Monthly Archives: January 2009

I Apologize

apology-sorta

apology-sorta

For many reasons, I haven’t updated this site enough. And here are my crappy-ass reasons:


– I’m A Freeloader.

I piggy-back on neighbor’s wi-fi since I’m out of work and can no longer afford the $60.-mo. And their connection mysteriously disappears whenever it snows or heavy rains falls, which is frequently these days.

– I’m Researching Like A M-F.

Just when I think I’ve got the handle on SEO, surprise! There’s more tutorials to learn, more handy websites full of pertinent information, and more YouToob videos to drill into my skullmeat.

– My English-Speaking Skillz Are Being Requested.

Mami & Papi need me to sort out their bills and shit. Don’t be fooled; free rent has it’s price and it, is steep!

– I Am Not A Website Builder.

I know not of coding/ HTML/ CSS/ PHP/ SQL/C++/JAVA/Dreamweaver,
and so, it becomes that much harder to make necessary changes to this site’s layout.
Quite frankly I’m on my own on this as I know of nobody who knows how to do this shit. And I’m a bit slow to learn but once I master it, watch out world!

– Health Concerns.

Lacking healthcare, it gets kinda hard to maneuver around with your body developing an everlasting list of ‘issues’. So you turn into both Scoobee AND Shaggee, and solve your own Nancy Dru mysteries.
So you read a ton of articles and ask around and cut & paste valuable information and try out every suggestion out there. Sorta works. At least enough to get you going. And typing. Like now.

– Lastly, Drawing!

It’s what I do; drawing is what I was born to do. And that takes time. From ideation sketch, to scanning, to rasterizing my file, to cleaning up in a program similar to Photoshop, to coloring it in, to adding filters, to jazzing it up and saving it into diff. file formats and uploading to site.

So! An avg. freelance illustration gig takes anywhere between 30-70 hrs.
A typical work week is 40 hrs. So, yea. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Please understand that as I teach myself all this crap, there is no one single website that has everything i’m looking for. I have to peruse about 5-7 sites just to get that one piece of information because they’re all written in different contexts, or only supply a mere fraction of said topic. That’s really what takes the ever-loving soul draining out of me.

Presently I am working on a post on RSS Feeds and how you can p0wn them.
That will take some time as it is not a short topic.
But I’ll keep adding other stuff as I go on. Stay tuned.

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Figuring Out FeedBurner

Guy's head set aflames from feed burning
Ok, this is bullcrap.

First thing you gotta know about FeedBurner…most important…is that they got bought out by the monster-conglomerate known as Google.

But whatever does that mean for me, the small consumer?

Well, basically that FeedBurner’s helpful forums have been shut down and sealed away for the next 1,000+ years or until a chosen one comes along and fights off a buncha evil ninjas and demonstrates her/his worth in a cage match with an ancient evil warrior. In a pit surrounded by fire and broken glass and laughing hyenas, 404-error messages, flying toasters,suicidal lemmings raining upon the opponents. Yea, something like that.

Or, that FeedBurner’s easier-to-understand-and-more-helpful-forums are officially closed. All threads are locked. Nobody can add to them anymore.

Or, that Google is now forcing everybody to move all their FeedBurner feeds over to their corporation’s networks and, AND, now you are forced to accept their brand of help. ONWARD, TO GOOGLE FORUMS! WHEEEE!!!!

Now I’m sorry for sounding like a Google-basher but here’s my issue with that.

LET’S LOOK AT WHAT FEEDBURNER LOOKS LIKE
Click on Google FeedBurner to see what those forums look like!
As you can see, this is a question I’ve posted awhile back that still goes unanswered.
Super-duper!

ASKING QUESTIONS
I’ve noticed that sometimes, an older poster will bring up a common question like in the link above, and more than half the time it will go unanswered.

If Google Help is so helpful, why do so many keep asking the same questions over and over again? How helpful can it be?

No one at FeedBurner-nay, Google, will answer the poor bastard’s question. Ok, once in a loOOong while they’ll answer. Sorta. Then a buncha people with follow-up commentary saying,
‘Yea, I know, I have the same problem!’ add to it.

They all sound the same. And still goes unresolved.

CONTACTING FEEDBURNER
BTW, love that there’s no email address form to directly contact FB/ GGle. Nay, you only get the
+post your question
link as you can see on the right hand side here.

CONFUSING APPEARANCE
Oh yea, their G.U.I. (guide user interface) seriously bothers me. I find it an incredible eyesore; maybe it’s just me. Maybe it’s because I’m a designer and can be picky by default. Maybe it’s because there’s too much going on and it’s maddening to hunt for the ‘contact FeedBurner’ link in a sea of blue; the perpetual needle in a haystack of puritannically blue windows. There’s too many. My eyes hurt.

UNRESPONSIVE
Another fun thing is if you do post your question, you pray someone answers it. Hope you have some god to pray to, ‘cuz you’re gonna need it! Some of these fuckers don’t get responses at all, just a buncha similarly confused FeedBurner customers agreeing to their posts to having the same dopey issues.

Maybe Google hopes that other users will teach each other so they won’t have to hire someone to answer questions?! Ok-Just a random thought in my scary head…

Now I’m aware Google just laid off a few folks, but I always get the impression that if they have enough capital to develop a string of projects, then maybe they need to put that into polishing up their current products instead. A behemoth like Google theoretically should have enough manpower and resources to maintain their products running smoothly. Especially since they continue to hire in this faltering economy. (I’m currently unaware of any hiring freezes there as of this writing)

DISGRUNTLED
And because my question has gone unanswered and hell hasn’t frozen over yet, I’ve decided to solve the FeedBurner riddles myself.
And I am going to share with you what I’ve discovered thus far. So here’s what I did!

First thing is first:
– Read my previous post Anatomy Of A Website (SuperMunk-style) because I’ll be making references to the huge image located within that post

– These steps are assuming you already burn a feed on FeedBurner. If you haven’t already, do so first or this won’t work

Next, observe a common problem plaguing FB:

RECENT POSTS AND FB
I realized my Recent Posts weren’t updating at all in their widget. That is because in FB under Content Type, I had it set to the fist selection, Whatever the most appropriate type is for the feed:

And it would’ve worked fine, except that the layout template I use wasn’t working cohesively with this option. So I set it for This predefined type. and selected an RSS feed, then hit Save. You can choose Atom if you want, it’s just preference.

Check out the dates. It’s showing posts from the very beginning of my website and it’s showing posts from a few days ago. Big gap in between! That is because I made the necessary change after the Jan. 20th date.

And here is where you need to make the correct change:


Originally I had the first selection checked on. Under Only include items that represent future events you can see the Jan. 24th date. That is when I took this snapshot of my screen. Basically the first selection will always show whatever date it is in real time. If you have it checked on, it will only show all posts AFTER that date.

To correct my error, I checked it off and also checked on Include the event date in the item title so that my feeed subscribers will see when I wrote the posts. And of course, I clicked Save.

Notice at the top right-hand side it says My Feeds. If you go in there, you can find your feed address which you will need for what we’re about to do next.

I can now logout of FB and log into my Blogger account. So I go to the Layout tab and under Page Elements I can now add an element. A window appears called Add a Gadget and I scroll down to where it says Feed. I select that, and this window appears:


I put in my RSS feed address, supplied by FB. I put it in and then,


And there you go. If you did everything right, your last few posts should appear. If you set it to only 3 posts, that’s all you’ll see in this window. If you see just your name or Recent Posts within the window and no posts are showing, you need to go back into FB and retrace your steps.

Also, if you did everything correctly, your BuzzBoost will display properly, but I’ll save that for another post.

Hope that helped dispell the dark mists of confusion. Any questions, just leave under comments. I’m hoping to add more FB posts later on as I get the hang of this crazy thang. So what are you waiting for? Get feed-a’burning!

Anatomy of A Website (SuperMunk-style)

So many sites out there write up tutorials and crap using key words and terms the likes of which only an IT nerd could ever understand. Or someone already in the industry.

Or, basically anyone who can write an intelligible 250 word report. What’s that, like 2 1/2 paragraphs? (one page) Now consider Twitter’s 140 character limit and the disastrous downfall of current American education.
(for reference, please see Miss Teen USA 2007 Ms. South Carolina’s transcript or YouTube footage of said speech)

And where does that put C-students with average computer skills like me? Right below par.

But having gone to great lengths to read, understand and apply my newfound knowledge, I decided that it’s high time someone took to arms and decoded the anatomy of a website. You know. For us dummies.

Now not all of us who are self-operating such content-driven web 2.0 websites are this dumb, because if we were then golly! Insert here every cliche there ever was! And, it would surely reflect poorly on us as authors and quite obviously show up on our poorly designed sites. So who’s gonna follow some dumbass’ webpage anyway?

And on the other end of the spectrum! Spectrum, not speculum…

Then and again, too many so-called gurus put out how-to’s written in a format specially designed to be understood by other gurus only, thus dumbfounding the rest of us.
Just how are we supposed to learn this way?

Too many freaking sites tell you how your changes should look after you publish them. They tell, in fancy words, but don’t actually show you. Not enough sites tell you what they do, in idiot speech. Less than half actually show you step-by-step pictorials, so you are left to ‘envision’ what those changes may be.

And some think they’re slick and set up a Y0uToob video. (I intentionally misspelled that; why? Cuz fuck you, that’s why) But the video is too damn blurry no matter how much you enlarge the window, and worse, the sound is too damn low. You end up needlessly blowing-out your speakers to hear our soft-spoken author who can’t figure out basic video editing tecnhiques.

Note to all self-proclaimed SEO’s: Do not, EVER, under any circumstances, write content, in a manner, that ONLY YOU, can understand it. We are not computer engineers. This is, MF-frustrating.

Don’t alienate the rest of us with words and ideas we’ve never heard of. Decipher within your post what it all means or I’m never coming back to your site again.

Seems silly, don’t it?

As for me, since I’ve been telling you so far about every single change I make that I figured I might as well also show you a home-made map of what-is-located-where, on my website. As the title says, a-la SuperMunk style and from the 36 chambers of CSS. And without further ado, here it all is right below. Sure it looks small, but if you click on the image it will show up larger in another window:

And I’ll continue to do my best to make my posts understandable to Average Man, meerkats, and C students everywhere. And should I miss something, love of God, just say so under comments 🙂 I’ll answer each comment as needed though, know right now it may or may not be a smart-ass comment. Laced with a generous poo-fling topping. Toodles for now. *smooches*