Monday, March 31, 2008

Blog Comment Security & Follow-up Settings

WordVerificationAs I was browsing a student's blog today, I noticed that she had not enabled the Word Verification technology for comments on her blog (Dashboard, Settings, Comments).

I urge you all to make sure that you've turned Word Verification ON to avoid getting spammed. When that security technology is on, part of the comment window looks like this, with a string of twisted characters that visitors must type before submitting a comment, for example, "xhhzqtlm" (WordVerification screenshot).

I also recommend restricting who can comment on your blogs to registered users only (CommentsSettings screenshot). This should not trouble you, classmates, or community members who already have Google/Blogger identities (including gmail). If you are logged in already, your username will appear as a ready-made choice in the comment window (LoggedIn, "Choose an identity").


As you may see at the bottom edge of the LoggedIn screenshot, after commenting, logged-in users get an easy to use option to receive comment notification messages whenever blog owners or visitors reply. Just check the box next to "Email follow-up comments" (Follow-upComments screenshot), and you'll get messages with links leading quickly back to the original post where you can continue discussion.

[195 words]

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Docs and Spreadsheets Rock!

Google Docs and Spreadsheets are great ways to share and collaborate online on pieces of writing, spreadsheets, and presentations. The video below, a Common Craft Production, shows and tells how they work.

Please check it out. It should give you ideas for getting a group writing project underway, when you get a group assignment later. Though the presenter speaks rather quickly, reviewing the video a time or two should enable you to get the gist of what he says.

A great thing about Google Docs and Spreadsheets is that sign-in is the same as for Gmail! If you have Gmail open already, all you need to do is click on the "Documents" link in the toolbar at the top of the page.
[122 words]

Monday, March 10, 2008

Primo Travel Slideshow: Hot Off the Press

Project Platypus has once again pointed out a primo site to browse in a post called The Dales Way, tagged "listening, photography, [and] travel" (March 8, 2008). This time it's a slideshow from the Guardian's (a U.K. newspaper's) travel gallery called The Dales Way footpath (© Guardian News and Media Limited 2008).

The images in Kevin Rushby's presentation are beautiful, the countryside idyllic, the soundtrack superb, and the commentary fairly easy to understand for someone who isn't British (<grin>!). About the only drawback in the entire show, and not a serious flaw at that, is that it uses captions only on the last slide to point out where you can get more information about the footpath (The Dales Way Association) and accommodations along the way (updated March 2, 2008).

If you want to read all about Rushby's walking holiday, you can. It's in the Guardian's travel section on Yorkshire (N. England): Walking on eggshells (March 8, 2008).

To get an idea of the general location, zoom in on this map. Then maybe Pukman will drop by and give us a homegrown perspective on that part of the country.
[189 words]

Blogged with Flock

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Another Setting to Try: Float Alignment

Though the explanation Blogger offers (below) borders on highly technical HTML formatting, the "enable float alignment" setting is easy to try by selecting "Yes."
Enable float alignment [Yes/No toggle, + Save Settings]

Allows image and text alignment options using the "div[-ision]" tag. (Choose "No" if you are having post layout problems.)
(Blogger Dashboard: Settings: Formatting)

When you review your blog, after refreshing or reloading the page, look for obvious layout problems in various posts (misaligned graphics, photos, or text). If see any problems that weren't there before, just toggle the float alignment setting back to "No," and save it like that.

[102 words]
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...