18 July 2012

How to load animated GIF in Blogger?

One of the substantial limitations of the Blogger platform is lack of straight-forward opportunity to add animated GIF to the post. The problem is that the HTML image, generated automatically by default post editor of Blogger, displays a thumbnail and not the original file hosted. Therefore, that animation does not work.

There are several ways to get what you want by using third-party, which can store your image. We will review on how to use popular service Photobucket for these purposes.

So, you loaded the animated GIF to the Photobucket. What next?

As you probably know, when you post images, provider offers you several links to use for different types of images sharing.

You also can get the same links without opening the image itself. When it is in the gallery of thumbnails, just pointing on the pic will call the same menu.

You would be mostly interested in the code posted in line three. Usually, I use it directly for static images, but in the test case, I need the animated image serve as a banner, pointing out on the advertised website. And if you do not modify the code, the image will be automatically linked to the Photobucket homepage, and not to the site I want it to. Also, the alt="some description" attribute describe Photobucket", so you may need to change it to alter description of your image.

You may copy the given code and modify it later, or you may create the code yourself, which may be even easier, using these instructions. The image code should be in the following format:

<img scr="photo URL" alt="some text" title="some text" /">

Replace 'photo URL' with the actual URL of the photo, which you can get by clicking in the second box (Direct Link). The attribute alt="some text" and title="some text", where you replace "some text" with something relevant to the photo, and are optional. You can definitely leave it as is. But it is highly recommended to add them as search engines spiders cannot read images, but can read what is written inside the alt="" and title="" attributes. Adding them will thus enable search engines spider your post better. Further, by adding the title="" attribute, when you hover your mouse cursor over the image, you will see a tool tip displaying the text you put between the quotation marks.

So, in my case, the link will look as following:

<img scr="http://i1009.photobucket.com/albums/af217/nesher9/Tanya_addiction-1.gif" alt="addiction treatment" title="BayAreaTherapyPro.com" /">

Now modify the embedding code and insert the link in the post.

Adding this animated GIF to the Blogger Layout is even easier (and that is what I was actually looking for). 

Add new gadget and chose Picture. In the link box, paste the destination site you want the GIF to direct to. Posting from my computer did not work, as I mentioned earlier, so I specified the same Photobucket URL through the “From the Web” option. In my case, I had to remove the Shrink to Fit checkmark as I needed the actual image size for the banner. You can see the practical implementation at the bottom of the page: http://smoking-tobacco.blogspot.com/

Sources and Additional Information:

08 July 2012

Free Electronic Business Cards from SavvyCard

If you consider your blogging as your primary or secondary business, you are definitely interested in promoting it through all possible means. Business cards are the traditional way to present your affiliation with your business, so creating your business card presenting you as the business owner may be essential.

However, times are changing. More and more businesses shift their accents toward online operations. Business Cards have not escaped the modern trends. Today, we are going to present business cards, which are going to be distributed electronically.

SavvyCards are online business cards that not only include your contact information (like regular business cards), but also offer a whole new level of functionality. You can think of SavvyCards as highly interactive "mini websites" through which you can market yourself in ways not previously possible with regular business cards. SavvyCards are indexed by search engines and can be found through online searches, particularly local ones.

SavvyCards are designed to work on any web-enabled device. In addition, SavvyCards are "intelligent" and know what type of device you are using, so they'll offer different options. For example, if you click on the "Call" button to call someone from their SavvyCard while using a laptop computer, the card will display the person's phone number so you can write it down, or use it for reference as you dial a phone. But, if you click on the same "Call" button while accessing their card on a Smartphone, the card will automatically dial that person's number for you instead.

First of all, the service is free, and you can create unlimited types and varieties of online business cards, which may be directed to different groups of customers, lines of business, language groups, and so on.

Once you sign up with SavvyCard and create your free account, you will gain access to the powerful online CardBuilder. Using the CardBuilder, you will create and publish your own SavvyCard.

The CardBuilder allows you to choose from a large selection of pre-generated artwork from which you can create your SavvyCard. The CardBuilder has libraries of backgrounds you can use and an easy-to-use tool for uploading and cropping your photo and company logo. You don't have to upload a photo or logo either, you can just use text for your company name instead, or you can choose to use other artwork in place of your photo (either upload your own, or use any images from the special library). You'll also have choices for text color and what font you want to use. When you are happy with the way your card looks, you just click a button and it's published to the web and is ready to use.

Once you've created and published your SavvyCard, the system will publish it to a URL that will be unique to your card. It is easy to get your information in front of people who need it, and to make it a lot easier to market yourself and network.

You can push your SavvyCard via email or text to other people, trade contact information with other people, provide immediate directions to your place of business, provide a write up of your company and services, provide your own biography or other relevant information about yourself, recommend other people and services, list links to other websites that are important to you and your business, link to your social pages on Twitter, Facebook and any other social network, link to other web information that your customers will find valuable, and much more.

In addition, people who receive your SavvyCard will be able to take notes on the "back" of your card, forward it through their social network pages to their networks of family, friends and business associates, email it or text it to other people, bookmark it, save it as an icon on their homepage (even on mobile devices), and much more!

You can check the card functionality. It is hosted at http://savvycard.net/bayareatherapypro/eng

There is an additional benefit for those, who need to improve ranking of the professional websites in major search engines. Such electronic business card allows to create link to the main site (in this case, it is http://www.bayareatherapypro.com. As you understand, more external links your site has, easier to make its way to the top listing in the related searches.

Note that you can even use your own domain for your online card. There are two ways to do that:
  1. Domain Forwarding. Domain Forwarding is essentially just pointing a domain name that you own to your SavvyCard.   So if you forward a domain that you own, say mycard.mobi to your SavvyCard, then when anyone types in mycard.mobi in their browser address bar, it will "forward" them to http://savvycard.net/yourcard.
  2. Domain Masking. Domain Masking takes forwarding one step further. When you "Mask" a domain name, it forwards the person to your SavvyCard, but keeps your domain name in the web address bar! Said a different way, say you own mycard.mobi, and you forward that to http://savvycard.net/yourcard with domain masking, then the person looking at your card will ALWAYS see mycard.mobi in the address bar.  It won't change to http://savvycard.net.  It will always stay mycard.mobi.
Like the idea? Give it a try! There is nothing to lose, and there is much to gain!


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