Wednesday, September 3, 2008

"the lab" is back in session...



Yeah, Summer is over [for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, anyway]. I took an unannounced vaca for the end of August [saw Joan Jett in a free concert, among other things. Pretty cool], and now, we begin anew the pursuit of Better Blogging Through Science. Hope you had a little rest as well.


Regular visitors to the lab have noticed that I almost never mention WordPress. There's a simple reason for this; I don't know anything about it [Any WordPress users who'd like to contribute an article or two on the subject are welcome to write their insights as Guest posts; I still offer 500 EC credits for any published submissions. Contact me here if you're interested]. Anyway, I have found another site with a variety of WordPress themes; namely, WebFrap. It's well laid out, and has an attractive selection of themes for your consideration, and download. If you use WP, check it out.


Similarly, I'm not into customizing my site [I'll be honest; I'm trying to teach myself the necessary programming language. Let me tell you, French was much easier]. So far, I've learned how to use widgets, add a photo or two, and, just recently, how to use those damn hyperlinks in my copy [see above and below. It's so easy on Blogger, you'd think I'd gotten it before now. Well, no]. The Woman I Love laid much abuse on me before I picked up this amazingly easy trick [especially as I'm running a site dedicated to blogging tips]. But, despite the embarrassment of loving a man who couldn't hyperlink, she was patient, and I have now risen in her esteem to
"Average". Ah, romance...

Where was I? Oh, yeah, customization. One way many bloggers give their sites a distinctive look is through the use of non-standard icons. A great source for ready-made icon packages is IconzWorld. The site offers a wide variety of icon packages to download and use in your blogs. Visit and use.

Finally, a belated tip of the tam o'shanter to Jordan McClements. He's making a generous offer, that addresses a common need of many bloggers; royalty-free illustrations for postings. Most of the time, bloggers wishing to use photos on their sites just download them from their website of choice [yeah, I've done this. I'm not proud of myself, but there you are]. Given the number of blogs x cost of pursuing legal redress against a violator, the odds may well be in your favor. But consider your annoyance if one of your posts was lifted by someone. Anyway, Mr. McClements is very generously offering the use of over one thousand photos from his collection, for non-commercial blogs, as well as MySpace users. The collection in question can be found here [while the vast majority of the photos are Irish rural scenes, there are also photos from elsewhere in Europe, the United States and Canada.. And, just as Toronto has played cities around the world in the movies, a night sky over Belfast might "do' for your moonlight needs. Take a look]. Jordan has also helpfully provided instructions on how to upload his photos for use; find that info here [Blogger users who lift photos through their browser, then add them to their blogs should caption the photo "Photo courtesy of IrishViews.com"].

Hope your Fall [or Spring, below the Equator] finds you well. As always, more to come.

-Mike Riley.

3 comments:

jakill said...

Many thanks for the tip about free photos. I've bookmarked the site.

Did you know about Jena's Freebies http://jenaislemixedbag.blogspot.com/, which also offers free pics?

jordanmcclements said...

Mike, thanks for the publicity...

Mike Riley said...

Jakill, thanks for the tip on "Jena's Freebies". I'll check it out o/n. And Jordan, thanks for getting in touch about your royalty-free photos. If we keep each other informed about what's out there, we can improve everybody's work. "A rising tide lifts all boats".

-MR