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Book Blogging 101: Do I have a RIGHT to be rude?

In the Question about blogspot vs .com you mentioned backing up your blog regularly. How do you do this? - Shannon
A: Step 1: Go to your blogger dashboard.
Step 2: Click Design under your blog name
Step 3: Click EDIT HTML under the tabs at the top of your web page
Step 4: Under Backup / Restore Template, click Download Full Template, it will automatically save a copy of an XML file to your DOWNLOADS folder
Step 5: Rename that XML file to the date that you downloaded it, so you'll remember when you backed it up. I would then save these files in a specified folder on your hard drive to keep yourself organized.

I'm a small time blogger, and I found my header on Google Images. How do I find out if I'm breaking a copyright law? Do I even *have* copyright bounds, if I'm not making any money off of it? - Riv Re
A: Unless that image said FREE FOR USE for non-commercial sites or something like that, you can't use that image. Internet copyrights are a slippery slope, but they are in place and taking an image to use as a display image is a big NO-NO. You always have copyright bounds, no matter how small you are. Say, if you take Tinker Bell's image and place it on your blog. Disney would view that as Tinker Bell endorsing everything you say - they might have a problem with that. In fact Disney is known to be a very staunch enforcer of their copyrights and will take small time bloggers to court for copyright infringement. Most likely it will result in a Cease and Desist letter from their lawyer in which they expect you to pull it down immediately, but if you don't it could result in fines, court fees, etc. You don't want to mess with copyrights.

Then there is the moral question, I know it was just out there, hanging out, saying "Hey I look nice, use me." But, in essence it is someone else's work. Art / Design / Photography is still property of the artist that created it. Unless it is in the public domain it is considered stealing.

If you do an interview with an author and he is deliberately rude to you, do you have the right to be rude to him back when you post the interview? - Gina
A: You never really have the "right" to be rude to anyone. I'm a big proponent of 'What you send out into the Universe you get back'.

Christians say 'Turn the other cheek'.

Hindus believe in Karma etc. But, in life it is hard not to fight back. Especially if someone is an asshole. My basic philosophy doesn't allow me to make the decision of who gets theirs though. So, while someone might be really mean to me, it is not my job to make them pay for their asshole tendencies. Most of the time if you sit back and let it come to them it will. If I were to dish out a bit of revenge nine times out of ten it back-fires on me. Let the universe sort it out in the end. You know what the biggest revenge would be with this author? Don't even post the interview. STRIKE! LOL. If this author was such a big prick that it pissed you off this much don't give them free advertising! Don't buy another book of theirs. That is payback enough, they lost a fan and a little bit of PR. How moronic of them that they were rude to someone that was going to promote their book.

I like the ideas you present. I enjoy blogging via blogspot ... and I link back to my professional website from there. I've had folks from WordPress come to my blog and insist I need to blog via WordPress or nobody will ever take me seriously. I don't know that such an idea is true ... I tried WordPress and even while I've designed numerous web pages I found WordPress so different from any other program I've ever worked with ... it was cumbersome and tedious to learn. I admire you for your new goals. I might get there ... er ... some day. For now, I'm taking the easy route. LOL. - Tami Jackson
A: Thanks Tami. I'm on Blogger and I'm pretty sure that people take me seriously if my site visits have anything to do with it. Wordpress is cumbersome and hard to use and on top of it, it's not stable. Even self-hosted Wordpress sites have a tendency to corrupt. What is that? One day your site is just not there! I've NEVER had this problem with Blogger. Yes, the editor might be a little quirky, but I'll take reliability with a little bit of tweaking in my editor any day.

How do I get the little facebook botton and goodreads button on my blog? I have seen other blogs that have a "Other Places to Find Me" section on their side bar with little icons that connect to their seperate accounts but I am unsure how to set that up. Please help? - Lost in Y.A. Wonderland
A: It takes a bit of HTML. Ready for a screenr??

Social Icons Taken From:

Grab this code:

<div style="width:102px; float:left">

<div style="width:32px; clear: left; float: left; margin-right: 2px;">
<a href="#" ><img src="IMAGE URL HERE" border="0"/></a>

<div style="width:32px; float: left;  margin-right: 2px;">
<a href="#" target="_blank><img src="IMAGE URL HERE" border="0"/></a>

<div style="width:32px; float: left;  margin-right: 2px;">
<a href="#" target="_blank"><img src="IMAGE URL HERE" border="0"/></a>


# - where your URL goes
IMAGE URL HERE - where the image URL goes

Watch this video:

I am having major difficulty with my post template. I'm trying to use a different background image for my posts and have tried CSS formatting, but it just won't work. The post preview looks great, but when I actually publish the post, the formatting disappears. Any words of wisdom for a newbie? - Mandy Lum
A: Mandy, I can't really answer that question without seeing what is actually going on. Most likely it is because of your template CSS is overriding the CSS you are using in your post. You will have to go through all your code. It is called Cascading Style Sheets for a reason, the browser reads from top to bottom and it will use the attribute that is highest in the order of the formatting. Any higher up code will be used and override the code that you are using further down. Most likely in CSS errors it is because something "higher up" is overriding the new code.

I've been hearing a lot lately about purchasing your own domain name as opposed to keeping the .blogspot I am interested in owning my own domain, and like the idea for several reasons. However, I am very accustomed to how blogger works for writing reviews, editing content, tagging posts etc. Once I'm used to a system, and when I know that system works for me, I don't like needing to learn a new way of doing things.

So, I'm wondering what changes with the posting process once you've purchased your own domain. Are there a lot of new things that I am going to need to learn, or is the platform essentially the same?
- Anon
A: Nothing will change. The only difference will be a new .com name instead of a .blogspot. You will still use the blogspot editor, everything.

I figured out how to put the white box with the black border around quotes, and I use it in all my reviews. I'm wondering how I do one with the picture of the book overlapping the corner of the box? - Anon
A: You are going to have to give it a margin-left attribute. In your code for BLOCKQUOTE give it margin-left:75px; and that should work.

That's it kids. Talk less. Read more. Happy Thursday!

Ask your BB101 Questions here...


Bonnie said...

Great post! Thanks for the tips.

Alison said...

Always one of my fav posts of the week! Looks like th domain name question set off a flood. I'm really glad I did it and my blog designer is helping me clean up a few things like fixing my button and linked pages. Otherwise, it was quite seamless.

Steph from said...

Thanks for the help with blog tips. In re rudeness: we always have the right to be rude, it's good to remember of course that we also have the right to remain silent.

In the case of rudeness I find a few helpful things:
that rude person could just be an a$$ or they could be having a crappy day. We've all don't it so empathy works better than anger.

In LL Bean customer service training we learned to speak more calmly and softly when someone was trying to be confrontational. In this we learned to treat the a$$ calmly and kindly. Anger seeks anger to gain energy, rudeness expects rudeness and return. When you do the opposite it can take the wind out of the sails of the anger/rudeness person.

And, finally, I am the least perfect person I know and often forget the most important lesson I learned from 9/11 was that between the first plane and second planes hitting the towers and the other two crashing into the earth, that I realized that there are few things that deserve the anger we so easily spread around the world. Life is short, be nice.

Seriously, if a good act has positive ripples in the universal pond, then a negative act has a set of harmful ripples that can overcome whatever good has been done.

Best Wishes!

ParaJunkee said...

@Bonnie - I hope they help!

@Allison - you started a trend. LOL

@Steph - Great advice, I couldn't have even come close to saying it that well. Thanks for chiming in as always. I appreciate it.

Enbrethiliel said...


So I'm not the only one who noticed how snooty Wordpress bloggers can be? =P

Seriously, I also gave Wordpress a try based on their recommendations, even bearing in mind their warning that it requires more of a learning curve than Blogger, and it just made everything so much harder. =S I'm sticking with Blogger because I've never really had any complaints with it.

PS--That idea that one won't be taken seriously as a blogger unless one is on Wordpress? I think it should be modified to read: "one won't be taken seriously by Wordpress bloggers." ;-) Some of whom are actually my friends, so let me make it clear that I don't bear the group any ill will! It's just that the refrain of "Switch to Wordpress" gets really old, really fast.

Midnyte Reader said...

Thanks so much. I love this feature, it is so helpful.

Shannon@BooksDevoured said...

Thank you for all the help you give to new bloggers!!! You are awesome!!!!

Annette said...

Just wanted to make a comment about the sticky copyright issue. One way to help is to use Creative Commons to find images, etc. that have more lenient and defined usage rules.

Deborah Lawrenson said...

Just adding my thanks - this is really helpful!

Steph from said...

I just reread my post above and talk about typos! Here are some corrections Except for the -- they are in caps:

We've all done it--empathy works better than anger.

Anger seeks anger to gain energy, rudeness expects rudeness IN return. ... it can take the wind out of the sails of the ANGRY/RUDE person.

then a negative act has a set of harmful ripples that can overPOWER whatever good has been done.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Wordpress blogger and I really don't think people take me more seriously or Blogger bloggers less seriously! I think it helps to have your own domain (which I don't have), that makes you look more serious, though.

I (of course) think wordpress is fine. I have never had any problem with it, it never failed me (except a little down time a while ago). It's perfect for stopping spam and it was really, really easy to set up.

It probably matters what you start off with. After I had my wp blog I wanted to set up a Blogger blog for my son and we found it so awkward that we gave up! :-)

ParaJunkee said...

@Enbrethiliel - You know it really is the same with Mac users...which I am. It is a I like to do it this way --- which is the right way and everyone else is wrong. When in essence it is just a different way of doing things. They are pretty equal in my mind, they are just different. I found Wordpress to be more confusing and a bit restrictive because of not letting you use iframes --- which I use ALL the time. But they do have some positive things and their editor is more stable. Personally I’ll deal with the quirky editor of blogger in exchange for the ease of use, the non-crashing and the community exposure. About the snobbiness...I’ve had a few WP snob statements directed at me, but this was from the graphic design community, and we do tend to be VERY opinionated on the platforms we use. All I have to tell them is that it cost money to edit the CSS in WP and it is free in Blogger...all about the FREE!

@Midnyte Reader - Glad you got something out of it.

@Shannon@BooksDevoured - no you are awesome. Thanks for reading.

@Annette - Thanks for the chime Annette. I’ll have to check that out.

@Deborah Lawrenson - welcome! Thanks for reading.

@Steph - LOL - thanks for the update.

@leeswammes I guess if you get used to doing things one way, it’s hard to change your ways. Thanks for not being snobby regarding us silly blogger users.

Anonymous said...

Rach- I cant tell you enough how much I admire your hard work and helping all us bloggers with HTML...:D Your Blog 101 gets better every week....

Marce said...

You have been a consistent wonderful help on the blogosphere, thanks for being genuine.

My anxious life said...

I wish there was a better way to find the answers to these posts.... I don't know how you could do it though? For example the html section about for the facebook find me buttons was great help. But I found it way too late. I searched the web up and down for that answer! google never lead me anywhere. I finally started emailing other bloggers for help. Only one answered me and put the html in an email for me. I looked through your blogger 101 page but didn't see it in any of the links there? Maybe add a few more links to help out bloggers? Your information is wonderful and I love love love it! Right now I am going through all the questions people have sent in!!!


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