the calendar here

Read the event promotion guidelines post here.

Thank you for your understanding.
I am going to check out the gmail calendar and some others to see if it has an rss feed or something which could be more useful than the calendar we are currently using.


This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

Food & Wine Photo Contest

Pim has all the details
Note that according to the rules, "Any photograph entered in this Contest shall remain the exclusive property of Sponsor and entrant agrees that Sponsor and its designees shall have the perpetual, worldwide right to edit, publish and use the photograph in any way and in any media for trade, advertising, promotional and/or other purposes as Sponsor may determine in its sole discretion without further consideration to entrant or winner."

The prize is a Canon rebel and the rules suggest that winners will be published in the mag, but don't actually say that unless I missed it...

This Post was written by stephen from Stephencooks...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Posting Photos to Typepad

I'd gotten used to (mostly) the way things posted on Blogger, but then I had to move to TypePad. When I try to splash of line-up of photos, everything lays down on top of each other. I'd had a similar problem several months ago; somebody gave me a tag that I needed to add onto the end. However, I couldn't find the answer in the archives (and didn't write it down).

Are there any tutorials out there on how to layout photos? I'm not uploading directly to TypePad, I'm trying to link everything from my Flickr page.

I spent several hours today trying to get a single posting laid out, and still wasn't able to finish. Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

Here is the post in question.

This Post was written by s'kat from s'kat and the food.


heads up on image "stealing"

FYI

Your photos and posts found here?

Mine are, so is Andrew Barrows, as well as Nicole Weston, whose else?

Not sure what to say about this other than its a chinese mirror site that keeps on co-opting pics from me and also other food bloggers. It looks like they are cloning slashfood's feed for the most part. Hard to tell.

Not much anyone can do about it is my sense, maybe I am wrong.


This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

[Community] Blogathon recap

Before I forget the pain.

Some of you may know that I recently completed a Blogathon for Charity. Incase anyone is thinking of it for next year, I wanted to report here that Blogathonning is tough. Really tough. Much tougher than I could ever in a million years have imagined. Despite my blogging experience. I struggled with it. I was stressed, I was emotional, I felt frustrated at not being able to answer all the comments that were left for me, etc. it took its toll. I don't want people to be put off, but you need to go in with your eyes open. Email me with questions, or for more advice, nearer the time if you want to take part next year.

Why did I take part? Well, I had originally wanted to launch an August charity event for all food bloggers to join in with, if they so wanted, called "8-Dinner". My idea, such that it was, was that perhaps food bloggers could host dinner parties, or picnics, or buffets, or whatever, to raise money for the charity of their choice, during the month of August. The idea was that people would host and provide a wonderful spread of free food and then the guests would make a donation, to the value of a restaurant meal, or more, or whatever to the chosen charity.

And so I was meaning to organise this, but I never got round to doing it, because when I found out about the blogathon, I was seduced into taking part in that instead.

But what do people think of the 8-dinner idea? I am going to be talking to the Blogathon organiser about perhaps running a side-event alongside the blogathon, using their model of donating to individual charities, as per each individual bloggers choice. And that is one idea.

But on the other hand, perhaps group charity events, especially within a single community can lead to oversaturation of good deeds happening with a result that people get fed up with it in the end? I don't know, I am just putting these questions out there for mulling over. I am not sure if Pim will be doing a Menu for Hope again this year, I'm all for it, but I am not sure if I can take part, at least not to the extent I did last year, maybe I need to move on to something different, yet again. Or maybe I just need to calm down and be less enthusiastic about my involvement, though of course my personality would not rest easily if I did not give it my all.

These these things squeezed every last drop of effort out of me to the point where it would be difficult to try and follow what I have done before. I am wondering if the only way forward is to always do something different each time?

One thing that is clear to me is that it is great to be able to use ones blog to do some power of good in the world, and I don't want to put an end to that for a minute.

OK I will stop rambling now.
Any thoughts anyone else?

This Post was written by sam from becks & Posh

Quick Question for Text Formatting

I know that "em" is italic, and "strong" is for bold text -- what do I use when I want to make strike-through text?

Thanks!




This Post was written by Cyndi from Cookin' With Cyndi
Yet another strange commercial offer.

After my first commercial blandishment (La Censa) I just got hit up with an offer to advertise on my site that was followed up with the following:

The plain text links are one of the methods we use to advertise
I do have one other form of advertising that I can offer to pay much more for
We would create 5 sub-domains off www.tomatilla.com we would create the content for the sub-domains (subject to your approval of course), and we would host them
You would make the DNS entries for the sub-domains to point to our server
The topics for the sub-domains would be broad topics like “investing”
Once the content was uploaded - you would place text links to the sub-domains on the pages of your root domain
We need only a small amount of space for the text links - 2-3 words of hyper-text on 5 lines
I can offer you $xxx USD paid upfront for the 5 sub-domains for 3 months
We do not operate in the adult / gambling / pharmaceutical marketplaces
Let me know if you are interested in this


I'm absolutely not prepared to do the sub-domain thing but I did wonder if anyone else had received this or had done it.


This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla!

[Blogger] Template Problem or Blogger Problem?

UPDATE: I added a post lamenting the issues and somehow it was magically fixed. I am not going to ask questions, I am just going to appreciate it.

Looks like it is a day full of Blogger issues. I did some changes to my template today, but simple ones like adding links. When I used the preview function in Blogger, my blog looks perfect, with everything in its place. But when I saved the changes and republished, my entire sidebar is missing and the last post is cut off in the middle with the html code showing up at the end.

Even now, if I go into my template and use the preview function, it looks fine. But visiting it directly, it is all messed up. So, I guess it could be a blogger issue or I did something weird to my template (but they why would the preview function show that it is fine?).

Help!

This Post was written by Madeline Miller from Everything Rachael Ray.

Blogger display problem in IE

I usually develop and preview my blog in Firefox, and everything looks fine. But with IE, after a few paragraphs or short posts the text size gets bigger with more leading between the lines. No problem with Netscape. I just got a comment about this, and I had noticed it when I view the blog in my office with IE, where I don't have Firefox.

Any ideas on what the problem is?


This Post was written by Peter Cherches from Word of Mouth