Tuesday, October 31, 2006

[Misc.] Photos and Bandwidth

I have a question for those of you who host your blog on your own domain. First, some background:

I use Blogger to maintain my blog, but I host it as a subdomain of my website. For the first time, this month I went over the 40 G of traffic I'm allowed by my hosting company and had to pay for extra bandwidth. Now, checking out links to my blog, I'm finding several instances in which people are using my photos on their blogs or sites by linking to the images on my server. I know this is costing me bandwidth.

My question is, is there any way I can prevent this? And should I try? I really don't mind people using my photos when they give credit (and am always happy when a fellow food blogger likes my photo enough to use it). But some of these sites are those spam sites that just harvest blog entries to increase their ad revenue.

I've liked having my images on my site where I feel in control of them, but should I think of having them hosted elsewhere?


This Post was written by SusanV from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Wordpress migration help needed

Finally, after fumbling with Movable Type for over a year I've made the leap to Wordpress and, mostly, it's been painless.

But my permalinks have changed so that in any entry when I have linked to a previous entry the links are broken.

For example the post I'm linking to is now http://tomatom.com/?p=294 but the permalink in a later post is http://www.tomatom.com/2006/05/go_greek_go.html

Somehow the naming concvention has changed and I can't work how to get it back to how it should be.

I must confess I'm feeling lazy and don't want to have to trawl back through 400 odd posts and change the links.

Any help much appreciated.

Monday, October 30, 2006

[Advertising] Using Feedburner/RSS feeds, etc.

At the suggestion of a friend I've started looking into creating (?) an RSS feed for my blog but I seem to have run into a snag.

Feedburner has informed me that my feed is "invalid" and some handy solutions for fixing the problem, but I can't understand them, specifically this one:

column 414: managingEditor must include an email address: Liz

column 7578: author must include an email address: Liz (15 occurrences)

I can't find the spot in the Blogger template that controls this, so I don't know how to fix it. I'd rather not have to go into each post and edit the HTML (especially since there are only 15 occurences and I have 197 posts)- is there a better way to handle this issue?

In addition, this feed has issues that may cause problems for some users. We recommend fixing these issues.
column 12695: description should not contain onblur attribute (18 occurrences)

What is an onblur attribute?

column 78578: style attribute contains potentially dangerous content: ;font-family:georgia;font-size:85%;

Okay, totally clueless here. Dangerous style? Help!

I was going to post to the feedvalidator-users site, but since many of you have RSS feeds on your sites I thought I'd ask you folks first and see if anyone had some insight. All help appreciated.

This Post was written by Liz from Good Stuff

Problem posting

I was doing a new post & when I tried to publish it, I got this notice:
Your HTML cannot be accepted: Tag is not closed:
What does this mean?

Also, below that was a box showing this: 'Stop showing HTML errors for this post'

I was able to post if I checked this box but does this mean I have errors in my template?

This Post was written by Heather from The Culinary Chase

Saturday, October 28, 2006

[Blogger Template] Inserting A New Banner and a new Side Bar

OK this is an update from my last post. I managed to get the image up for my banner. It even looks good on Safari and Firefox. A thanks to Paul, McAuliflower and all those who helped.


I got a good one for you: Why the hec is this banner not showing in IE? I have no idea. Firefox shows it, Safari shows it - IE fails to show it. Check it out on my test site.

I would also like to add a third column on the left side of the blog. It should look more or less similar to the side bar on the right. Can anyone help me?

I'd really appreciate step by step instructions on both these issues.

This Post was written by MEETA from WHAT'S FOR LUNCH, HONEY?

Adding Photo to Header

I would like to add a photo to the right side of my header but I'm not sure how to do that & a bit scared I'll end of doing something wrong to my template. Any suggestions?
Thanks, Heather

This Post was written by Heather from The Culinary Chase

Thursday, October 26, 2006

[General Template Central] Hiding your email

Email spammers were making me crazy! I needed a way to have my email on my blog but make it harder for email spam bots and spiders to snag. I looked into many ways to mask my email. Several of the options are lousy work arounds and don't allow people to click on a link.

I found a site that gives you several customizable options, (including JavaScript) to go with a ASCII code "generator" that masks your email. While I can't report on my results yet, I've just done it for my site and thought I'd pass it along:

Address Munger

If you go to my site, in the left column you'll see "Contact" and when you hover over "Amy" it displays my email, but in my template, the code looks something like this:


(I changed a few bits so the code won't work and so it displays)

This Post was written by Amy from Cooking with Amy.

black is back...sorta

I finally got rid of the messy background and messed up script and implemented a new skin onto my blog (phew~ I thought I'd never get there!). It's not professionally done and does lack a somethin' somethin' but I took a small step and am working on slowly taking a lots more. I was wondering if anyone can give me some input on how to improve my new blog skin. I'm hoping to keep the minimalistic look but want to bring up the cosy, welcoming factor. Please please help me out!

Thank you in advance!

edit: so apparently the green border at the top of my template shows on the windows version of mozilla firefox but not on my mac version of firefox. Can anyone help me - how can I correct it so it looks the same everywhere?

This Post was written by celine from black.salt

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What has Blogger done to Typepad

I've noticed when a Typepad blogger leaves a comment on a Blogger.com blog you can't click on the name to go that persons blog. I don't remember it always being this way so is it something Blogger have done to make it more difficult to visit a Typepad blog.

This Post was written by Barbara from winosandfoodies

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tipping for a Comped Meal

I will soon have the rare and wonderful opportunity to try a new restaurant on the house, courtesy of a local PR firm. However, I will be responsible for the tip.

My question for all of you is, do I still tip based on the total cost of all the food and drink I order (and, possibly, food given to me in addition to what I order)? And, if so, how do I know how much to tip when I will never see a bill? I guess I could try to discreetly jot down a running total over the course of the evening?

The last time I tried to tip for a comped meal I left waaay too much, so some guidance would be appreciated!

This post was written by Foodie Universe

US Chefs Not Interested In Calorie Content Of Dishes They Make

This article is interesting though it seems a bit biased in the writing. Read the Article HERE.

This Post was written by Garrett from Vanilla Garlic

Monday, October 23, 2006

[General Template Central] Still not happy...

Choosing a colour scheme seems to be the hardest of tasks. I recently gave my blog a redesign, and was initially happy, but now, I feel it lacks something. Perhaps the background colour is too dark? Perhaps the text is too small? So many questions...

What do you guys think - and are there any tips related to choosing a colour scheme? Does a background have to be light coloured - and should we *still* optimize for 800*600 resolutions, or can we go wider now?

Thanks in advance for any responses, the more critical the better. I can take it (maybe)...

This post was written by Scott from Real Epicurean

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Newbie Bloggers Book Resource...

and great for us skilled bloggers. I highly recommend reading Aliza Sherman Risdahl's "The Everything Blogging Book". This is an excellent resource for new bloggers. It is packed with great information on choosing a blog editor, posting, rss feeds, and great information on copyrighting.

This Post was written by Tery Spataro from
Daily Eats .

Friday, October 20, 2006

[HTML] em dash character

I'm having a problem with em dashes. I'm fond of asides set off by this piece of punctuation, but HTML doesn't seem to share my passion. As far as I know, there's no semantic em dash token (along the lines of amp, eacute, and so forth). I've been using the numeric code that often maps to an em dash (151), but that has always been subject to the whim of the encoding scheme in the browser, and lately that's broken for a number of my readers. In particular, Bloglines now renders my em dashes as ? or little boxes with a's in them, or whatever.

So what do other folks do for em dashes? It seems silly to write modern text as if I were still using a typewriter, with -- serving the purpose, but I may have to resort to that if I can't figure out a consistent way to get the appropriate punctuation to show up in browsers et al.

Any ideas?

[Update: I wrote this and then went searching for the answer elsewhere. A good article can be found at http://alistapart.com/articles/emen/. But I thought I'd do the post anyway so that anyone who had the same question could still learn from it.]

This Post was written by Derrick from An Obsession with Food.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

[Blogger Template] Inserting A New Banner

I have been tampering around with the banner (fonts, pictures etc) on my blog. What I noticed however was that depending on the Browser one was using the text would appear differently. I wrote about it here.
I decided to use an image as a banner instead and tried to insert it into the Blogger template (this is mostly by trial error - I am no blog genius here LOL!). It did not really work the way I expected and as common sense would have it. I got a very helpful friend to try and help me out too. She was able to get it up but some parts were cut off or squished. I would really appreciate some step by step instruction to this as I am not 100% familar with HTML or CSS. If anyone knows of a website or has tackled this issue with their own Blogger blog I would really appreciate it big time.

PS. I did look at previous posts if this issue was addressed in the past but was unable to find something. So if I missed it please forgive me.

This Post was written by MEETA from What's For Lunch, Honey?

How to enable TypePad accounts to leave messages

Hi there. I had an email from Ivonne, (Cream Puffs in Venice) saying she couldn't leave a comment (she uses TypePad) as I have the comment section set up for Blogger accounts. I checked my template but don't see how to enable/modify to allow other blogger formats. Any ideas? Thanks.

Heather from The Culinary Chase

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

[Writing] Food Writing Resource: Will Write for Food

Hi Ev’body!

Recently I picked up a copy of Will Write For Food. I was in a rush and thought it was a memoir…

Turns out, it isn’t a memoir at all, it’s "The Complete Guide to Writing Cookbooks, Restaurant Reviews, Articles, Memoir, Fiction and More…" (Had I only stopped to read the cover…)

Whatever it is or isn’t I still devoured it and now I thought I might suggest it to you all as a great resource.

What it is, is a book on how to write about food, and how to become a published food writer. Tips, tricks and more. Interesting stuff indeed. I was really impressed and plan on incorporating her thoughts to improve my own style (or lack thereof…)

Even if you are like me - NOT an aspiring (paid) food writer - there is a LOT of really good, really insightful information and exercises on everything from how to structure a recipe to ethics on reviewing a restaurant.

I was so charmed, I wrote an email to the author, Dianne Jacob, via her website , and she graciously replied, which I just loved. She also mentioned she is aware of this site (maybe she will include it in her next printing?) which made me smile.

For the record, no, I have no stake in her sales, I just wanted to share with you all about this great resource. I strongly urge you to check it out.


This Post was written by Rachael from Fresh Approach Cooking

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

[opportunity] Programmer Required

Is anyone (or does anyone know of) a proficient programmer that would like to work on a project? It would link amazon products, foodie/wine blogs, tagging, reviews, rss etc etc into a site that should encapsulate and boost the community feel of the food blog arena. No money upfront but share of ad revenue can be agreed. I have the concept, ideas and design pretty much sorted but just need someones programming/database skills to bring the project to fruition. Long term commitment required.

Please reply via email (wine.scribbler AT gmail.com) not in the comments. Thanks

This Post was written by Andrew from spittoon etc

[paid blogging but off topic] and with one-off only semi-permission of headmistress Sam...

First, please do not reply in comments here - I don't want to take up time and space of those not interested.

I have a paid blogging job to offer up. It is very poorly paid but could lead to more and it is bylined etc. We are looking for someone who can write three or four blog posts a day on the subject of VoIP - five days a week - a post being a minimum of 100 words but can just be referential to other sites with links. That's 15-20 posts per week for which we can pay $150 per week. You can be anywhere in the world but you ahve to be prepared to learn about VoIP.

If you are interested (at all) email me on owen at tippit dot com. Fell free to also castigate me or send me tips about good lunch spots south of market in SF.

Full disclosure - This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla

Monday, October 16, 2006

[writing] 11 tips for managing a good blog entry

Thought I'd share these blog writing tips from Vicent Maher of Media in Transition, a blog about media and the Web. Although not specific to food writing, I'm sure there's something we can all learn from his tips.

This post was written by Paula from mango&lime

food styling - photography resource

Just got this in my mail box..

If your interested in food styling and food photography you might find the Foodesigns.com site interesting (I am in NO way affiliated with these people).

It has resources and inspirations for the aspiring food stylist and food photography. It also recommends some books that could serve to inspire your inner food-Rembrandt.

If you would like to share some of your ideas regarding food photography you might be interested in this (found on the main page of this site):

"We are still looking for input on new, enlightening content for Foodesigns.com AND story ideas for The Tweezer Times™. If you have any burning questions about technique or equipment--or suggestions for topics we can tackle, please contact us at details@foodesigns.com This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it anytime! In particular, we have focused information for food stylists, but we'd love to develop more content for food photographers. So tell us what you'd like to learn more about or share your stories with us."

Some of the content is locked behind a free subscription. I can understand if you dont want to subscribe but for those of you who dont mind, it might be interesting.

This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria

Sunday, October 15, 2006

[Blog Content] Personal guidelines for posting

Slashfood recently posted about the guidelines that Food Writers stick to when writing their articles, and I thought it would be an interesting conversation to take up here. More to the point, Nic posed the question of what we, as food bloggers have as guidelines when posting. I have three particular points that I try to stick to when writing. They are:

- Not writing anything too negative including restaurant reviews or recipes I didn't particularly like
- Try to post newer recipes that I've never cooked before, or new cuisines (although I've never stated this on my blog, it's my way of keeping passionate and interested)
- Not to post other food bloggers recipes that they have posted in the last 6 months. If older than 6 months, I will post but also give credit.

Trying to stick to these guidelines recently put me in a bit of a dilemna, specifically about negativity, which I think (hope) I came out on top of. But it wasn't easy and I had to think about it for a good couple of days before coming to a conclusion. I'd really be interested in hearing other peoples guidelines or 'rules' for when they post.

This Post was written by Bonnie from Daydream delicious....

How do I change the background color of my blog/

Hi there.

I have alot of content on my blog and would like to change the background color and also put the side bars and main section in white blocks. How do I do this?


The Blissful Glutton

Thursday, October 12, 2006

[advertising] a little bit of info from problogger

not sure how many people have already seen this, but problogger is a blog about blogging, and sometimes posts information about how to make money on your blog.

of course, i realize that most of us are not blogging for fame and fortune, but just in case you are thinking about making a little change (or a lot -- who knows?), there's some info there.

i had a hard time debating with myself about putting ads on my blog, and in the end, i just did it because, well, every little bit helps someone who doesn't have a full-time job. :)

This Post was written by sarah from the delicious life

Writing Workshop

Maybe this has been brought up before or it exists somewhere in the unknown-to-me, but would anyone be interested in starting up a sort of writing workshop? I'm not quite sure right now what the format will be but I'm always looking for ways to get some good critiques of my writing. Most of the people who read my blog regularly obviously enjoy the current style and format and so I can't get a lot of feedback from them, but I'd like to keep improving as much as I can.

For anyone who's a journalist, published writer, etc. (ie. in the field) and interested we could have little articles about how to get yourself out there more, methods to take you outside your norm and play with writing more, how to approach a short post, how to approach a long post, researching your topics, and any other tips you may have every so often as well.

This could take the form of a monthly blogging event, be hosted on a separate website so that we can leave comments off the original blog, or be part of a section of foodblogscool.


This Post was written by Vanessa from Tongue & Cheek


I am relatively new to blogging and notice that some sites use wording to include "copyright". Is this something all bloggers should state or is it a personal agenda?

This Post was written by Heather from htttp://www.theculinarychase.blogspot.com

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

[Casting] PBS is Looking for Wine Lovers

Hi ev'body!

Saw this online and thought some of you might be interested!

I know reality competitions are a bit cheezy, but PBS keeps the bar quite high...


Doc City Productions is currently casting for the host of new reality TV series.

THE WINE MAKERS is an exciting new television series for Public Television (PBS) that leaves behind the predictable world of food and travel programs for the unscripted territory of real life wine makers. Following in the tradition of hit series such as NBC’s “The Apprentice”, CBS’s “The Amazing Race” PBS’s “Frontier House” and Bravo’s “Top Chef” this premier season of THE WINE MAKERS joins twelve men and women from all walks of life as they compete for a chance to create and launch their very own wine label.

Please respond to us with the following information. (casting@doccitytv.com)

Absolutely no phone calls please.
1). Name
2). Address
3). Cell #
4). Email address
5). Tell us why we should cast you


Send the following information by mail to the address below:
1. Your bio (make it short-ish but revealing)
2. A demo tape if you have one (VHS or DVD)
3. A head shot

Please send asap to:Doc City Productions775 Fiero Lane, Suite #100 San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

To learn more about the series, just Google “The Wine Makers on PBS.” Thank you.

This Post was written by RACHAEL from FRESH APPROACH COOKING

Monday, October 09, 2006


Dear Teachers and Fellow Students,

I am desperate.

My blog format has gone haywire and I don't know how to correct it.
Would anyone be kind enough to give me some advice?

This Post was written by celine from black.salt

Friday, October 06, 2006

[misc] Blogrolling

One of my great pet peeves is the lack of synchronicity between my blogroll, i.e., the blogs I actually read, and the links I keep in the right column of my site. Currently, I use NetNewsWire as my newsreader, and like it well enough, especially since I can keep it synched between my desktop and laptop machines via .Mac. However, it has no relationship with my site whatsoever.

Managing typelists in TypePad is kind of tedious, although not prohibitively so. I noticed recently on another blog someone using BlogRolling software to mantain their link lists. Has anyone else used that or any similar system? Is there a one-stop shop for maintaining blogrolls and link lists?

This Post was written by Sean from Hedonia

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

[Comments on Blogger] Unwanted and Odd

I was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem before -- it's the first time it has happened to me: I use Blogger and its commenting system on my food blog and have set the controls to send me an email notification for new comments. Only a minute or so (it actually seemed to be almost simultaneous!) after I published my Pringles, anyone? post Sunday night, it received a comment from someone calling himself Giancarlo with a blog called "Made in Italy". What I found odd about it was that I never received an email notification, and, of course, there was absolutely nothing in the post about anything I had written about or food, in general, on his blog.

I did check the S'cool archives to try to find a way that I could delete this meaningless "comment" (the only thing in it was his blogpsot address), but, if I am correct, Sam mentioned that Blogger does not offer this option. I guess this means I will just have to enable comment moderation unless someone else has a solution.


This Post was written by Willa Frank from Sorry Fugu.

Monday, October 02, 2006

[Content] Pop-up vs. Static

My husband, the techie, and I have been having an ongoing battle. Occasionally I like to put a random pop-up ad on my front page reminding readers of an upcoming event (a meme, guest blogging event, meetup, etc.) He says static is better because people HATE pop-ups. I claim static ads are easier to ignore.

So if you have a preference, what is it and why? I'm hoping to win the battle, but honestly if he's right, he's right!

This post was written by Jennifer from Taste Everything Once.

[Google] Blog listing looks... weird.

Hey folks,

Having a Google issue- my blog on Google is currently listed thus:

Good Stuff
Notify Blogger about objectionable content. What does this mean? Blogger · Send As SMS · Get your own blog · Flag Blog · Next blog ...prettygoodstuff.blogspot.com/ - 43k -
Cached - Similar pages

At one point, the description under the title included a bit from my latest post, but now it is a piece of the (now absent) Blogger toolbar. Did this happen because I have hidden the toolbar? If so, why does our Molly (who is also toolbarless) not have the same problem? Could it also be a result of the low traffic I get on my blog?

I'm grateful for any input/advice/warm fuzzies.


This Post was written by Liz from Good Stuff.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Facing the Mac

Fellow Teachers and Students,

I've been an avid follower and member of foodblogs'cool but have never posted anything here because I'm more of an observer not a participant (and it doesn't help that I am somewhat shy). This time I have mustered up enough courage to post something on and hope you can provide me with some pointers.

I will be receiving my MacBook soon and am very excited to use it to write and post blogs (I have been MIA for couple of weeks now because of studies and work but I hope the new purchase will get me back on track with renewed vigour). My first question is that if anyone is using a MacBook now and had changed from a Windows interface recently. Is the Mac interface is helping or setting you back? Are there any programs that have been particularly useful?

My next question is that when one writes query letters and such, the preferred program, I heard (correct me if I am wrong), is Microsoft Word. With a Mac, how does one ensure that the query letters/resumes turn out the way one wants when, say, the editor, opens your resume to read it? What program would prevent problems like these from occuring?

Thank you for your patience in reading and your help.

This Post was written by celine from Black.Salt