July 18, 2006

Freedom viewer - to view blocked Blogspot blogs

This is my first post in Blogdesam blogs portal. This is in the context of Blogspot.com being blocked by almost all ISPs in India :(. I just wanted to introduce my tool called Freedom viewer which can be used to view just the latest post in blogspot blogs.

Why this tool?

1. It's fast because it only shows the blog post and not images, sidebar stuff etc. So, it's a good alternative for slow proxy websites.
2. For most blogs, this tool also shows a link to Blogger comments page to view and post comments. This is an advantage over feed readers like Bloglines.

The tool is at http://www.anniyalogam.com/scripts/freedomviewer.php.

As I don't have much time now, I will get back with "real" posts later.

July 13, 2006

New tool - Featured post of the day from archive

Based on my archive browser logic, I have developed another tool to revive old posts from archive. You will see it in action below this post. This tool will revive a different post each day (automatically). Even if you don't write anything for a few days, your visitors will be able to read your old posts. It will be a surprise to see which post gets revived each day!!

Some FAQ:

What kind of blogs will benefit from this?
Blogs with time-independent content will benefit by reviving all their old posts. Blogs that analyze current news topics etc may not benefit from this.

When does the revived post change to a new one?
At 12 A.M. UTC (Coordinated Universal time).

How do I add this to my template?

Insert the code snippet in red between the lines shown above and below it.

<!-- Begin #comments -->
<!-- Featured post of the day -->
<script language="Javascript"
<!-- Featured post of the day -->

<div id="comments">


July 9, 2006

Archives de-mystified

Till now, Blogger archives have been a mystery for many because they are difficult to browse through because of 2 reasons:
1. There are too many files (more so if you have weekly archives) which have to be viewed.
2. Each file takes a bit of time to download because of the complete posts and all the extra baggage.

Here's a tool that I have developed which you can use to view the archives for a whole year in one page. It will show the post titles, a text-only preview (first few lines) of each post and the permalink. You can use it with anybody's blog, not just yours. There's also some piece of code that you can add to your Blogger template to plug-in this tool for your blog just like I have done in my sidebar. This will encourage your visitors to browse your archives. Check out Archive Browser.

Here's the output of this tool for John and Greg's Freshblog for 2006.

* Since there's no feed for archives, this tool processes the html pages themselves.
* It works with any commonly used Blogger template that uses the CSS classes "post-title" and "post-body"
* It works with any third party template that uses the CSS classes "entry-header" and "entry-body"
* It works with some other CSS classes for body such as "bodyPost" but post title will not be shown.

July 8, 2006

One-click Comment Notification

[UPDATE: For the Blogger Beta version of this hack, please read this post.]
One-click notification is a service presented by Hackosphere for Blogger-based blogs. It can be used to keep your blog’s comments section lively. When somebody posts a comment in your blog and you respond to his question/comment, the commenter may not even see your response (unless he constantly monitors your blog). If (s)he landed in your blog through blog search or Blogger's next blog chain, he may not even remember your blog's URL. Sometimes, you type a long response and it goes into blackhole. With One-click notification, you can send an automated email message to the commenter with just one click. This message will contain your name, your post’s title and its permanent link so that the commenter can easily come back and see your response. Please note that notification can be sent only to those who have shared their email address in their Blogger profile.

Steps to change your Blogger template can be found here.

After you make those changes, save your changes and republish entire blog. Now, goto any post page with comments and you will see the one-click notification button after every comment. If you want to notify a particular commenter about your response, click the button below his comment and an email will be sent. If the commenter has not shared his email in his profile, an error will be shown and no email will be sent.

The button will be shown ONLY when you are logged into Blogger. Visitors to your blog will not be able to see this button. This is a security feature.

If you like this feature or have some comments/suggestions, please leave a comment here.