Open Mic on BWAB

The The 4-Hour Workweek( book) and the four day work week are both popular ideas. Based on the concept of “four”, I’ll be experimenting with the “Four Day Open Mic”.

The concept for the “Four Day Open Mic” (proposed) series is this: For the next four days the comment section (of this post) will be open to any questions, comments, and/or concerns any of you have about blogging. I’ll drop in to answer comments and if anyone can help another blogger with a problem they’re facing, feel free to join in.

Like many of you, I am dealing with a lack of time. Other than work and life, I’ll spend the next four days reading the rest of Liz’s book, emailing other experts for my A.S.K. series, answering emails, visiting other blogs, and working behind the scenes.

To recap this week:

1) Liz Strauss was the first participant in the A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series. She shared her answer on How To Format A Blog Post To Maximize Comments

2) Ari’s Our Best Version was introduced on New Blog Of The Week (NBOTW)

3) On Wednesday we discussed how to build a community in our blogs. The comment section is filled with brilliant ideas for anyone who missed it.

To start off this week’s Open Mic, I have two questions.

1) Has anyone ever “seeded” their comment section. Seeding is the process of writing a comment yourself (using a different name) as a way to encourage others to join in.

2) I’ve been trying to add a comment feed to this blog. I burnt a feed on Feedburner, got the feed address, but when I add the feed “code” to my sidebar, I can’t get it to work. Any ideas what I’m doing wrong? (I’ve experimented with it on my OM blog).

You know the rules.

Have Fun!

Keep it Clean!

And don’t forget to check the “subscribe to comments on this post” box so you can follow along.


Photo Credit: El Conde!’s photostream

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Look Who's Talking
  1. Alex FayleNo Gravatar says:

    I’d like to hear about pitfalls and lessons learned from people who have sold information products via their blog. I’m just about to do that myself and would love to know what to has worked well and what to avoid.

    Cheers,
    Alex

  2. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I have never ‘seeded’ a comment. This is as good as cheating. And this sounds crazy as well. Readers are intelligent enough to sense when we are fooling with them. Makes more sense to go out and comment on other blogs.

  3. Scott McIntyreNo Gravatar says:

    In my opinion, Barbara, I would lose all respect for a blogger who made up comments on their blog. It would be like discovering one of the guests at a party was a paid actor.

    That said, I’m sure ‘seeding comments’ goes on and I’d be none the wiser…

  4. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Alex,

    I can’t be of any help to you, but hopefully someone here can. What kind of information products are you thinking of selling?

    Hi Avani,

    I read about this long time ago when I was just getting into blogging. People would write a controversial post, and to create a heated discussion, they would start the comments off by posting a comment with the opposite point of view. Whether it worked or not, I don’t know, but I thought it was a waste of time.

    Hi Scott,

    I’ve been on blogs where I’ve wondered if a comment was real or not, as it sounded a lot like the author’s words. Of course it said what a great, thought provoking, well written post it was. :)

  5. Alex FayleNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara
    I’m going to be selling an email-based workshop. I know you don’t sell info-products from this site; I was thinking of other people who visit here – what experiences they’ve had.

    re: Seeding – I’ve never seeded my blog, but if I had something like a discussion forum, I’d get friends and colleagues to seed it for me so that new members would feel that they were getting value right from the start. I’d also post questions prompting people to engage in conversation.

    Another question occurred to me – with the comments that are “Great post!” how do you decide if they are spam or not? If they lead to what looks like a legitimate blog, do you leave them in or do you delete them for lack of value added to the conversation? Some people might not know what to say but want to be supportive and deleting them might mean discouraging further participation from them. Leaving them in however might clutter up the blog, or could very well be spam…

  6. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I can’t help, because I tried to do the same thing as you and mine wouldn’t work either.

    Re: Comment seeding. Before I had any commenters – I asked a couple of friends to comment to see if it would persuade anyone else – but nobody else seemed to be there. I have heard of others doing it and it can help to encourage folk to join the conversation.

    I don’t see it as cheating though – it’s not as though anyone is actually being cheated out of anything. And as Alex said – I would definitely do it if I had a forum. It’s a must really isn’t it? Who would ask a question on an empty forum – there wouldn’t be a lot of point. Mind you – I did have a small forum on my first site and I didn’t do it there – but I already had a lot of visitors before I set the forum up. It was easier to get them then.

    @Alex – unless it is someone who visits regularly – I usually treat “Great Post” as spam. Mind you – I used to think “great post” was what you were supposed to say, when I first began visiting blogs – so I guess I was spamming without knowing.

    @Alex – I have sold info products on a website before but not often directly in a blog post, aside from when I was starting out. I’ve sold other people’s and even one of my own – but that was a long time ago.

    Is it your own product you’re thinking of selling or someone else’s? I would feel more comfortable mentioning my own book in a blog post. And I did notice that Liz Strauss asked advice from her readers, before launching her book, which was a great way to remind them about it.

    If it’s your own – consider ebay too – it’s a good way to attract new visitors to your blog.

  7. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Alex,

    Getting a discussion going does help new arrivals feel more comfortable if they see other comments. Asking questions is a great way to open up a discussion.

    When I get comments I THINK might be spam, I click through to their website. Some sites are kind of spammy, but if they leave more than “great post”, I might leave them up. I haven’t had very many of the “great post” ones, but if their site looks legitimate, I would approve them. Now, if they started spamming me, I would turn them into spam in a heartbeat.

    Just yesterday I got about four comments from the same site. I checked it and the front page looked pretty good, but at the bottom was a link to a second page, which turned out to be a audio sales pitch. I “spammed” those.

    Hi Catherine,

    Your comment feed doesn’t work? It must be on your end as I’m subscribed to it.

    Remember when we helped Ian out with his business blog by leaving comments. It sure got his blog going. He recently said that because of his blog, they’re getting tons of new business. It’s showing their transparency.

  8. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again Alex,

    I’m also starting to get comments from sites that are using “keywords” as their name. I’m letting some go through, but am keeping a close eye on them. Again, I am checking their sites.

  9. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Good heavens Barbara – you are giving me ideas. Making up comments?

    As for the keyword names in the discussion above – I think new bloggers don’t realise that some people don’t like it. I called myself a keyword name for a little while when I started, because to me it was just making up a name, like you do on forums.

    Robin’s last blog post..Reincarnation… A Scenario

  10. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    I don’t like the idea of seeding comments. To me it seems somewhat less than ethical. On the other hand, asking friends and colleagues to comment is perfectly OK with me. It isn’t the same thing as seeding it yourself.

    One thing I’m doing on a regular basis is to check the comments that have been automatically labeled as SPAM by Askimet and email that has been directed to the spam folder by gmail. I’m doing this after my comments on Cath Lawson’s blog had been identified as SPAM. Right now, it’s not a burden as I only have a small group of regular commenters and don’t get an overload of SPAM.

  11. Barbara, I don’t know what you mean by people using keywords in their names. How would I know to watch for this?

    Also regarding seeding, that never even entered my mind that people would do that. Honestly sometimes I think I’m the most gullible blogger out here! Someone should write an e-book called Twenty-five Top Stupid Things That New Bloggers Fall For. I bet I’ve hit every one…Make it 50 and I’ve still done it. :)

    Wendi Kelly- Life’s Little Inspirations’s last blog post..Sandcastle Promises

  12. Hello Barbara. I never seeded my blog but gave it big consideration for my forum. Like Cath said, who would ever post in a new forum? But I ended up doing like another person said and I had a few friends post in there and I also asked a few people from forums I’m currently on to help jump start mine and participate.

    As far as adding the subscribe to comments in your sidebar, you could try this. If you have a working link then try creating a Text widget and reference the link. So it might be something like this:

    Add Text Widget

    In the text box, create a link:
    a href=”http://my-feed-address” rel=”nofollow”>Subscribe To Comments /a

    I omitted the tags around the a so you could see the code. Be sure to structure it properly.

    Does that work?

    @ Alex – I don’t get many great posts comments, however, if something looks fishy like that I’ll link over to their website and evaluate from there. Do they link to a blog like this one or do they link to a sales website? Then I’ll decide.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  13. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    I seeded my own comments on a couple of posts. Way…way..back.

    Deliberately, as funny satire. No deception intended.

    It was so off-the-wall (with really stupid commenter names,and really stupid comments). I assumed readers would know I was doing this on purpose.

    Heh. Nobody really read it anyway. It either was just not funny, or I wasn’t known back then. (That was when I started blogging, and I was lucky to have 5 views per day!)

    Don’t understand why anyone would seed for “real”, though Why do they have to use a fictitious name (and not make the comments themselves?).

  14. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    Seeding has it’s place I think, on blogs? Doubtful. I used seeding on a work website because it often triggers other people’s ideas or helps them get over their fear. Sometimes people don’t want to be the first post. Usually the only thing that I seed though are On-line Question/answer sessions. And it usually only takes one. Something from the FAQ and then answer it. That lets people know that it’s ok to ask questions, or again, gets over some of their fear of posting.

    What’s the URL to the comment RSS and the Burnt feed? And code you’re trying to post on the site?

    @Alex Fayle: Great Post! hmm… I’ve found that most people who leave legitimate comments don’t just say something like that. So when I see it, I moderate it, I check the site they link too, I check if they’ve posted in the past. Though usually I’ll leave it unless it’s linked to a spam site, or if that’s ALL they ever post.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  15. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I don’t have any questions this time. So, I’ll sit back and watch the conversation. Something might trigger one for me. Hi everybody … I’m listening… :-)

    As for seeding comments I had never heard of that before. I’m surprised to hear myself say that I don’t think it is completely awful. When I compare the amount of traffic I get with the number of commenters there actually are, I wonder what would attract more commenters.

    I don’t think people would be ripped off really. Blogging is heavy on entertainment and conversation, and this would only be adding to it and creating ideas. I feel that I would be ripping myself off in a way. If I attracted more comments based on a seed, I might have to keep up those types of seeds to keep the same commenters coming back. More work. I’d rather be spending time visiting other blogs.

    Davina’s last blog post..My Turn To Be Seen

  16. MayaNo Gravatar says:

    Even though I have read quite a bit on community building, social networking and so forth, I’m wondering if I’m missing something. My question being: How do you most effectively search for other blogs within your field or niche? I am looking for people/blogs that love the sea (!) I use technorati and google blog search and other sites, but get not much results with my keywords, the coastal living magazine forum shows little activity. Is there a better way? Thanks for this opportunity.

  17. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    I do not seed comments due to it not being ethical from my point of view. I have had readers who have decided to give me a hard time which makes if fun for me. I would rather have the
    visitor create their own dissent than have it come from me.

    I do have a question. When trying to put a small table into wordpress post, I cannot get indents or spaces to stay either in visual or html. does anyone have an idea on how to keep my indents (tabs) or lists?

  18. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    Whoa! I just spent like twenty minutes reading all the comments.

    Do you use widgest for feedburner comments Barbara? I got a bigger RSS button and used a widget for my sidebar and it worked fine.

    I’m neither kind of here and there about seeding. I can see Friar’s point of view – that would be funny. But it also could also be unethical in regards to selling products. I’ve seen that go on before. I pay attention to reviews, especially on Amazon. What if someone was trying to sell me a bogus product? Before I bought my digital Canon I came across a few bogus camera sites all offering supposedly good deals. Beware of deals everyone! They are never as good as they seem.

    @Maya – You might want to start checking coastal area bloggers. Or fishing blogs. Boating. That type of thing.

    @Linda – I have that same problem. It only works for a quote for me.

  19. @ Maya – you can search for your niche by using the + command in the search engine box.

    For example type, +sea +blog
    This should return blogs that have something to do with the word “sea.” You could also use this to search for niche forums:

    +sea +forum

    If anyone’s interested, I have a post in my forum where I detail a few search engine commands you can use to find what you want (I hope the link is ok, Barbara).

    @ Linda – Here’s what you can do to create indents and extra space between words. Go to the HTML editor and use the following code to create a single space:
     

    So if you want to create 3 white spaces and then say “Hello everyone,” you’d do it like this:

       Hello everyone.

    If you’re trying to create a list and they aren’t indented properly, you’d want to fix this in your stylesheet css file. Look for some kind of code that looks like this:
    #content ul li
    {
    list-style:none;
    background:url(images/bullet.gif) no-repeat left 3px ;
    margin:0;
    padding:0 20px;
    }

    the “padding” element is what you want to change. My list elements are tabbed over 20px.

    Let me know if any of this helps.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  20. I’ve been fortunate enough to have great commenters with no seeding. I don’t think I’d do it personally, but I wouldn’t mind if someone else did (barring reviews, as Ellen mentioned). After all, the community behind a blog is arguably its greatest asset. I can see why someone would want to kickstart the conversation.

    I’ll keep my wheels turning with any questions I can come up with…

  21. @ Linda – sorry, that code I tried to show you didn’t go through.

    Click here to view it.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  22. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    @Ellen

    I guess when trying to sell something, seeding would be no worse than those infomercials where someone is planted in the audience, and is competely amazed by the product.

    Kind of cheesy, though. Most people will see right through this.

  23. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,

    I can’t help on the second question, but I DO have a comment on the first. “SEEDING?” To me that reeks of desperation. If you want to post a “comment,” express your opinion at the end of the blog, and then ask others to “chime in” on the topic.

    I feel that this is a concept of deception – for any and all bloggers. I won’t apologize for that opinion to anyone. Though no real “rules” cover blogging, I would have no problem “outing” such a person as being manipulative – and not worth commenting on! Well, I might leave a comment under my own name with 2 little words: “GO AWAY!”

    Rita

  24. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    @Friar,

    Your comments are SO original, that I don’t have a problem with YOUR doing it. Your seeds, I imagine, would be instantly recognizable as such!

    Rita

  25. Ari KoinumaNo Gravatar says:

    @Maya,

    Did you do browse through http://blogcarnivals.com? That’s how I found my niche. I actually host a blog carnival myself, and that’s a good way to attract like-minded bloggers.

    To everyone else,

    My question is simple. Which “popular post” plugin for WordPress? I tried one of the popular ones, but it didn’t work on my site.

    ari

  26. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Maya: Finding new blogs about your subject of choice is always tricky.

    Searching Via google or technorati or even WordPress.com tags ( for example… http://wordpress.com/tag/ocean/ ) can produce a lot of results, but not always what your looking for. I would recommend doing these kind of searches, and if you find a couple good ones, you can check what they have on their blogroll (if they have one) or ask them if they know of any other blogs on the topic. Be sure to also visit the websites of people who comment on those sites. You’ll discover a lot of other people who enjoy the same subject as you and have a chance to see if they know of any other great blogs.

    Searching on the name of authors in publications on the subject you like may also result in the discovery of blogs they have on the subject as well.

    @Linda: A couple different ways to get the effects you want. One of the ways John Hoff mentions uses the HTML code for Non-breaking space. Web Browsers only respect single spaces. So no matter how many times you mash the space bar, the web browser will only show one. The Non-breaking space gets around that.

    The quick brown fox
          jumped over the lazy dog

    Becomes:

    The quick brown fox
          jumped over the lazy dog

    If you want more of a table of things like you see in a spreadsheet (think MS Excel) then you’ll want to create a table. w3schools.com has good examples and “try-it-yourself demos”

    Lists are a little eaiser, there are two types. Ordered (numbered) or Unordered (bulleted) lists. The HTML is the same for both with one small change you use ‘ol’ for ordered and ‘ul’ for unordered.

    Example code for ordered list:

    <ol>
    <li>List item one</li>
    <li>List item two</li>
    <li>List item three</li>
    </ol>

    displays:

    List item one
    List item two
    List item three

    No need to number things at all or worry about spaces. To change to a bulleted list just change the ‘ol’ to ‘ul’ in the <ol> and </ol> at the beginning and end of the code.

    All of these will require you to look at the HTML view of your post to add the code, otherwise you’ll see the code itself in the post.

  27. VeredNo Gravatar says:

    I should have thought of seeding comments when I just started out – I was endlessly fretting about lack of comments.

    Like Cath, when I started out, I asked real-life friends to make comments. Most of them ignored – still ignore – my blog, which made me sad at first but not so much anymore, but a few were kind enough to start commenting and even spreading the word and getting their friends to comment.

    Some of them still visit MomGrind and comment, although not as much as before. One of them recently asked me if it is OK if she stopped visiting my blog now, because I have so many comments anyway. I don’t know if I should be flattered or insulted. :)

  28. @ Linda – here’s probably an easier way to indent. Go to the HTML editor and start your line with this:

    p style=”margin-left: 20px”>This will indent your line. /p

    Make sure to use the brackets for the “p”. I had to omit them so this code would show.

    @ hyrcan – how in the heck do you get code to show in the comment section here? I can’t for the life of me figure it out. I thought it was the “code /code” tags, but it’s not working for me.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  29. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @hyrcan:

    “List item one
    List item two
    List item three”

    Rats! Foiled again!

    @Linda: Welp, that didn’t work… looks like we’re not trusted with making lists. ;) It’s ok though, we’ll once again turn to our friends at w3schools.com and let them show you how an ordered lists work.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  30. I’m never tried to see my comments. My hope is that my writing will be stirring enough that people want to comment. Of course this doesn’t always work, so it helps to have a question for the readers. It compels them to add to the conversation.

  31. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    nope don’t seed, don’t plant, just water the post to make the comments grow.

    okay i don’t know what a comment feed is. i better go read the comments. have a good one Barbara. relax.

    Natural’s last blog post..Is Your Subscriber Count Showing?

  32. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Vered: Lots of people aren’t blog readers, they just hold nothing for them. Not because of the content, but it’s just not their thing. Having friends willing to get past that to do you a favor and give feed back on a regular basis on a blog is something to feel good about. :)

    @John Hoff: Ooh.. that’s an even better way to indent paragraphs! With CSS. I would though click over to Design and then Edit CSS in a WordPress blog and add the following:


    .indent {
    margin-left: 20px;
    }

    Then where ever you wanted to indent add:


    <p class="indent">This is an indented paragraph...</p>

    This would allow you to keep all your indents the same in case you ever decide to change how far to indent. Any where you added the class it would automagicly change for you.

    As for the code, in order to display HTML code verses rendering it you’ll need to escape it by using the HTML character codes.

    &nbsp; is a space.
    &lt; is a <
    &gt; is a >

    Some I do by hand, if it’s a lot of code it’s annoying so I cheat and use a encoder. Lot’s out on the web like this one

    I also put it in <code></code> tags, this will pre-format it a use fixed-width font. Which sets it apart from the normal text.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  33. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I just wanted to say you have the most awesome blog I’ve ever seen. It’s so helpful. In fact, you’re the only blog I read. I think the rest of blogosphere should just shut down and only have your wonderful writings.

    Great job! You’re fabulous!

    Ooooooop! I think I just got busted, I forgot to change my sign in name and avatar. :lol: HeeHee!

    Hi all,

    I’m just having a little fun as I take a short break from my paying job. I see there’s a few questions here, and some of you are being very kind helping others. That makes my heart sing.

    I’ll be back later to chime in.

    I hope you’re all having a great day and fun plans for the upcoming weekend.

  34. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again,

    For those of you helping, some of the comments are landing in my spam folder because of the links. I’m checking it often and fishing them out. Please be patient! :)

  35. Debbie YostNo Gravatar says:

    Before today I’d never even heard of seeding. It seems kind of silly to me, but, hey, it’s your blog, do what you want, I guess.

    I have a question on social networks, how much success have others had in using the social network to get people to their blogs? I tried it for a while with Twitter and Cafe mom and it’s fizzled out. I did get some people coming over, but I guess I just got bored with it and frankly, I’ve forgotten about them somewhat. I know commenting was the big topic yesterday to improve readership.

    Also, on the “great post” comments. I get them some, but they’re usually from people who comment a lot so I let them go. I’ve only deleted things that are obviously spam.

    Debbie Yost’s last blog post..Highchair Angsts

  36. @ hyrcan – that’s a good idea for the css. I hope we’re not confusing Maya, though LOL. I was using the code tags to display my html in the comment section here but it still wasn’t working. I’ll toy with it on my test blog.

    @ Barbara – Hope you get all caught up, I know the feeling. And I also hope you take some time to kick back and smell the roses! :) Nice seeding, by the way hehehe.

    @ Debbie – del.icio.us and stumble upon have given me a little traffic, but most of mine comes from google. I think those social networks take a lot of time to build but in the end, it’s other bloggers blogging about you and recommending you to their readers that will really give you a boost.

    It’s like marketing. Market not to the crowds, but to the ones with influence.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  37. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    @ Debbie – social networking can bring a lot of people to your blog. Trouble is, many social networkers will stay for seconds and never come back.

    I think the real deal with social networking is to build relationships with people as opposed to attracting tons of traffic.

  38. Community, Community, Community!

    Before you can sell anything on-line (such as an e-book and the like), you have to have an active and engaging “community.” Readers/visitors will only buy what you have to offer if they trust you and respect you.

    Once you do have an active community, reach out to a few of those members via e-mail and such to tell them about what you will be offering (your product). Ask for their feedback. Give them a sneak-peak. Ask for their feedback (I know, I said that already. But ask for it again damn it!). Give, to get! Basically, you want to sell your product before it goes live so that when it “does” go live, you already have a few evangelists to help with the promotional process. There’s nothing worse than going “live” and tanking…

    Just my two cents…

  39. Barbara -

    No, I’ve seeded comments before. I’ve seen others do it and although I wouldn’t say it’s wrong, it just doesn’t feel right. Not really sure how to explain what I think about it but I haven’t, and won’t, ever do it.

    As for those comments like “great post” – I usually check out their link and if it doesn’t look spammy, I allow it. If it does, I delete it. Although, since I installed the Bad Behavior plugin, I hardly have ANY kind of spam what-so-ever now. It works way better than Akismet for link spam and such.

    I don’t know the answer to the Feedburner question. Although, I *think* if you have the Feedburner plugin installed, there’s a way to add it there without much trouble. I’m not certain, though, but maybe . . . ??

    ~ Annie

    PS – CommentLuv doesn’t seem to be working for me the last few comments I’ve posted here and I make sure I check it. We’ll see if it works this time . . . lol

    Annie Anderson’s last blog post..It’s all about connecting

  40. OH yep! It worked this time. Of course, you know if I hadn’t mentioned it, it wouldn’t have. ;-) LOL

  41. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks all for your help and testing out everything. I can say that I will try what is here and see how it goes. Thank you again!

  42. 1) Has anyone ever “seeded” their comment section. Seeding is the process of writing a comment yourself (using a different name) as a way to encourage others to join in. – I am so naive in the ways of blogging *smile*. Nope, never occured to me. If I don’t spark conversation with my story, well, there you have it. Fortunately that hasn’t been a problem thus far.

    Urban Panther’s last blog post..He said he never…might…will get married

  43. “seeding” comments. That is hilarious!!!!

    Bamboo Forest’s last blog post..7 Reasons Finger Traps are Glorious

  44. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Robin,

    Do I have your imagination running overtime? I doubt you’d have to make up comments as you get a lively discussion going in your comment section.

    Hi Mike,

    Akismet does a good job with spam comments, but sometimes too good. I have to check mine regularly as real comments end up in there. When a lot of spam comments come in, it would be easy to miss one or two.

    Hi Wendi,

    Keywords in their names is like “MakeMoneyOnline” instead of Wendi. I’m not sure what advantage it has, other then the person doing it may think others will click on it. I currently have one waiting moderation and the name is “Horses for Sale”. They wrote a good comment, but the link goes to a ad site.

    You’re funny! An ebook.

    Hi John,

    I’ll try the text widget, although I don’t use widgets for the sidebars. I’m still not sure how to mix widgets with manual coded stuff, if that makes sense.

    Hi Friar,

    I’m guessing when comments aren’t coming in, a blogger might try seeding. I’m sure it works for some, but like you said, if you’re not getting the page views, it’s not likely it will work anyway.

    I have seen bloggers use their real name and leave the first comment due to the fact they forgot to mention something in their post. That actually might be a better way of letting others know they, too, can comment.

    Hi Hyrcan,

    Yes, many don’t want to be the first to comment, although on big blogs, everyone seems to want to be first.

    I’ll email you with what I’ve done. It sounds like you may know what I did wrong. (I got the complete code from Feedburner). If we get it figured out, I’ll share it here.

    Hi Davina,

    Yes, seeding could lead to more seeding, but normally those who use the technique are trying anything to get comments going. Although I’ve never used it, I do understand both sides.

    Hi Maya,

    Having read the rest of the comments, I see others have given you some great ideas.

    Hi Linda,

    I see Hyrcan and John have come to your rescue. Let us know if you have any more problems.

    Hi Ellen,

    No, I don’t use a widget.

    I would be upset if I bought a product based on a bogus comment. All the more reason to read trusted sites.

    Hi Sara,

    Like you, I do see both sides, but not for reviews. That would be totally misleading.

    Hi Rita,

    It is desperation. Bloggers want comments and they’ll try anything.

    Hi Ari,

    The popular posts I use is named “Top Posts by Category” by M&M. I’m using WordPress 2.5 and it works fine.

    Hi Vered,

    That’s a tough one when real life friends show an interest in the beginning, but then no longer show interest. I find my friends don’t “get it” (blogging).

    Hyrcan,

    I’m laughing. You’re commenting on your own comments. Would that be seeding? :)

    Hi Karl,

    Questions do help to inspire readers to say something, even if they disagree.

    Hi Natural,

    A comment feed is an RSS feed for just the comments on a blog. I’m subscribed to Catherines, but I don’t see it on a lot of other blogs. Mine just has “subscribed to post”, so you only get an email if someone adds something to a particular post.

    Hi Debbie,

    Social networks? Personally I have very little time for them, but for some they work great.

    Hi Ricardo,

    That makes sense. Build a community and trust before starting a product push. Feedback was worth mentioning twice. :)

    Hi Annie,

    For some reason CommentLuv is erratic at times. I don’t know what that’s all about.

    Hi Urban Panther,

    You know how to spark conversation, so I doubt you would ever have to do any seeding.

    Hi Bamboo,

    Did seeding give you an idea for a post? I can see you doing a lot with the subject. :)

    John and Hyrcan,

    Thanks so much for stepping in and helping others with the technical questions. As always, you’ve gone above and beyond. I truly appreciate it.

  45. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Wow, what a great open mic!

    My question is for John Hoff, hyrcan, and any other techies – do you have any suggested links that are good cheat sheets for CSS? Perhaps even PHP as well? I use blooberry for CSS and it’s decent, but i’m thinking there might be better ones.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Why Should I Help You?

  46. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    Forgot to have one more directed to Barbara… I remember you said you wanted to figure out how to get pics on your header. Were you able to figure it out? I was curious to see what pic you would select!

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Why Should I Help You?

  47. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara: Hmm… talking to myself is one thing… commenting to myself… I think I’ve taken crazy to a new level. ;)

    I’ll look for your email and we’ll get that link sorted out.

    Always happy to help.

    @Al at 7P: It’s not too surprising that Lorelle has put together a great list of HTML, CSS, PHP, and of course WordPress Cheet Sheets. I’ll add a couple of mine to the list. For php you can get a lot of what you need directly from PHP.net Their Language Reference goes over everything, and each function is explained and examples are given. While all the deep technical stuff is there, it’s still pretty useful for folks just starting out. For CSS, a great site to get ideas from is A List Apart They got great ideas and step you through the creation of the effect. I find this more of a help than just showing me the final effect because you start to learn the parts that go into it and how to change it to fit your sites needs.

    Another thing, and I can’t stress this enough, get firefox if you don’t already, and then grab the most important add-on a web person could have.

    FireBug.

    I can’t tell you how much this add-on rocks. It is simply amazing.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  48. @ Al – the easiest thing to do is cheat LOL. Find a css file that you like that’s already constructed and then edit it from there. If you don’t like the line spacing, change the padding. If you don’t like the color of the links, change the color, etc. I suppose there could be a copyright issue, but if you’re just using it as a base template to create your own I don’t see why that would be a problem?

    Get the JS View plugin for Firefox which allows you to view all css files of a website (just right click on the page). If you like the layout of that site and want the css, view the css and you can Control-A to select all the text and Control-C to copy it to your clipboard.

    The following links all open in a new tab, so you can click on them as you read if you want.

    Another cheat would be to use an online generator. Here’s a menu generator which will generate your CSS for you.

    Here’s another tool CSS Formatter and Optimiser which will optimize your css code for speed or readability or both.

    Probably one of my favorite sites is Dynamic Drive. Lots of free scripts and other stuff.

    A forum I frequent and am part of a community of is Free Website Tempates. This forum is geared toward helping people.

    Finally, here’s one more.

    Oh, and for PHP, check out PHP Hot Scripts.

    Good luck.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  49. @ Barbara – I just commented in response to Al but my comment had a lot of links in it. I’m sure it went to your spam filter – so when you have a moment ;)

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  50. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

    It looks like i am the only idiot here who tried his hands on comment seed Lol

    well it wasn’t comment seed though, i was just checking all the functions of wordpress after installing my 1st(and only blog) post some comments on my 2/3 blogs with different browsers to check the functionality of my blog theme. but trust me guys those comments are not there any more on my blog i have removed it long time back

    Sunil Pathak’s last blog post..4 Things To Help You Loose Plenty Of Blog Reader Every Day.

  51. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    LOL Barbara – I just noticed your attempt at comment seeding.

    My question is on popular post plugins. Which is the best one? I downloaded one and I’m just getting an error message. I’m getting that error message a lot so I hope it’s not a problem with my blog.

    Barbara – I tried searching your blog to see if you mentioned which one you use but I can’t find it.

  52. @ Sunil – sure…… LOL. Just kidding ;)
    I did the same thing in the beginning.

    @ Cath – I don’t use a popular posts plugin, so I’m afraid I can’t be much help there as to which is best. However, I can tell you each plugin is coded and written in a different way. I had the hardest time getting my gravatars to show on my blog. No plugin seemed to work. The problem seemed they weren’t easily compatible with my template.

    Then I finally came across one where a guy said he made a few adjustments. I plugged it in, activated it, and poof – gravatars!

    So I guess what I’m saying is, have you tried different ones?

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  53. SpaceAgeSageNo Gravatar says:

    I’ve never seeded my comments section. Could be fun, though … if I wanted to color outside the lines, I could create an obviously “fake seeding” to a certain comment section as part of some extension of my post … hmmm.

    My question:
    Why can’t I write posts in advance? They seem to come out whenever they want and cry, “Publish me right now!” Do I have Post Publishing Addiction? Is there a 12-step program?

  54. @ hyrcan – yup, Firebug is awesome.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  55. @ SpaceAgeSage – if only they made a plugin for such things ;)

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..The Foundation Of Successful Thinking

  56. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Al,

    No, the picture would be for my new theme (which is on the back burner), and so far I haven’t had a chance to work on that, nor pick out a photo.

    Hi Hyrcan,

    Crazy to the next level? :lol:

    I’m going to dig out that code and email it to you shortly.

    Thanks for supplying the links for those behind the scenes sites.

    Hi John,

    You’re filled with tons of knowledge and resources. Thank you so much!

    Hi Sunil,

    No, you’re not the only one who “seeded”. Testing what a real comment would look like is not uncommon.

    Hi Catherine,

    :lol: Did you like my “seed”?

    The popular posts plugin I’m using is “Top Posts by Category” by M&M. I tried Popularity Contest and got errors, too.

    Here’s the link to the post I did about the plugin (it also includes a link to the plugin) Show Popular Posts on WordPress Blog

  57. RitaNo Gravatar says:

    Barb,

    A comment from out of nowhere…I know I owe you a response. I’m just trying to get stuck off of the top of a malfunctiontioning ferris wheel thise week! It’s coming.

    With appreciation,

    Rita

    Rita’s last blog post..Rest In Peace, Dear Joey G. – Your Damn Dad Molested Me

  58. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi SpaceAgeSage,

    I like that, “color outside the lines”. :)

    Are you using the “Publish Immediately “edit”” feature? If you click on “edit” ( in the write screen) (WP 2.5.1), a box drops down and you can change the date and time. I haven’t used this feature since I updated to 2.5.1, but in the past it worked fabulous.

    Let me know if you have any other questions.

  59. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Barbara – I knew you’d mentioned it somewhere but I couldn’t find it.

  60. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Rita,

    I hope you are able to get off of that ferris wheel soon. :)

    Hi Catherine,

    You’re welcome!

  61. Ari KoinumaNo Gravatar says:

    @Al and everyone — SitePoint has the best HTML and CSS reference I’ve seen. Check them out.

    http://reference.sitepoint.com/css/
    http://reference.sitepoint.com/html/

    ari

  62. MarelisaNo Gravatar says:

    I read awhile ago of this reporter who was leaving comments about himself on blogs and forums but pretending to be someone else. He would say things like “he’s such a brilliant an upstanding guy”. He must have been incredibly embarrassed when his little ploy was uncovered. So no, no seeding my comments. Have a nice weekend Barbara.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Five Simple Ways to Create Passive Income

  63. Ellen WilsonNo Gravatar says:

    @Cath and Ari – Is is possible to make your own popular post plugin as a link list? I never have thought of doing that myself. I never knew such a plugin was even avaliable. I’ll let you know if I find one.

    @Barbara – I guess to use your own words regarding your seed, “transparant.” Ha!

    I think also, I was referring to what is called “astroturfing” in the blogworld where bloggers (paid) will write a phony post regarding a product. This apparently is big in politics, too. Not the blogging, but the astroturfing phenomenon. I think it’s unethical.

  64. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Marelisa,

    Can you imagine getting busted after all the self promotion?

    Hi Ellen,

    Re: the plugin where you list your own faves. I think I may have found one. I’ll try it out and if it works, will share the link.

    Astroturfing? That’s a new one to me. I can see how it would also be popular in politics, too.

  65. Hi Barbara,

    This is the first time I’ve heard about seeding on blogs as well as comment feed! Gosh I feel so backward … thank goodness you’re here to educate. :) I can’t imagine writing a ficticious comment on my own blog … makes me feel a little like Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, but I can see how friends can help if I’m starting a forum discussion.

    Irene | Light Beckons’s last blog post..Gifted Children

  66. ChrisNo Gravatar says:

    Seeding, huh? This is the first time I encountered this. Actually, my son’s comments are often controversially brilliant but I take them off because I didn’t want to offend anyone. But I’m starting to let the comments go free…

  67. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    *taps the microphone*

    … is this thing on?

    Here’s my question — is it worth moving from blogger to WordPress?

    I figure I have more blog time ahead of me, than behind me, but I have more than 250 posts, and a pagerank of 4. Worse, because my posts are cross-linked, I’ll have to fix them if I move. (not the end of the world, but lots to do)

    If somebody’s made the move, I’d like to hear about what they learned that surprised them, or what happened that they didn’t expect? (and with 20/20 hindsight — was it worth it?)

  68. T EdwardsNo Gravatar says:

    How in the world does everyone keep up with so many technologies, methods, and tools to building a successful blog? I would love to say that I have a money making blog but I feel like I’m so far behind the times that I’ll never catch up and know enough to make a buck. Am I the only blogger that feels this way?

    Talk to you soon

    T

  69. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Irene,

    I’m sure there’s more out there that none of us here are even aware of. As I find out about it, I’ll share.

    Hi Chris,

    It’s actually fun seeing your kids comments. Hopefully you don’t have to moderate them.

    Hi J.D.

    I do know you’ll love WordPress, however, hopefully someone else can answer the rest of your question.

    Hi T Edwards,

    No, you’re not the only one out there. It all takes time. I know I certainly didn’t learn overnight. In fact, I continue to learn more every day. Just be patient and take one day at a time.

  70. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara: “Astroturfing” originally came from the political arena. Artificial grassroot organizations or support to promoting a political idea, candidate, or bill. And while it happened in traditional media or at political rallies, it has really become a serious problem on-line because of how easy it is. Unethical is an understatement.

    @Rita: Ha ha! So it is! I thought it looked funny once I posted it. :)

    @J.D. Meier: “is it worth it” Hard to answer that, depends on what you feel you would gain/lose doing it. I can let you know that there is a built in Blogger importer, so all you need to do is give it some information and import away… As for links, you’ll might need to go back through and change them by hand, I don’t know if the wizardry to change the links is in that import process.

    Now while you’re contemplating those links, I’ll give you something else to think about. Moving to WordPress gives you access to a huge collection of talented programers and themers work. You’ll not have to worry about misspelling it booger. Once the original move to wordpress happens, it’s easier to migrate to your own web host with wordpress on it. WordPress is released under the GPL. When Google rises up to take over the world, you’ll be apart of the resistance, and everyone loves a rebel.

    @T Edwards: I’m a big computer geek, that’s how. ;)

    I would say, that you are not alone in that feeling. Which is why they continue to update and make improvements to WordPress, to make it easier for people to write about what they are passionate for. Which I appreciate, because while I’m a big geek, I do enjoy reading blogs about things outside of the realm of computers. ;D

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  71. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi JD – I made the move from blogger to wordpress. It must have been fairly easy, as I’m really non-technical.

    It was definitely worth it for me. It made it possible to use many more themes and widgets etc. I used the blogger blog to practise on. Looking at some of my old practise posts though, I often wonder if I should have moved them over at all.

    I moved to my own domain. I didn’t want to put myself in a position where Google or WordPress owned my blog and could delete it if they wanted to.

    By the way – if you get a hosting account with Fantastico plugins, it makes it a whole lot easier to install wordpress. I think wordpress has a link to those on their installation page.

  72. Barbara – I just read Cath’s article on subscription seeding and now I’m reading here about comment seeding. Great minds think alike.

  73. @ J.D. – Your issue and concern is one of the reasons why I always suggest to someone to never go with free hosting/blogs.
    A) Once you’re ready to move up to a paid account, you’ll lose all your PageRank.
    B) When you make the switch, everyone whose ever linked to you will be lost.
    C) Google will index your site’s dns better than it would by first indexing Blogger and then your website.

    Like Cath said, many hosting company’s use the Fantastico suite which includes a bunch of free scripts you can use to easily install programs like WordPress and phpBB. Our company (we host websites) use the Elefante Scripts which is basically the same thing.

    One thing I do want to suggest, though, is don’t make a move from a free Blogger account to a free WordPress account. The relatively small cost for hosting and owning your own domain name is a small price to pay for a business. Also, you’d have the same problems with a free WordPress blog as I mentioned up above.

    If you need any help, feel free to email me – even if you don’t end up hosting with us. No problem.

    @ T Edwards – the first rule of being an entrepreneur, you’ll never catch up! LOL

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Fluffy’s Guide To Securing Your WordPress Blog – Post 1

  74. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @J.D. Meier: I second what John says. While there are some benefits moving to a free wordpress. moving to a stand alone solution will open even more options …

  75. Al at 7PNo Gravatar says:

    @hyrcan,john, and ari: thanks very very much for those awesome links! I clearly have new favorite references, so thanks fellas. I’m digesting them now but it will take a while. The Sitepoint links already replaced Blooberry as my go-to reference, the FreeWebsiteTemplate forum is awesome because I’m doing a blog redesign, and Lorelle’s page is tailored specifically for a WordPress blog like mine.

    I feel compelled to return the favors somehow. Although I’m sure you all know this link already, here it is anyways. Browsershots.org is a great site to make sure that updates look consistent to Firefox, IE, and most other major browsers. It took me a full month before I realized my Firefox-tuned blog did not render well on IE (and 85% of my traffic was IE). It’s a must-have for testing.

    Al at 7P’s last blog post..Why Should I Help You?

  76. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    @Barbara – It looks like a full team of responses.
    @hyrcan – I do like the idea of running on a platform with huge community.
    @Cath – I think you hit it. The ownership is key.
    @John – Thanks for the tips. Good point about the indexing.

    >everyone whose ever linked to you will be lost.
    I want to avoid this, even if it means keeping duplicating the posts, while leaving the original intact. I’ll research here to find my options.

  77. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Al at 7P: Browsershots is a great tool, I use it quite a bit at work. But it’s still important to test in other browsers, because while Browsershots is good at giving you a snapshot of the page, it can’t test functionality. I had one design that looked great in Firefox and IE, but when I tested it in IE I discovered a CSS bug in IE that would crash the browser.

    @J.D. Meier: When moving from one blog software to another there’s things you can do to support old URLs via redirects. The trouble you’ll run into is because you’re site doesn’t use a custom domain name, when you switch to anything the domain name will change away from blogspot.com

    But just because you stop using blogger doesn’t mean you have to take the content down. You could leave it up, and post something about it being archived and tell everyone about the new website location. Then be sure to disable comments, posting one last comment on each post explaining the change. You could also give the new URL to the post in that message. This will give people a path to the new site, while maintaining the access to the old posts via existing links.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  78. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi All,

    Thank you so much for helping each other. :)

    Also, thanks to Hyrcan, I now have a “subscribe to comments” RSS feed link. It’s in my upper right sidebar.

    I’ll write about it later in the week, so those of you who want to do the same can easily add a comments feed to your blog, too.

  79. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – Glad you got it fixed. I haven’t subscribed to comments anywhere yet. Is it best to put them in a seperate folder to the blogs you visit often?

    Also – I have another question for you and everyone else. I’ve been thinking a lot about community and getting non-bloggers involved in our communities. Then I thought about Steve Pavlina and how his community got too big so he started a forum.

    How big is too big to grow a community do you reckon? And is it best to do like someone like Dooce does and not reply to all the comments, or start a forum, or something else?

  80. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    @ Ellen – Making a plugin would probably be way too technical for me. Have downloaded the one Barbara recommended.

    @ Shilpan – Thanks for the compliment. I’d never really thought of the similarities but I suppose both are ways to inflate a blog’s popularity.

  81. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Cath Lawson: I think it really depends on the community involved, and the person managing it. If you want to reply to every comment you can, but realistically once the community gets a certain size you’ll not be able to post anything but comments if you tried.

    If you look at existing communities you’ll find that some can be quite big and maintain a since of closeness between members ( http://nerdfighters.ning.com/ ) and others not so much ( http://slashdot.com ) and still others some where in between ( http://dailykos.com ) So it all really depends on what you’re idea of community is.

    I ran a community website for about 3 years, and due to the size and the audience involved (more the audience than the size) it took a pretty big toll on me. Primarily because I was too involved I think… long story…maybe I’ll blog about it sometime… Anyway… Knowing you’re audience and what your goals for the community and putting that out there up front will make things a bit more easy.

    On the technical side of things though, while forums are great, the implementation of a lot of popular solution tend to segrigate the forum users from the blog site (or what ever the primary site is) There are ways around that of course, custom coding that pulls recent forum posts into a side bar or the like, can be costly to maintain if the forum software changes. Sites like the Dailykos use “Open Threads,” their version of the Open Mic, and have them every couple days or more…

    Alternatively you could also setup something like Nerdfighters which allows each visitor to sign up and have their own blog. After all, you can think of a forum post as just different name for a blog post.

    Software like Drupal allows you to have all of the above. Single blog author, multi-blogs, open threads, forums. The benefit is all the posts (blog and forums) are natively available anywhere on the site. So if you wanted to let new forum posts also show up on the main page, along side any blog posts, you can. It also allows for moderation of any kinda of post.

    hyrcan’s last blog post..Healthcare Security in the U.S. (Wordless Wednesday)

  82. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Cath Lawson: One more thing about comments, while my main response awaits moderation, is that once there’s a good community going, you won’t need to reply to every comment. The community members will do that for you.

  83. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hyrcan – that’s a good point. When I was on vacation folk did carry on the discussion among themselves. But I really love getting involved in all those discussions – that’s the trouble.

  84. @ J.D. – Personally, I’d just make my life easier and ditch the old blog and transfer everything over. Of course, write on your old blog for a couple weeks telling everyone to be prepared for the move and then once moved don’t delete right away.

    I’m sure you’ll lose some RSS subscribers, but what you’ve built once, you can build again.

    If, however, you decide to go the duplicate content route (which is good for awhile but I wouldn’t leave it forever), make sure to use the “no index” for those particular articles on one of your accounts, preferably the blogger (if that option is available).

    Let Google find your new blog and not remember the old.

    @ hyrcan – we think alike my friend ;)

    @ Cath – Hmm, good question. I think though only you can answer that for yourself. There is no set number. If you want to be actively involved and it gets real huge, you’ll have to dedicate a lot of time to your blog alone and let go of other things.

    If you’re ok with something like Problogger, and I’ve asked Darren several questions and he’s never not once replied to me (nor reply to any messages sent to him on SU), but you’re ok with that and let your community talk to themselves, then there is no limit. I would think a forum would be great there.

    It really depends on what you’re wanting to do.

    Not sure if I gave you the best answer. Just my thoughts. ;)

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Securing Your WordPress Blog: Post 2 – How To Change Your Username

  85. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Shiloan,

    Yes, great minds do think alike. :)

    Hi J.D.

    Isn’t it great when you ask for help, and many chime in. That’s what I love about the community here at BWAB. You’re all awesome.

    Hi Catherine,

    Yours in the only blog I subscribe to comments and I have it in a separate folder in my reader.

    Re: a forum. That’s a tough one, and one that I think depends on your blog topic. I’ve thought of adding one here but thus far, the comment section works well to discuss issues of concern to us.

    This experiment with the four day open mic worked well and with all of the answers being in the comment section, everyone can benefit just by reading the comments.

    Re: Answering comments. Check out my post for today (Monday) as Liz shares what she does. I know Dooce receives hundreds of comments on a post, so answering each one could be quite difficult. I don’t follow her blog, but does she also have a forum?

    Hi Hrycan,

    I was just reading your answer to the subject of forums. I didn’t realize there were so many choices. I can see how you would have gotten burned out trying to handle all of the responses.

    And to all of you.

    Again thank you for helping each other. THAT shows the true spirit of blogging and community. :)

  86. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    oh maybe someone here can help: in Google Reader when people subscribe to my blog it comes up as “title unknown”.

    anyone know how to fix this without renaming the feed. i tried searching and got no where. thanks.

    Natural’s last blog post..Doggone, Grandma

  87. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @Natural: Strange, on WordPress the title/description for the RSS feed is suppose to pull from the title and description of the blog itself under “settings” I’d double check there. But it looks like you’re site has a title, unless it’s hard coded into your theme… You may also want to look at any feed plugins you have, like the plugin for feed burner. Just to make sure there isn’t an alternative place for a feed title there…

  88. I have a question. Since I’ve upgraded to the latest version of Firefox, none of my websites I frequent (like forums, Google Analytics, etc.) remember me and I have to login from scratch each time. I assume this is a problem with my cookies? But I’ve messed with it and nothing. Anyone else have this problem?

    @ Natural – Sounds like a problem in your Feedburner account.

    Try logging into FeedBurner and clicking on your feed. It should then take you to your feed’s dashboard. Up in the top left you should see a link that says Edit Feed Details…, click on that.

    From there you should be able to enter in your Feed’s title.

    Did that help?

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Securing Your WordPress Blog: Post 2 – How To Change Your Username

  89. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @John Hoff: Do you mean, that firefox does not remember that you’re logged in? Or that it does not remember the username and password for you to log in with?

    Here’s a couple things you can try, if its that firefox isn’t remembering that you’ve already logged in or it seems to log you out, then you’ll may have a cookie/sessions issue, you’ll need to remove all the cookies for any of those sites and allow Firefox to recreate them. Easy way, is to hit Tools > Clear Private data and selected only “cookies” and “authenticated sessions” to clear them.

    If you’re having issues with Firefox not remember your username and password even if you’ve told it to remember it, you’re profile may be corrupt. One possible fix is to uninstall firefox (careful not to tell it to remove your personal settings etc.) then reinstall. It has often cleared up that sort of problem.

    If your profile is to far gone, backing up the bookmarks and wiping the profile may be needed.

  90. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    @ hyrcan …my title is empty because i’m using my own header, not the default wording under settings.

    it works with all other RSS readers, just not google. i’m not hard coding. mystery.

    @ John, I will try this when I get home. many thanks.

  91. I’ve cleared my data, history, cookies, etc. so many times it’s not even funny (needed for web designs). I’m assuming it’s a cookie problem but not sure.

    The problem is, let’s say I log into a forum and never sign out. Later when I return to that forum, I have to sign in all over again (as if it were my first time there). Firefox use to remember I was logged in and I wouldn’t have to do it all the time.

    If it requires removing Firefox and reinstalling, I’ll probably just live with it LOL.

    Thanks for the help.

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Securing Your WordPress Blog: Post 2 – How To Change Your Username

  92. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – I don’t think Dooce has a forum – mind you, I’ve only visited a few times.

    I’ve thought about forums. I had a small one on an old site and I also moderated on a huge one. But both were time consuming – it would probably take a lot more time to manage than it would to answer blog comments.

  93. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Natural,

    I just clicked on your blog and tried to resubscribe. I see what you’re talking about. Your name isn’t there.

    When Hyrcan helped me with my RSS feed for comments, he discovered I had a problem with my burnt feed. I think it was a Feedburner plugin glitch.

    Try what John suggested. There is a place where you can edit your feed title’s name. Let us know if you still have problems.

    Hi Catherine,

    Re: forums. If they are that time consuming, it would better to just stick with comments.

  94. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    Did you get your problem solved? I noticed my information isn’t always “saved”, but I thought it was something I did wrong.

    After listening to you and Hyrcan, I too, will learn to live with it. Uninstalling and reinstalling sounds like an accident waiting to happen. :lol:

  95. I might come back to it. I’ve got a full plate for this week! LOL.

    I swear though – if I have to uninstall and reinstall one more thing….!!!! LOL

  96. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi John,

    Sounds familiar, but I bet you’re like me and that plate is more like a Thanksgiving platter. :)

  97. hyrcanNo Gravatar says:

    @John Hoff & Barbara: Ha, install Linux it’ll you’ll not have to reinstall anything again. ;) hehe

    Another solution for you John is to just export your bookmarks to the desktop, exit out of Firefox, then go in and delete your Mozilla profile folder. Import your bookmarks, and you’ll start off with a fresh profile, minus the corruption that is causing you to not be logged. You’ll of course need to log in at least once to everything, because of the blank profile. No need to reinstall.

    @Natural: If you are using a custom header, you’ve hard coded the header, thus it doesn’t matter for the website to have a blank title. But you’ve not hard coded the RSS feed template thus it pulls the title from the settings page, which is most likely blank.

    Looking at both your feedburner and the standard feed provided by wordpress it’s got no title. If the title/description under settings is blank, that would be why. I think feedburner you can specify a title for their initial page, but I think the feed itself would still have a blank title because WordPress doesn’t have one.

    If you look at: http://valeriemorrison.net/blog/feed you’ll find the native wordpress feed which has no title or description, both which are pulled from the “Settings” page in WordPress. If they are blank there (on the settings page) your feed will have blanks.

    Hope this helps.

  98. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Hyrcan,

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom with us. It’s greatly appreciated. :)

  99. @ hyrcan – yeah you can keep your Linux LOL. In college I learned Unix. Nope. No fun. But yes, much more powerful and stable. But . . . just . . . not as fun ;)

    Thanks for the help brother!

    John Hoff – eVentureBiz’s last blog post..Securing Your WordPress Blog: Post 2 – How To Change Your Username

  100. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I keep getting an error message when I try to upload a photo on my wordpress blog. It says that it can’t create a directory. It worked until yesterday. Thanks.

    Writer Dad’s last blog post..Thank You Sir, May I Have Another?

  101. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    Yay! Figured it out.

  102. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Writer Dad:

    What ended up being the problem? (in case others encounter the same thing)

  103. Writer DadNo Gravatar says:

    The problem was with my host. They had done something internally and I had to call them and have them reset the directory. It was super annoying, and took twenty minutes (an eternity in a room full of toddlers, where I was at the time). But they were really helpful, and now I have my pictures again. That’s awesome because they’re worth like a thousand words.

  104. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Writer Dad:

    Thanks for sharing that. It’s good to know you got it fixed. That’s always a big relief.

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