Saturday, June 03, 2006

Google Calendar

I was inspired by a suggestion from Alan Gutierrez of ThinkNOLA to experiment a bit with Google calendar, which he may present at his Web Publishing Workshop.

I think it has potential, but when we spoke on the phone I had a vision of an even more full-featured civic calendar, that I will work out in some detail and share with the BlogNOLA list.

Anyway, if you have a Google login (for gmail for example; logins are free and painless to create) you can create a calendar and, using the button at right at either Alan's workshop or my birthday to you own Google calendar.

My own idea was for something that would allow a group to have a calendar, and have it tagged. For example, a neighborhood organization might have a calendar tagged MCNO, Civic, Mid City, New Orleans. From that's groups calendar (which only authorized memebers could edit), you could click a more button and view a calendar with a set of tags listed. By clicking a tag (Civic, Mid City) you could see a unified calendar that read in all of the events of of others with that tag.

From higher levels you would see all of the tag choices made by each calendar owners, so that things like Schools, Hospitals, Businesses might be added to the tag list. Clicking Schools would take you to a calendar showing all of the events tagged School. From the associated tag list, you might choose Uptown to limit your view to school events tagged Uptown, or click Lusher to see just Lusher events.

I'm a project manager sort of guy, not a coder, so I don't know the complexity of what I'm proposing, but I'd like to hear your feedback.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dear Diary: Today I emailed a post to blogger

I'll be anxious to see if the post here shows up in Technorati, etc., as the links at the bottom are just that, and don't really have the full tag syntax embedded. If I figure out how to do that in an email, look for an update here on Kinderbloggin.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Technorati Tags

Rather than struggle with my tortured explanations of tagging for Technorati, here is Technorati's own explanation.

After we've all disgisted that, I can brain dump on what XML is (another form of tagging, or markup, similar to HTML), and things like Atom.

Monday, May 01, 2006

BrainJams New Orleans

Just wanted to shout out for my vast audience of, well, almost 10 NOLA bloggers that presence of this conference this week.


Sunday, April 30, 2006

More about tagging

When I started blogging, I would embed the tags New Orleans and Katrina in the middle of every post. As I wanted to expand the tags I used, I found that increasingly cumbersome. So now I got to the little tag cheat cheat filed that sits on my desktop, paste them into the bottom of each post in HTML edit mode (I'm on Blogger), then go to compose mode and change the size to Tiny.

If you want a copy of the cheat sheet, email me and I'll send it along. (I haven't figured out how to trick Blogger into letting my post HTML without it interpretting the HTML). We can all build our readership by linking to specific posts (the so called "permanlink".) That's how Technorati ranks "authority", but the number of links. But a link to a home page gets counted once. Links to permanlinks are counted, and move your blog up the list of blogs by a particular tag

.I don't know the algorithm (and the system seems a little cranky; I think I should be ranked 11th), but it is another way to increase your readership if we all make a point of linking to specific posts (permanlinks) on each other's sites when we want to shout out what someone else has done, rather than just link to the home page. That's about all the Technorati tutorial I'm up to. In response to your private email, what we all need is somebody with serious blogging smarts to offer to help all of us toiling in the fields of typing (and that person ain't me).


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Tagging, Links and Technorati

Technorati is an aggregator: they collect blogs and posts and links, and organize them for representation, primarily based on the tag. A tag is just what it looks like, it's a hyperlink (a URL or Uniform Resource Locator), the thing that makes the "web" in world wide web.

A Technorati Tag is a special tag of the URL/link sort that Technorati uses to index your work, organize and present it back out to people who are interested in the subject you're tagging. (Not necessarily what you're blogging, but primarily what you tag your blog to say.

(Hey, do you remember what the word tag above looks like to your browser? It looks like this: tag . Ok, just checking. Quiz over)

If you create an account on Technorati here and register your blog here (wait, don't click the second here until you register your account), then you are ready to begin. You don't need an account to use Technorati to find other blogs, but you need one if you want people to use it to find you.

Once you have created your account, you'll be assed to "claim" you blog. Just enter the URL and submit it. Once you've claimed it, Technorati will begin to track it. Blogger (and a lot of other blogging software and hosting sites) will automatically "ping" Technorati when you save or significantly update a post.

Pinging just means that your blog software probably sends a message to Technorati every time you save a new post. More on this laster.

Technorati will also ask you to paste some HTML code into your template somewhere(remember Hyper Text Markup Language from the last lesson? Of course you don't. Doesn't matter.) If you haven't been into your template before, or if you have and it scares you as much as looking under the hood of your car, we'll save that for another lesson. I believe Technorati will work just fine without it.

Anyway, once you have registered your blog, if your site "pings" then Technorati will come "crawl" (read) you blog, find your tags, and note your post as linked to those tags. Once that is done, people who are looking for recent blog posts about say, "Mermaids" will find Traveling Mermaid, *if* she has a tag that looks like this:


You can put all of these at the end like I do, or you can embed them into the text of your blog post about Mermaids.

Once you have Technorati tags in your post, either appended or embedded in the main post, you are on your way to being noticed by people who use Technorati to find blogs on subjects of interest to them.


Tag, your It!

Technorati is an aggregator: they collect blogs and posts and links, and organize them for re-presentation (as in here they are again, not as in what your lawyer does). It does this primarily based on the tag.

Tags are one part of what makes the Internet possible. A tag is the basic unit of a mark-up language, a tool for communicating information about a text above and beyond what is in the test. If you're familiar with proof reading marks, such as the little loop that means "delete this" or the carat (flattented V) that means "insert this here", you basically know what a tag is. These marks are a form of tag.

For those of you who've been around computers long enough to remember pre-Windows versions of WordPerfect, or its even older precusors such as WordStart, you may remember the Show Codes command, which enabled you to see the little secret codes that made this bit italic, that bit centered on the page. Those codes were tags.

We recognize the tags used in the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) created for the Internet by its use of the angle bracket. These are the carats (flattened Vees) that point sideways.

For example, these codes would make this italic . Notice that the special information is inside the carats, in this case a letter I that tells a web browser, make this Italic. At the end of the bit to be formatted is a closing tag, which has a slash in it. This means "we're done making stuff italic. Now cut it out."

If you want to learn about tags, we'll visit that another day. The internet has evolved a complex set of tags and super tagging systems, which we won't bother with here. We'll just remember that tragging information is enclosed in angle brackets, and that there are opening a closing tags (the latter with a slash). We'll remember this so we can fix our blog post when we hose it up messing with our Technorati tags, so we an fix it.

Ok, end of Lesson 1. Lesson 2, the URL or link tag, and how these work with Technorati.


Tuesday, March 28, 2006

This is where we figure out how to blog

Centerville. A real nice place to raise your kids, ahhhh........