Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Journal - Widgets and Stuff

Okay, I’m falling a little bit behind on my updates. So where was I?

I already mentioned that I had finally figured out the big problem with my blog and not being able to post hyperlinks. Once that was out of the way, I was able to move on with creating my new book review blog. By then, however, I had changed my mind about the title. I decided I liked “Audio Book Heaven” better than “Critical Mass Media.” So I changed everything over again. That's actually pretty easy to do so it was no big deal.

Once I had my audio book reviews imported to “Audio Book Heaven", it was time to add some widgets. For those of you who are not bloggers, widgets are the little boxes of information on the right side of the screen. I never realized what a poor selection of widgets Blogger has. When I was poking around over at WordPress, I found lots of really useful widgets, but here at Blogger it's mostly garbage like "Cute Kitten Photo of the Day”, and “Mister T Quote of the Day.” I couldn’t really find anything that was very useful, so I started making up my own. At WordPress, there’s a widget that displays your most popular blog posts, based on how many hits each of your pages gets. Blogger doesn’t keep stats so that was impossible to do. Instead I just created a list of my own and linked the list to the ten posts I chose. Next I wanted a complete list of all my book reviews so viewers could pick any book off the list and read the review, table of contents style. Blogger doesn’t have anything like that either, so again, I created my own. I created a list of all my reviews and posted it on the blog like a normal post. Then in a widget, I linked to that post. Not quite what I wanted, but passable.

I’m still working on the affiliate programs. I can’t remember how much of this I already talked about. I tried to sign up for the affiliate program at Audible dot com, but I couldn’t manage their CAPCHA. That one didn’t even have a listen link. I emailed them about it and they referred me to Commission Junction, which is the service they’ve contracted with to handle the program. In other words, they gave me the brush-off. I emailed them right back and basically said look, you hired these people to handle the program and what they do reflects back on you, good or bad. So one of the Audible reps emailed me again and said she had contacted CJ to see what they could do. CJ said I could call them on the phone and they could sign me up that way. So I got signed up for the program. Then a few days later, I saw that Audible had denied my application. Yesterday I emailed them again to ask why. I emailed that same rep that helped me before. She asked for my account number and the URL of my site and she would look into it. I sent her that information today so I’m waiting to see what will happen. I haven’t actually signed up with Amazon yet, I’ve just had too many things going on.

I’m still thinking about running a blog over at WordPress, maybe a mirror of my book reviews. I really like what I’ve seen there. Oh, I almost forgot. I think I mentioned earlier how their widgets could only be added by clicking and dragging with the mouse. Well, I emailed them about that and the rep told me about a setting I could change to turn on the accessibility options. She said that would give the widgets an add/edit button just like the ones here at Blogger. Immediately after that, the rep sent me a second email saying that she wasn’t sure if my screen reader would get me to the accessibility options, so she had gone ahead and turned it on for me. How’s that for customer service? Anyway, WordPress has the built-in stats, good widgets, and it looks like you can set it up to automatically put an entry on your Facebook wall every time you post something. That sounds pretty awesome. Once I get things squared away here, I may give that a try.

Okay, I think that’s everything I wanted to mention. See you next time.

Hebrews 12:28-29 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."


  1. I like cute kitten of the day! Not sure Pastor Mike would. lol

    I have Scripture of the Day, Short Story of the day, and my newly added Lighthouse Pics of the day.

    Since my background is of the Lighthouse, and I have lots of poems on the sea and the Lighthouse, it seemed appropriate.

    I get bored with the looks and stuff but would never change it all now, I have too many people who love me. lol

    Glad you're finding blogging challenging! :*

  2. The link Reviews from the Deep is DEAD. Maybe put an Audio Book Heaven link in its place???

    Come on now, get those people viewing! :*