AirToob Lightning

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Using the “Photoblog” facility on someone's blog

It's actually Step 2 that's the important one, and it's often missed out.

What kind of happiness are we talking about?

The assumption here is that you want to feature a particular post by someone on your own blog.

If you include Step 2 then anyone visiting your own post will be able to click on the image(s) or the link and will be taken directly to the original post. This will make the visitor happy (if they're like me) and might also make the blogger that you're featuring happy too.

If you don't include Step 2, then your visitor will be taken to the whole page that contains - or used to contain - the post that you featured. If some time has passed since you featured that post, then the visitor may well end up on the wrong page, and have to spend some time finding the original post.

Including Step 2 might also make the “Photoblog” tool happy too, since it will have to work much less hard to find the image(s) that you're interested in.

BTW: this also works if you're featuring a post on a non-Categorian blog. If you don't see a date/time, try clicking the title of that post to get a permalink for Step 2.

Apologies if you knew all this already!


If you found this useful...

[Go here or click the image for some more Categorian help]


We're you friends... we're your friends... we're your friends to the bitter end...

If you have been here before then you'll know that my pages owe a lot to other Categorians (most of whom are friends and ex-Stumblers).

If you want to see examples of this (and maybe make some new friends) then click the image above, or go here, or click the first Cat icon in my banner. You'll see a selection of my posts that link to other Categorians from whom I have gratefully snaffled stuff.

If you like a post and want to see any other stuff that I might have acquired from the same person, then click that person's tag at the top of that post.

Another way to find people (and web pages) that you might like is to mark topics in the Categorian Library that interest you as "favourites", and then see who is reviewing which pages for those topics. You'll find an explanation of how to do this here.

Anyway... have fun!


One of the pleasures of Categorian (and StumbleUpon as it used to be) is being introduced to a new blogger that you like, especially if it's a personal recommendation from someone whose blog you already know and like.

One way to point your visitors at another Categorian blog is simply to mention the other person's username. However, unless you hyperlinked that name to the other person's blog, actually going to visit the other blog took a little bit of work... until now.

Matt has made it easy to mention someone's username AND hyperlink it to that person's blog. Just put the username in two curly brackets, like this:



and the name will appear hyperlinked like this:

Thank you, {{msiegel}}


(If those two lines look the same, click the date/time at the top of this post... and see the first red item below.)

How easy can it get?


[ Note: this facility doesn't work at present if the blog entry is called up via a tag search... watch this space for notice of a fix ]
[ Also, Matt says that a hyperlink won't be created if there is at least one space inside the curly brackets ]
[ ... and it's probably best to use this facility with names that don't have any punctuation, for now... ]




A special word of thanks to Matt, who has just produced another real goodie for Categorians:

Sometimes you come across a web page that you want to bookmark, and maybe add tag(s) to draw it to the attention of other users via the Library, but you don't want to write an actual review (or at least, not yet).

Previously, if you frequently used "Blog it" to do this, you ended up with a whole lot of blog headers on your pages, which can clutter up your blog if you use images a lot.

Now, Matt has added a couple of options with tick-boxes at the end of your Setup page:

   "Hide reviews with no contents from visitors"

   "Hide reviews with no contents from *myself*"


If you tick one or both of these then you will hide the "empty" reviews from others and/or from yourself. This is a little like "Thumbs Up" on SU without writing a review - except that nobody is counting this kind of "thumbs up".

If you want to go back later and add text to an "empty" review, then of course you need to uncheck the second option! And then you can (as you probably know) move the newly-filled-in review to a new place in your blog by using the "bump" or arrow facilities in the blog header.

If you want to check what your blog looks like to visitors, you can always click "my url" at the top right of your screen.

Note...

Even if you select the "hide reviews" options, the "empty" reviews will still be visible in a tag search if the "empty" review has a matching tag. Having experimented for a while, I have concluded that that's a good thing.

(A tag search happens if someone goes to your tag collection - top left of your pages - and clicks a tag name, or if someone clicks a tag at the top of any of your posts.)

Another note...

One example of a web page that you might want to bookmark for later review is an individual post on Categorian that you happen to like. Not everyone is aware that if you click the date/time at the beginning of a post, you get a "permalink" to that post which makes it a web page in its own right. (The same thing is possible for posts on other blog sites, whether it's a date/time or a post's title that you click.)


Please give the man a bouquet!


Some useful stuff on HTML, web/HTML editors and web site building here.

Thanks (again) to karenak, who kindly told me about TagBlaster, an online utility which allows you to post HTML examples without them being translated.


Do you want your reviews to be noticed by other users?

Do you want to find other users who share the same interests as you?

Do you want to be notified of new site reviews for topics that you like?


It turns out that the Categorian Library [links only work here if you are logged in!] is your key to all these things.

As a Categorian newbie, it has taken me a while to appreciate the Library's ins and outs - not knowing this stuff meant that I was missing out on quite a few things.

I have come up with a few Q&A's - I hope that you find them useful.

Q1. What are categories?
A. Categories are topics identified by carefully-chosen names that will often (but not always) correspond to tag names.

A particular topic (Fashion, say) may belong to more than one higher-level topic (Design, Culture, Photography...) and may include several lower-level topics (Furs, Hats, Jewellery...). In this way, topics are effectively grouped into categories.

The current top-level topics will be found in the Library's Main Categories page.

Q2. Who carefully chose all those topics and categories?
A. Matt did, in the first instance, but others can too (see Q13 below).

Q3. What's the point of categories?
A. They help you to find sites (and people who like those sites) whose review tags "match" a topic that you are interested in. You can mark topics as 'favorites', and then you can easily keep track of new sites appearing for those topics. (See Q10 and Q11.)

Q4. What are the rules for naming topics?
A. By convention, a topic name is one or more words (preferably separated by spaces) each word having an initial capital letter (e.g. "Fantasy Art").

Q5. How does a site get entered in the Library, so that people can find it?
A. Whenever someone reviews a site and uses tags that "match" one or more topic names, the site appears in the Library automatically, along with the username of that person.

You can see all the latest additions to the Library if you go to (not surprisingly!) recent additions, or just click Library at the top of your page.

If you mark a topic as a 'favorite' (see Q10) then you can see all the latest additions to the library for that topic.

Q6. What does "match" mean, exactly?
A. A tag name "matches" a topic name if it is spelt exactly the same way, including any punctuation. However, upper and lower case don't matter (tags are always converted to lower case, anyway).

Q7. What does this mean for choosing tag name(s) for a review?
A. Simple: pick a tag name that "matches" an existing topic name, if you want your reviewed site and username to be noticed in the Library!

You can find existing topic names from the Library's Main Categories or Full Index pages, or use the Find Category box on the home Library page.

New topic names are created in the Library as described for Q13.

If you want your site to appear under different topics (perhaps at different levels in the topic hierarchy) then you need several tags, i.e. one that "matches" each topic.

If you DON'T want your review to end up in the Libary, prefix your tag name with * (e.g. *birthday). This kind of tag will be purely local to your own pages.

Q8. I added a tag to one of my posts that matched an existing topic name, but it didn't appear in the Library - why?

A. If you add many web pages to the Library in a single day, then you will only see the latest two for that day appearing as recent additions. However the others are in the Library, as you will see if you click any topic name associated with your posts.

Alternatively...

A. If your post was created using Post to Blog, then (so far) it's just a post in your blog as far as Categorian is concerned. Your tag will work inside your blog but your post isn't a web page (yet).

If you want your post to appear as a web page in the Library, click the date/time at the top of the post (which acts as a permalink). You now have your post in front of you as a web page in its own right, and the URL in your browser's address bar will always find this particular post.

Now go ahead and use "Blog it". Give your new post (which need contain no text) a tag (or tags) that matches a topic in the Library, and that's it! Your post is in the Library under that topic.

  • By the way...

  • If you're reviewing someone else's post, you should always do what you just did to get a permalink, BEFORE using "Blog it".

  • In that way, your review will always point to the post that you're reviewing, not to the page that it happened to be on at the time!


Q9. OK, that worked, but now I have an extra post (with no contents except a tag) in my blog which I don't really want. What can I do about that?

A. No problem, just delete it. This does NOT delete the entry in the Library (at least, not the way Categorian currently works). Alternatively, you can take advantage of the facility to "hide" your posts that don't contain any content, as described here.

Q10. How do I mark a topic as a 'favorite'?
A. There are a couple of easy ways. One is to start with a tag (landscape, in this example) for that topic on a post you're looking at. Click the tag to see other posts by that person with that tag, then click the option to search the Library for that tag (topic).

When you get taken to the Library (see example screenshot below), which might take some time for a popular topic, you will see all the pages in the Library for that topic, and the usernames of the people whose reviews put them there.

Now click add as favorite. (Why would you want to? See the next question!)

Alternatively, when you're anywhere in the Library, click that topic name and you'll end up at a place like the same screenshot below.



Q11. What's the point of marking topics as 'favorites'?
A. If you click categories (top left of your own pages) you will see each of your 'favorite' topics, together with recently-reviewed sites whose review tags "match" that topic (but currently no usernames).

When you click categories, you will be looking at something like this:


You can visit one of the listed sites, or click the topic name and you will see all the information that the Library has on that topic (all the sites for that topic, and all the usernames for the corresponding reviews).

Q12. I can see from the Library that someone reviewed a site. Can I easily find their actual review?
A. Not too easily at present, but it's not difficult. The easiest way is probably to click the username associated with that site to visit that user, then visit that user's tags (top left of their pages), then click the tag name that corresponds to the topic you are interested in. This may well find the review quite quickly (try it!).

Q13. Can I create a new topic in the Library, and if so, how?
A. Originally anyone could create a new topic in the Library, but during recent changes to the Library this ability has had to be suspended (*). It is still worth knowing the steps to do it:

First of all, study the existing categories to see where your new topic fits (and make sure it isn't there already using the Find Category box on the home Library page).

Give your new topic a meaningful name with proper conventions (e.g. "Fantasy Art"), as described above. You can add your new topic name either at the top of the Libary's Full Index page, or you will be given an option to add it if you search for it and the Library finds that it isn't there.

Tell the Library what higher-level topic (or topics) your new topic belongs to. Also tell the Library about any sub-topics of this topic that you know about right now (but you can add these later). That's it... and Shazam! - as soon as you enter the new topic, all your reviews (and everyone else's!) that have tags that "match" that topic will magically appear as new entries in the Library.

Note that there is currently no "undo" facility - this is one time when spelling really, really matters! New topics are regularly checked by the Librarian (Matt) and corrected if necessary - but let's not give him unnecessary work, eh?

Q14. I have imported many blog entries from StumbleUpon whose tag names don't quite match existing topics in the Library. What do I do about this?
A. Suppose that a topic "Computer Science" exists in the Library, but you have many reviews that already have a tag "computer-science", which won't "match" the topic (because of the hyphen). Suppose also that you have too many reviews with this tag to change the tag names on them all.

One approach to the problem is to create a new topic "Computer-Science", as described above (note the initial capital letters). Then tell the Library that this new topic is part of the existing topic "Computer Science".

Eventually, a more automatic way of adjusting tag names may be provided.

*Note*
As of 31 December 2011, Matt is making some changes to the Library, so some of the above may be wrong - hopefully temporarily. The main change visible to the user at present is that he/she will not be able to create new topics.

_____

A comment for interested tekkies:

IMO, the Categorian Library is an excellent application of the KISS principle, which makes Categorian reliable and fast for us, and easier to maintain for Matt!

As an example, at first I expected that tagging a review with a particular topic would result in its automatic entry in the Library under all of that topic's sub-topics. Thankfully this doesn't happen - because any glitches in the relationships between topics (giving rise to circular relationships, which do exist in the Library, e.g. "Fantasy Art" currently being a subtopic of itself) would lock up the Library, and checking for them would slow things down and complicate the code.

Please give the man a cigar (or a kiss) - and a donation would be great too!