Saturday, September 29, 2007 - What is it?

Has anyone else gotten a request to be "sponsored" by from Ryan Stern, managing editor?

"Part of the Foodbuzz mission is to intelligently connect our growing audience of passionate foodies worldwide with the most compelling blog content available.I’m very impressed with the high-quality posts you have been producing on bla bla bla etc

In fact, Foodbuzz would like to sponsor your blog(???), and invite you to join other food bloggers in the sponsored Foodbuzz Publisher Network we are launching in conjunction with our site’s official launch in a few weeks.
We are finalizing the details of the program, but the basic benefits include promotion and exposure of your blog on, above-competitive compensation for ads, community networking, and ad campaign management."

Hmmm...I can't figure this out

Any thoughts would be appreciated.


This Post was written by Carolg from

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Using a testbed

I've mentioned the subject of a testbed before, briefly, but this might be a good time to raise it again. Some members will be very familiar with this technique, but others will not have thought of it. Don't be scared - this is very easy to do and will make your blogging life much easier.

For most bloggers, preparing a post is a bit of a hit-and-miss affair. You lay out your text and photos, review (usually in some sort of preview mode) and hit the "publish" button. If you are lucky, it looks OK. But often there are layout issues that you have to fix afterwards and re-publish. If you have modified your template to make your page a non-standard width, things can get really bad because the preview may not map even closely onto the final product (the system may assume standard width). Google Blogger suffers from this problem.

The solution to this problem is a testbed. This is a device where you can try out ideas before you put them into practice. So, how to create one?

Simply build a parallel blog to your production version. Set it up with the same parameters as the real thing and copy across any customised template you've created for your blog. For added security, give it a name that nobody would search for and would not show up easily in any list. Try something like "nP56w7mytestbed".

Then make the testbed invisible. Remove any metadata you've added to your html code for identification and any code used by statistics monitors. Now, most importantly, go through all the setting options that your host offers and privatise the testbed blog. In Blogger, for instance, you want to:
Not add blog to the listings (Basic)
Not send pings (Publishing)
Disallow comments (Comments)
Disable blog feeds (Site Feed) - the most important one of all!!!
Restrict readership to yourself (Permissions)

The latter is not strictly necessary if you've removed the metacode, obscured the name, declined listing, removed pings and stopped the feeds. This reduces the chance of anyone ever finding your testbed to about the level of a DNA match. If you do "privatise" access you will pay the penalty of password entry each time you access your testbed from a new account of with a different browser. Your choice.

I can't emphasis enough the importance of turning off the site feeds. These are the source of almost all links to your website. Many people will be checking your blog not directly, but through a feed aggregator such as Google Reader. If you leave the feeds on, they may see your multiple publishing drafts.

Finally, deselect your testbed under your profile page, if your blog host has one. That way each time someone clicks on your name hyperlink they won't see a reference to your testbed as well as to your real blog.

All done? That really only takes about half an hour at most. Now you can compose posts in your testbed and publish them at each stage of drafting. Looking at the final product (as only you will be able to do) you will see exactly how your piece will look when finally published.

When you are happy, cut and paste the html code into your real blog. Be careful here to do this in html mode. If you are in a "wysiwyg" mode ("compose" in Blogger) you may lose hyperlinks, etc. Add a title and hit "publish". Results guaranteed every time. Obviously your host won't be over-happy about this as they are providing the resources without gaining any benefits. But no-one has complained yet. I've been doing this for ages and it really works.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Photos not visible

Hello Food Blog S'cool girls and boys,

I'm wondering if anyone would be kind enough to help me figure out why the photos for a particular post are not appearing on my blog. When I look at the html version, the code is there, but they're not showing up on "compose" mode or on the published blogger site.

The post is here.

Much thanks, in advance, to anyone who bites.

This Post was written by Sarah from Food and Paper.

Template design query

This is a really really basic question ... I use a basic Blogger template for my blog - how can I change the masthead to something more personal and appealing?

This Post was written by Joanna from Joanna's Food

Template design query

This is a really really basic question ... I use a basic Blogger template for my blog - how can I change the masthead to something more personal and appealing?

This Post was written by Joanna from Joanna's Food

Template design query

This is a really really basic question ... I use a basic Blogger template for my blog - how can I change the masthead to something more personal and appealing?

This Post was written by Joanna from Joanna's Food

Monday, September 17, 2007

[General Template Central] Social Bookmarking

Looking for a way to incorporate social bookmarking but don't want to clutter up your posts? I recently found a cool service called Add This

It's a little widget you can add to your template that will be visible at the bottom of every post or in a sidebar:

add this button
Actually there are three different versions of the button and also a button for RSS if you want one. Best of all it's free and easy to install, even on customized templates.

You can see what it looks like on a post on my blog here.

This Post was written by Amy from Cooking with Amy.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Particularly Outrageous Content Scraper

Thanks to Katie from Thyme for Cooking and Nicole from Pinch My Salt who alerted me this morning that the site below was stealing my content. (They both found it through Google Alerts because I had linked to their recipes in my post. This is yet another reason why it's so great to link to your fellow bloggers!)

http: //

(I have put a space after the colon so it doesn't create a link for them.)

What makes this particularly outrageous is that this person has gone through many of my posts and changed the words "Kalyn's Kitchen" to "Chris' Kitchen." However they were not smart enough to change the html so it is still a link to my blog.

I have left comments on the posts that are mine asking to have them removed immediately. In looking around the site I found this list of posts with many titles I recognize from other blogs:

http: //

(Again, a space after the colon to prevent a link.)

I would recommend you look at the list to see if there are things of yours being taken by this jerk, and if so leave a comment. There does not appear to be any other way to contact them.

(Another Edit: Here is somewhere to report stolen material on a wordpress blog. I have now reported this site to Wordpress besides leaving the comments.)

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

A very happy edit! In the time it took me to leave about ten comments on their site (I was actually leaving them immediately after they posted my stuff which probably freaked them out) they have started removing my posts. I hope everyone else who finds their stuff there will also take action.

Spoke too soon. Even after they deleted the earlier posts I had left comments on they continued to post more of my stuff. Totally unethical and disgusting!

It appears that many people have probably been contacting them today, because now the site appears to have no posts at all. Hooray!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

The Disappearing Act

My blog template seems to have disappeared - regardless of how many times I refresh my template and empty my cache (as directed by the very impersonal "blogger help group" - I couldn't find an email address to contact them directly), the template seems to have vanished. I have a back-up so I'm not too worried, but I desperately want the template to show up. And now I'm starting to worry that all my posts will disappear. Can anyone help?

This Post was written by Celine from Black.Salt

Food Blog S'cool Calender.

The calender is appearing in German. Can someone put it into English please. I'm trying to post the latest Hay Hay Its Donna Day and can't seem to hit the correct button.
In the mean time here is the latest Hay Hay Its Donna Day

This Post was written by Barbara from winosandfoodies

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Recipe Use

Frankly, I'm not sure whether to be happy or annoyed, but I'm kind of both. I received a cryptic comment from one of my readers today congratulating me for having a recipe in her local newspaper. It was the first I'd heard of it, so I did a Google search on the recipe and found that it was not only in that newspaper but also in my local newspaper and several others around the country. A writer for the Gannett News Service used it in an article and considerately gave the blog's address. It's flattering, and I'm glad she gave the URL, if not my name, but I wish I had known in advance. I missed seeing it in my local paper by a week.

Now doing further research, I find that the AP also picked up the column in at least one newspaper, but completely cut the part about it being from my blog.

My question: Is using one recipe, without the surrounding chit-chat about it, considered fair use? I'm not really considering complaining; the original, uncut article was very flattering. But I'm just wondering if this is really ethical or not.

By the way, here's a link to the article as it appeared in my local paper.

This post was written by SusanV from FatFree Vegan Kitchen

Link to older posts

This might be a very stupid question. However.. I just realised that I don't have a link at the bottom of my page that says something like "older posts", where you can step back and forth between the posts. If someone wants to read older posts, they have to use the monthly archives. Is it possible to have both, and how do you add such a thing in Blogger? Does anyone know?

Anne's Food

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

[typepad] new posts not appearing on main page

For some unfathomable reason my main blog is no longer displaying new posts on the main page. I have added three since the 2nd and while they are linked in the 'recent post' list in the sidebar and show up everywhere else (individual pages, category archives, etc) they will not show on the front page.

I have done the following to try fixing it:
* verified there are no restriction on the categories published on the main page
* reset the above and republished, just in case
* tried featuring a new post, which should make it always the top post - it actually makes it disappear from sight although it is still there on the individual post page if you know the URL
* added posts
* removed the top post, and added it back when it made no difference
* republished the entire site 3x
* sent Typepad help desk mail and got a lame response (have you republished?) since I believe I told them I had in my help ticket... That was last night and if I get one non-helpful response a day, I will be here with a broken blog next month.

I haven't changed anything in the templates between the 2nd (last post that acts normal) and now. I can't think of much else to even try.

Does this ring a bell for anyone?
Got thoughts?
Want to laugh at my pain?


This Post was written by kitchenMage from kitchenMage

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Changing your Header in NEW Blogger

Please hit me with a macaron if this subject has been covered in some obvious place I failed to find.
I want to change my header (finally) and I'm not sure if the info I found here applies to NEW Blogger.
Much obliged for any help and I'm ready to duck or eat any oncoming macs.
I did look in the dropdowns in the sidebar...

carolg from Paris Breakfasts

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Blogger--FIrefox--Mac Problems?

A friend who reads my blog with Firefox on a Mac tells me that every once in a while his browser freezes up on the blog and he has to close it and start again; he has broadband. I compose and check my blog in Firefox on a PC and never have this problem. Has anybody had reports of similar problems?

This Post was written by Peter Cherches from Word of Mouth

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Comments in Typepad

I only discovered this morning Typepad have limited the number of comments on any one post to 50. Only a few of my posts have received more than 50 comments. I enjoying reading comments on other blogs and will now miss out on the comments over 50 on the very popular blogs.

This Post was written by Barbara from

Comments in Typepad

I only discovered this morning Typepad have limited the number of comments on any one post to 50. Only a few of my posts have received more than 50 comments. I enjoying reading comments on other blogs and will now miss out on the comments over 50 on the very popular blogs.

This Post was written by Barbara from

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

New Site for Writers

I have just joined a social networking site for writers, musicians and artists. Check it out.

Great new resource for writers, Inked-In.

This Post was written by Jacqueline Church from The Leather District Gourmet.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

A Blog That May Be Copying Your Posts

(Note from Kalyn: I'm posting this for Karina from Karina's Kitchen - Recipes from a Gluten-Free Goddess. She has applied to join Food Blog School but can't post yet. Karina recently found a number of her posts copied entirely by the blog mentioned below. She also alerted a number of other food bloggers who also found that this blog had been blatantly copying their posts. Karina is sharing information about a site set up specifically to monitor this plagarising blog. Below is her notice about it.)

Hi Fellow Food Bloggers!

I thought it important to share this link:

Fish Creek House Watch

From the blog:

"Looks like Fish Creek House (INNside Innkeeping in Montana) is up to its old tricks again. It's amazing how many posts you find on the site where the content is virtually lifted, word for word, from other websites. Got any example of copyright or Creative Commons abuse? Send it along to"

The Fish Creek House/Innkeeping blog has been copying blog posts, baking tips, and recipes verbatim, along with food photos (many posts combine the text and photography of two or more blogs). They are posting these as their own work.

Over a dozen food bloggers found their recipes/posts/photos there this week. Many of those posts have now been removed. But many posts remain.

You would be wise to peruse the recipe and recipes/reflections archives at the Fish Creek House and INNside Innkeeping Blogs (I am not including the web link here because I don't want to help their search ranking; just Google them, you'll find them).

If you discover your work (or see the work of someone you know) send the link and alert the blog watch above.

Karina's Kitchen