Friday, February 29, 2008

Can't Scroll on Blogger Layouts page

Multiple reports of the Layouts page editor not allowing users to scroll have been posted to the Blogger Help Groups recently. Blogger has reported the issue resolved as of today. Clear your browser's cache (ctrl + f5 on a PC), close your browser, then re-open it and login to your blog. Please report any continuing issues to

There does seem to be an unofficial limit on how many page elements you can stuff into a sidebar or other section of a template before it breaks the visibility of the Layouts tab screen.

Why can't I scroll my Layouts screen?
Blogger code issues - There was an issue with the scrollbars that was fixed today. The blog had the following update:

Since 2/12, the Layouts page elements editor has not had scrollbars around the wireframe template. Until this is resolved, you can often scroll wide templates by clicking and dragging on empty space.

Nevertheless, we encourage template designers to use the body#layout CSS selector to add CSS styles that adapt templates to the editor.
Update, 2/29: The Layouts editor now expands to the size of the template.
Browser updates can cause temporary problems
It can be related to how different browsers display information. IE6 appears to display a full scrollbar, while recent updates to FireFox seem to be causing display issues. Find out how to compress your layout

Custom Templates may break the Layout Editor
Making custom changes to your blog template can cause issues with the layout editor. Blogger controls the layout and look of the administration screens using CSS. Be careful when adding new CSS styles or code to your template.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Jazzing up a Twitter Badge with CSS

When using a plain HTML/JavaScript Twitter badge, you have to provide your own CSS styling. Your badge will look similar to the one below:

    Here is a simple CSS style block you can modify to glam up your basic Twitter badge:

    You should already have the code for your Twitter badge. If you don't, go to to grab the code. It should look similar to this:

    Monday, February 18, 2008

    Got a Blogger Issue? Known Issues can help

    I see a lot of posts in the Blogger Help Group that could be easily fixed by visiting Blogger's Known Issues blog. There were a whole slew of updates posted last week, ranging from making the layouts screen work nice with the browser Safari 3.0, to changing the Template tab to the less confusing "Layout".

    Why visit the Known Issues blog? When an issue is still open, you can easily report it right there on the blog. The top of the known issues blog contains a tag cloud of links to specific issue topics. You can also comment on an issue. The main page of the blog also contains a series of brief updates and listings of the latest issues. Temporary fixes are often posted to work around known issues as well.

    Additional navigational features on the blog include the ability to sort issues by Outstanding, Fixed, and All Issues. You can also search the blog and subscribe to a feed.

    Friday, February 8, 2008

    Optimizing your blog for search engines

    Bloggers have unique issues when it comes to search engines. We have a lot of content over time, which makes search engines happy. We also face more difficulties if we primarily post images, video, and other multimedia files. Search engines are scrambling to catch up and accommodate searches for rich media content.

    Why do the search engines care?
    Video, audio, and image content are extremely popular right now and search engine users are looking for better ways to find this content. The search engine that can successfully solve this problem for users will widen the opportunities for additional ad revenue. They will collect more revenue from site owners who mainly offer rich media content and want to be found, and from search engine users who are looking for the content.

    What you can do in the meantime
    If you create original video content, you can submit it to Yahoo!'s own video content stream and YouTube (Google). Photographers and original image creators will want to take advantage of meta-data for their work and alt image tags. Whenever you add a video or image to a blog post, try to add a descriptive message with it.
    Use an RSS/alternative content service such as to package your content into different formats for visitors and other interested parties to enjoy. You will be creating additional information about your content at the same time. Useful!

    These changes are happening at a rapid pace. Expect big changes over the coming months as the YouTube and Feedburner services acquired by Google mature.

    Sunday, February 3, 2008

    Playing with Google Analytics Report Charts

    Google Analytics charts can be viewed in multiple formats. Clicking one of the tiny icons next to the view link under the chart of any report will change the visual format of the chart. You can also specify how much information to see on a chart. The default visual for most reports is a line graph displaying one item. Clicking on the date above the graph will display additional choices, including comparing multiple metric items against each other. Analytics calls this reporting feature "Graph Mode".

    When you have your graphical report set up the way you want, you can dive deeper into the display by clicking or hovering your cursor over any point on the chart. You can change the date range displayed by editing the date range at the top of the report.

    Want to see a report on your main dashboard when you first login? Click the "add to dashboard" button. Once the report is on the main dashboard, it can be rearranged with other reports by dragging and dropping.

    Email a report to yourself and others while you sleep. Click on the email feature at the top of a report. Fill out the "Setup to run automatically" tab of the email report form. The report will be emailed out in the format you choose on the date you specified.

    Have a burning question about Analytics? You're not alone. Share your issue and I'll feature it here so others can benefit too.