Friday, January 25, 2013

My Dynamic View Experience using Google's Blogger

We've heard the politicians tell us that the U.S. economy is recovering and that a lot of jobs are being created. But, every time we read the newspapers, watch TV, or listen to the radio, we hear about a major layoffs in various companies.

So, last December, I decided to start a new blog recording the major layoffs occurring in the United States that I've read or heard about. I figured that by doing this, it would be easier to judge whether the politicians were right or wrong.

Thus, I launched the blog US Corporate Layoffs using Blogger's Dynamic View template as shown below.

When using Dynamic Views, the visitor is offered a choice of views by which they can see your site. However, the author must choose a default, or master, view. I chose the Classic view template because it is more like the other standard Blogger templates in that it simply presents all the blog posts in single scrollable format.

I had several reasons for using the Dynamic View template. First, I just think it looks "cool". Second, a user can change the display format by himself, and see just Thumbnails, or lists of posts at a glance. Third, because of the nature of the content, I thought that a simple, uncluttered, structure would be the most appropriate.

Lastly, I thought that because Dynamic Views were nearly 2 years old, Google would have most of the bugs corrected.

However, I was wrong about Google's performance and found a few frustrating features inherent in Dynamic Views.
  • Often, when the blog is initially loaded, the CSS heading and sidebar links fail to load. When this occurs, the selected color scheme is gone as well. The visitor is required to refresh the page 1 or more times in order to see the site properly.
  • When writing and pressing the Preview button 2 times or more time, the resulting Preview often displays the wrong post and loses the s resultse CSS formatting.
  • After the post Preview is shown, the overlay "Preview" banner in the upper left corner doesn't display. This leads to confusion as to whether the post has been published or not.
  • When adding and placing images in a post, the published image placement may not be placed exactly where it shows in the post editor or the preview window. This then results in other formatting problems that may be seen in the published post.
  • Embedded post images do not become Thumbnails display in the Flipcard, Magazine, Mosiac, Snapshot, or Timeslide views unless they (the images) were uploaded directly into the post. (They cannot be and not hosted by a 3rd party).
  • Changing the blog default color scheme doesn't work unless you use IE browser.
  • 3rd Party widgets such as nRelate, Feedjit, will not display.  
Below are samples of alternate layouts. The first is the Flipcard. As you will see, only one post has an image Thumbnail. The others only contain the post Title text. The reason for this is because I only embedded an image into the first post. All the others are links to other 3rd party locations.

The second layout  shows the Timeslide format. Again, because only the first post image is embedded, it is the only Thumbnail shown in the display. While all the other posts contain graphic images, they do not display as Thumbnails.

In summary, although I find some of the Dynamic View features lacking, I think that the overall effect of using Dynamic Views for this blog is most appropriate. However, if you are considering using Blogger's Dynamic Views, be fully aware of its limitations before beginning to use these templates.

Friday, January 4, 2013

How to delete (or change) a Blogger label

This post describes how to delete a Blogger label using the new Blogger interface.
I recently wanted to change one of the Blogger labels that I assigned to my posts.  To do this, I added the new replacement label which was rather easy. This was done by selecting the posts that I wanted, and selecting the "New label..." option from the labels pull down menu on my blog's Posts page.

But when I wanted to delete the old label, I could not find a "Delete label" choice.

I was lost. So I searched Blogger help and unfortunately could not find the correct answer. I found one answer that described how to do this with the old Blogger interface, so that was useless.

The second help answer described how to change the name of a label. Reading through that, I found that I was to select a  "Remove label" choice from the label actions menu.  But, that choice was not there.

So I experimented. I selected one of the posts that had the label I wanted to remove (by checking the box next to the blog post), and then, I selected the old label from the pull-down  label action menu. I found that this action worked as a toggle. If the label was already there, it was removed. But, if the label was not there, then it was added to the post.

I also learned that my approach to changing a Blogger label was correct.  From the Google Blogger help, changing a label is done by adding a new label and then deleting the old one.

In summary, if you are using Blogger and want to delete a label you must:
  • Go to your blog's Posts page in Blogger
  • Click the check boxes next to each post that contains the label you want to delete
  • Then, click on the label inside the "Label Pull-down menu"
  • If the label is already on that post, it will be deleted. (if it is not there it will be added)
Or, if you want to change a Label, you must
  • First add a new label to all the posts to be changed
  • And then, you must delete the old label using the method described above.

Hope this helps !!!
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