4.29.2011

blogspot page bottom: customizing the pager, the footer, the subscriptions links, etc...

Again we have Furkan to thank for this really great information which deals with all of the elements on the bottom of a blogspot site:

To delete the "subscribe to posts (atom)" line find the line <b:include data='feedLinks' name='feedLinksBody'/> inside the HTML code, and simply delete it.

To remove the attribution gadget (that is the "powered by blogger" line), find /* Footer, and to the end of this section add the line display:none;

(Note:  I am not sure if removing the attribution gadget is something that Blogspot takes very kindly to. There may even be legal issues involved with doing so. So be careful with this one, I would say!)

And now the really cool part: Customizing the pager, which is the section where you have the links which lead you home, to older posts and to newer posts! You can change the default link text with anything that you wish and you can even replace it with images.


Above you can see how I customized the bottom area of the shoezznutzz site with little arrows pointing left, right and upwards on the pager and by removing the subscription link. On his own site Furkan used the shark on his header which he converted into an arrow. Brilliant!

The code for doing all this is somewhat lengthy, so I am going to direct you to Furkan's post about this here >>>, or...

4.28.2011

blogspot stuff: removing the top navigation bar

Very simple, if you know where to look, which our ingenious student Furkan obviously did: Go to the HTML editor and find this bit of code: ]]> Before this snippet put #navbar { display: none; }



Furkan tried it and as you can see it works perfectly!

I tried it too and the only fly in the ointment which I can see with this is that it makes one lose the quick access to the design button on the right hand side of the bar. I guess one could keep the design editor open in a separate tab or something. 

Thank you again Furkan and keep the good stuff coming please. Much appreciated!

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4.26.2011

is becoming a designer a matter of "talent"?

No, it is not, I would say.

What has brought on this post is that one of my students (a non-design major) has just let me know that she is dropping out of the class. It is the 9th week of the semester and it is her last chance to do so. Her reason is that she doesn't think that she has the talent for the job. I have tried to reason with her, however to no avail. She firmly believes that being able to put together a good website needs a special sort of talent, which she doesn't think that she has. Taking the class has made her realize that, she says.

Of course it does take what one might call a special talent if we are talking about the high end of design work: High powered art directors, visionary designers and typographers - these people do have a special something going for them, obviously. That said, anyone who has common sense, a sense of order and hierarchy, who takes the time to look at the design output of others and examines what they see critically, can develop a sense of good design. Or put differently, anyone who can put visual elements together into one continuous whole (which is something that most of us manage to pull off every morning when we get dressed) can become a competent designer.

Maybe not so before the days of the computer and the abundance of resources that it has brought to our doorstep. Back in the bad old days (which I am actually old enough to remember very well ;-), before all else you did need the ability to draw. Which, as far as I am concerned, is not exactly a talent either but a skill.

Common sense - that is what this is mostly about folks. And resourcefulness! Not some undefinable something that goes under the name of talent! Having a sense of huge enjoyment whilst making the stuff. Getting excitement out of finding a resource that will help solve a visual problem. And then getting a real kick out of the satisfaction of the problem solved. Those would be the basic prerequisites, in my book. Once those are in place, "talent" will follow - and much sooner than you think! :-)

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blogspot post customization code snippets

Some things that I could think of (and found the code for at various places) that all relate to modifying the appearance of your posts. All sorts of things from post and post title background colors, to post title icons, to initials. This is a long and somewhat messy looking post, so I am going to ask you to very kindly take a little jump break and... :-)

using the blogspot text widget (and the post editor) to make menus and thumbnail galleries

On the right hand column of this site you can see a section where I have put a menu with thumbnails for template downloads. It just occurred to me that I never got round to posting on this little trick which I figured out and which makes it very easy to make something like this by using the text widget and the regular post editor. Here's how it goes:

1) Start a regular post - except do not publish it but save it as a draft! (You can always go back and add to it later as well if you just keep the draft).

2) Put all your images and text in the post. (Your text will wrap automatically, however remember that your images will need to be sized to the width of the sidebar that you are planning to put the widget into).

3) I guess you could also add a background texture/color, or a border, or a bit of padding while you are still doing the post entry, as explained here >>>. I haven't tried this myself yet, but I am assuming that all of these attributes would show up on the text widget as well.

4) Select all the stuff on the HTML tab of the post editor and copy.

5) Start a new text widget, go to the HTML tab, then paste the code you got from the post editor into there.

6) Save! Done!

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4.25.2011

finally! a good looking flickr widget!


If, like me, you have a flickr feed you will be wanting to show it on your blog. There are quite a few flickr widgets around, except that most of them look horrible enough to make you want to run as far away from them as you can, getting you stuck with nasty looking backgrounds and borders and huge big type.

Just stumbled upon one on Flickr itself which actually lets you modify the layout in such a way that you can get rid of all the text, backgrounds, borders, buddy icons and whatever else and only show photos of your choosing. The whole stream, or a set, or a group... And at perfectly decent sizes at that! And if you want to you can get this as a flash thingy also - although that one seemd a tad too small thumbnailwise. And yes, they actually give you the code, so you could modify this even further should you wish to do so - but why bother really? Looks decent enough to me as it is.

Note: I made the screenshot above on the dummy easy peasy site, which currently has a very dark background. The thumbnails float on whatever your background may be, so do not be misled by that.

Check it out here:

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