Sunday, January 13, 2013

Improve "Search" on Blogger

Improve your blog's search ability with this nifty code.

1.  Go into Blogger's "Edit HTML" feature and follow these instructions:

<!-- Put the following javascript before the closing  tag. -->
(function() {
  var cx = '123:456'; // Insert your own Custom Search engine ID here
  var gcse = document.createElement('script'); gcse.type = 'text/javascript'; gcse.async = true;
  gcse.src = (document.location.protocol == 'https' ? 'https:' : 'http:') +
      '//' + cx;
  var s = document.getElementsByTagName('script')[0]; s.parentNode.insertBefore(gcse, s);
<!-- Place this tag where you want both of the search box and the search results to render -->

Insert the lower box <gcse:search></gcse:search> into any post.  The results will be automatic.

[Example Page]
[View Source]


  • Beginners:  Implement Code on Your Web Blog. 
  • Advanced:  Customize Code (choose "view source")

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Make a FilmMaker Website

I was given the task to produce a website for a friend of mine, local film producer Nicki Chavoya.  She wanted something that was simple, but had a few key features.  She wanted it to have all of her videos, in a list on the side, like a column.  And then she wanted some background images to flow along.

So I took to the internet, researching the one thing that really made the site unique.  The background slide show.  After testing and examining some code items, I found some applicable CSS that I made a few adjustments to serve the purpose of giving her website the background that she wanted.

Here are the details for the CSS.  It basically runs a series of files saved in a separate folder.

Remember that the phrase ../ means the directory before.  So if this file is


and it needs to direct the image from the folder


then it needs to back up one directory (../) and then enter the /Slideshow/ directory to access the slideshow files.
That's why the code reads: url(../Slideshow/5.jpg)

This is the only real tricky piece of code necessary to get the script to run.  If you want to download it and make your own, the two files you need are this one, and this one.  You need to save those files as .CSS files in the proper folder, and then create another folder with the slideshow files saved as an ordered number of .Jpg images.

What's next after that?  Well not much really.  You can play around with the code to see what else you can do to make it more interesting.  A few other neat parts to this particular piece of code?

  • It resizes the image to the shape and size of the window
  • It also will rotate images the same way on any iOS device
Go ahead and try making one for your favorite local filmmaker.  I even made one for my friend Jimi.

Change Blogger Background in 10 Easy Steps

Really it ought to be simpler, but it takes a total of 10 steps to remove and change the background on Google Blogger presently in 2012.  That's not to say it will always work this way forever, but it certainly works this way now.

In this incidence, you're going to want to follow the video and watch it a few times.  It doesn't skip around but it goes fast at certain points.  How else can I prove that you can change your background in less than a minute?

One of the more hindering things about Google Blogger?  Max background image size is 300kb, which is tiny in comparison to what's required of a background image.  I personally can't explain the limitation in file size for this, because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  But here's the steps.

Additionally worth note is a separate tutorial about resizing and calibrating the image for quality based on this size limitation, but that's a different video.  You can figure that out for yourself, possibly too.  In the meanwhile, please note the importance of the "Scroll With Page" feature.  While this has no impact on the way that the background image appears on tablet computers right now, it does make a difference on the regular computer.  It's not set automatically to be "OFF" so you need to do that manually.

"Best Practices.  Best Practices.  Best Practices.  Does that triple my chances of being found on a search result?" - L.S. Aristotle

Monday, November 26, 2012

Blogger's Most Interesting Feature

One of the most under-rated features of Blogger, and surely the most often overlooked, is the "Schedule Post" feature.  It's listed under Post settings.

Normally, when you click "Publish," the Blog post will appear instantaneously.

When you Schedule the post to a specific date and time, it allows you to hand people the information as they're walking out the door, so to speak.  Not everybody is reading the internet at 4 in the morning (which is when I write most of this stuff).  Or shall I say, in my best LS Aristotle voice, "People of the future must know, so I schedule all my posts for the future."

In this case, I want you to find out about this at about 8:40pm on a Thursday.  So I'm going to set it to do just that.  Remind you when you need it the most.

If you have calibrated your blogging service with a system like Twitterfeed, then this will also delay the onset of announcement systems (Twitter) or the dreaded annoying Bluewall known as the Facebook.

When you're done, click "Done."
It's very satisfying.

Mural Graphics

This was made with Fireworks. 
Play the video above to watch me make this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

About This Blog

Really simple.  As I learn new things, I save the process as a screen shot, and turn it into a video.  I've memorized the processes here in this blog, but at one point I needed to learn it.  And if there could be one place where the instructions were clear and concise, yet entertaining enough to bear, then that was what I wished to create.  I make new things all the time, and I find myself constantly solving problems.

Why not share the answers to those problems with others?  There could even be quizzes with Google Doc Form Quiz feature, which doesn't exist *yet.  

My name is L.S. Aristotle and I am a Lego SpaceMan.  I'm working on my new TV Show.  My old YouTube Channel got taken over by SpacePirate.

Stay tuned, and follow along.  The types of things you can learn about are listed under "Topics."
You may need specific software for some exercises.