Blog Design – Open Your Eyes.

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Do you blog for you, or for your readers?

This is a serious question that every blogger needs to consider carefully. If you blog for yourself, you will choose a blog design that appeals to you, not caring what your readers think. If you blog for your readers, you probably will think about what your readers would like to see when they visit your blog.

If you blog for your readers and you chose your design for you? You might be upsetting potential new readers without even thinking about it.

Some Food For Thought

Light Is The Norm

If I could design my blog to look how *I* want it to look, the background would be dark instead of light because I find dark backgrounds easier on my eyes. I design this site for the readers, which means light is the best choice. Not everyone has an LCD screen yet. Dark backgrounds on a CRT screen (the older style of monitor which is more like a TV) are difficult to view.

Dark text on a light background is what the majority of Internet users are used to. It is what they see on most websites they visit. They are so used to it that when you make a site with a dark background color, they react negatively without knowing why. If you want to appeal to the broadest range of people, you have to take things like this into consideration.

Everyone Sees It Differently

On a forum I used to visit – it is no longer in existance sadly – they had a very dark blue color scheme.. People reading the forum on the older CRT screens often had to highlight the text with their mouse in order to be able to read it.

Users had been doing this regularly for some time BUT NOBODY TOLD THE SITE OWNER they were having so much trouble with the color scheme until the owner was considering making a change to the site themselves. I cannot imagine how annoying it must have been for those people to read the forums.

The Psychology Of Color

When designing a site it is important to consider the psychology of color. When I was a part of the team putting together a scam warning website – which also no longer exists – we looked into what would be the best color for a website designed to support scam victims.

The three colors we considered using on the site were blue, lilac and green. These are calming colors. You’ll note these are colors I tend to use a lot here, too.

For more info on color psychology, check out Color_Expert.

Color Is Important

When you’re putting colors together on your site you need to stop and think – do they work together? Do they look good together? They may look ok on your screen but be sure to check how they look on other kinds of computer monitors too.

Take A Moment

If you visit a blog and something about the design truly puts you off, you may want to consider taking a moment to let the blogger know. Politely, of course. If you are a blogger, you may also want to ask your readers.. but..

Will People Tell You The Truth?

Ah, there’s the difficult part. If you have been blogging for a while, you have a little community of people who love your content. If you made your background red with pink text (take a look, I made it especially for ya’all), they’d possibly still read it anyway, or they might seek out an alternate way to read – perhaps via a feed reader or subscribing by email.

Did you like the clashing red and purple title? How far could you read before you thought hell no, I gotta go! If you ask your readers what they think of your site design, they will tell you what they THINK you want to hear. They will be loyal. They will be polite. They will be friendly. They are the equivalent of men telling their wives “No honey, I don’t think it makes you look fat”.

That’s all well and good – and wise on the part of the man and on the part of the bloggers who read you – by now you are probably reading them back and they do not want to risk your readership by being brutally honest.

Unfortunately it does not help you as a blogger who wants to improve your blog design. It does not help you capture new readers. It does not help you to know what they find annoying. Even if you ask them to be brutally honest, some readers will struggle to do so. Not me. ;) Just so you know. ;)

Brace Yourselves Now

I am about to tell you a harsh truth. New readers coming to your blog for the first time? They will hit the close button in that top corner without reading ONE word of your content if they are put off by the color scheme or your header graphic.

If your blog makes their eyes hurt. If it looks like fingernails on a blackboard for the eyes. If your header graphic is poor quality. If your font is unattractive. There’s a multitude of design mistakes you can make as a blogger which will send potential new readers away quicker than you can blink.

Whether You Like It Or Not

There are many blogs out there – and the majority of blog readers will take a blog with good design but lesser content over a blog with bad design and good content EVERY time.

You work hard on your content so you owe it to yourself as a blogger to present it to potential new readers in a way they can see it. Especially given how difficult it is to get people to visit your blog in the first place.

Ask Someone Impartial.

If you want a fresh set of eyes to take a look at your blog the way a new reader would look at it, use my contact form and ask me. I will tell you the truth. I won’t be nasty about it. I’ll just be honest. It might be hard to hear but you may need to hear it. I also will give you ideas for improvement, which is useful.

Resolution Matters

If you are viewing my blog with your screen resolution set to 800×600, you have a vertical scroll bar at the bottom of your screen. My template width is 1000. That means there’s 200 extra pixels you have to scroll to see. In fact that is my entire right sidebar. Not a good look, right?

When I designed the template, I knew about this. I looked at my site stats and saw the majority of my readers (90%) were viewing the site in 1024×768 – which is becoming the new standard these days. It used to be 800×600 but as people change to LCD screens and larger screens they can’t use 800×600*. Unless they are my parents, in which case they will use 800×600 for everything because it makes the text bigger – they are too lazy to wear their glasses!

Make A Decision

So the first thing you need to do when considering a blog re-design is make a decision about resolution – and you need to take into account what your readers screen resolution is in order to do it. This means looking at your counter – bearing in mind counters are unreliable. 800×600 is one way you can go, 1024×768 gives you a lot more space.

If less than 85% of your readers use 800×600, you could go with 1024×768 but know that you run the risk of annoying people who use 800×600. On my site, they’ll miss out on seeing the right sidebar but they get the full main text and the left sidebar. That’s an OK compromise.

I found these excellent articles which are worth a read before you make the decision – How Tall and Wide Should I Design My Website? and also Understanding Monitor Resolution

Don’t Change

There is a blog I removed from both my reader and my links. The reason I removed it is simple. Each time I went to the blog, they were using a new template. They had changed it many, many times over the last couple of months. I feel like they are never going to make up their mind and stick with one template and frankly, I was tired of watching the indecision in progress!

If you want to try out a new template don’t do it on your actual blog that readers visit. Test it out on a test blog first. Blogger makes this easy for you – you can have as many blogs as you want. So does wordpress.com though that is tougher as they make you pay to customise templates.  When you are sure you’re happy with it, install it on your actual blog – and stick with that template for at least 2-6 months.

Change is Hard

People do not like change. We bloggers are constantly tweaking, moving things around, adding things, removing things, making new blocks in our sidebars. I am as guilty of this as the next blogger. I am not saying never change anything, I am saying keep in mind the impact it has on your readers.

Your readers may know where to find something right now. If you move it and they are looking for it, they will be frustrated unless they can easily see where you moved it to. If you feel the need for change (as I recently did with my sidebars) pick one day, post a note to your readers who may turn up mid-changes to “bear with me, I’m changing some things around”, mess with it till you have it as you like it, then let your regular readers know what you have changed or removed via a blog post.

Above The Fold.

The instant first impression a user has of your website is what loads onto their page that they can see without scrolling. This is called “above the fold” – you know those broadsheet newspapers which have a fold on the front page, about halfway down? They know what is above the fold is what people see – and why they buy the newspaper.

It is no different on your blog. Decide what you want people to know about you when they first look at your page, and put that above the fold.

Browser Matters

Most people only use one internet browser. It might be Internet Explorer. It might be Mozilla Firefox. These are the two main ones you will see on your site stats. Do you know how your site looks in the one you don’t use? Do you know how it looks in different versions of the one you don’t use? A lot of people don’t use the latest version of browsers – when they find a stable one they stick with it like super glue.

Do you know how it looks in the rarer browsers like Opera, etc? Make a blog post where you ask people using those browsers to take a screen shot for you. Your readers using those browsers will generally be happy to help out.

IE NetRenderer allows you to check how a website is “rendered” (how it looks) when using Internet Explorer – several versions of it. I am still looking for a version of this for Firefox. Anyone know where to find it?

Flashing is bad

People associate flashing things with advertisements, which are becoming more prevalent on all the websites we visit these days. For Firefox users, you can get an extension called Ad Block Plus – and let your inner self be at peace without ads interrupting your internet. For your personal blog, I do not recommend anything be flashing. It’s annoying to many people.

Template Blend

Blogger has a standard set of templates which people can use. It is easy to just pick one of those and leave it at that. You would be making a major mistake as a blogger if you did, though. Anyone else using that same template can be mistaken for you. It is sort of like walking into a room where everyone is wearing the same outfit. How do you find the people you know, among the apparent clones?

The least you should do is change some of the colors and the font – Sephy’s post will explain how to do that. You can check it out here – Demystifying Blogger Template Editing.

Good Templates Are Out There

You just have to know where to look. Try searching the name of your blog platform combined with free templates and see what you get.

Not Everyone Agrees.

Good design is not easy. There is no one size fits all. If there were, nobody would want it because all our blogs would look the same. As a blogger, what you need to do is make sure you are not turning off new readers by making bad design decisions. Unless you’re writing your blog just for your friends and family, who will love you regardless.

New readers won’t have a chance to love you. They’ll be leaving skid marks with their mouse in order to close your site as quickly as they can, and move on to another blog – where the content may not be half as good BUT they aren’t offended by the design, or the flashing ads, or the music that starts playing without them asking for it, or the myriad of other things you can get wrong as a blogger.

Further Reading –

15 Design Decisions That Annoy Readers – Some seriously annoying things that bloggers do are listed here – do YOU do any of them? ;) I do – I need to look into that Google Ajax search box, adding it to my todo list for tomorrow.
45 Excellent Blog Designs – Inspirational stuff!
Blog Design at ProBlogger – This is the category for Blog Design which contains quite a few useful food for thought posts.
Top 10 Weblog Design Mistakes – I disagree with number 2 – sometimes I think putting a photo of yourself on your blog is a terrible idea and some of the ones I have seen scare me greatly. Number 5 I think a lot of bloggers miss out on. Your top 5-10 posts should be shown above the fold – give readers the chance to access your best posts as soon as they land on your blog. You’ll note I have moved mine to be above the fold now.

Useful Things –

VisiBone Webmaster’s Color Lab – You can test colors against each other here.
Non-Dithering Colors – Gives an explanation of why the 216 color palette is better for use generally, and also all the color codes you may need.
HTML Goodies – Lots of HTML goodness to help any blogger.

Over to you

What are your thoughts on blog designs? Do you like yours? If not, do you want to change it? Do you need help to change it? Sephy is writing a companion post to this one which can help you with a few things.

If you liked this blog post, feel free to Stumble it. :)

*Unless they are my parents, in which case they will use 800×600 for everything because it makes the text bigger – they are too lazy to wear their glasses! This drives both me and the other half absolutely up the wall. They have a wide screen laptop. I’ll take a photo of what a webpage looks on it for ya’all sometime, but in the meantime it looks bad. Trust me. ;) It’s truly fingernails on a blackboard for your eyes.

**Cybercelt left me a great comment about that a while back, letting me know that you can go into your Blogger profile (on your profile page when you are signed in, click edit my profile, then Show my blogs, then Select blogs to display) and choose which blogs are displayed in your profile. If you have more than one, I suggest you choose one to be the main blog, and link to your other blogs from that blog page rather than have them all listed in your profile to make it easier for people to find you, but it’s your profile. ;)

blog design, blog housekeeping, blog template, blogging tips

14 Reasons Readers Unsubscribe From Blogs.

Recently I’ve been working on clearing out my feed reader. I have gone from 215 subscriptions back to 143 – a huge drop. This is no easy task, but some bloggers have made it easy for me to make the decision – keep reading, or unsubscribe? Here’s some of the reasons why I have unsubscribed from some of the blogs.

1. Posts Too Long.

Writing one huge long post every week and posting rarely in between. There was one blog on my google reader, I kid you not, who would write posts averaging between 4,000 to 5,000 words once a week. Was it anything I could use? No. It was simply egotistical shyte where the blogger answered a whole bunch of questions other readers had asked – some of you may know the blog I mean..

Their last post in my reader was 5261 words, 28792 characters and just to give you an idea, I pasted it into word. It went for 15 pages. ONE POST!!!!!! And people say my posts are long, ya’all ain’t seen nothing yet! Just for comparison sake – this post is 2199 words long, 11276 characters and was four pages when I posted it into word.

I don’t mind a long post, if you have something useful and interesting to say. If you’re just pandering to your massive ego, I’m hitting unsubscribe.

2. Posts Too Pithy.

Every post they wrote was three lines or less. Every. Single. One. I enjoy pith as much as the next person, but there is such a thing as too much pith. Give me some substance!

3. Where Are You?

Some of the blogs deleted last week had not been updated at all in over 6 months. Hello, these bloggers had people who were reading you and they went and blew it. Maybe they got busy. Maybe they got a life. Maybe they got hit by a bus. I don’t know, and now I’ll never know, because they just left me hanging. I’ve unsubscribed. Readers of this blog will be happy to know, if something happened to me I have a plan all ready to deal with it. You’ll never be left wondering here.

4. They Went Quiet.

They used to post regularly and I was loving it, but now I realise I haven’t heard from them in a couple of months – and their last post didn’t say “I’m going on holidays” “I’m taking a break from blogging” “I have to do (insert important thing) so you may not hear from me so much over the next few (length of time)”. If it did, I’d be ok waiting. Seriously. We all have lives to live.

They have a term for this with nuclear submarines – going quiet. Unless you happen to be living in one, it’s not a good idea to do it with your blog. Readers will unsubscribe – like I just did. It is a good idea for bloggers to let their readers know if they are going to be away for a bit. It’s a nice thing to do for their loyal readers.

5. They Are A Wanna-be.

I linked to them for at least 6 months and I told them I was linking to them via a comment. They never linked back. They never dropped by my place and left a comment. In their links list all I see are “a-list” bloggers. All they talk about is what the “a-list” bloggers are saying or doing. If I wanted to know what the “a-list” bloggers were saying or doing, I’d be reading the a-list bloggers. I don’t read the a-list bloggers. I wanted to read *them*, not some poor soul wishing they could be on the “a-list” and sucking up to the “a-list” bloggers in every post.

I’ll give that link to another blogger who deserves it more. Just a hint they might be able to use – Spread your link love around and base it on content, not what supposed “list” the blog is on.

6. I’m Not Feeling It.

In order for me to read a blog, I have to sometimes know what the blogger is talking about. There is one blogger I deleted because they write these major in depth posts that read like a legal document. On a personal blog. There is never any personal posts, never any images and a lot of 50 cent words you only hear used in spelling bees.

If a blogger is writing like that on their personal blog, maybe they need to take a holiday. Relax. Not that I can’t handle in depth posts and legal wording but from time to time, chill out and have a laugh! Tell me something funny that happened. Lighten up.

7. I’m Overwhelmed.

Some people post too much. Two to three posts a day is one thing. Four every day, a blogger may be pushing it. 5-15 posts a day is way out of control. I want to know about the bloggers I read, but I don’t want to know every single detail that happens in their life! Learn to edit. Write things and put them aside for a wrap up post, one longer post instead of 6 short little ones.

Writing doesn’t have an expiration date. It is perfectly fine to write 5-15 posts in a day but a blogger can schedule them to post over the next couple of weeks. They will feel fantastic because you know their blog is posting the things they wrote, and readers will feel good because they get to read it in small, manageable daily chunks rather than one huge mind dump. ;) Don’t pummel your readers with posts!

8. The Content Went AWOL.

Some bloggers have got into paid posts so much that it is all they blog about anymore. I’m all about supporting a bloggers right to make money but if bloggers aren’t providing non-paid content as well, they will lose their readers, and consequently find it harder to get paid blogging jobs. My preference is that bloggers follow up a paid post with non paid content soon after posting the paid content, at least on the same day.

9. The Content Was Negative

Not one positive post in the whole time I’ve been reading? Some bloggers just want to whinge and they are not prepared to look at the positives in life? Sorry, that’s not for me. I prefer positive thought. Occasional snark is one thing, I can appreciate that. Being mad at the world 24/7/365? It’s depressing the heck out of me. Let me off this rollercoaster ride into negativity!

10. I’m Waiting.

One post a month? One post every two months? Seriously? Are their readers so unimportant to them? They have nothing to say? They can’t find a news article to speak about? They can’t post a photo and one line of text? I have to tell those bloggers, I think maybe they are too busy to have a blog. Seriously. I’m unable to deal with such long gaps between posts unless the content is *incredible*.

11. They Moved.

Without telling me more than once – and now I’ve lost that connection to them. Here’s a piece of advice for moving bloggers. Keep the old blog for at least a month. Once a week during that month, post a reminder that the blog has moved have moved on the old blog. That’s for feed readers of the blog, who may not have received the message that the blog is moving the first time. A reader may have hit “mark all as read” because there were 500 posts in one folder and they couldn’t face reading it.

Give your blog readers every possible chance to follow you when you move. They are not expecting you to move and are unprepared for it. Me personally I’d be posting “I’ve moved here” once a week on that old blog for six to eight weeks.

12. They Were Cliquey.

Some bloggers just want their friends reading. It might be best to make their blog private so readers don’t get attached to them. It can be hurtful to people when a blogger totally ignores some readers and comments, while responding to others.

13. Template Issues.

Every time I visited the blog, there was different template. And I visited the site a lot over the space of a few weeks, I said via comments how much I liked a couple of the templates but one day I got tired of the constant switching, things moving around.. it was just too much. Sorry. The content was ok but not good enough to overcome the massive template indecision.

14. They Told Me They Were Quitting.

I understand. I’ll miss them. In order to keep the blogroll alive, I’ve taken the link to that blog down but if they come back, I’ll put it back up before I finish reading the first post saying they are returning to blogging, I promise. I enjoyed their blogging and I hope they return.

But Wait A Minute?

Some of you may have read this list and thought “I do that” “Ouch, I’ve made that mistake” or even “I never realised how annoying that could be to my readers, I’ll never do it again!” If so, that is fantastic. It will make your blog even better – for me and for all your readers. Perhaps now is a good time to take a moment – to consider whether you are being considerate of your blog readers and mindful of what could make them unsubscribe from your feed.

If your name is still on my blogroll, it means one of two things.

1. You are linking to me, which I deeply appreciate, thanks! I’ll never de-link you while you link to me. If I did it by accident please let me know. This job has been evil and I have been working on it for over a week now and still have not tracked down everyone linking to me.

2. I love you so much I can’t let you go. Even though you don’t link to me. It would be nice if you did, but I enjoy your writing and I’m giving you that link because of it. If you don’t enjoy mine, you probably shouldn’t be linking to me.

My Future Policy – updated 26/1/15

If I like your blog, I add you to my feed reader. Once a month I do a new feeds post which you can find here.

After 6 months, I review the blogs I added and decide whether I am keeping them or unsubscribing. If I am keeping the blog, it will be listed on my blogroll.

Further Reading

This post is now accompanied by a post from Sephy with a lot of how-to info on RSS feeds. He’s great at taking the tech out of technical things so non technical people like me can understand them. Make sure to read it!. You may also want to have a look at these useful articles –

Over To You.

What are your thoughts? What is your policy on linking to blogs? Do you struggle with who you should give the link love to? Do you feel bad or rejected when people don’t link back to you? What about when people delete their link to you? Do you have blogs you’re hanging on to which you would love to delete? Comments are closed, so you can contact me here to let me know what you think.

blog housekeeping, blogging tips, blogrolls, google reader, what not to do

Bloggers Are Helpful – My BlogOVersary

Just a quick note to say I have added a section called “Bloggers Are Helpful” to the sidebar. Bloggers, send me your best posts about blogging – how to improve, tips and tricks, let me link to them. Links to your site are a good thing, as you all know. And though I currently have a 0 page rank, who knows what I’ll have when the update happens? Get in now, before the rush.. :)

Today is one year of blogging for me. It seems like five minutes. I really wanted to go back and explore some of my older posts but I am also in the process of becoming a more organised person, and my to do list today was long. :) Sometime in the next couple of weeks I will do a look back post.
Thanks to my readers for sticking with me, and thanks to everyone who visits regularly. ;) It’s been fun so far but there’s a lot more fun to come! ;)

blog housekeeping

Spring Cleaning & Retail Therapy With Photos!

Looking through my Google Reader, I see a few blogs I’m not feeling a connection with anymore. Yes, it’s time to clear out the reader. I’ll be working on this over the next week. It feels like a harsh thing to do. I don’t enjoy doing it however I am reading a lot of blogs now and I have a few projects I want to focus on so I will have a little less time for reading. I won’t be deleting anyone who’s linked to me, just so you know. ;)

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Today we went shopping. I had a voucher for Dusk. I find either you love Dusk or you hate it. I love it. They make these great tea light candles which actually throw their scent around so it’s not like burning a candle just for the sake of burning it. I was going to buy several packets of 6, then I spotted they had a bulk bag of 50 scented tealights for just under $25. These will last me ages. w00t!

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I also wanted to check out their essential oils and was surprised that they didn’t have very many of them but they DID have lemongrass which is the one I wanted. Yay! And the bottle is beautiful, that cobalt blue color.

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Aussies and US people alike, keep an eye out for this Lander product. I got it at Woolworths a couple of weeks ago and I’m crazy about it. I used to use Palmers Cocoa Butter but it doesn’t absorb into the skin very well and tends to leave a residue on your keyboard. The Lander stuff absorbs fast, you only need a tiny amount and it has this scent that I’m nuts about, because it contains coconut oil. Even The Other Half likes this stuff. It’s made in the USA so I’m guessing you can get it there too.

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I picked up the final season of The West Wing which was released in Australia a couple of days ago. I now have the full collection and I’m feeling pretty happy about that. ;)

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Yay, we got cookies too!

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Here’s all my essential oils.

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aromatherapy, blog housekeeping, feed readers, shopping, The West Wing

Take a look at my blog..

I have a brand new title bar graphic which I spent hours working on, and I’ve changed a few of the blog colors to suit it better. I would really appreciate it if ya’all could let me know your thoughts on it. :) Be honest now, I won’t be offended. I’m not sure about the colors but we’ll give it a try for a bit.

All the images in the title bar are our own photos, and you’ll see these and other photographs of ours from now on with the daily thought posts, I’ve gone through and sorted a bunch of them all ready to post.

So what do you think? Leave a comment, don’t leave me in the dark. ;) Is it an improvement, or did you like the old photo and color scheme better? Do you like the blue date and the dark purple post titles, or did you prefer the pink date and burgundy post titles? What do you think of the new title bar photo at the top?

blog housekeeping, blog template

Blog Housekeeping Update 5th August

I’m in the process of adding a few sections to my sidebars. Is there anyone reading this who has an article or post which would be useful to other bloggers? Would you like me to link to it in my sidebar? Just drop me an email or a blog comment with the link and the title of the post and I will add it to a new section I am creating over the next week – designed to help bloggers find useful posts that can help them blog better or do things they don’t know how to do, like how to guides etc. There’s so much bloggers need to know!

So on the right hand side bar you may spot a new scrolling list titled Bumpzee No-No Follow Faves. This list is slowly coming together as I read through the RSS feed. It will contain some of my favourite blogs from that community, the ones I am learning a lot from, the ones that I enjoy reading, the ones that make me think and challenge me. Please note I won’t be adding blogs that are already listed in other sections of my sidebar – some blogs belong to many communities on Bumpzee.

I’m feeling a bit restless with the blog template again. I found some today that are flat out incredible however I’m not sure they work with the new blogger. If you don’t like the current template I have here, please let me know in the comments section and if enough of you agree it needs changing I’ll look at changing it. Any new template would still be 3 column, hopefully. I am hopeful I might be able to talk Sephy into creating a clean 3 column template which the rest of us can build on. ;)

What I want to do right now is make a new title bar graphic, so I’m going to focus on that for the rest of today. I have an idea of what I want to put there, we’ll see how it goes. ;)

I also have an idea for a business, and I can’t really think straight right now, my head is whirring and yet somehow still managing to play Hotel California which has been on repeat in there for a couple of days now – you can all hear the whirring, right? HUGE thanks to Meg from Dipping Into The Blogpond for posting this brilliantly helpful post The Business Of Blogging which has got me all fired up and thinking of business names and to do lists and next steps.

So what is this great idea I have? I’d love to tell you. But not just yet. I’ll let you know when I know more.

blog housekeeping, blog template, blogrolls

Great How To Guide – Feeds & Feedburner

Please note -update 23/08/2014 – Snoskred suggests that you DO NOT use feedburner anymore. :(

Sephy wrote a great how to guide with screenshots on how to integrate your Blogger RSS feed with Feedburner so that you can get detailed stats about your blog’s feed. Right now most blogger people probably don’t know how many people are reading their feed and this is a really good way to find out.

It’s also great because I really struggled with the layout of feedburner and kept having to ask him “what do I do now?” and I bet it got a little trying for him because every time I went there I seemed to have forgotten how to navigate around. Now I can just refer to this guide, which I have bookmarked YAY!

I find that some websites on the net are intuitive – as in, very easy for people to use. Some just don’t click for me. I’m lucky Sephy is my technical guru and always willing to help me even when I keep asking the same questions over and over. I can be a technical low wattage light bulb even at the best of times. This will probably come to people as a surprise – I seem like I am a technical master of things but what I am is more of an idiot savant – if you show me how to do something a couple of times I can remember it and even tell other people how to do it.

If there’s anything computer or blogging related that you want to know how to do, Sephy is offering to make a guide on that especially for you – and others. All you have to do is ask him – either in the comments section of his blog, or shoot him an email via the link on his blog. If you want him to keep it quiet that you were the one asking, he will happily do that and just pretend like I asked him. Its likely I did at some point anyway. ;)

Do you have a technical guru? Are you good with technical things, or do you struggle like me? Leave a comment and let me know.. ;)

blog housekeeping, feed readers, internet

Calling All Lurkers..

Recently I merged all my RSS feeds into one feed and discovered that there’s a LOT of people lurking out there reading my blog via RSS. I’d like to take a moment to thank you for reading, and to ask you a few questions – if you could answer them in the comments or send me an email I’d be very grateful. :) I’d like to know a bit more about you.

Where are you from – you don’t have to give specifics, just which country is ok.

Do you have a blog of your own – if yes, do I link to it and if I don’t link to it would you allow me to link to it in the sidebar? If no, what would it take for you to get a blog of your own?

Is there anything I could do here on the blog to encourage you to comment more often?

Is there any particular topic you would like to see me blog about more often?

Could a how to post (with screenshots) on any particular topic help you? Is there something either blogging or computer related that you’d like to know how to do but have no idea how to go about it? If yes, which topic(s)?

I could ask a lot more questions but I don’t want to scare you off. :)

This post was also partly inspired by slouchingmom who mentioned on Blogrhet that she had asked lurkers to delurk. I thought that was such a great idea.. :)

blog housekeeping, internet

Alexa "Sparky" now works with Firefox 2.0.0.5

Yesterday I got word that Alexa had finally released an official toolbar “Sparky” for Firefox users. I installed it right away but then two hours later Firefox told me it had an update – and the only extension that would not work with the update would be Sparky!

Just now Firefox popped up a box and told me that there was a new version of Sparky available that works with this version of Firefox, so I now have it back. Yay!

So if you want it, go and get Sparky. Finally Firefox users can have their voices (and their traffic) heard! Given that over 50% of the readers here use Firefox I’m hoping many of you will install it so a truer reflection of your visits here can be seen by the world.

blog housekeeping, internet

Snoskred has a new home..

If you have linked to Snoskred : Life in the Country, could you please take a moment to change your link to my new home – http://www.snoskred.org/ – thanks! If you have not linked to me but you’d like a link back to you, drop me a comment and I’ll check out your blog. ;)

blog housekeeping