Friday, May 27, 2011

Add Blogger's "Support My Blog Widget" for Extra Income

Last week, Google released a new "Support My Blog" widget that allows your visitors to give you a donation. The widget utilizes Google Checkout to collect your income and deposit the money directly into your checking account. Blogger Buzz describes this as a "virtual tip jar" that allows you to receive a little bit of unexpected income.

Adding this functionality to your blog is a two step process.

First, you must create a Checkout Merchant account. You can do this by clicking on this link:  Checkout Merchant Sign Up. If you do not have an account, click on the "Sign up now >>" button in the upper right of the page, and then follow the instructions. Once this is complete, you will need to enable the new API. This is done by:
  1. clicking on the "Settings" tab (at top), 
  2. then click the "Integration" choice on the left sidebar. 
  3. In the center of the page you will see a checkbox. Uncheck the box that says: "My company will only post digitally signed carts", 
  4. press the "Save" button at the bottom of the page,
  5. and lastly, write down your "Google merchant ID" number shown on the right side of the page (because you will need to enter this in the Support widget).
Second, now we are done with Checkout, and we can add the Support widget to your blog. This is easily done by visiting your Blogger Dashboard. For each blog you have:
  1. you must click on the "Design" link (or tab depending where you are)
  2. then click on the "Add a Gadget" link (right side of page)
  3. in the "Add a Gadget"  pop-up window, click on the "Featured" link at left.
  4. scroll down to the "Support My Blog" widget and click the title or plus sign.
  5. in the "Configure Gadget" window that appears, enter your "Google Checkout Merchnt ID" (from step 5 above)
  6. lastly, press Save and you are now in business!
An example of this widget is shown on my sidebar near the top of the page. Now, if someone wishes to make a donation to me, they can easily enter the amount they would like to donate and then press the Support checkout button.

Note: At present, the gadget has a formatting problem which will sometimes cut off the bottom of the "Support" button. Resizing the widget does not fix this formatting problem.
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Friday, May 13, 2011

Three Cheers for Blogger!

After a bit more than a day, it's back online. Many of us have missed this terrific service and were extremely worried about our blogs.

Congratulations to Blogger for resolving the problem quickly and getting us back online. Thanks for the good work!

Friday, May 6, 2011

How to Increase or Decrease Webpage Fonts using Only Keystrokes

Very often when I am browsing the web, I visit websites or blogs that are difficult for me to read because the font size is either too small or too large. I have learned to overcome this problem by simply increasing or decreasing the the font size until I can read it.

Using three key stokes, it is easy to adjust the fonts:
  • Pressing the < ctrl > and "+" keys together, the font increases (gets bigger),
  • Pressing the < ctrl > and "-" keys together, the font decreases (gets smaller), and
  • Pressing the < ctrl > and "0" keys together, returns the page to the original size.
The only trick in using these coordinated key strokes is that the < ctrl > button must be pressed first, and remain depressed. Then, using your other hand, press the "+", "-", or "0" buttons. You don't have to worry about the upper case, because the < ctrl > button indicates the action.

I've tried this technique in Firefox, Internet Explore, and Chrome and each browser works the same.

So, I hope this little trick helps to make your browsing experiences more enjoyable as well!
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