Browsing the archives for the technology category.

How to publish a post without the BlogHer Tune-In Bar: Anyone can do it.

Or…

How to create a custom template file for single post pages.

It happen to me, I got the dreaded email from a BlogHer team member about a sponsored post that violated the agreement. Doh!! I am a violator, but not intentionally. I violated because I am an idiot basically.

You see, my baby only poops once every week or so and she cries and has the most raunchy farts you’ve ever smelled. She’s a very unhappy girl so her mommy and daddy are also unhappy, tired and quite brain dead.

I am four weeks postpartum and my pregnancy brain hasn’t cleared up, so when the Tune-In Bar came to my attention I was stoked to put it on my site and didn’t realize I’d have no means to remove the bar from my few sponsored post pages. Oops & crap!

Thankfully I did find a easy way to remove the Tune-In Bar code from only my sponsored post pages using a plugin, custom templates, some basic knowledge about templates and HTML knowledge.

I did this on my wordpress self hosted blog this week and you can too. Here is how:

1. First install and activate the Single Post Template Plugin here: http://www.nathanrice.net/plugins/single-post-template/

2. Next, create your own custom template file without the BlogHer Tune-In Bar code. Yeah, it is more complicated that I just made it sound in that sentence but I’ll walk you through it. It is easy, you can do it!

  • First using an FTP program such as FileZilla locate and download the single.php file from your current template.
  • Rename the single.php file, try something like altsingle.php and upload it to your server with all your other template files.
  • Edit the alternative template file you just renamed & uploaded. I edited mine in the backend of my WordPress, self hosted blog by going to “appearance” and then “editor”.
    • Add the following to the very top of your file:

      <?php

      /*

      Single Post Template: [Descriptive Template Name]

      Description: This part is optional, but helpful for describing the Post Template

      */

      ?>

    • I kept my single.php template file exactly the same but just replaced the <?php get_header(); ?> string with an entire copy and paste of the contents of my header.php file minus the BlogHer Tune-In Bar code
  • Save the edited alternative template file. Then go to a post and test it out.

If you start a new post or edit an existing post you’ll now find a dropdown menu allowing you to select the template file you’d like to use.

Using this method the sky is the limit with your post pages. You can remove a portion of the side bar or the entire the side bar. Remove the header, footer, a BlogHer Ad code, add some custom tracking code… Whatever you can dream up can be done just by using custom templates.

This makes me quite happy as you can see. Probably because it’s like the only thing I am not a floundering idiot at these days. I can’t make my newborn baby happy right now but I can make custom templates and tell you how to make them too. That is a win I’ll be savoring until the next win cause a girl needs something to hold on to.

Enjoy your custom template making!

You might also consider reading this post: http://www.wpbeginner.com/wp-themes/create-custom-single-post-templates-for-specific-posts-or-sections-in-wordpress/ for further explanation. It is a similar post on the same concept. Or leave your questions in the comments section and I’ll try to help you out.

How social media led to ballet and new clients…

Ballet shoes, showing the dancer's feet in fif... Monday I went in for my first official ballet class ever. How it all came about is kind of a crazy social media/ networking story. It all started with @DanaMNelson on twitter. She is a local social media business woman that found my twitter stream and pushed me to attend some local social media club events. I attended and met a whole slew of people.

After meeting people in person you add them on facebook and twitter. After adding Dana and @MaryBiever on twitter I ended up seeing all sorts of other people they were conversing with on twitter. Eventually you begin conversing with their contact because you’ve just chimed in on a topic that many others are also involved in.

I think it was a tongue and cheek tweet about pirate wenches doing karaoke that got me and @davemhuffman talking more on twitter. Later he posts about a dance blog he is writing and we discover we share a dance connection. I am a dancer/ choreographer… He is manning the Evansville Dance Theater blog.

We talk more, I could help with content for the blog since I know dance and he tells me to contact another woman that I actually already have a connection with (thanks to the previously mentioned social media event). She says I should take a class to gain more writing ideas for the blog.

It all started with a simple interaction with one local person on twitter, it grew exponentially. I now have 4 new locally based website clients making over a dozen websites to build and keep up on. I’ve got guest blogging opportunities, facebook pages to keep up with, a ballet class to take and it just keeps growing.

Social media is a very powerful thing right now. My story illustrates it well. If you are smart about how you represent yourself, stay “real” & friendly and if you continue to expand your social media reach (both locally and beyond), it can work wonders for you and your future possibilities.

So many entrepreneurs on social media are just trying too hard and are just on the bandwagon hoping for a quick return. The beauty and allure of social media is that it is social folks. Letting your personality shine through (even when representing your business) gets you more than just touting your advertisements. People like to do business with other real people!

The proof is in the pudding! I mean a consultation I just had with a local business owner is proof. I was there in a professional capacity, consulting with her about how we can make her online store a reality. We got to talking and she mentioned my “shitty neighbor” blog post, at first I wasn’t sure if it would make or break the meeting.

I mean I was dogging on our meat dumping rude neighbor. It surely wasn’t a professional representation of my website building business but it is who I am. While my professional identity is separate from my neighbor-trashing personal identity it all comes in this package… She read the post and it actually made her more inclined to do business with me, she said.

Is your blog hacked?

WordPress Attack Underway: WordPress Users Must Upgrade [ALERT] – http://bit.ly/Cu3c7 (via @mashable)

Mashable writes “WordPress has responded to news today that outdated versions of the popular blogging software are vulnerable to a new attack. The attack affects only self-hosted versions of WordPress, not those at WordPress.com. The organization’s advice is simple: if you aren’t using the most recent version (2.8.4), upgrade now to avoid problems.”

Lorelle writes on her WordPress-centric blog:

There are two clues that your WordPress site has been attacked:

First, there are strange additions to permalinks, such as: example.com/category/post-title/%&(%7B$%7Beval(base64_decode($_SERVER%5BHTTP_REFERER%5D))%7D%7D|.+)&%/. The keywords are “eval” and “base64_decode.”

The second clue is that a “back door” was created by a “hidden” Administrator. Check your site users for “Administrator (2)” or a name you do not recognize.

If you noticed some 404 pages here earlier it is because I was under attack… I had an invisible administrator as described above and I also noticed the weird permalink stuff last night. Initially I thought the permalink funky stuff was related to the new theme. So I’ve upgraded as wordpress recommends but I still had the invisible administrator to figure out.

Anyway, if you are under attack and wondering how to get rid of the invisible administrator here is what I did:

After logging in to phpMyAdmin I browsed user tables and found that on both mine and N’s blogs there was a user with a blank user_email. Once that use was deleted the invisible administrator dissappeared.

Updated Oct 3th 2009:

Noticed a drop in traffic after you’ve reclamied your blog from the wordpress hacking? I did. Be sure you’ve checked your permalink structure and that it’s been restored to what it was before.

Just removing this junk (%&(%7B$%7Beval(base64_decode($_SERVER%5BHTTP_REFERER%5D))%7D%7D|.+)&%/) isn’t enough, I know from experence. You see my permalink structure was set to just display as /%postname%/ so when I simply snipped off the extra junk that was added in the hacking I didn’t notice that the /%category%/%postname%/ was different that what I had always had my permalink structure set as…

Changing your permalink structure means changing your ranking in the search engines and if you care about search traffic this is bad for you. Is your permalink structure back to how it used to be prior to tha hacking? You might want to take a look.

Weekly Winners January 12th- 18th

Here is this weeks Weekly Winners post, as with last week all photos were captured using my new Kodak Cd-1013 Digital Camera.

Here is Alexandria-Maybelle, the bunny. We have had her since way before the move to Evansville. We ended up buying her at the feed and tack store one spring while my mom was visiting us in Flagstaff. We had a bunny, Baby Bunny, prior to Alexandria-Maybelle but because of living situations (the landlord forced us to remove our unauthorized pets from the rental) we had to send her and the cats down to The Ranch to live with my mom for a few months.

Anyway Baby Bunny died (from eating apple core and seed we suspect) and we went several months, almost a year, without a bunny in the home. Then we spotted Alexandria-Maybelle. Here she is in the bottom of her giant cage near her litter box. We aren’t sure what her breed is, probably mixed.

Well, N has been talking about this bunny that was found hippity hopping through the grocery store parking lot that someone he worked with had taken in but could not keep. They were keeping it in a plastic storage bin like this oneand were not able to keep it.

It caught his eye because it was a lop ear and he has always wanted one, plus they weren’t providing it with proper living conditions. Oh and we are also suckers for rescuing pets…

We make our pet decisions together normally and during last week he brought up taking the bunny in again. I was trying hard to not get sucked in to the cuteness of the bunny or any of that because once you do you are screwed.

Don’t get me wrong having a bunny isn’t that difficult, the key is providing it with the proper cage that will both keep your home clean and also keep your pet healthy and safe. Bunnies are cute and cuddly and appealing which is why so many people try to keep them as pets. The thing is they are also animals with needs and should be considered life long additions to your family if you choose to adopt one.

Sometimes bunnies can spray pee outside the sides of a typical rabbit cage, which can in turn stain carpet or dirty walls. Plus, they need a means to get exercise if they are solely indoor rabbits and a cage should provide that unless you plan to take your bunny out of the cage every day and let it play and run. Oh and you’ll also need to supervise it while it is running the house it to insure it doesn’t chew through any power cables on on your walls or something. Lastly, just because they were once wild animals does not mean you can just leave them outside in freezing or smoldering temperatures to fend for themselves, this is just cruel.

So when N brought up the bunny thing I explained that there was no way we could afford another $100+ multilevel cage for a second rabbit. Besides sexing young rabbits is hard and putting two together that are not the same sex (and also unfixed) is just bad news. Every heard the phrase humping like rabbits? They are prolific breeders folks!

I told N that if he was set on taking the rabbit in he would have to construct a cage for the thing that was sufficient for indoor use and also that allowed for exercise. And that is had to be done within days of bringing the new bunny home. Well, let me introduce you to Boner, the bunny.

You are probably wondering “well how does she know it is a he if sexing rabbits is so hard?”. Let me just say that we slowly introduced the two rabbits yesterday and he climbed right on top of Alexandria-Maybelle and started humping her head. When I grabbed him off her his penis was hanging out which very quickly told us he is a male. Plus he has these, balls.

Young rabbits are hard to sex but once they become sexually mature it is a bit more obvious, as you can see. So Now we are keeping Boner and Maybelle separate to avoid baby rabbits, we’ll also have Boner fixed when we find a vet and get some extra money. In the meantime the rabbits will just stay close but be kept apart.

Oh and all the household members are now friends with Boner, here is a video of everyone hanging out last night. Crazy huh?

Updates and breaking news!

I am home today and am enjoying the weekend. The colorguard camp ended Saturday and it went very well. They kids learned so much and were a blast to work with. Now I am ready for some rest this weekend and to make some progress at home!

N and I looked at a Winnebago Saturday afternoon that was another great option for us! It was in great condition and was at a reasonable price! We are strongly considering it as our “winner” but are planning to have it inspected by a certified mechanic first.

We spent the afternoon trying to get stuff done for the yard sale and the move. N painted up some of our older gardening furniture and planters for the yard sale.

I thought it would be a good idea to sell the gardening bench and plant holders with some of our smaller plants and some cuttings included. It will make us some extra money and will help us have less to move!

So he was a painting machine and I spent time transplanting herbs, taking mint cuttings and planting stuff to sell. We could really manage to get rid of some plants, especially the ones that aren’t bulbs since those are going to be the heaviest to move!

Here is just a glimpse of the plants we have on the porch, as you can see there are too many!

I guess there was a major helicopter crash in town today at the hospital… Here is the footage from today.

Also, a major fire started today south of us and just north of my parents, out near crown king. N might be heading out that direction tomorrow. It is so sad when awful things happen like this, they seem to come in waves too. Both the crash and fire happen today and I just hope tomorrow is calmer. Hopefully the breaking news will calm down soon!

N needs to get some time off at the end of the week, he has been sick all week long and his sister is visiting us for the 4th of July.

Oh and Blogger hates me today! I am trying to make the blog rounds and am attempting to comment but I keep getting this silly error:

Here are the comments I was going to leave:

@ louceel: “What a lovely description of the relationship you have with Francis and a touching story.
I am sorry you are losing a friend, it is always a difficult thing.”

@ pipper: “I totally had the same type of situation happen to me. I wrote my opinion about something that happened at my old high school, someone didn’t agree with my opinion so they tried to get everyone all fired up about what I wrote, just to cause problems. Some people are just not strong enough or open enough to be able to hear/ read someone else’s opinion and accept that it is their own right to share it.

My blog is like my “this is how I want to be all the time” reminder. I try to write positive stuff and I reflect upon the hard times to see how it all got me to where I am now. I generally have a tendency to be negative if I am not careful how I view things. I do have a separate blog for my ranting and bitching, everyone needs to be able to get that stuff out too! ;-)”

@ hyphenmama: “This is a superb blogging topic and I am absolutely LOVING the photos and the little pee pee star! This is greatly educational for me, when I finally have kids I’ll have all the potty training answers!”

@ over-thinker: “Nice blow up doll, now did you have to suck harder with the penis straws? Those photos of your sight seeing are amazing! I have never been to any of those places. Maybe during our week long journey to Indiana we can see some interesting stuff.. You have inspired me now.”

@ xbox4napyrash: “Awesome sauce, ha, ha… Love it! Keep us posted on the outcome after your 2 week wait. I am crossing my fingers and toes for ya.”

What is different on a MacBook (a pc user converts)

If I don’t go very slow I will get brain overload and have a melt down! Going from PC to Mac is not as traumatizing as I thought it would be. It is still a work in progress but I think I have managed to learn lots since I got my MacBook. Here is what I can share:

Key Strokes/ Different strokes for different folks platforms-

The first thing I had to learn is that the ctrl A (to select all), ctrl, c (to copy selection) , ctrl v (to paste copied stuff) and the ctrl t (to open new tabs) are a bit different on a Mac. Instead of the ctrl key you use command key. This is true for both Safari (the Mac web browser) and mozilla firefox.

Doing print screen on a mac is also different. On the MacBook keyboard there is no print screen button and many wonder how print screen can be done. There are many programs out there for the mac that have this ability but with a simple key stroke you can still print screen on your mac without downloading any programs. Press command + shift + 3 (all at the same time) and a screen shot will be taken and saved to your desktop! Try it, it works.

How do I navigate without a mouse? Track pad differences on MacBook-

The other thing that I had to learn about was the right click ability on the track pad. I read a post about this today. Basically under system preferences you can enable double clicking on the track pad, under keyboard & mouse select the track pad tab. Check the box that says “for secondary clicks place two fingers on the track pad and press the button” and you are all set for right clicking on your MacBook! Oh, and the two finger fast scroll thing is great also!

Find Mac compatible programs for your computing or use dual platforms-

I am trying to get an appropriate versions of Windows XP (bootable, 32 bit with service pack 2) so I can run “bootcamp” on the Mac and get the dual platforms installed. That way I can also run my “NOT Mac compatible programs” like Microsoft Money, Frontpage and all that good stuff. Anyone have an old one they want to donate to me? :-o

I did find some free software that helps me get stuff done on my mac that I normally did with “NOT Mac compatible programs” on my PC. Here is the run down:

How to accomplish photo editing- Seashore

I needed a way to watermark and scale down my images before uploading them to my blog. I found Seashore, a freeware program that allows me to do just that.

Need to chat with friends? – iChat

Oh, iChat (jabber), which came with my MacBook is compatible with google talk, but you can’t video chat with the built in camera on the MacBook. I guess you need an AOL account to use the video chat. I am okay with just typing my chat messages back and fourth for now. I would rather give myself paper cuts between my toes rather not install AIM.

Sending and reading emails – Mail

The Mac mail program, called Mail, easily sets up your mail accounts for you and works just fine with multuple mail accounts. I haven been wanting to set up mail folders and filters for my messages and have not found a way to do this yet. Mozilla Thunderbird is compatible with Mac also, I have just stuck with Mail for the time being.

Building and editing web pages without of MS Front page- Nvu

I read about the Mac webpage builder application, called Nvu, and have begun learning about it and playing with it. Not sure how I like it just yet.

Do you have any MacBook insight or tips you care to share with a new Mac user? If so leave them in comment below and enjoy this puzzle!

Create your own puzzles at PuzzleBee.com!

Brace yourselves, a new look is on the way.

Since I am pulling my hair out with techie stuff right now anyway I figured I should just take care of my blog at the same time. I get bored easily so I want to have all my sidebar crap in widgets that I can arrange easily and that wont be lost when I change from one theme to another.. In a dream world right?

So, bear with me some things may display wacky while I am working but once I get my Preview Theme Plugin working you wont have to see the strange looking changes till they are ready to go live! (Preview Theme never did work for me so I moved on.)

I got theme test drive working beautifully so you probaly wont see any strange glitches or funky stuff now. The theme test drive plugin rocks! I am having all kinds of fun testing out possible themes and getting stuff the way I want it now.. FUN!

It is however keeping me from finishing my taxes… Ugh, I will do them before April 15th!

Unable to insert an image after your WordPress 2.5 upgrade?

I upgraded 3 blogs to wordpress 2.5 today. One of the blogs is having image insertion issues. I found a post called 2.5 Image/Media Uploader problems over at the wordpress support site that talks about the potential fixes for the issue. Things like browser cache, type of browser, old versions of adobe flash player, the Bad Behavior plugin and mod_security are said to be possible causes of this problem. I went through each and every one of their “things to try” and nothing fixed the issue for my client.

Essentially she can upload images via the “add media” button but this error displays:

An error when uploading images

When she goes to view the “gallery” that clearly shows that is has photos in it this is what happens:

Here is what the “media library” look like:

Here is what blows my mind: When I sign in to her self hosted WordPress blog to test out adding an image I also get the exact same issues! This kind of rules out a browser or flash player issue cause on my own blog I can do these things fine but on her blog (from the exact same computer) I can’t. Seems to me like a database or compatibility issue with the host.

She is on Apache version2.2.8 (Unix), PHP version5.2.5, MySQL version5.0.45-community and Operating system- Linux.

I am on Apache version1.3.39 (Unix), PHP version5.2.5, MySQL version5.0.45-community and Operating system- Linux.

I guess maybe it could be the apache version causing the problem.?.?. I have no clue! I am interested in any readers input/ experiences with this. Maybe we can brainstorm the issue here and rule out some stuff.

In the meantime there is a workaround for those experiencing the same issue with getting an image to show up in the blog post:

  • Simply upload your image using the add media button
  • In a new window or tab go to your image directory. It will be something like: http://www.yourdoamin.comwp-content/uploads
  • Find the file that you just uploaded. You may need to select the year folder, then the month folder to see all the uploads for that time frame depending on your directory structure.
  • When you find the photo you just uploaded copy the file location (the URL) and then head back to your blog post that you are working on
  • In the add image window paste the URL you just copied, add your description, select your alignment and select “insert into post”.

You can also click on the image icon and put your image URL in there.

We already got a few bites on the job search!

Today several employers responded to N after he sent out several applications yesterday. This is a great sign for the job search but it also brings up a new technical challenge for me!

One of the employers asked if he had some online footage they could take a look at, sort of a resume tape. Normally he would be sending out VHS tapes to stations that showcase his past experience but in this day and age of technological advancements it would be handy and obvious to be able to get the video to employers digitally right?

This is something I am researching right now and trying to figure out how to make it happen. We want to have his resume tape/ video on his personal site and we don’t want to use a 3rd party video hosting company like YouTube because it is a bit unprofessional.
The other problem is that we can’t exactly upload his footage to YouTube because well, it is copyrighted and owned by the broadcasting station so we can’t legally republish it to the web, we can allow other to view it but we don’t want the whole world to see it.

So we are toying with the idea of a downloadable video on his site that is hidden from the search engines but I am wondering if there is a special compression format I should use to make the download fast..

Or I am just going to have to learn about how to convert the video to a Flash FLV format and embed it. Got any expert knowledge or a site you can refer me to?

A free domain name?

Register.com sent me and unsolicited email about free domain registeration that they are giving away till 3/25/08. I thought it looked like an interesting deal so I headed over to the site to read the find print.

It is actually free for 1 year from the date of registration (you will need to buy your own hosting plan separate from the domain if you wish to use it), the catch is that they want your credit card information on the account so that when the free year is up they can charge you for a second year and so on. They charge $35.00 for 1 year domain registration!! What a rip off!

I actually do not recommend register.com’s hosting plans to anyone who wishes to have control over their site/ SEO. I used them back in the day and was grossly disappointed. I don’t even recommend them for domain registration because it is way over priced but with a free domain why not use them?

The key is to transfer the domain to another registrar at the end of the year and THEN pay for the next years registration. This is what I plan to do!

I got my free domain registration for customgiftsbytalina.com, I will redirect it to my business site (www.craftedcustomgifts.com) thus reserving my business name as a domain so nobody else can use it and misrepresent the business.

A free domain name could be benificial to you as a blogger. Getting a domain registered and buying a hosting plan means you own your blog. It wont be hosted at a free blogging site (like blogger.com, wordpress.com or MSN spaces) which increases your chance for making money off that blog, plus you have more control!

Free blogs often cannot use all the nifty little plugins (like comment luv) that exist because they are unable to edit template files and so on. Free blogs are free so the capabilities and benefits are often limited. If you are a serious blogger this free domain name offer can launch you into the world of professional blogging/ owning your own site!

If you want ot claim your free domain head over to their promotion page (http://www.register.com/promo/acquisitions_lp_1.rcmx?trkID=EMAoFkNb1W) and get started.. The offer is only good for the week so don’t wait if you want one.

Then mark your calendar and remember to transfer the domain registration to another registrar of your choice before it expires next year!