Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Help needed: comment problems on Wordpress

I've had some people (including myself) have problems leaving comments on my Wordpress-powered blog that uses Akismet and Bad Behaviour (which is not on strict mode).
Regular commenter Paz got a "44a1-d987-1366-73cd" but we have no idea what it is. Another commenter who works for an ISP yesterday got a 403 Error and a "d592-834e-1366-73cd".
And when I was abroad recently I couldn't leave comments on it because a couple of ISPs were blacklisted. I also wasn't even allowed into the dashboard to post, which was really annoying.
I was wondering is this an overzelous ISP (Bluehost) or something to do with Wordpress or Aksimet or Bad Behaviour?
Is there a way to ensure people aren't blocked without resorting to a Turing test?

[Typepad] [Firefox] Bits of my blog not responding

I'm currently going through a redesign of my blog and have found that when I look at my site in Firefox the top third of the blog, including the top two google ads, the top few links in the post and everything above the odeo & itunes buttons are dead.

However, if I look at the same thing in Internet Explorer or Safari I have no such problem.

Could anyone tell me what the problem might be please. I am testing this all out before launching on my main site so you can find the problem I'm referring to here at Silverbrow on Food - New Logo. I think it must have something to do with my CSS or HTML but for the life of me can't figure it out.

Many thanks in advance.

Anthony from Silverbrow on Food

(comments) Word verification

Does this happen to anyone else?

This morning I was leaving a comment and came to the word verification box and carefully typed in the letters I saw only to be denied and had to type new letters and as punishment a longer string of them. This is not the first or second time either. Okay, it's possible to occasionaly get it wrong, but there are times I'm certain I typed in the correct letters and I'm told to do it again.

Sometimes getting comments posted is like winning the lottery.

And why do they call it word verification? There is no word that I ever saw, though sometimes I think I see some Polish ones.

This Post was written by Neil from At My Table

Favicons in blogger?

Does anyone know if it's possible to add a FavIcon to a blogger blog? Blogger already have a favicon as default, so I'm thinking it's probably not possible - but it sure would be nice if it worked. (Read more on FavIcons here.)

This Post was written by Anne from Anne's Food

[new blogger] Header problem.

I've recently migrated, and most things work fine. (I had to replace all foreign characters - including accents - on my template as those were screwed up, but ok..)

However, my header is now a bit too high, and bumping into the NavBar. It used to be a space there - and I could be wrong, but wasn't it the same right here on Food Blog S'Cool?

If I hit "preview" in template editing mode, it looks right, but once I publish, it's not... Any insight? :)

This Post was written by Anne from Anne's Food

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

[New Blogger] How do I reset the "edit posts" page?

I too have switched to the new blogger...

I am trying to give labels to my posts, but am finding it frustrating. I set the "edit posts" page to show 300. When I click "older," it shows the next 50, not the next 300. Then I click on a post to add labels and post, but when I do, it brings me back to my first 50 posts again. Does anyone know a way to set it to show 300 posts all the time?

And while Im at it...I am really loving these labels. Is there a way to make that label list that appears on my "edit posts" page actually show up on my blog?

This Post was written by Rachael from Fresh Approach

Monday, January 29, 2007

[Wordpress] 2.1 migration issues

If anyone's considering migrating to 2.1, FYI the upgrade totally barfed on our site. We can’t upload photos using the editor, nor attach links. Even more amusingly, the misbehavior is totally different on IE vs Firefox. (And Cameron says that the support forums are filled with finger-pointing and denial. Sweet.)

Since hand-coding really sucks, we’re rolling back to 2.0.7 tonight and then manually reposting today’s post and about a dozen comments. Fun...

(And here I was, all worried about my non-food blog and the New Blogger migration, which went off flawlessly.)

This post was written by Anita from Married... with Dinner

[New Blogger] Sidebar issue

Since I switched to new Blogger, I've mostly been thrilled with it. However, there is one small issue that's driving me crazy. My blog looks fine in Firefox, but in Internet Explorer there is a small box after the right sidebar that should not be there. In the box is a word or a few letters which are the end of the phrase right above it (I have IE at home and school, two different versions, and they both look slightly different.)

I have looked and looked at my template and I don't see anything wrong. I recently removed the footer and I thought maybe I had removed a [/div] tag that should be there, but even when I add one in, it's still screwed up.

(BTW, it's impossible to preview your template in IE, from what I can tell. My blog does not display correctly when I hit preview, although when it's published it looks fine. The preview function works great in Firefox though, so if you're doing manual template editing I recommend using Firefox.)

If anyone who has IE on their computer would take a look and let me know if they see anything that might be causing this, I'd greatly appreciate it.

(Edit 1-31-07: I still haven't had any suggestions about what's causing this. I'd love to know what's doing it if anyone has any suggestions.)

This Post was written by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen

Check for your content...

Hi All,

I recently found unauthorized use of my blog content with no credit given and no contact info on the site. After a bit of annoyance, I managed to get Google to remove ads from the site. Since this point, the site owner has removed my content (Yay!), but there is still a lot of other stuff up on the site that may not be authorized. Google is going to re-enable ads on the site unless I bring a restraining order... and since my content isn't being stolen anymore, I'm backing off.

However, I do recommend folks checking it out. The site (I won't link to it) is at

This Post was written by L from Cook & Eat


Some of my friends that use explorer with pc (with mac no problems, just pc...) say that they do not see the header of my blog... And I'm afraid this problem is going on sice I switched to the new blogger, at the end of December...
The piece of html I use (and used in the older blogger version) is this:

/* Header

#header-wrapper {
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:0px solid $bordercolor;

#header {
margin: 0px;
border: 0px solid $bordercolor;
text-align: center;

#header h1 {
margin:0px 0px 0;
padding:120px 10px .25em;
line-height:1.2em; background:url("")no-repeat left top;

#header a {

#header a:hover {

#header .description {
margin:0 5px 5px;
padding:0 20px 15px;
line-height: 1.4em;
font: $descriptionfont;
color: $descriptioncolor;


Can someone help me?

This Post was written by Sara - Piperita from The Kitchen Pantry

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Fixed Width Drop Down Menu Code

This is an example from the class of Swedes:

<form name="Swedes">
<select name="selitems" style="width:215px;" style="color: rgb(255, 102, 204);" onchange="javascript:window.location.href=''
<option value="" selected>Class S06 | Swedes</option>
<option value="">Mama Cooks</option>
<option value="">Lucy's Kitchen Notebook</option>
<option value="">Adding Flavor</option>
<option value="">Kung Foodie</option>
<option value="">Cooking 101</option>
<option value="">2 Tasty Ladies</option>
<option value="">The Old Foodie</option>
<option value="">My Favourite Plum</option>
<option value="">Home Recipes</option>
<option value="">Dessert First</option>
<option value="">Saffron Trail</option>
<option value="">Yulinka Cooks</option>
<option value="">Food Chair</option>
<option value="">Copper Pots</option>
<option value="">Daily Eats</option>


where Swedes is marked in bold in the above example, edit these 3 iterations of your form name so that they are all unique to your blog roll but the same for each of these three iterations.

"Class S06 | Swedes" should be replaces by whatever you want to be the title of your menu.

specify the width of your menu in pixels ie width:215px;

Hope that makes sense to anyone who would like to have such a menu.

This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

[Misc] Another Way to Market Your Blog

With the recent Food Blog Awards, I discovered a lot of new, wonderful food blogs out there that I might have otherwise missed, and that got me to thinking. It would be great to have a site to highlight new or perhaps undiscovered blogs. So, to that end, Madeline and I recently started In the Bloglight, as a way to do just that ... introduce everyone to blogs they might not have discovered yet. If you want to submit your own, or another, drop us a line at

Written by Cate at Sweetnicks.

Drop-Down Menus

Before my blog migrated to new blogger, I had drop-down menus for my recipes. Now I don't. They didn't migrate. I didn't like the old ones anyway, since they weren't the kind I wanted. (Mine were variable widths).

I would like to put menus back in my blog - exactly like the ones to the right that Sam uses for the FBS "classes." How do I do that?

Written by Cyndi of Cookin' with Cyndi

Drop-Down Menus

Before my blog migrated to new blogger, I had drop-down menus for my recipes. Now I don't. They didn't migrate. I didn't like the old ones anyway, since they weren't the kind I wanted. (Mine were variable widths).

I would like to put menus back in my blog - exactly like the ones to the right that Sam uses for the FBS "classes." How do I do that?

Written by Cyndi of Cookin' with Cyndi

[new blogger] Photo Linking Problem

Ok, this is where I have to admit I am sneaky. I wanted pictures larger than large in my posts. Blogger allows for a maximum width of 400 pixels when loading up a photo. But, as we all know, if you click on the photo it takes you to a larger version of the loaded photo.

So what I used to do was resize my photo to 550 pixels (width) which is the size of the photo I wanted in my post, loaded it as large and then edited my html to link to the larger version of the photo rather than the 400x one blogger provides. I have been doing this for yonks.

Suddenly, with the advent of new blogger, I am no longer able to hot link to the large version of my own loaded picture. At least the old ones pre-new-blogger work, but not with the photos loaded since I made the switch. The photo is there, it exists, it has an url, but when I paste into my code and publish, the photo does not show in the post.

As you may imagine, this really narks me, since I am no longer able to get large pictures in my post which went a long way to defining the look of my blog. I don't understand why blogger would stop me from soing this - it is clearly not a disk space issue since the photo is physically situated on the server and there is nothing to stop anyone from looking at it via the link.

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

[Blogger] Food Blog S'cool is now migrated to New Blogger

"Congratulations! Your move to the new Blogger is complete."

Some thing is up with the post template which automatically defaults to compose mode and therefore does not display the html code as it used to. Wil need to look into the settings.

Also - can everyone see my gmail address in the top bar or is it just me?

Additionally - maybe we can all start thinking about labelling our FBS posts in future

Please report any other problems.


This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

[Blogger] Food Blog S'cool is now migrated to New Blogger

"Congratulations! Your move to the new Blogger is complete."

Some thing is up with the post template which automatically defaults to compose mode and therefore does not display the html code as it used to. Wil need to look into the settings.

Also - can everyone see my gmail address in the top bar or is it just me?

Please report any other problems.


This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

new blogger publishing issue and resolution

Well, I finally migrated to the new blogger this morning. It appears to be successful but I did encounter one problem, due to my ignorance, so I thought I would share it (and the resolution) here in case others experience it.

After migration I could not republish any existing posts. Even when I made absolutely no change to them, I would get the "URL contains illegal characters" error.

After about 45 minutes spent reading the help and playing around I realized that the Link field expects a URL, not just words. I really never understood the function of that Link field. I thought blogger used the text in it to generate the permalink, so I always put my post title there. That worked fine in old blogger but new blogger doesn't like it. If I make it blank, it publishes fine.

Even though I am now able to republish, I would like to understand the function of that Link field. The blogger help is not very helpful. How you do you all use this field?


This Post was written by Lydia from Kitchen Exhibitionist.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

[blog identity] Describing Your Blog -in Person

While refining our blog byline serves as a good writing exercise, its not a line I use in the Real World.

When explaining my blog to a friend or acquaintance, I find the first response needs to be succinct, and without the flourish our previous exercise allowed.

My typical first answer:
My blog is where I record my recipes. That way, I never lose them.

Not exactly a colorful response, but I'm working on it.

Distant Relative
: You have a blog?

This Post was written by McAuliflower from Brownie Points Blog.

[NEW blogger] Switching Food Blog S'cool Over

I think I have to switch over Food Blog S'cool to new blogger. I can no longer ignore the annoyance of logging in and out of my gmail and blogger accounts all day long to use one thing and then another. I would like to do it tomorrow but it would be unfair of me not to give everyone notice. So, I hereby give 28 days notice which I hope is reasonable. The blog will not be switched before February 24th 2007. The blog will be switched thereafter at my convenience, I am not sure what my schedule will be at that time.

I imagine members of Food Blog Scool, especially those with blogger accounts, will somehow be affected. I am not sure how - we will cross that bridge together when we come to it and if needs be I will sign up anyone who needs to be signed up again, again.

I will not be signing up any new members until after the switch now. If any current member has any urgent issues that need my attention, please write to me at my regular email address which I check more regularly.

Please let me know in the comments here if there are any concerns, although encouragement would be more welcome!

Further to comments from Kalyn, (thanks Kalyn), I think it might be better to switch asap. Does anyone object to me trying tomorrow?

This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

Friday, January 26, 2007

(Blogger) Using own domain name with new blogger

Someone told me that once you have switched to new blogger they are now offering hosting on your own url, for free, no FTP, and that it's very easy to do. The person I heard this from said that your old blogspot address is eliminated and all the links automatically transfer over.

What they didn't know is what would happen to internal links. Has anyone done this, and if so, do you know if the internal links will transfer as well as external incoming links.

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

Has anyone here done a blog name change? I'm considering it (although I'd keep the current name active and use forwarding to keep links from breaking). Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions about "gotchas?"

This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good

Update on the blogger switch...

I know I'm not the only one who has had the "invitation" to upgrade to the new blogger, but then told you could not when you tried to accept it. I did my daily check to see if I could this morning and it actually gave me the option to change over the blog.

I will actually change over tonight since I've heard it can take a bit of time for some blogs with large amounts of posts. Has anyone else been able to switch over now that could not before?

This Post was written by Joe from Culinary in the Desert

Sitemeter - have you noticed a problem?

Sitemeter doesn't seem to be updating very well. Is it a problem with Sitemeter or Blogger?

(That was the gist of a question I put up earlier but when I tried to post a reply to the comments below, it disappeared. Anyway, I've written to someone called David whose contact details are provided in the Weblog but have no reply. I think I'll wait it out, what are you all going to do?)

This Post was written by Sra from When My Soup Came Alive

Thursday, January 25, 2007

It's Now Easier to Report Copyright Violations on Sites with Google Ads

If you sign up for "Google Alerts" using your name and the name of your blog they send you a daily e-mail when those words appear online. If you do it, you'll probably be unpleasantly surprised how many sites you'll find that are stealing your content.

For quite a while now I've been systematically reporting to Google when I find sites that are scraping my feed and using my content to create a "splog" purely to host ads. (Splog means spam+blog.) I am encouraged that lately I am seeing "this site has been archived or suspended" on sites that I have reported.

Recently Google has made it even easier to report copyright violations with only a few clicks on sites that have google ads. Here's how to do it:

1. Where the ads are click "Ads by Google"
2. In new window click "Send Google your thoughts on the site on the ads you just saw"
3. Scroll down, click "Also report a violation"
4. From menu, "The issue is with", check box "The Website"
5. From menu, check box "The site is hosting/distributing my copyrighted material"

You can leave your e-mail address or not. I don't usually bother to leave it unless it's a site that is consistently stealing from me.

Posted by Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Is there any alternative of hello? bloggerbot is dead!

Hey guys, have encountered a problem with hello? I cant post pictures anymore from there and using the blogger upload is taking much time to upload one picture. Any suggestion?

Thanks ahead.

This Post was written by Grace from
  • The Kitchen Journal

  • Where's my sidebar?

    Does anyone know where my sidebar may have gone? It has not sunk all the way to the bottom--it does not seem to be anywhere. Might this have something to do with this thing all the way at the bottom:

    This Post was written by the chocolate lady from In Mol Araan

    Tuesday, January 23, 2007

    An Insider's Guide to Food Blogging, $70

    I just stumbled across this information that might interest/amuse/irritate you, via The Gurgling Cod.

    So, how much should I start charging for a term at Food Blog Scool?

    This Post was written by Sam from Becks & Posh

    Another Writing Opportunity

    I'm passing along another opportunity to write in another venue. Don't think this one pays, but here's the deal.

    A site is looking for local food, wine and travel writers in cities all over the world to contribute. Contributors will not get paid but will get bylined with a link to their blogs etc.

    Here's a direct quote from the original listing

    "Looking for Contributors for new blog on Food, Wine, Travel offering local perspective on places the world over

    Would some of you be interested in contributing to a new blog I am starting which will provide information and ideas on Food, Wine and Travel (the world over) from the eyes of a local person rather than a tourist?
    Your contribution cannot be used to sell your product but your name, activity, web link and blog link will be mentioned after your piece. "

    Don't know more than that but anyone interested should contact (I do not think njconcierges is the site in question).

    This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla.

    [Blogger] Adding another Sidebar

    I was wondering if anyone can guide me through something that I have been trying for a while. With no luck. I'd like to add a third sidebar on my blog. I put this project aside for awhile thinking to take it up again after the switch to Beta. However, it seems to be taking forever to make the switch to beta and I really need to get that second sidebar up.

    I am using what used to be the Rounders 4 template. As you can see after all my changes, there is not much left of it but that is the basis template underneath.

    There are 2 things I would like to do:

    1. Extend the entire length of the page (Banner, main posting area) and get the second sidebar up. I have not decided on the exact position - either left, so that the main posting area is in the middle of both sidebars, or on the right, so that the main posting area is on the far left and both side bars are next to each other.

    2. For the sidebars (both the one that is there now and the new one) I would like to be able to break these up so that instead of one long vertical bar, I can have boxes (or sections). If you take a long on my blog, the darker long vertical sidebar is just one long box. I would like to be able to section each category in a separate box, like the profile container is separated from the sidebar container.
    I would really appreciate step by step instructions of how to go about doing this. Or simply point me in the right direction where I can read about this.

    Thank you in advance!

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

    Monday, January 22, 2007

    What? My blog is pornographic?

    A few days ago I was checking out the big-league blogs, noticing all the little icons some of them have. Chef's Blogs, Globe of Blogs, Blog Flux, etc.

    Just for the heck of it, I applied for a listing on the Blog Flux site.

    So, I get this reply back, saying I have been rejected because of one of the following reasons: It is not a blog. It is down. It is too new and I have not posted enough. It is a shill site. It contains nudity. It construes something illegal.

    But the Blog Flux Team is too busy to explain which of the reasons I have been rejected. (Was it that provacatively-posed carrot photo I posted a week or two ago?)

    I'm a big girl. I can deal with rejection. But c'mon. There's gotta be a better reason that the ones above, none of which are the case.

    I know, I know. Someone somewhere said a while back that Kiplog is THE list to be on. So how does a relative newbie get on these lists? There are blogs on Kiplog that haven't been updated in months.

    Since my blog does not provide an income, all this is not the end of the world. But I'm curious.

    Any comments?

    This Post was written by Mimi from French Kitchen in America

    Sunday, January 21, 2007

    Photos, now that BloggerBot is gone?

    I am really trying to come up with a good way to post photos on my blog. Up to now, I've been using Hello to upload a bunch of pictures to a specific photo blog, "Annes Food Pics". Then, when I want to blog about a photo, I've linked to the larger size of the photo, and having the small size shown on my actual blog. This has worked so well - but now Hello is no more (or at least BloggerBot is dead) so I need to come up with a new way to do it.

    So far, I've tried:

    1. Uploading photos directly in blogger. Not great, because it gives different addresses for the large and the small size of the photo. (With Hello, it was just a matter of changing "640" to "320" for the sizes.)

    2. Using Picasa to upload. Same problem as above, plus it also adds an annoying Picasa logo, and besides, I don't like using Picasa at all.

    3. Using Flickr to post to my blog. Bigger problem - not only is it not stored on Blogger anymore (which I rather liked), it's also the wrong size since Flickr sizes are different from Blogger sizes.

    So. What's a girl to do? Right now, I'm thinking that either I'll just use Flickr, and not minding so much that the photos are smaller than I like. However, I mainly use my Flickr accout for my cat pictures, so having the food there too - well, I could, I suppose. Another option is simply linking to the small size of Blogger pictures, but then visitors wouldn't have the option of clicking on them to get them larger. Then again, maybe not very many do that.

    I'd really, really love some input here! What do you do? What should I do? :)

    This Post was written by Anne from Anne's Food.

    Saturday, January 20, 2007

    Typepad calendar spam et al.

    Hello typepad users out there!

    I used to be quite happy with my typepad account, but lately, I have found a few things that drive me up the wall:

    1) Some time at the beginning of January, without a word of warning, typepad must have made changes to its software which converted all entry headers into hyperlinks. Not a bad idea per se, if it didn't come with the obvious design disadvantage of every header now being a certain style (different from your normal configuration as it follows the style set for all hyperlinks) and also being underlined. Any ideas how you could change this? I know I could change the hyperlink style in the CSS, but I am keen on keeping hyperlinks visible as hyperlinks in any other place. HELP!

    2) This morning, I discovered that somebody must have hacked into my calendar module (or it might be a typepad-wide issue) - dates on which I haven't posted are now a link in the calendar and rather than linking to one of my posts, as they normally would, you're sent off to an external site (I have completely removed the module now, so can't tell you which site it is.) There are no other changes, as far as I can see, no posts appearing in the "recent posts" module or archives, but there are these links in the calendar module itself.
    As far as I can see, this module is not something I can even change in the html, can I? So I am at a loss here - I have opened a help ticket with typepad and will keep you updated on this if they find a solution. But in the meantime, can you let me know whether you've come across this as well and how you've solved it?

    PS: I have the highest level of access, ie typepad pro. This allows me to change HTML and CSS wherever I need to.

    This Post was written by johanna from

    Thursday, January 18, 2007

    "Beta" Blogger Gremlins?

    Compared to the rest of you, I am pretty naive about blogging. But I'm curious. Since beta appeared, every once in a while, certain links on my site no longer work, Tonight, I cannot use links to several blogger sites, and I think — but am not sure — they are all blogs that have converted to beta.

    Non-Blogger bogs — Typepad, etc — are not afftected.

    I can get to these blogger blogs through other means. But not through my links.

    Very bizarre. Is it just me?

    This Post was written by Mimi from French Kitchen in America.

    Wednesday, January 17, 2007

    [Website Help]

    Hi, I hope this is okay to post here...

    I have built a website using DreamWeaver as an extension of my blog. I own a domain name and have a hosting service. The only trouble is, I have no clue how to put the three together. Can any of you help me out with that? I am in a bind and at a loss...

    This Post was written by Rachael from Fresh Approach

    [Blogger] More Code?

    Is there a way to place a more tag or "continue reading" thing in Blogger posts? I know it's not shown as an icon, but wonder if there's another way to do it that I may be missing?

    Written by Cate at Sweetnicks.

    Tuesday, January 16, 2007

    Food Writing gigs in major cities

    Dining Out Magazine has some food writing gigs for restaurant reviewing in several major cities

    see here:

    This Post was written by Owen from Tomatilla

    Monday, January 15, 2007

    [Network Neutrality] Temporary Victory for Network Neutrality

    Last summer there was a bit of excitement about possible Congressional action to change the rules of the internet, including a day of blog action. But in the end, Congress could not pass a bill. The debate, however, led to some great entertainment in the form of a techno remix of a speech by Sen. Stevens (R-AK) and a great Daily Show segment about Stevens' speech.

    At the end of 2006, net neutrality advocates got a temporary victory in an agreement by AT&T to maintain network neutrality for the next two years. Tom Abate covered the story for the SF Chronicle in Net neutrality advocates hail AT&T's concessions:


    On Dec. 29, it [AT&T] agreed for roughly two years to abide by much the same "network neutrality" rules that it had spent 2006 strenuously opposing in Congress.


    When asked by The Chronicle, Verizon, Comcast and Time Warner declined to say whether they will continue to honor this unofficial moratorium while AT&T's hands remain tied.

    But the prevailing wisdom on Capitol Hill is that the big four won't rock the boat while Congress is considering whether to make AT&T's temporary agreement the basis for a net neutrality law that would bind them all.

    AT&T chief lobbyist Jim Cicconi said, "We continue to believe that net neutrality regulations are unwarranted and unwise."

    As for what comes next, a House staffer said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., who championed net neutrality last year, will introduce a bill soon to make something similar to the AT&T concessions binding on the entire industry -- and this time he will do so as chairman of a key subcommittee.

    But Jessica Zufolo, a telecommunications expert with the Medley Global Advisors policy research firm, said that although momentum has shifted to a coalition that seeks to preserve neutrality on the Internet, it is too early to tell whether proponents will be able to convert a majority of the House and Senate, and ultimately the president.

    Meanwhile, the merger concessions create a deadline for Congress to either act or not.


    Read the whole thing here. More commentary at Save the Internet.

    This post was written by Marc of Mental Masala.

    Sunday, January 14, 2007

    Stupidest blogging mistakes?

    So what's the dumbest blog mistake you've ever made? Here's what I managed today. I published a post and put my computer into standby. Later I came back and saw my WordPress editing window open with my post still in it. "Oh, I better save this!" I said, and without thinking, I did. This caused two problems.

    1) If you hit Save after you've already hit Publish, usually it simply saves the changes to the published post. That didn't happen this time. The post was pulled from the blog and turned back into a draft. Why?

    2) Because it turns out that the editing window was an old one I never closed, and the version I just saved was a very early version of my post, sans pictures, sans categories, sans coherency. I had no backup copy of the published post.

    After I stopped hyperventilating, I managed to salvage the correct post by copying and pasting text from the published post already in my feed reader back into the draft and manually reinserting the formatting and photos. Despite my haste I even remembered to check the right categories. But I forgot to change the title of the post and the permalink to match the deleted one, so that's all screwed up now, and I don't want to change them and trigger the third duplicate feed of the day.

    One thing I did learn--WordPress saves any comments to the post and migrates it to the new permalink, so I didn't have to worry about that. I suppose it's not as bad as accidentally posting pictures of me in compromising attire, not that any such photos exist (STAY OUT OF MY DESK DRAWERS), but still, I have vowed never to go through that again. No, I'm sure I'll come up with a completely new mistake next time.

    This Post was written by Annie from Bon Appegeek

    Whose dish is it anyway?

    Very interesting article in todays Times - "Whose dish is it anyway?
    New celebrity recipe books appear weekly and TV food shows fill the schedules. But how much work is put in by the star chefs themselves?",,7,00.html

    This Post was written by Andrew from Spittoon etc

    [coding] How To Insert Links Into Comments

    Just recently David Lebovitz called for self submissions to his blog roll. When I went to put my blog URL in comments, I noticed that pretty much everyone did so as a link to their sites. Not poor old neanderthal me, I just typed my address in to be cut and pasted. Can someone tell me how to do nifty links in comments?

    This Post was written by neil from At My Table

    Saturday, January 13, 2007

    [blogger] continuing beta switching confusion

    From one of our new pupils:

    Thanks so much for the invitation to join Food Blog Scool.
    I'm on the new version of Blogger and when I tried to sign up to the scool it couldn't find my user name, so I've had to create a new account on the old style Blogger.
    Do you know if there's any way around this, as I'd much rather use my new blogger sign-in? I did have a look around on the scool to see if this had already been asked but couldn't find anything.

    and from another want-to-be pupil:

    Thanks for the invite and I would love to sign up.
    However, I am having issues with the link. When I click on the link below it takes me to the blogger invite page where I have to sign in but since I have changed to Blogger Beta I then have to sign in a second time and it then takes me straight to my own blog rather than yours [FBS].

    and this:
    I did do what you've written, but still when I signed in with my blogger username, it didn't work. I wonder...

    and on a slightly different note, but only slightly, some people still can't switch, and our little scool could be to blame?

    Could not switch you to the new Blogger
    Thanks for your interest in the new version of Blogger! Unfortunately, we cannot switch your Blogger account at this time, because one or more of your blogs cannot be moved.

    any ideas anyone?

    This Post was written by sam from Becks & Posh

    Friday, January 12, 2007

    Educating Media People About Blogging

    I am frequently having PR people send me information about products they think I "might be interested in mentioning" on my blog. It's become rather an annoyance and I've decided that rather than just deleting them, I would start writing back an honest response pointing out how I feel about these "offers." Today I sent this to a company wanting me to write about a weight-loss product:

    "The product you're representing sounds like it might be interesting. I can appreciate that this is a new product and you're trying to get the word out about it. However, what you're asking is whether I would like to advertise it for you for free. Since I spent many, many hours working on my website and currently have paid advertising on the site, promoting a product without compensation is not something I'd be interested in doing."

    Much to my surprise I got this response:

    "Thanks very much for your speedy reply and honesty – I truly appreciate it and understand your reasons. Have a wonderful weekend!!!"

    I'm just mentioning this here in case others are not sure how to handle "offers" like this. If my site did not accept advertising or promotional materials at all, I would have also made that clear. This product was something I might have considered having an ad for; it did look very interesting. However, obviously they were not offering that, judging from the response.

    (Edit - In re-reading this I realized that I should clarify that I talk about products all the time without compensation when it's something I personally use and love and think my readers will love it. However, I don't need PR people giving me suggestions about what to write about.)

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

    The wonderful journey of a blog post

    I found this interesting article on the behind-the-scenes processes that occur when you post to your blog.

    "The wonderful journey of a blog post" over at Weblog Tools Collection.

    Its been helpful for me to understand some of what happens and how it might be optimized. Sometimes awareness is enough to help solve this or that issue.

    Edited to add:

    At the same site you will find another instructive article, "The Need For Substantive and Well-Written Blog Content", that will likely help the newer bloggers here in becoming better writers. I know its not food-specific but good writing is simple and universal.

    This Post was written by Nika from Nika's Culinaria

    Selective .XML Feeds?

    Last night I cooked a meal, with my father helping out and taking photographs so I could publish a photo recipe afterwards. I posted a piece on the meal, with one photo, on my main page and asked my dad to upload all the best photos and set up a proforma recipe in my Blogger archives for me to add the text to when I got back from college. Assuming that articles not on the main page were effectively hidden unless linked to, he published the proforma only to receive a comment (from Silverbrow). He then realised that this archive posting (and a second one) was sent out to .xml feed aggregators such as Google Reader.

    For work in progress like this you could keep everything in draft form, but it's much easier to see it in published layout and just make final changes and then link to it from the main page. So does anyone know a simple way to select whether postings are sent out as feeds by Blogger?

    This Post was written by Trig from Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef.

    [Miscellaneous] Moving Host

    My host is far too slow, and I need to move my wordpress site. I have backups of all my sql database, files etc. I have the company I bought my domain from, and I assume that I just update the name servers with them to those that my new host will give me, and transfer the relevant files over?

    Any tips appreciated to make this as painless a process as can be.

    This Post was written by Scott from Real Epicurean

    I have to admit to being a bit of a cranky pants about blogs this week for various reasons that I don't need to go into here. I think because of my grumpiness, this post cracked me up even more than it normally would. I especially love comments #19 and #325. (via Jeanne.)

    Have a delightful weekend, everyone!

    This Post was written by Jen Maiser from Life Begins at 30.

    I need a way to build a mailing list in a blogger blog. Anyone have any suggestions?

    This Post was written by Kevin from Seriously Good

    Thursday, January 11, 2007

    Flickr badge and new blogger

    I switched to the new blogger and so far I like what it does. However... I still have issues trying to get my flickr badge to work. I like to have the badge lined somewhere between my profile and the blog archives....
    Blogger keeps coming back with this line:

    "Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly. XML error message: The reference to entity "zg_person_id" must end with the ';' delimiter. Replace this line of text with the main body of your post"

    I have been squinting at the code and this message and I can't find what is wrong. I think it has something to do with the spot I try to insert this code in. The only time that I could actually see the badge on my blog it was positioned at the top of my page, showing some of the XML as well, bit sloppy!
    Can someone please help me? Please type very slowly as I am a bit tech-challenged ;(

    This Post was written by Karen/Baking Soda from

    [writing exercise] What's Your Blog's Identity?

    David Lebovitz's call for self submissions to his blog roll was the inspiration for this...

    Describe your blog in one sentence.

    This Post was written by McAuliflower from Brownie Points.

    [inspiration | how to] How to Turn Your Blog into a Book

    Good post up on lifehacker today,
    Turn Your Blog into Book, part 1

    And there is also Clotilde's classic set of posts following her Chocolate & Zucchini cookbook creation, indexed here.

    >> edited to add:
    Heidi's post at 101 Cookbooks: Create Your Own Cookbook.

    This Post was written by McAuliflower from Brownie Points

    Wednesday, January 10, 2007

    New Scraper Site

    I have some watchlists of technorati tags that I view regularly to see what other people are talking about. I use it to see candy/chocolate related posts on non-foodie blogs.

    Today I was shocked to see a new scraper site that's not just taking the digests of posts of other food bloggers (101 Cookbooks & SimplyRecipes), but the whole post including images:

    It's called World Food

    Here's what I found looking for the domain info:
    PO Box 3284
    Bridgetown 2901,

    +1 246 238 1896
    mmallers [at]

    So if you see your posts there, you might want to lodge a complaint. At the moment it's not a monetized blog, so you can't complain to Adsense or anything and as it's offshore, I'm not sure what we can do. They are, however, republishing copyrighted content under a CC license.

    Any thoughts?

    This Post was written by Cybele from Candy Blog

    UPDATE: Okay, I tried the email thing and of course it bounced as undeliverable.

    Now I've contacted Feedburner who republishes my feed in hopes that they can do a discrete block.

    Bad Marketing in Comments

    To follow up on Elise's request for stories about good and bad marketing, I wanted to share this experience with my fellow bloggers. (Partly to vent and partly to be a cautionary tale and partly to get opinions on how to handle this in the future.)

    I've removed personal and identifying info.

    In August I got an email from a new candy store owner asking to be added to my list of links. I didn't answer the email but I did bookmark the site. I checked back on it at least twice. At first it was just a promo site for a little candy shop, but eventually they added a webstore and I was thinking about visiting them when I was in the area (they're not near me but somewhere I visit often).

    In December the person started posting comments to my blog, she always used her full name but never identified her affiliation to the store (at first I didn't put it together but when back and found the email from a different address but with the same name):

    12/6 (Candy Cane Review): A great location for all types candy is [website] - Yummy !!
    12/19 (Barley Sugar Toys Review): The pops and free standing candies can also be found at [website] in [city] - YUMMY! And unlike Regennas, you can still order these.
    12/20 (Zotz Review): Zotz and all kinds of retro candy can be found at [website] - Yummy!
    1/10 (Joseph Schmidt): [website] - Atomic Fire Balls to Zots - nothing pretentious, great variety

    After this morning's comment I decided I'd had enough of her self-promotion. The previous comments were vaguely on topic and for the 12/19 & 12/20 it might even be a service to readers to help them find some of the less common candies.

    So I wrote her a note:
    I considered adding your site to my list of links but was waiting (a site needs to be active for at least three months) but your more recent abuse of my commenting system to promote yourself is distasteful.

    I don't know if you're doing this on other sites, but leaving promotional comments off-topic does not make your site or your store appealing to web-savvy readers, especially when you don't reveal your affiliation.

    I think you should develop a new strategy to get the word out about your company.


    She replied within 30 minutes:
    I'll be sure not to visit again. After such a mean email, I don't think you should sign it "Sweetly"
    Okay, maybe I wasn't sweet, but I certainly wasn't mean. I was professional, which is not what she was.

    At that point I'd only removed the most recent comment. I've now deleted all of them from the site and "banned" her email address from posting any longer (just in case she decides she'd like to share more advice with my readers).

    Now, as a rule I don't mind when stores chime in that they carry a particular item that may be hard to find, as long as it's something that someone has requested already in the comments or I mentioned in the post itself. I also prefer that they divulge their affiliation with the store in question and I haven't had much of an issue before.

    Could my email have been nicer? Certainly.

    Was her reply professional? Certaily not.

    I have a "comment policy" buried in my About page but now I'm thinking that I need to make it clearer.

    So, please advise. Do I need to be nicer? Do they need to be more savvy? Should I have just "called her out" within the comments section like some people do? I'm sure I'm not the only one who's experience this ... give me the dish on yours.

    This Post was written by Cybele from Candy Blog

    [Blog Content] Food writing classes- recommendations?

    Resolutions are such fun. We make all these fabulous lists and put on our game faces. Within days we are up to our ears in chocolate, debt and those new skinny jeans that don't fit but that everyone said were "in" this year.

    This year I made a list, checked it twice (hah!) and it includes a food-writing course- love to write, love to eat, love to write about what I eat, so it seemed like a natural thing to do, right? Well, the challenge has been finding something near DC and it's become clear: there ain't nuthin'. I could take a class on essay-writing and call it a day, but just for giggles I looked on and found a plethora of options.

    Provided I live in LA or NYC. Yikes!

    I'd been looking for jobs in NYC, but found something in DC that I enjoy. There is an online version of the course, but I've always found those a headache (figuratively and literally) and not as valuable in terms of networking, my learning style, etc. And they cost the same as a regular course (even before you factor in transportation costs). I am more than willing to hop on the bus or Amtrak it to New York for one evening a week with Kate Krader of Food&Wine magazine, however I am more gung-ho than flush with cash. A contact of mine at the magazine says good things about Ms. Krader, but I think my friend is a touch biased as she works with her!

    My question is this- has anyone taken any of these classes, would you recommend them, and what other resources would you recommend?

    This Post was written by Liz from Good Stuff

    Tuesday, January 09, 2007

    "Eater" will publish all banned Chowhound posts

    It's not news to anyone that Chowhound regularly deletes posts without warning or explanation. (And often, without making any sense whatsoever.) Several food bloggers have experienced and written about this.

    Now Eater, a blog in NYC, is offering to publish any and all deleted/banned Chowhound posts for us. I think this is great, and it will certainly boost the transparency of Chowhound. As someone I know is fond of saying, "Sunlight sanitizes." Eater was motivated to do this after a little thread asking for advice on coffee shops was deleted. (Because, what, coffee shops aren't food-related?)

    Hope that helps.

    Monday, January 08, 2007

    Love Your Blogging Family

    Just noticed a classy touch at Elise's Simply Recipes...

    In a post on making homemade pizza, she ends the post with a collection of links to fellow food bloggers' posts about pizza.

    It's a great idea to reinforce the community aspects of inspiration.

    I'm going to try to remember to do this also as a footnote in my posts.

    Thanks for the linky love Elise!

    This Post was written by McAuliflower from Brownie Points Blog.

    [Blog Content] An About Page

    After too many years of procrastinating, I finally knuckled down and created an about page for my blog. I created it as a regular blog post page. Then I linked to all the different headings in my blog roll so that once the post drops off the front page, new visitors will be able to click and find out these basics things about me without having to search too hard.

    Commentors have already asked if they can 'steal' certain parts of my about post for use on their own sites. I would stay 'steal away' but I don't see it as stealing, I would look upon it simply as being 'inspired'. In fact the person who first asked to borrow was actually Shuna, who I think was the person who inspired me in the first place with her talk, in conversations we have had in person, of people behind a blog being 'real people with a face'. I have no qualms or worries about anyone at all setting up something the same or similar for their own blog, I see this only as something that might benefit everyone concerned.

    Be warned however, this post probably took me 6 or 7 hours to complete, so it is quite a committment. However, it is a committment that I believe will pay off in the long run by allowing me to not have to answer lots of time-wasting emails. I also set up a new email address for the blog and have left the vacation responder for that email switched to 'on', replying with a whole list of further/repeated statements about why people who email me may or may not get a response.

    I am breathing a big sigh of relief.
    Blogging friends, of course can continue to email me at my regular edress, if they know it, no problem there.

    Hope this might help some of you.
    Happy 2007!

    This Post was written by sam from becks & posh

    SF Fancy Food Show Soon

    If you are in the Bay area or plan on visiting 1/21-1/23, you may want to go to the Fancy Food Show. Here's the link for more info and to register.

    Sunday, January 07, 2007

    Ip Deny Manager, useful or a waste of time?

    My blog host provides an IP Deny Manager where I can input an IP and deny them access to my blog. I've been using this to battle the spammers who attempt to leave their garbage as comments every night. Does anyone else use this? Am I wasting my time?

    This Post was written by Vanessa from

    Friday, January 05, 2007

    Live Links to Food Blog Award Nominees

    I've copied and pasted all the links for the Food Blog Nominees from the ballots at Well Fed.
    If you want to check out all the nominated blogs before you vote, check out this Blog Appetit post.

    Well Fed polls close at midnight EST January 9th. The software Well Fed is using to collect the votes does not allow for live links, so since I was doing this anyway, I thought I'd make a post out of it and save others the work.

    Here's the link if you are ready to go vote for your favorite blogs of 2006.

    Congratulations to all the nominees.

    (Blogger) Changing Hover Color

    My hover color in my blogroll section makes the text disappear. Anyone know how to change the color to something else?

    Thanks in advance for the help.

    Cate from Sweetnicks.

    Difficult colors to photograph

    Purple absolutely drives me crazy. For some reason I cannot get any with purple in it to show up correctly in my photos--it always looks blue. Last February I spent hours trying to get the purple on my king cake to look like purple in the photos, but nothing I did with the camera worked. I have a PowerShot S70 that I use primarily in manual mode, tinkering with lighting, f stop, white balance, and everything else. Today I'm trying to photograph something else that is primarily purple, and I've got the same problem again.

    Any tips for getting purple and other difficult colors right?

    This Post was written by Andrea from Andrea's Recipe Box.

    (Misc) Your Contact Info

    As I visited each FBA nominee to get their e-mail address yesterday, I found quite a few that did not have an e-mail address or other contact info listed on their site. I'm sure this is an oversight, but thought I'd mention it. You might want to give your site a quick glance to make sure there is some way of contacting you listed. Just a suggestion. If I can't contact you, readers can't either.

    Cate from Sweetnicks.

    [HTML Editors] Ecto or MarsEdit

    I've just bought myself a Mac and was advised to use Ecto for writing/editing posts. I love the programme, works very well. However, I've just come across MarsEdit, from the team behind Newsgator and that looks pretty good as well.

    I'd appreciate views on the merits of either from people with experience.

    Anthony from Silverbrow on Food

    Thursday, January 04, 2007

    Picassa Web Album Erased by Google

    Ok has anybody had Google remove pictures from their Picasa web album. All I had in there were all my food blogging pictures and they are all gone and I am being told that I violated their terms of service. How does food pictures do that? I also have not given anyone access to my account. Does anyone know what I should do?

    The reason this panics me is that I can't upload photos directly from Blogger so I have to use the html of the picture from Picassa to have pictures on my blog. I also don't know if my pictures will start disappearing.

    Update: Actually it looks like they canceled everything. My Gmail, My reader, everything.

    This Post was written by Chrispy from Experimentation of Taste

    Google searches don't seem to be finding my blog...

    I'm hoping someone out there can offer some insight.......

    I don't have a big readership on my blog, but I was starting to get quite a few visitors that would find my blog through Google searches. I've noticed that my readership has dropped off drastically over the last week or two and that I am getting very few Google search hits. Where I might get many, many Google hits, I only got 4 today.

    At first I thought maybe people just weren't doing as many recipe searches now that the holidays are over or that my tracker wasn't tracking properly, but then I tried some searches that I've tried in the past - out of curiousity to see where my blog would fall in the pages. I tried searching for things that I know for a fact used to place me on the first search page and sometimes I don't find my blog at all or I might find it quite a few pages back from where I would find it before. So then I searched for something very specific "gorgonzola polenta in the rice cooker" - something that would definitely pull up my blog and be listed on the first page - but I found nothing in the first 10 pages of listings. I did a search for "Chocolate Chai Snickerdoodles" and it was pulling up quite a few other familiar blogs, but not mine.

    Any idea as to what's happening?

    It's not a huge deal, but I would like people to be able to find my blog if they are searching for a recipe and that doesn't seem to be happening.

    This Post was written by Alysha from The Savory Notebook.

    Anyone Using the New Blogger?

    Curious, is anyone using the new version of blogger? Do you like it? Any problems changing over?

    I haven't switched over yet. Would love to hear some pros and cons of switching. Thanks!

    Much success to you all for the new year!

    This Post was written by Tery Spataro from Daily Eats

    Food Blog Awards

    Hey everyone!

    So the nominations for this years food blog awards are finally out - and leave me puzzled. Ok, some may say, they're just pissed off because they aren't listed - but that's not it. And if it wasn't for the many excellent, yet overlooked (ignored?) blogs, I'd stay silent. For instance, both Heidi (101cookbooks) and Matt (mattbites) demonstrate outstanding photography skills, where are they? Jury?

    What is the point in hosting an award, setting (quite) high conditions (6 posts per 6 consecutive months) and then fail to include terrific & nominated blogs meeting those marks, but present ones that do not?!

    Seeing upfront the results (clicks) is another story...

    No hard feelings, just curious!

    Happy voting, or are you already a winner being the 999,999th visitor ;))

    Wednesday, January 03, 2007

    Blogger archive still thinks it is 2006

    3 days into the new year and I have managed to stop writing 2006 on all my correspondance, alas blogger still thinks it is December 2006 (at least over at my blog).

    Any ideas?

    I have upgraded to the beta version of blogger and all has gone smoothly, until the change of the year.
    I have posted twice in 2007 - and in the main body of those new posts the date is correct - but in the archive section of the side bar the new posts are listed as 2006 and December. I now have two 2006s and two Decembers.

    The sensible place to look is the template - but I really don't have a good understanding of html and also the new blogger template has a variety of inbuilt widgets which I am too scared to mess with.

    You can alter the format of the archive section in the page element section - but each change in format is likewise wrong.

    Many thanks for considering this problem and any solutions or suggestions.

    This Post was written by Edward from wino sapien

    Tuesday, January 02, 2007

    [Photography] Where to buy a camera? And how to choose?

    I currently use a very limited little HP Photosmart camera that I feel I've outgrown. Specifically, the zoom is pretty poor as is the macro mode. I've been considering making the leap to a Nikon SLR. However, having read the "Which camera" posts on this blog, I've noticed that some people prefer a smaller, simpler camera such as the Nikon Coolpix line. Ideally, I'd like to use my new camera for photographing food as well as going out and photographing landscapes, animals, people, etc. So I'm wondering which style of camera might be best suited for both of my photography needs. Does the Nikon D40, touted as a smaller SLR, fit the bill?

    Where might I buy my new camera? I want to be sure I know what I'm getting, as I'm kind of a novice. I've always loved taking photos, but I'm not familiar with much of the terminology. I'm pretty sure I want to start with a camera, a macro lens, and a tripod. It might be nice to go to a brick and mortar store so I can have a look at the thing before I buy it, maybe take it for a small test drive.

    Any recommendations for a good (i.e. reasonably priced, honestly run) brick and mortar camera store in the SF bay area? Any recommendations as to whether I should go the SLR or small digital camera route?



    This Post was written by shelly from an open cupboard