Bookmark Files From Scratch

Several things may be driving you crazy but, if links, text files and bookmarks are one of them, I have some help for you! (Little things help a lot, right?)
After spending a lot of time trying to import my old WordPress bookmarks into Joomla I found the best way was to create a text file with just the links, all code scraped out. Then create a new file with Notepad using the code I have cut and pasted in a screenshot below:
Screenshot from It Still Works.
Cut and pasted the text also, because I’ve seen how easy images disappear, wander off and generally get lost. I want to remember how I finally got this far, no doubt I will need to do the same again with other links from my other sites moving from WordPress to Joomla. 
If you feel confident with HTML, you can create a bookmark file from scratch in Notepad. Begin the document with . Then, enter the title as Bookmarks and the header as

Bookmarks

. Then, begin a list with the

tag. Each item of that list should be denoted by a

tag. Then, describe the link via an tag. For example, if you wished to create a bookmark link to http://www.google.com, your tags after

would look like this:

Google. Finish the file with a closing

tag.

So, maybe this will help you, or you may just wonder why someone would do things this way and spend so much time on links few people will actually look at anyway.
Keep wondering, it’s good for you.

Free Keyword Help from Ubersuggest

Get keyword ideas with Übersuggest the free keyword suggestion tool that makes good use of different suggest services.

How it works?

Write a term in the box.

Choose a language and a source. Übersuggest can get suggestions either from regular Web search or from search verticals like Shopping, News or Video (more to come).

Übersuggest takes your base term, add a letter or a digit in front of it, and extracts suggestions for it.

Click on each word to get further suggestions based on that term.

Add each keyword to your basket clicking on the plus sign on its left.

Add all visible keywords to your basket clicking on the large grey button.

With this free keyword tool you can instantly get thousands of keyword ideas from real user queries! Use the keywords to get inspiration for your next blog post, or to optimize your PPC campaigns.

via Keyword suggestion tool — Google suggest scraper — Übersuggest.

I tried it for a few topics. It brings up a lot of suggestions and sorts them alphabetically. Many suggestions are similar, of course, that’s not a bad thing when it comes to deciding on keywords to use in tags, titles and so on. It also gave me some new ideas to write about in future posts.

Using the Chrome Web Browser to Post to WordPress

I want to post to my sites with a content curation sort of bookmarklet. I already have an account with Scoop.it where I have several topics and post to them regularly, there. I’d rather put all that work, time and energy into content curation for my own sites instead. So, I’ve been looking for options.

I found a few options and then began trying them all out one by one.

Word This

wordthis

Will only let you do one blog. But, I didn’t even get that far. Right click the icon and and set your blog link in the options. Then it got stuck, never saved, didn’t do anything. The bookmarklet itself opened a window which went no where. So, as much as I liked the name of this one, it is also the first one I’m deleting from the web browser.

WPWrite

wpwrite

Another which will work for one blog only. I have a few and need to post to all of them. It would not work to have a bookmarklet for each one.  Way too complicated.

MultiPress

multipress

Although this one is available to download from the Chrome Extensions, the website is 404. You can add up to five blogs but, I was not able to post to my blog when I tried to run this one.

Postek

postek

This was not what I wanted at all. Only one blog and it doesn’t work to add content from another site you want to link to. This is just a quick way to write a new post without clicking through to your blog. Maybe useful for some, not worth keeping around for me. Plus, I did not like being asked to type in my password on a website other than my own. Overall, I did not mind deleting this one.

Editoy Writer

editoy

This one was more work to set up. I finally got through finding and adding an API key and authorizing the whole thing with WordPpress.com and then… it didn’t work. I don’t know why.  I found a page written in Chinese (I think) which even once translated was no help with setting Editoy up or getting it to work.

Express Curate

expresscurate

This is the one I most want to work. It does work well as the WordPress plugin.  I have found it gives a memory error on my two biggest blogs, but I contacted the developers and they are working on it.

So far I am not getting the Chrome Extension to work. The developers say it should and it should work for multiple sites. So, I’m keeping it around and working getting it to work. It looks great and has all the features I want.

Addendum to Express Curate: One complication I am having with this plugin is the added code for tags which is does on auto pilot. I turned the feature on to give it a try, not entirely sure what it would do but expecting I’d have some control over it. I did not. Express Curate automatically gave all of my WordPress tags an HTML link and a hashtag. This is not a terrible thing – if you want that. I didn’t really, my tags are not that tidy and I didn’t really want the extra links. However, the real problem for me is that this also removed my capital letters, turning titles into all small letters and abbreviations too. Even once I deactivated the plugin, the HTML code remained (and the small letters too). Because of this I am now trying to go through my blogs and fix titles, remove hashtags and the extra code on tags. It is a chore.

So far nothing is working better than the old PressThis which comes with WordPress. But, I’m hoping for more.

Uncluttering your Blog: Keep your Clutter Bug in Check

Clutter builds up on your site quickly if you stop working on it. Each time you add something new to your blog, in the sidebar, the footer or the menu and header – stop and think about it.

  • Is it necessary for your blog readers?
  • Does it say something about yourself and your blog that you actually want to say?
  • Could it be moved to a subpage of your blog and not really be missed?
  • Is it slowing down the load time and, if so, is it worth it?
  • Have you located it in a way which it’s function is easy to understand?
  • Don’t keep any broken links, including images.
  • Consider moving archives, link lists and categories/ tags to their own subpage.
  • Condense and prune your tags and categories. Use a general category for things which don’t fit into the main theme/ topic of your blog.
  • Consider using plain text links rather than image files, widgets and etc.
  • Downsize and/ or double up when giving your own links to be followed on social networks.
  • If you run ads, limit them to ads which are actually performing well.

Tidy Up Your Blog’s Sidebar

Focus on your readers. What are you keeping in your sidebar for yourself? What do you actually read and like to see in a blog sidebar when you read another blog? Let that be your guide to deciding what to keep on your own blog sidebar.

Work out the most important thing in your sidebar and on your blog.Create a list of everything in your sidebar – list them in order of importance. If you have more than ten things choose a few to be voted off the island. See if you can limit your blog sidebar to 5 or fewer items.

Remember, less is more. Put away anything you want to keep but don’t really need on your sidebar. Use features like pages and even your footer to tuck and tidy away extra items.

More to Read

Create a Favicon to Brand your Site or Just do it for Fun

How to create a favicon.ico for your site or blog.

FavIcon is a favourite icon.

Basically, you create a small graphic (16 X 16 pixels, tiny in fact) which will show up in the address bar when someone looks at your site. It will also show up in their bookmarks, if they bookmark your site. Using a favicon will help brand your site and give it a polished look. Plus it gives those us of who are addicted to tweaking and twiddling with their sites, something else to do.

It’s not hard to create a favicon. Once you save your tiny graphic as favicon.ico you upload the file to your site, it should be in the root directory so it’s easy for web browsers to locate. Then you add the code between the head and /head tags in your HTML code. Note: If you run the Thesis WordPress theme. One of the features is a favion option which uploads your favicon for you. Your theme or template may have the same option, check first and save yourself the extra work.

How creative can you get with such a minuscule image? See what you can do. The smaller you make your file the blurrier it gets. See the example image which is one I use for my personal site. When it is condensed and compacted down to a favicon size you really can’t tell what it was meant to be. So, that wasn’t a great image to create a favicon with.

Have fun, let me know if you load a favicon. I’d like to see what other tweakers and twiddlers come up with.

Wikipedia has a page about Favicons.

favicon code

Choosing an image to convert to a Favicon

As you can see from my example, a favicon is very tiny.

Choose the image you want to convert into a favicon wisely. It should have very basic lines, a very simple uncomplicated design.

Stick to one or two colours (white works well). Adding too much colour will create a blur when the image is compacted down to size.

The image you choose needs to fill the image space, cut away any extra background before you convert it to a favicon.

Create your Favicon Image on the Web

Change WordPress Dashboard Colours

If you ever wanted to be able to change WordPress dashboard colors as well as font or even display without having to edit WordPress core files, you’ll like this hack for sure. The following example features a basic style change grey header is replaced by a blue one but you can easily add as many styles as you wish within the <style> and </style> tags.

dashboardcolours

via WordPress dashboard hacks for developers and freelancers | CatsWhoCode.com.

A Little Light Slacking

I feel like I’m endlessly head butting a wall, or trying to roll a huge rock up a hill. I’ve had this blog and this domain since 2006, or there abouts. Others seem to have made far more progress in far less time. I think it’s something about me. It must be, I’m the only one here.

Thank you to those who do come and read regularly, or now and then. Thank you to those who comment now and then.

This is not a swan song. I’m not closing down this blog, but I am not going to continue with daily posting. (As you may have noticed the last couple of weeks have not had daily updates). I need to pull back and decide where I’m going and what I want from all the time and energy I’ve been putting into this site all these years. Plus, I’m just feeling a bit tired of all that endless head butting and rock rolling. You can only keep going uphill so long before you need a break, some cold water and a chance to feel you’ve at least made some kind of progress on the hill in front of you.

PS – I’ve also begun to wonder if I was wrong about removing tags. So they are back, sort of. They are a mess, a bigger mess than they used to be even. I used a WordPress plugin to re-add tags mechanically/ automatically. So they aren’t all useful and won’t all make sense. A lot of them will be pretty useless I’m sure. Tags are still something I would gladly ignore. They create far too much work. But, over time I have seen my traffic peter down to about 2/3 of what it usually is. Of course, that could be my own growing lack of enthusiasm showing up in how and what I post. So there is no firm conclusion on the tag situation, but they are back. Sort of.

Get the Clutter Off Your Desk – Free Yourself!

Tips to Avoid a Cluttered Desk

Start by sorting papers. Just put them in two piles, stuff you need and stuff you can put right into the recycling bin (directly – do not pass Go). Keep a bin, bag or some kind of container right there as you work your way through and get rid of expired coupons, receipts you don’t need, paperwork you’ve already finished, newspaper clippings (anything you kept and don’t remember why). Don’t let yourself get sidetracked into sorting the stuff you are keeping. Just pile it up for now. Focus on getting rid of everything you don’t need. You will feel you actually accomplished something when you have less clutter.

From your pile of papers sort out two piles again. This time sort out work related from personal. Anything like photos of your family versus contact information for a client and so on. Put the personal stuff into a bag or some kind of container which will keep it from being on the floor or piled up on your bed, kitchen table or other places where it will just get in the way and not be very portable. If you can, get family to help sort out these things. Some things, like photos, can be given to them or they can deliver them to the right person for you.

Use a filing system that works for you to sort out the work related clutter. Sort paperwork by date/ month. Have an In and Out box for things you need to do and those which are done and just need to be put away or throw them away if you won’t need them again.

Invest in a bulletin board or magnetic board which you can pin more urgent notes to – this way you can keep track of the important to-do things and they won’t be lost on your desktop. Anything left in the work related pile should be given a place where it can easily and predictably be found or you should not keep it. Avoid keeping odds and ends that you probably won’t use or don’t really need.

Find a container for all your pens, pencils, coloured markers, highlighters, etc. Look at the thrift store for some unique and thrifty storage ideas. Or, get a drawer organizer and keep them stored in a desk drawer, tidily. Do the same with other small accessories like staplers, paperclips, etc.Tidy up cables, wires and such from your computer and other electronics by your desk. Even if they are mostly out of sight they add to the feeling of clutter. There are good ideas for tidying up cables by using twist ties, bread tags or elastic bands.

Everything on your desk that did not really belong there should be put in the right place, the proper room. Make yourself start a new habit of putting all these things (like a hairbrush, lip balm, coffee cups, medicine, etc.) away rather than just putting them down wherever you happen to be using them at the time. Save yourself the extra clutter and you have room on your desk to work with the real things that belong there.

Resources:

  • HELP – My Desk Is Buried Under a Mountain of Paper
  • Top 10 Tips for Getting Organized
  • Homemaking and Housekeeping – Get Yourself Organized

I’ve Deleted all my Post Tags

From the PaperQuick Etsy shop.

I’m sick of dealing with an endless, bottomless list of tags. Last month I wiped out my categories. I left a sensible, comprehensible list of six categories to act as an index. I kept the tags then. But, today I decided the tags had to go. They were a weight on my shoulders I could do without.

Once you begin using tags you are stuck trying to maintain them. Unless you are some super organized and efficient type, tags can get out of control easily. Just the decision to use ‘books’ versus ‘book’ will give you an extra tag. You can spend time sorting and merging your tags. But, do you want to? I did try to get the tags sorted and under control, to make sense of them on two different occasions. I started out today thinking I’d do it a third time. Then that nice, shiny delete button caught my eye.

Now they’re gone. This is a tagless blog and it feels liberating! Free!