A Year Of Randomness (And Awesomeness)

I just got a notification from WordPress that I’ve been on here for a year now. Nice!

But I’m sure most of you agree, it wouldn’t be nearly as fun if we didn’t have such a great community of fellow bloggers. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading so many of your various posts – very entertaining.

So cheers to you, my fellow blogger friends, thanks for making my year a ton of fun and well worth it. I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it!

Oh – I love the caption they gave me too – “Keep up the good blogging!” I seriously doubt anyone at WordPress.com even knows my blog exists much less thinks my blog is any “good,” but hey, they gotta say something encouraging!

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Make It Easy To Find Your Blog

There is something you can do in just a few minutes to make it easy for other people to find your blog.  I’m talking about updating your public gravatar profile!  When you hover over someone’s gravatar profile picture on various blogs (instead of immediately clicking on the picture), a gravatar profile snapshot usually pops up.  It might look somewhat similar to mine pictured here.

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If someone clicks on your gravatar profile picture or the link titled “View Complete Profile,” they will be taken to your public gravatar profile.  Therein lies the problem for some of you.  Your public gravatar profile doesn’t include any links to your actual blog.  The end result is that someone may close your public gravatar profile page without actually going to your blog.  So I thought I’d describe to you the solution in the hopes it helps someone else out too!

Again, one more time, the problem is pretty straightforward, when someone views your public gravatar profile, they get to see by default your name, your photo and perhaps a bit of textual information you have provided about yourself.  However, there’s no way for them to connect to your blog from this page.  Fortunately, the fix is simple, you’re going to take a few minutes to enhance your public gravatar profile page.

Enhance your public gravatar profile page

In the upper right-hand corner, click on My Account and then click on Edit My Profile (as shown below, if any of the pictures are a touch fuzzy, you can click to zoom in on them).

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Next, click on Verified Services on the left-hand navigation menu (as shown below).  Use the dropdown box and the Add… button to add in services that you want to show up in your public gravatar profile page.

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Once you are through with adding various verified services, click on My Links just underneath Verified Services.  Here you can add additional URLs to various other web sites you want displayed when people view your public gravatar profile page.  I won’t go into explaining what a verified service is versus a link, but it is pretty straightforward once you play around with it.

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Once you’re done, your profile page will be enhanced with links that your visitors can click on to view the services and web sites you want them to check out!  For instance, if you look at mine, I have links available to a couple of things.

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So hopefully this was helpful for those of you that needed to do this, but weren’t sure why or how.  If so, like the post or let me know somehow.  Even if you knew all this, but like the idea of the blogger community sharing tidbits of information along the way to help others out, like it as well.  I’ll get a sense as to whether or not sharing little nuggets like this are helpful.

Let me know if  you have any questions.

Incorporate blog roll

Let’s say you have a WordPress blog at another domain and you want to show it on another domain.

Well, you’re better off using a more standard way of incorporating a WordPress blog into your website (just google around), but if you need to do something more custom, here’s a possibility.

Here’s some pseudo code for a .Net application – you get the idea.  One thing to keep in mind is that XMLDocument is not serializable, so if you want to save it in a session state or do something else, you will need to work around it.

            Dim xmlReader As XmlReader = xmlReader.Create("your website blog url goes here/feed/rss")
            Dim xmlDocument As XmlDocument = New XmlDocument
            xmlDocument.Load(xmlReader)
            Dim xmlNameSpaceManager As XmlNamespaceManager = New XmlNamespaceManager(xmlDocument.NameTable)
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("content", "http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/content/")
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("wfw", "http://wellformedweb.org/CommentAPI/")
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("dc", "http://purl.org/dc/elements/1.1/")
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("atom", "http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom")
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("sy", "http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/syndication/")
            xmlNameSpaceManager.AddNamespace("slash", "http://purl.org/rss/1.0/modules/slash/")
            Dim items As XmlNodeList = xmlDocument.SelectNodes("/rss/channel/item")
            For Each item As XmlNode In items
                Dim bloglink As String = item("link").InnerText
                Dim blogTitle As String = item("title").InnerText
                Dim pubDate As String = item("pubDate").InnerText
                Dim blogAuthor As String = item("dc:creator").InnerText
            Next