Tag Archives: Google Reader

Blog odds and ends

Perhaps a little more than usual, this week has been a bit of a balancing act between working in my studio and working on this blog.  I’ve been on a roll getting the new site for my blog up to where I want it to be (obsessed, some might say). But I’ve also been building up for a soda firing all week.  Surprisingly, I think I’ve actually been making good progress in both sides of my clay world.  I’m spending my Sunday firing the my first soda kiln of 2009.  There are some espresso cups and saucers that are at about 2200° I’m dying to see in a couple of days!

Today’s post is a bunch of odds and ends about blogging that I’ve been meaning to write about. Nothing big enough for it’s own post, so I threw them all together.

Exploring pottery blog(s):

  • pottery-blog-archivesTake a look at the visual archives (also located in the top tab labeled “Archives”).  When I was digging through the old posts and tagging and categorizing everything, I came across a lot of information that is pretty timeless.  I wanted to make these older posts really accessible to dig through and came up with this page.
  • Also take a look over at the sidebar categories  (located in the right hand column. I can’t give you a direct link, you’ll just have to look to the right side of any page). As I mentioned above, I spent a lot of time re-categorizing and  retagging all old posts so they’d be extra easy to search through and I created a parent/sub category system that I think should be pretty easy to dig through to find what you may (or may not be) looking for. This took a shocking amount of work, but now that the archives are done, I can move forward and just keep things properly categorized as I go so there won’t be such a big chunk of work moving forward.
  • Another new feature that can be found on the right sidebar is some shared posts from other bloggers from my Google Reader.  I have been in the habit (not always very consistently) of “starring” posts (a GR thing) that I want to look back at, share a link or maybe comment on.  I turned this into a list of posts that you can read on it’s very own page and even subscribe to.  Now that I have created this way to share, I’m planning on being a bit more consistent with marking posts that I want to share. If you want to share items from your blog reader to your friends and readers, this will help you get started on your own share page.
  • Even if you spent some time checking out my pottery blogroll last week, you should take a minute and check back.  Several new blogs have been added.  And if you’re interested in using Google Reader but feel like you need a little more help, you might find this interesting.

Commenting:

One of my goals (or resolutions if you prefer) with this blog and other clay blogs I read is to do more commenting and replying to comments.  It takes some time and energy, but it is a big part of blogging that I thoroughly enjoy.  I like the commenting/ reply system on WordPress better than Blogger and I think it’ll be easier for everyone (including myself) to continue the conversation on beyond the actual blog post. And I’ve been adding in a couple of features that improves upon the commenting system just a little bit more.

  • If you’ve been doing any commenting on my blog over the last week, you might have noticed the little pictures (gravatars) that are showing up by some of the comments:

gravatars

A gravatar is a globally recognized avatar. You can create your own little image and connect it with you email address(es) and it’ll automatically show up with your comment on this blog and on many others.  I really like the extra personal touch.  It becomes a little more like a conversation than just commenting.  It’s easy to make your own gravatar and it only takes a couple of minutes.

  • To help continue the post-post conversation: Each time you comment, you’ll see a little box that you’ll need to check so you can get an email when there are more comments and responses to the post that you just commented on.

Some things for bloggers and potential future bloggers:

  • Make your own little favicon for your site with this site and this plugin.  If you’re on my site, you’ll see a little tiny mug by the url. This little detail makes me very happy.
  • This plugin for WordPress will make a nice little excerpt and choice of thumbnails when you post your blog to Facebook, etc…  I’ve been really happy with this feature. My old blog would just have the URL, no image and no text which made it not very interesting to post something. Simple and spiffy.

And on a totally unrelated topic: You might remember an earlier post about Bison Trimming Tools.  I just got a tip from Jeanette Zeis that Bison Tools are now being sold through Etsy!bison-trimming-tools

It’s time for me to head back to the kiln and put the second round of soda in.  I’m enjoying the warmth from the kiln on a very chilly (and snowy) Chicago night.  Pictures of the new pots will come soon!

Tour of Clay Focused Blogs (semi-complete), part 5

I have once again updated my blogroll of clay focused blogs. It’s getting loooong. But I seriously do read all of these blogs. As I have mentioned before, I use a blog reader, Google Reader, to keep track of my subscriptions. I could never actually keep track of all of these without it. I also use Google Reader to create my blogroll over there in the side bar automatically. If you’re a blogger and you’d like to do this on your website, check out this tutorial. Or if you’re want to do it a different way, you can try this.

There are lots of updates in this list. I’ve removed some that haven’t been updated in 7-8 months+, plus added all sorts of goodies. Every week I’m finding new blogs. I’m often surprised when I come upon a ‘new’ blog that has actually been around for several month. Why didn’t I know about it? If I’m missing something, let me know!

86. That’s the number in the blog roll now:

I hope you dive into these clay blogs and find some that really speak to you. There are so many different perspectives and so much knowledge. I think you’ll never be bored again.

Since I’m a big advocate of using a feed reader, I will give you a reminder of how to set up this list in Google Reader:

If you’re interested in subscribing to my list, and you’re using Google Reader, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Login to Google Reader
  2. Click on this link and “save file”: http://www.google.com/reader/public/subscriptions/user/15666827403315601321/label/public
  3. Figure out where the downloaded file is located. (for PC users) Right click on the download and click on “open folder containing.” That will tell you where the downloaded file is located
  4. Click on “Manage Subscriptions”
  5. Click on “Import/Export”
  6. Click on”Browse” and locate the downloaded file.
  7. Click Upload and then start reading! You’ll be overwhelmed with posts to read at first, but once you get caught up, it’s quite manageable :)You can always use this as a starting point and add and subtract subscriptions from this list to suit your interests.

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I forgot to mention this in my previous post about my new website. If you have a link to my website, would you mind updating it from sodafired.com to emilymurphy.com. And of course my blog address is potteryblog.com. Links are always appreciated :)

I hope you don’t mind my heavy posting this week. I’ve been traveling a lot this summer and I have been writing, but I haven’t always had the time to complete a thought, edit or ability to upload. So I have a back log of partial post. I’m leaving for Berlin and Amsterdam in less than a week and I want to try to get as many finished and posted as I have time for.

A Semi-Complete Tour of Ceramics Blogs (part 4)

When I started out on the venture of writing this blog almost 4 years ago, I could only really find a half dozen or fewer ceramic bloggers out there writing. Things have really exploded and there are new blogs popping up every week now (as well as some casualties). I thought I’d share with you links to the blogs that I read. (UPDATED)

You’ll notice that my blogroll is long. 63 blogs to be exact. There is no way that I could remember to check in with these blogs on my own, so I use the blog reader, Google Reader, to subscribe to these blogs. Instead of visiting all the sites, the newest posts are compiled into the reader automatically and keeps track of the unread ones, etc… It’s very easy to set up (really…it is!).
If you’re interested in subscribing to my list (below), and you’re using Google Reader, just follow these simple steps.

  1. Login to Google Reader
  2. Click on this link and “save file”: http://www.google.com/reader/public/subscriptions/user/15666827403315601321/label/public
  3. Figure out where the downloaded file is located. (for PC users) Right click on the download and click on “open folder containing.” That will tell you where the downloaded file is located
  4. Click on “Manage Subscriptions”
  5. Click on “Import/Export”
  6. Click on”Browse” and locate the downloaded file.
  7. Click Upload and then start reading! You’ll be overwhelmed with posts to read at first, but once you get caught up, it’s quite manageable :)
    You can always use this as a starting point and add and subtract subscriptions from this list to suit your interests.

I do plan on continuing sharing my “tour of ceramics blogs” with little write ups and images, but there has been such an explosion to pottery bloggers that I thought I should take a moment to catch you up with what’s happening in the world of ceramics bloggers.

I know there are more blogs out there, but it’s not always easy to find them! When looking for blogs to subscribe to, I look for the following criteria (it’s not an exact science):

  • regularly updated… or interesting enough that it’s worth the wait!
  • the content of the blog is multi-dimensional. (it’s not just a blog that is just showing what’s new in the writer’s online shop)
  • The focus of the majority of the blog posts are about clay. (pottery, tiles, sculpture, etc…)

The way that I have found out about most of these blogs is to follow the links from the blogs I read, and wander off from one blog into another. The linking and referencing between blogs has created a sort of community the exists between bloggers and readers from around the world, but within one’s own computer.

If you write or read a blog that you think I’d be interested in, please let me know! I am always excited to find a new one. If I have overlooked your blog, it’s not intentional, please send me a link.

And just one other thing that you might be able to help me with. I don’t know the names of all the bloggers who write these blogs. It often just doesn’t exist anywhere on the blog. I am sure this is sometimes intentional, but I think it’s sometimes just an over site. If there are any gaps that you can help me with, please pass on the info to me. I really like knowing the names of the person writing, it allows you to make a personal connection to the person writing. A big part of why someone buys a handmade pot is because of the connection to the maker. I sort of feel like it’s the same thing with reading a blog. I want to know about the maker/writer. At least their name and where they’re from.

Enjoy the trip you’re about to take wandering off into the land of ceramics blog. I’m sure you’ll be inspired, like I am every day.