Sunday, February 05, 2006

Admin: NewsNow, Syndication, Blogroll and FireFox

Admin stuff, but readers using a Windows PC should read the bottom bit

Blogger and Blog-Spot are playing up, wrote a post about the cartoons; now displaying. Shouldn't complain too much about a free service I guess, no idea what was wrong.

Anyway. We're now syndicated on NewsNow, which I've been using as a source on breaking news for years. I've also added a lot of syndication buttons to the right; can't personally recommend any of the services as a blog feedreader, I use LiveJournal, but they all seem to be popular. Open offer again; if anyone wants a LiveJournal syndication for their feed (which I recommend), email me with your feed address (matbowles at gmail dot com); we've got several regular readers through ours.

I plan to be reorganising the BlogRoll; I'd like to link to every political blog UK related, but, well, that's going to be a huge, ever growing list. As search engines don't like huge link lists (they treat you as a link farm), that's Not Good. So I'll be bringing the front page links down to about 50 (ish), and creating a spare page for the rest and the newly discovered. However...

50 is still too much display space, so I'll be using the nice CSS coding that DK pointed us all towards awhileback and embedding the lists in menus. Unfortunately, this won't work properly in Internet Explorer 6, which approximately 40% of readers to this site use.

Windows PC users

If you're reading this website using a Windows PC, and you've not installed software of your own to browse the Web with, the odds are that you're using the default software you get with every PC, called Internet Explorer (that little 'e' icon? That's the one). Problem. It's not very good to read the web with, doesn't display many websites properly and is a lot more vulnerable to security attacks than other 'browsers' you can choose to use. Specifically, while I'll always try to make sure you can read everything here, my coding skills aren't up to much, so fixing what I've done so faulty software can read it will be hard work. Much better if you install a better browser, doing so is really easy. Trust me, I managed it.

There are many other options out there, the Too Cool for IE site lists a fair few, but I personally recommend FireFox. In fact, as a specific, if you click on the icon at the bottom of the google ads to the left, you can get a free, easy to install copy of FireFox and, when you first try it, Google will give me money. All you have to do is try it, once. Fair warning though, there are some privacy concerns with the Google version, explained here on The Snow in Summer, and here in a comment, but as I personally use Google - and Gmail - all the time, it's one of those cost/benefit things, the quality of the product, to me, outweighs the concerns. You can get the free version directly from FireFox without the toolbar, but then I don't get any money!

FireFox is easy to use, and has many useful features (such as tabbed browsing, pop up blocking, built in search bars) and can have optional plugins installed to do many, many things. If you try it, and want some help getting it working properly, feel free to mail me or comment here.

Of course, you may be forced to use Internet Explorer at work, in which case, you could do what I managed, and talk the IT guy into changing company policy, the security benefits were what won my argument, but simple speed and utility benefits would also help. But, if you're at home on your own PC? Give it a go, nothing to lose except that little 'e' icon, the FireFox logo is much better anyway...


Paulie said...

Firefox with blogger is fine - as long as your spelling is OK.

The spellchecker in blogger adds all sorts of extraneous code when you are checking text using Firefox. It doesn't if you're using IE.

So: If you're using Firefox, author offline (idealy with MS Word).

Here endeth...

MatGB said...

Or, alternately, never use a spellcheck and read it through manually. Pet hate, never have got on with checkers, they miss my grammar errors and stupid typos, but pick me up on my preference for certain either/or spellings.

And, Word? That costs money. Open Office for me, my student copy of M$ Office is so old it's not worth installing...

Paulie said...

Oooo! Competitive geekery!

*produces glove*


The Cathedral. At dawn.

BTW, changing the subject. I've found another quote for you - in case you've not put me on your RSS list yet?

"Direct Democrats are worse than the Nazis - at least with Fascism, you know who's in charge."