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Saturday, January 15, 2011

How to open a Blog, part 2

The second post of How to open a Blog.


You remember on my last post I wrote that I don’t know what’s the difference between RSS and ATOM?

Well I did some digging… Mainly because I noticed that my Notes blog subscription has no title formatting (I used word for that post so I had some blue headings). Well what I discovered was that ATOM is a better choice.

RSS 2.0

RSS was the older format and more widely know but has some short coming such as “it only supports plain text”:


(no formatting just text and images and also no updates)

Also it has no last update – meaning that when you update a post on your blog the change is not immediately visible.

ATOM 1.0

ATOM is the newer format, it supports formatted text and the images are in the same size as in the site:


(as you can see Google Analytics is now blue and a title and the post was updated with new content)

Also it contains a mandatory field for update time so when you refresh your feed reader you will get the newer post.

I have already set FeedBurner on the RSS feed, what do I do?

First of all – Don’t Panic. It’s one of the most simple things to fix, in FeedBurner click on your feed than click “Edit Feed Details” on the top left:


Now change your Original feed from RSS to ATOM. In blogger RSS is http://SiteAddress/feeds/posts/default?alt=rss and ATOM is http://SiteAddress/feeds/posts/default. If you are not in blogger just look for another site in your network that didn’t set FeedBurner or open a new experiments blog.


Click on “Save Feed Details” and you are done.

Wait. Done? Don’t I have to change the site or contact my users?

No. Since the users are already working through the FeedBurner you don’t have to change a thing. For your users it will be like you always had an ATOM feed at least on the next refresh of the feed reader.



Most of us like to know we are appreciated even if it is just to know someone is following our posts (though it would be nice to have a comment or two, hint hint). For that reason we went through all the process of setting the FeedBurner and Google Analytics.

Accessing the statistics:

1. Blogger system, the stats page:


This is one of the nicer features of blogger. Here you get to see what pages the users looked at, where are your users from in the world and what web page brought tem to your site.

An important setting to set here is “Don't track your own pageviews”:



This should be set to “Don't track my pageviews” on all your browsers so that you don’t get false reading – you are going to visit your own blog a lot! For me it was 100 times before I turned it off…

2. FeedBurner:



Shows you how many subscribers you have. Well at least an educated guess to how many subscribers you have without counting bots and multiple computer…


Well this might be a nice graph, but what does it mean? Well Google Feedfetcher is from either Google Reader or iGoogle and since I know I am one of the 2 subscribers I can tell I have at most three subscribers.

3. Google Reader

Wait, what does a Feed reader has to do with anything?

Well Google Reader does it’s own count on how many subscribers a feed has.

On the top right corner click on “show details”:



Well it also shows how many posts were wrote per week and how many you read (useful when you want to remove blogs that don’t interest you).

4. Google Analytics

Well this one shows the least amount of data:



It is more or less the same as the blogger stats page without an easy option to opt out of the statistics.

5. IceRocket Tracker

Just register and sign in. Click on Add Blog, enter the blog’s URL.

On step 2 leave the defaults and click Finish.

Click on:


Copy paste the script to the gadget for Google Analytics (explained on the previous post).

On the IceRocket click on the link of the list.

You should get this result:


Not this:



The tracker gives you screen resolutions and the location of your readers:


As well as ranking based on clicks and search terms used to get to your site.

Increasing Popularity

The first way to increase your blog’s traffic is by registering to the various Tag Providers, this insures that when someone else blogs about what you posted and puts the relevant tags surfers will reach you (for more information see posts about “Windows live writer: Tag providers, part 2” (not posted yet)).

But it’s not the only way.

Inform the various search engines about your blog (though if you wait up to a month it will be done for you):

Add dotnetkicks to your blog by either a badge or directly to your feed (the FeedBurner option).

Join BlogExplosion for every two blogs you click on at least one will click will return to your blog (more on it).

Pingoat – tell everyone you updated your blog so that they will update their content (for other pinging service). You can even save a bookmark with your blog and all the pings and just open it after each post (simply bookmark the page after clicking on “Go Pingoat!”).

One last thing is image names, sometimes your readers don’t know what they are looking for but they know how it should look. Search engines index your photos by their names so if the image has the name inage.png (like Windows Live Writer standard) you won’t get any new reader but if the name is Rss-feed-install.png you might just get someone!

For new posts you can use Windows Live Writer Plugin: Clipboard Capture, it allows you to choose your default image format and when pasting an image it allows you to set the image name. The plugin does have some bugs like if you have an image in the clipboard and you want to copy the name of the image it throws an exception saying the clipboard has no image… And another bug where clicking back space causes an exception and the alternative text to stop filling (I recommend using the older version from Codeplex).

Now if you are like me and you already have ~50 posts with images the way Windows Live Writer likes them then you got yourself a problem I am still trying to solve. The easiest way I found involves opening the post on your web browser and copy the image and paste it to the Windows Live Writer. It allowed me to add watermarks to my images with “©Dll Shepherd .Net” (which in itself is important to blog rating) but I really want something easier (this post was changed that way)…

After too many times of hitting the back space or trying to copy text I actually opened the source code from here (older version without editing of the alternative text) and fixed the clipboard bug. My source changes can be downloaded from here (I would post the Dll but I can’t really read the licensing to know if it will be legal or not (I am no lawyer!)).


RSS vs. Atom: What’s the Big Deal?

Windows Live Writer Plugin: Clipboard Capture

Clipboard Capture Plugin

Autor: Clipboard Capture Plug-in Updated

keywords: blog, blogger, rss, atom, statistics, Google Analytics,Google Reader,FeedBurner