I’m not sure what to think of social bookmarking. I uploaded my bookmark folders from my laptop at home to It took about half an hour for to give everything a place. I’d used capital letters to name the folders in my browser so the tags that assigned were also in capitals. Does this mean I’ve created ‘flaming’ tags?

After I’d chucked out the non-work related stuff I had 51 links left. The first thing I noticed after this clean-up was the added information on how many other users had noted the same bookmarks. I took this in with a feeling of ‘so what’. It doesn’t surprise me that other people have the same bookmarks. There are a lot of people out there using the web. I’d had a similar reaction to the numbers of other readers of titles I’d read in Library Thing. I’m trying to work out if this has any relevance at all. The links in my list that were saved the most by other users were the browser related help pages. That’s logical isn’t it?.

When I had a closer look at my list I noticed that the links that no one on had saved except me were the ones not in English. appears to have a bias for English language sites. This calls for some remedial action. If you love gelato, then make this link is one for your favorites:

I’m still testing out the possibilities of this web 2.0 tool for week 7 of SPOETNIK. I’ll write more later.

Blog stats

Wow! Since I sent out my invitation yesterday my blog stats have gone from 30 views a day up to 98 for today!. Woutv suggested placing the blog stats for Hoi Gagarin on view. I didn’t think I had much to show but now I’ve changed my mind. So Woutv, I’m taking your advice and publishing the blog stats. WordPress has a handy widget for this too.

I sent the invite as a way of introducing my blog to other SPOETNIKERS and to establish contact in preparation for a chat session. I’ve not had much success with the chat – most people have responded by taking a look at the blog, leaving a comment or replying to my e-mail. These methods of communicating are apparently easier for most of us than chatting is.

The lesson I’ve learned? A little direct advertising does wonders for the promotion of your blog!

Comment & chat

This evening I took a little time browsing in the list of blogs on SPOETNIK – there are so many! I ended up picking a few at random and leaving some comments on the posts that I liked. The mix of personal and professional content made it really interesting reading.

I’ve started on SPOETNIK’s exercise for week 4 which is all about chat. We use Chatfone at the UB EUR for chat with our library users – or we did until recently. We’ve not been able to use Chatfone for a few days now so this is a good time to experiment with alternatives. I’ve been reading the information on Meebome. It looks pretty good. I’ll fit it into my blog to play with it. This should be pretty easy to do in WordPress as Meebo is one of the widgets available in the set of standard widgets for blinging one’s blog.

Blog bling

I’ve blinged (blung?) this blog with a blogroll of some of the blogs I like a lot. This is a short list since I’ve been spending my time finding out how to add widgets to a WordPress blog without throwing out the stuff I like in the default theme by mistake. This involved adding available WordPress widgets to a column, saving, then viewing the page to see what had happend. Trial and error, always works for me. For those who don’t want to take a lot of time experimenting, there is a handy list of the standard WordPress widgets on this help page.

Lesson learned
To add a blogroll in a WordPress blog, use the ‘Blogroll’ module in the ‘Dashboard’, to open a page where you can fill in the URL’s of the blog’s you want to link to. You can also add a short description which will be shown if a reader moves their mouse over the link. The links that you type in this ‘Blogroll’ page are automatically assigned the category ‘blogroll’. The next step is to get your links visible on the page. You do this in the ‘Presentation’ module by selecting and pulling the widget named ‘Links’ to a sidebar in your page.

Picking up speed

SPOETNIK’s exercise for week 2 is to make a blog. I like blogs, but I’ve never written one. So this a totally new experience for me.

I’ve discovered that it’s quite easy to set up a blog at WordPress as recommended by the SPOETNIK crew.

I’ve also discovered that I’m pretty fussy. Choosing a template took me at least an hour. I checked out all the examples, then checked the categories they were divided into; colors, number of columns, navigation etc, went back and forwards a few times and eventually choose this template. Why this one? – Because of the flexible width, 3 columns, navigation and last but not least color and overal layout. It’s called Neo Sapian.

Storm in a teacup

Once I’d written the first post ‘Hello world!’ and the ‘About this blog’ bit, I noticed a little link down the bottom of the left hand column ‘valid xhtml’. I clicked on it of course. I almost wish I hadn’t. I got linked though to a validator tool which promptly informed me,

This page is not Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional!

Failed validation, 8 Errors

I spent the next half hour clicking through the FAQs provided by the tool to find out where I had gone wrong. I thought I’d mucked up the html code of the list I put into the ‘About this blog’ page. After much online reading, and fiddling with the code of my blog post using the edit function, I gave up and went for coffee. Back at my desk I printed out the information on the Xhtml code – more reading for in the train on the journey home. Reading about code validation got me pretty confused. It seems that may ‘errors’ are due to different interpretations of the way to use code and the differences between the earlier HTML, it’s predecessors, and the later extended versions (XHTML).

At home I proudly showed my first blog to my teenage daughter. Naturally, I asked her for help with the ‘Failed validation’ problem. She showed me how to jump to the line number in the source code:

In Firefox => View => Page source => Edit => Go to line …

This is when I discovered that the ‘errors’ were in the template and in the way widgets get pasted into the columns.

I’ve decided not to read any more about code unless I can avoid it.