Sunday, December 11, 2005

U.B. Connectin'...

Here's an emailed question from Linda, a participant in our "City Blogging" workshop at the recent CCDA Indy 2005 conference:

"Hi, Neil. The workshop at the CCDA conference was sooooo motivational. I came home and started (after catching up on work I'd missed while gone) blogging! I suppose I'll get more and more ideas as I visit others' blogs, but in my eagerness to "strike while the iron's hot" I went ahead and got started. I figured I could learn "in process". I have been having a lot of fun playing with my new blogs the past couple of weeks, but haven't been able to find the "help" topic for how to add my contact info on the sidebar. Can you direct me? Thanks for your help. I so enjoyed meeting you."

[The credit truly should go to Jeremy Del Rio & Rudy Carrasco. I'm honored to be able to work with them. Now, about your question... ]

Hmmm. How to get your contact info in the sidebar, huh? Excellent idea -- especially since a major purpose for 'city blogging' is to connect the Church of Jesus Christ, community by community.

There are a couple of roads we could take to get your contact info into your blog. Here's an easy one. I'll use our friend Jewel Graham's blog as an excellent example:

Jewel is using the standard Blogger convention of letting you click on her pic, and it'll take you to her bio/contact page... which will show her email address that she filled into her 'profile' at Try it -- click here first to go to Jewel's Gems, and then click on her picture there. La Voila!



What if you have two or three different blogs that you participate in, and you really want a different look/feel for each? That is, what if your one 'profile' doesn't really work well for all of them? Case in point, I participate in a million different blogs, so I disable my profile section of the template-code. Instead, I easily code my contact info into a blog directly... eg.., as shown below.

How? By playing in the template-code. Btw, here's a little primer I call "Mercy, U.B. Codin'." Funny part is, it's not all that tough. You don't need to know how to code... to code. LOL. All of us can do it.

Bottom line, you just need to get something like this inserted into your template-code:

LOL. Of course I'm just kidding about the 'Hey Ma' tag <> in the above code, but it is a clue as to how you can add an exclamation point (!) in front of any tag <> which will effectively disable the tag and instead treat it as just an explanation tag within the coding. Real programmers often insert such comment-tags to help mark important sections, etc.

Ok, can you guess how the mail-link tag work, and insert your own email address? Hope so. If not, check out the primer mentioned above, and if you still have questions, email me. We're anxious to empower as many Christian bloggers as we possibly can.

Btw, now that you know how to disable a tag by inserting an exclamation point (!) in the front part of the tag, I guess you know how to disable the 'profile' portion of your template-code. [Just insert an exclamation mark in the right spot.]

The only trick is... finding the right section in the code. And my favorite way to 'find' stuff among all the coding is to use the Windows 'CNTL-F' feature to 'find' any particular text within a long page of text... eg., the word 'profile' or 'contributor'. Then insert a well-placed exclamation point into one or more tags that would have otherwise displayed your profile.

Here's how I did it...

Like I said, you don't have to know how to code... to code. **smile**

Merry Blogging!

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