Interfacing To Me And My Blog

For those who are not very experienced at blogging and communicating with bloggers, here are some notes on how you can interface with Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef. You can go directly to the appropriate section below by clicking on:
commenting, social bookmarking, linking, emailing or blogrolling.

At the bottom of each posting is a cream-coloured footer box that looks like this:

To make a comment about the article, click on "[x] comments - post yours here" (if this says "0 comments", you will be the first to respond).

You will see any existing comments and, on the right, a box like one of those below. First, choose an identity. If you are a Blogger user who has already logged on with a Google Account name, you will see your own name as in the picture on the left. Your name, link and photo (if you chose to publish it when you set up your site) will appear on your comment. If you are not a Blogger user, or have not yet logged on to your Google Account, you will see the box as in the right-hand picture. You may be asked to retype a character string to verify that you are a live commenter and not a "robot".

Select your identity - either your Blogger id, or a name (real or adopted), or "anonymous". This is what will show on the comment you make. No other form of id is transferred, so readers cannot see your email address, IP address or anything else. If you are logged onto Blogger and use your Google Account name, however, readers will be able to click on your profile and read whatever details you have enabled for public view. Normally this also means that readers will be able to link to your blog via your comment on my blog.

Now type your comment in the large box. If you are responding to an earlier comment it's a good idea to start by identifying the author, as for example: "Andrew - I don't really agree with you.... etc." Some people like to copy the opening words of a previous comment and insert them in italics and some software provides an option for doing this.

To highlight something you write, you can use italics or bold or both. Bracket the words to be highlighted, using these "tags":

<b>this will be in bold</b> <i>this will be in italics</i>

You can't use left and right brackets (<, >) in your text, as these will be processed (rendered) as html code. This makes it difficult to post a comment in which you include a piece of html code. So type the literal html code instead. Left bracket is &#60 and right bracket is &#62.

When you've finished your comment, click on "Preview" to check the layout and then click on "Publish" to transmit it. It will appear in a few seconds on my blog. If by any chance you publish a comment that you later regret and wish to remove, you should be able to remove it by clicking on the little dustbin symbol. If you can't see this or are unable to remove a comment for any other reason, email me and I'll remove it for you.

The row of icons in the post footer box provide links to social bookmarking sites the names of which will appear if you hold your cursor over the symbol. For those unfamiliar with social bookmarking, you can find a good introductory explanation here. You will need to be logged into your bookmarking account in order to use this functionality, although they all allow you to log in or create a new account after clicking on the icon.

If you are a Blogger user and you see something that you'd like to be able to show readers of your own blog without having to divert them to mine, you can do this by linking to a posting. At the bottom of each article is a cream-coloured footer box:

containing the item "Links to this post". Click on this and you will see the following. If there are existing links to the post, they will be listed.

Now click on "Create a link" to see this popup. Make sure that you are logged into your own blog or website and hit "publish" to establish a link.

Once published, the link will appear in a posting on your blog. Now you can write text around it, such as "I saw this article on the blog of a trainee chef in London the other day...." Your readers will be able to link through easily to my article and return back to what they were reading on your site.

There's an email address on my home page. Click on the address and your default email application will be launched, with my address inserted into a new message. If by any chance this doesn't work, open your email, right click on my email address and paste it into your new message. Don't forget to remove the "mailto:" prefix.

To create a permanent link to my blog on yours, enter a link in your sidebar.

If you are using a traditional html template, copy and save this. Firstly open an application such as MS Word or Notepad in which you can store the template code. Now open your template, put your cursor somewhere in the code, right click, "select all", "edit copy". Select your application and "edit paste" followed by a "save". Choose a sensible name for the file such as "mytemplateddmmyy" where dd mm yy is the date. Keeping the last few of these means you will be able to reverse the process later if necessary, unwinding changes until things work again.

You may be using a blogrolling package, in which case enter details of this blog into the host application. Alternatively, if you are using a blog with sidebar widgets, open an appropriate widget and save the code (as above) before you make changes.

Look in your sidebar or widget code for a suitable section header (or create your own), something like:

<h2 class="sidebar-title">Food blogs I like</h2>

Here is some code that will create a picture of my blog that will link to me when anyone clicks on it:

<a href=""><img style="float: left;" src="" alt="Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef" title="Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef" border="0" /></a>

Here is alternative code for a simple text link:

<a href="">Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef</a>