Friday, June 30, 2006

My site was hijacked by spammers

I've had this terrible thing happen to me twice this week. Somebody gaine access to my site directories and was sending out spam and were using it as a redirect to some russian bosing site and had me hosting a fake eBay site - i ony discovered the ebay one because they emailed me about it.

I think they gained access through a photogallery called coppermine I installed when I was hosting DMBLGIT the other month and now have removed it (I'll get the pictures back up some other way).

On my blogs I'm using the latest MT3.2 and Wordpress and have changed all my passwords. And I think I've removed all the offending files.

Has anybody any advice on:
1. tracking down any other files that these people may have uploaded
2. Preventing this happen again
3. Are there any security flaws in Movable type/Wordpress I need to do anything about?
4. Is there anything else I should know?

Also now I have noticed when I leave comments on sites they are not appearing - presumably because my domain is nw designated as a spammer. How do I remove this designation and get my reputation back?

Thursday, June 29, 2006

An unpleasant incident and a concern

Someone has publicly accused me of 'getting inspired' by her recipes as a means of finding a solution to my 'Writer's Block'. I don't know if anyone has faced a similarly embarrassing problem in the food blogosphere. It’s taking me a lot of effort to bring this out in the public, so that people who have faced something similar can give their advice on the matter.

The person gave me a link to her archives for me to find out how I have lifted her stuff. The only common recipes I could find were the ones involving bread, eggs and curd rice. After all people in the food blogging world do have similar interests and somewhat similar ideas. And since when have bread, eggs and curd rice become anyone’s copyright? Bread and eggs are universal and curd rice is the life-blood of every South Indian. And then, there are trends-there was a ridge-gourd trend, now I see a 'Ven pongal' trend. People are gracious to mention names of others who have posted a recipe for the same.

In my case, I would have done the same, had I actually spotted the aforementioned recipes in someone’s blog earlier. I have absolutely no intentions of stealing someone’s thunder, let alone recipesI love cooking, and I can humbly say that it is a God given gift, and that any permutation-combination I’ve tried, the results have never been un-edible. It’s the love and passion that goes into making ‘food’ out of just ‘ingredients’. And the same love and passion goes into writing about them. In such a scheme of things, when someone accuses one of ‘lifting’ recipes to cure a Writer’s Block, it is extremely hurting.

At this very moment, I have over 50 pictures of various recipes that I want to blog about. I actually wish I develop a Writer’s Block sometime so that I can take a forcible break from blogging. Because, the love of cooking and writing combined, is turning out to be a time-eating proposition-and a very enjoyable one at that.

I definitely admit the fact that I have visited the concerned person’s blog off and on, but probably didn’t stop to comment. That doesn’t mean that I’m anti their blog. Come on- we visit about atleast 10 blogs a day, on an average and spot 2-3 new recipes on each. It is not really possible to comment on each and every recipe that one spots. And not leaving a comment doesn’t mean that we are giving any less credit or praise for that person’s effort.

Also, the sitecounter that most of us have on our sites- will tell that I visited a particular blog, and if I left my connection on, on one particular page for over an hour while attending to chores, it can’t probably mean that I have spent that much time on one site trying to rip-off content from the archives.

If the person had a sitecounter for those particular recipes that she’s talking about, she would have realized that I have never ever visited those pages, until today. That too only because she pointed it out.At this point of time, I would like to appeal to bloggers out here- to tell me how we can protect ourself from such allegations which are more emotionally disturbing than anything else. It is not quite possible to visit each and every food blog before we post entries to make sure no one else has posted a similar entry. So what is the solution?

This Post was written by Nandita from

Too funny

I had to share this with S'Cool.

As with many of you, in recent months I keep getting solicitations to provide my content to this, that or the other new syndicator of content to [fill in the blank]. I ignore most of these, mainly because I can't be bothered. Besides, I don't really see much in it for me.

A few days ago some guy sent a solicitation for some kind of service that provides content to mobile phones. Maybe other people have gotten the same email. I did click on the link he provided and it said the service is set up for Xanga, LiveJournal and Blogger. Since my blog is on Typepad I just send that mail to the trash.

He kept on emailing however prodding for a response, so I replied to him thus:


Since the wizard says it is for Xanga, LiveJournal and Blogger users and I am none of those (my blog is on Typepad) I had just assumed it was a mass solicitation.

This is what he replied:

I apologize about that. I will contact you when we support Wordpress in the coming months.

I'm not holding my breath.

This Post was written by maki from Just Hungry.

Order of posts

I am helping a friend with a blog for an event. I was wondering if there is a way to make sure that a particular post is always the first one they see on the blog?

This Post was written by Heather from Eating For One or KS Sisters on the Fly.

[Blogger] Blogger Hacks Wiki

Since a lot of you use Blogger, I thought this would be useful: there is now a Blogger Hacks Wiki, from FreshBlog who has been collecting Blogger hacks. Looks very useful!

Incidentally, this link came via
No Fancy Name written by Julie Meloni. I don't have her book about blogging (which I think is mostly about Blogger) but many many years ago I learned the basics of PHP with one of her PHP books and if her blogging book is anything like that, it should be good. (unpaid endorsement!)

This entry was posted by maki from Just Hungry.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


I'm a sucker for romance, and it really seems to be in the blog-air these days. I just saw this, and while I (obviously) don't know The Goats, I just had to share. It's just so great!

Scoopt Words

Thanks to Kayln's link below, I found a new-to-me site called Scoopt Words which offers bloggers an opportunity to sign up and potentially sell content from their blogs to mainstream media. (They work in conjunction with Creative Commons licenses.) Has anyone used this service yet and if so, what was your experience? Thanks!

This Post was written by Willa Frank from SORRY FUGU

Online List of Blogging Tools

I found this great online list of blogging tools at ProBlogger and thought others might like to see it. Personally I found a lot of things I didn't know about.

This Post was written by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen

Monday, June 26, 2006

You are all worringly quiet!

IMBB is full of 'ends' - is anything happening that should be advertised?

This Post was written by 'assuming you know'

(Blogger) Viewing Problems?

The sidebars of my site are not showing up, yet everything is as it was in the template. Anyone else having the same problem?

This post was written by Cate from Sweetnicks.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Publication Procrastination

Hello all,

I just recently joined Food Blog S’cool after lurking for a while. As a brand new food blogger with a two-month old baby blog, I just want to say that I’ve learned so much from all of you here. Thank you!

I don’t really consider myself a good writer, but I am the empress queen of re-writing. I cannot just write a post and publish it. I reread it and edit it, and read it again and tweak it, ad infinitum. Then I wait a day before reading it again and discovering it needs more editing. I tell myself that it will be ready to publish when I can read it without making any changes, which never happens.

Sometimes it takes weeks, and 40 – 50 edits before I consider a post ready to publish. When I compare my final version to my first draft, the ultimate version is infinitely better, so I am reluctant to give up this obsessive method of rewriting.

Does anyone else suffer from this plague of publication procrastination? How do you deal with it?

BTW, I edited this post only four times. :)

This Post was written by Lydia from Kitchen Exhibitionist

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Jennifer and Baby Leith

FYI Jennifer, our Domestic Goddess has recently delivered a baby boy - Leith. Leith is a bit premature and Jennifer is still in the hospital recovering. You can see photos of the baby and send her your good wishes at

This Post was written by Elise from Simply Recipes.

Expandable post summaries

Several months ago I came across instructions on how to insert conditional post summaries on my blog - put simply, if a post I wrote was short, I included a < spanclass="shortpost"> tag in my post, and it displayed everything on the main page, and if it was a long post I included a < spanclass="fullpost"> tag and only a small section of the article appeared on the main page, along with a link to click to view the full article. It required some tweaking of the template but nothing very major, as I recall.

Not long ago I completely redid my template, as I was having massive style issues in IE, and I completely forgot to note down the template codes to include conditional expandable post summaries. I have tried googling for the information but can't find the original instructions (or any new ones which work).

Can anyone help please?

This Post was written by Fahara from Souperior

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Shape Magazine Request

I realize this is a strange request, but I'm desperate.

I subscribed to Shape Magazine for two years, between 2002-2004 and I kept all the copies I had. From time to time I experimented with their recipes. Many were duds, but one of them was an absolute favorite: a mini-muffin recipe (3 of them actually: apple, blueberry and corn?) that was not only low in fat/calories, but was delicious...a rare trait among muffin recipes.

Recently, I tried looking amongst my back issues for the recipe and I can't find the issue I'm looking for. I've looked for it everywhere for the last week. It must have been lost in my last move. The two issues I'm missing are the February and April 2004. I'm not quite sure which one the recipe is in, but I know its one of them.

Does anyone subscribe to this magazine and still have these issues? Or know someone who has them? I've tried going through the magazine's website, to no avail. I know it sounds silly and all, I'm just desperate (I really do LOVE the recipe) and I'd like to avoid ordering a back issue if possible.

This Post was written by Rose from The Hungry Rose

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Advice on blogging for other sites

Hi, this is my first question to the site!
I have been running my blog for about six months now, and recently I was approached by a fairly popular cooking site (not blog) and asked if I would be interested in writing a blog for the site.

Of course this was very exciting and flattering to me and I am in the process of working out the details, but because I am still a novice in the blogging world and have never blogged for anyone else I was wondering what issues to consider before jumping into this.

I have thought about discussing who owns the material I would write for the site; should I expect/request any rights or is it typical for them to use my material as they please?

I also thought about compensation; while I am not expecting to make money, I will be buying food, making recipes, taking pictures, etc for the posts. Is it reasonable for me to set a budget for myself and tell them that I will be able to produce a certain number of posts a month based on my resources?

The people at the site have been very friendly and open, and appear to be giving me quite a bit of creative rein, which is good. I just wanted to see if you other bloggers might think of some concerns I should consider before I start this!

Many thanks!

This Post was written by pastrygirl from Dessert First

[photography] Great food photo tips

If, like me, you are not the world's best photographer, and have been a bit apprehensive about taking photos in a restaurant (I always worry about annoying other patrons!), Maki at I Was Just Really Very Hungry has posted some useful tips on how to take decent food photos. I found the info quite helpful and reassuring.

This Post was written by Erin from Erin's Kitchen

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

[Comments] How do you respond to snarky comments?

Thanks to all of you for such a wonderful blog. I am a longtime lurker, first time poster.

I got my first borderline mean comment on my blog today, which leads me to ask: how do you recommend responding to mean/snarky comments on your blog? I want to encourage the free exchange of opinions and information, but I also don't want to put up with people making themselves feel better my being mean to me. For today's borderline comment, I went with the "kill them with kindness" approach. That likely wouldn't work for some comments. Thoughts?

This Post was written by Madeline from Everything Rachael Ray.

UPDATE: I used the word "borderline" in my post when describing the snark, but should have been more clear that I was not offended by the comment I received, it just got me thinking about what I would do WHEN (not if) it starts getting ugly. With RR as the subject of my blog, I have no doubt regarding what the future holds for comments! I think I will create some sort of comment policy and post it, as suggested in the comments to this post. Thanks again for all your input.

And really, I just like using the word snarky.

[Blogger] Html codes -- IE vs Firefox

Hi there, i've got a tiny question.
The lastest posts icons look good with IE, but they are all messed up when viewing with Firefox.
Click HERE to see screen captures.

Any ideas?

Plus: it seem i can't make more space between the icons. I tried with 'margin' with 'br'; but nothing seems to work.
Here is the html codes for that part (click HERE).

I'd be happy if someone could give me a hand.

UPDATE: problem almost solved -- i finally removed the [li] tags at the beginning of each picture html code and if you want to see what i get you can go here.
BUT there is still something i've got to fix.

And the new codes HERE

UPDATE 2 - thanx to Jack's brain, everything's now back to normal, so thank you!

This Post was written by fanny from FOODBEAM

Revenge On a Spammer

If you've ever dreamer about exacting revenge on a spammer, a blogger tracked one down, and you'll find his rather interesting post here.

This Post was written by David from

Sunday, June 18, 2006

[Blogger] Type size problem

I had couple of complaints in the comments of my latest blog post about the size of my font. As if it has changed. To me (using mozzilla firefox) it looks exactly the same size as usual. If you are familiar with my blog and read it regularly, please would you mind taking a look to see if anything about the font size has changed in your eyes? If yes, please can you tell me which browser you use, and whether on a PC or a mac that you see this new problem.


This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

Friday, June 16, 2006

[Template] IE views template changes differently

Hi folks! I need a bit of help. I have just made a few modifications to my template and have run into problems.

In Firefox and Safari the output is perfect. However, when viewed in Internet Explorer, my sidebar seems to have traveled southwards to the bottom of the page. It's a real pain and I have tried to fix it but no luck.

I would really appreciate it if someone would be able to help and talk me through this one!

This Post was written by Meeta from What's for lunch, Honey?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

[New Site] Netscape Food

I should just point out that I write for weblogs inc which is part of AOL. AOL have just relaunched netscape as a thingy.. not sure what they are called actually but its like Digg (as all you web-savvy people will be aware of). Unlike digg, that is just geeky-stuff, there is a food section on netscape version (along with many others).

You can submit stories (links to sites/blogs etc) that you think are newsworthy. Other people can vote on them. The more votes the higher the story appears. It is all very interesting and is really guarenteed to drive huge amounts of traffic to well voted upon sites.

So I am suggesting that you register and play around with it - no voting on your own sites stories though! It would be great if the scool got behind this and supported fellow members writings and throw traffic at those that deserve it. I have submitted a couple of stories but most of the existing stuff is old. The service only started today...

I should point out that it is in beta and doesnt display correctly in IE7. You can read more at techcrunch.

This Post was written by andrew from spittoon.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

How to earn a bit from your blog

Since writing about the plagiarism problem most of us face, when our blogs are lifted , copied and pasted on other websites or in the press, without receiving credit or cash, I have received several emails suggesting solutions.
Scooptwords is a new service that can help you to sell content or pictures from your blog
to other media .They promise to broker any cash for content deals for you. I have still to see any results since adding their button to my blog but it has been just a week.For those who want to try this as an option here is a link to their site

This Post was written by deccanheffalump from

[Links] for when you are bored...

I just thought it wouold be fun to play a little game to discover some new food blogs.

Here's how to play:

1) Pick a number between 1 and 20.
2) Head over to our new star pupil, S'kat & The Food's new home, umbrella-ed under her local newspaper and choose a food blog on her blog roll that you haven't heard of before, or are at least less fimilar with.
3) Visit that blog. (count that blog as number 1)
4) Then pick a blog on that blog's roll you are unfamiliar with and visit it. (Count number 2). Repeat and continue until you reach the number you first thought of.
5) When you reach the last blog (determined by that predetermined number) come back here and list the last blog you visited in the comments section of this post. Hopefully, then we should all have a nice list of new food blogs to check out.

I'll go first, Fred just picked the number 7 for me. Lets see where it takes me...

This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

[Congratulations] S'kat & The Food!

This is Big News.

Head over to the blog of fellow Food Blog S'cool pupil, 'S'Kat' from class K05 (Kohlrabi) to find out how blogging has just changed her life.

Congratulations are in order.
Woo hoo. I want to jump up and down squeal, but other people are still sleeping...

This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

Monday, June 12, 2006

[Network Neutrality] Tracking U.S. Senators

Network neutrality--the idea that all data on the internet should be given equal priority (and not, for example, that Nabisco's site loads quickly, while Eat Local Challenge takes ten minutes)--is under attack by telecommunications companies and their legions of lobbyists. Back in May, Pim organized a Day without Food Blogs and had many participants. Two weeks later, Sam posted an optimistic update about a committee vote. Since then, however, things have taken a turn for the worse. Last Thursday, the House of Representatives voted down an amendment to preserve network neutrality (152-269. See how your Representative voted here). TPMCafe posted an analysis of the vote's implications.

So now the battle moves to the Senate. If you are wondering where your Senators stand on Net Neutrality, you can find out at Talking Points Memo. The ever-diligent TPM team has started tracking Senators' positions on a bill authored by Sen. Snowe (R-ME) and Sen. Dorgan (D-ND), and will update the list as new information arrives. If your Senators aren't in the "Support" category, write a letter or give their office a call.

This post was written by Marc of Mental Masala.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Congrats to all of Us at Food Blog S'cool

We got a mention in The UK Guardian's list of Best Food Blogs.

Congratulations to all the individual pupils who got special mentions too.

This post was written by Sam of Becks & Posh

Sinking Sidebar

The following problem was resolved in one minute thanks to the great help I got from three members! All I had to do was delete the logo I had put at the top. Thanks to all! I'm keeping the post up for future reference, though.

The sidebar on my blog Cuisine Quotidienne has sunk miserably to the bottom of my page. I did a search and read a similar post about this on Food Blog S'cool, but the answers don't seem to apply to my blog. I hadn't done anything to the sidebar; I simply made a post -- a link-heavy one, if that has anything to do with it -- and when that post went up, the sidebar went down.

Apparently it is still correct on Firefox but not on IE. I have been advised to get Firefox, which may be good advice. But what about all the IE users who are not going to be able to read my blog correctly? That doesn't seem like a real solution.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

This Post was written by bcinfrance (Betty Carlson) from Cuisine Quotidienne

Click on photo to enlarge question

Soon after I started my blog, I switched from a PC to a new Mac running OS 10.4.6 When I uploaded photos from my PC, you could click on them and enlarge them. With the uploads from iphoto, when you click on the photo, the size remains the same. I looked at the code for both and it is somewhat different, but changing the new code to match the old didn't fix the problem. It seems that iphoto is defining the size of the photo because when I click on the photo it brings up an image name and the size 360x270 pixels on my Safari tab.

I don't know if this is an iphoto issue or a blogger/iphoto/safari issue. I'd like people to be able to click and enlarge on the photos if possible, so if anyone could enlighten me on this, it would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance,

This Post was written by Catherine from Albion Cooks

Monday, June 05, 2006

Posting Looks Wonky in Firefox

I made this posting on Internet Explorer, but when I came home to check it out, Firefox has it all squished up, and then running into the next post.

How to fix this fickle thing?

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

Saturday, June 03, 2006

[Blogger] Archived site hijacked? And an RSS question.

You might remember that a couple of weeks ago I migrated my blog (Gastronomy Domine) to my own domain. It's all going quite smoothly, but I got a mail from a friend today pointing me at the old site, hosted at blogger.

Take a look at the old site for yourselves: The content's all vanished, and has been replaced by what looks like a Google pagerank scamming thing. I'm baffled. Is there anything I can do about this? I'm going to go through Technorati and check that anyone linking to the old site is informed about what has happened so they're not linking to whoever this spammer is, but I'm *hopping* mad.

I also have an RSS question - it seems that all my RSS feeds at the old domain are pointing at the blogspot address. I'm an RSS moron. Any idea how I can change this?

This Post was written by Liz (Squeezeweasel) from Gastronomy Domine.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Google Ads - Opinions?

What is the general consensus on advertising on blogs? Would an inconspicuously placed Google Ad put people off reading a blog?

I am considering the posibility of placing advertising on my site to pay for my expenses and wanted to hear what others feel about this before proceeding.

This Post was written by Pamela from Posie's Place

Thursday, June 01, 2006

[search] New Blog Search Engine launched

A new blog search engine has been launched in Australia. Gnoos (bloody stupid name) has options to search just Australian blogs or the whole world so you should ensure that your blog is listed. I did a couple of searches and spittoon and becks and posh are both indexed. But spittoonextra wasn't.

It is not as feature rich as technorati but seems quicker.

This Post was written by Andrew from spittoon etc

Congratulations to Heidi Swanson

The most recent issue of 7x7 San Francisco magazine arrived this week: "The Very Best of San Francisco 2006." In the Eat+Drink category, the award for "Most Noble Food Blog" goes to...Heidi Swanson and her blog. There is a photo of Heidi in the magazine: Heidi, you are beautiful! (What's that lipstick? Gorgeous.)