Category Archives: Blogging

Efficient Method of Adding YouTube Videos to Your Blog

I recently upgraded my hosting provide (more on that later) and also made some modifications to my blog including a caching plugin, WP Super Cache, as well as a CSS minifier, WP Minify, in order to speed up website loading.

One thing that I noticed that took the longest on my site to load was the Flash, CSS, and javascript related to embedding a YouTube using the standard IFRAME tags, essentially what you do when you get the embedding code from the YouTube video page. This adds around ~400KB to the website size, not much but it adds up. A great work around is to load a thumbnail of the video with a play icon overlaid. The background data only loads when the play button is actually clicked.

The code can be found here: Labnol.org: A More Efficient Embedding Method for YouTube Videos

Opera Mini for iPhone

I’m typing this from the new Opera Mini browser for the iPhone that was just released today. It definitely is fast. It gets that speed by doing the rendering on a outside server and then sending a compressed picture with an image map of some sort to allow you to still click on things. For simply viewing the news, it works great. I also really like the tab implementation. But, it will not come close to replacing Safari quite yet for a few reasons. For starters, the autocorrect for textboxes like this is not working. It also defaults to the mobile versions of some webpages, and I can’t figure out how to stop that. For websites that do load the full version, Opera Mini displays a scaled back version that allows you to see in general what the site’s layout is but is too blurry or zoomed out to actually read any of the text in that mode. The ¬†pinch-to-zoom feature is also broken. There is no granulation in the zoom. Also, the formatting for some sites is broken.

However, this is the very first version and some of these complaints can be fixed. It would be great if you were stuck with EDGE, but it just isn’t astheticallly pleasing enough to replace Safari.

Update: The above post was typed in Opera Mini but then it got deleted when I clicked the “Save Draft” button. Fortunately, I had saved it to clipboard. So, there are still a lot of bugs. Moral of the story is to make sure to save whatever long post or comment you type in case it gets lost.¬†

Upgraded to WordPress 2.5

I just upgraded to WordPress 2.5 using WordPress Automatic Upgrade. It worked perfectly. I had been using Fantastico in the past, but this plugin works much better. Externally, you won’t see any change. The major changes were under the hood. Watch a short video showing some of the features.

Google to fix blog noise problem

Google is to create a search tool specifically for weblogs, most likely giving material generated by the self-publishing tools its own tab.

CEO Eric Schmidt made the announcement on Monday, at the JP Morgan Technology and Telecom conference. ‘Soon the company will also offer a service for searching Web logs, known as “blogs,”‘ reported Reuters.

It isn’t clear if weblogs will be removed from the main search results, but precedent suggests they will be. After Google acquired Usenet groups from Deja.com, it developed a unique user interface and a refined search engine, and removed the groups from the main index. After a sticky start, Usenet veterans welcomed the new interface. Google recently acquired Blogger, and sources suggest this is the most likely option.

Bloggers too are likely to welcome their very own tab as a legitimization of the publishing format. But many others will breathe a sigh of relief as blogs disappear from the main index. (continued on link below)

Source: The Register

I still think this is a great idea! Google was and is definitely getting clogged up with numerous weblogs linking to the same main article. Removing the weblogs from the main search index would allow the truly authoritative articles to be shown first. Then, should the searcher want commentary about an article he could go to Google’s Blog tab and find it. I wonder if they are thinking of developing their own blog search or if they will buy and intergrate Technorati. Either way I’m still looking forward to it.

—-Dear How Not To Blog,
Thanks for pointing out how old this article was. I didn’t even look at the article’s original publication date when I posted this. It was new news to me as of this morning. Regardless, I still think that this is an excellent idea. Why do you say that it is a “stupid idea?” Anyway, thanks for linking to my site. From such a “high quality site as yours” , I’m sure that I’ll move up quite a few places on Google (note sarcasm). By the way, your site is aptly named: Who runs a blog where comments are disabled??

Image Headline Plugin for WordPress

Like the new titles? It is the result of a sweet plugin made over at Coldforged. I’m having some problems with the anti-aliased soft shadows, but that seems to be more of a problem with my hosting than the plugin. Integration with WordPress 1.5 is outstanding. Should I want to switch fonts I would just upload the new font, select it in the headline admin menu, and, voila, the titles are now displayed with the new font.

The owner of Coldforged actually helped me set it up and was very nice. The support that he provided was top-notch.

This is the page with the comments for the Image Headline Plugin
Download and Setup Instructions

Spam Karma

Even though the new WordPress 1.5 has excellent builtin spam protection I was starting to see some some spam getting past. The problem was that the current spam moderation relies on keywords in the comment body and some recent spammers were getting through by putting random text in the body but then putting their name has the url to their site (mostly poker sites).

So, I’ve installed Spam Karma to stop the spam. The setup was extremely easy and I’m hopeful that any spam will be stopped.