17 posts categorized "Techie gubbins"

20 August 2008

Housekeeping - the clean up

As I previously flagged, things have now changed around here. The main changes are to the layout of the columns on the left and right of my posts.

Now accessible via the navigation in the left hand column are:

  • Date and category archives: click ARCHIVES
  • The full list of the food blogs I read: click BLOGS
  • My cookbook collection: click BOOKS

I've reduced the number of posts on the front page, but with my swanky new pagination at the bottom of the page, together with my lijit search over there on the left and the re-ordered archives, everything should be easier to find. It should also mean the site is a bit quicker to load.

You may also notice that towards the end of each post on the front page there is a little button saying Buzz Up! This is a vain attempt on my part to spread the love that is Silverbrow on Food, through the wonders of Yahoo's Buzz. You might want to read this to understand why I'm quite excited by it. Then again, if it ends up being a flop, I'll be deleting those pesky buttons.

If you've got any tips or hints, please let me know.

03 August 2008


The eagle eyed may have noticed some changes to the blog.

You may notice some of the content in the far left and right columns has been swapped.

I've added better syndication options in individual posts. You'll see two links at the bottom of every post that say 'Email this' and 'Add this!'. When you click on them, it's fairly self explanatory what happens next. I've included some pagination, that hopefully should make it even easier to navigate around the site.

As part of this tidying-up process I have culled my blog roll on the left hand side. There were too many blogs listed that I never read, so it seemed ripe for pruning. I may be cutting back further in the coming days.

Many thanks to the team at Six Apart Services for recommending many of the changes and helping me implement much of this - and my apologies to them for buggering-up some of their hard work that they' have to rectify.

If you spot any kinks, let me know and I'll try to iron them out.

07 January 2008

Mobile reading

If you're anything like me you won't always want to read blogs from behind a computer screen. Blackberries, mobiles and the like all mean you can if you want, read on the loo, the train, the plane etc etc.

Although you can access Silverbrow on Food from any browser, I know the main site is a bit graphic and widget heavy. So, if you want to read from a mobile or without all the graphics, go here, to my mobile Tumblr account.

Tumblr is a rather cunning setup that allows me to aggregate my main blog and my Twitter account into one site. So if you go to either my main Tumblr account, or the mobile one, you can read everything I've written.

Alternatively, look for this logo in the right hand column and it'll take you over to Tumblr mobile.

22 October 2007

A reminder on how to read my posts

I apologise if I am teaching grandma to suck eggs, but I get the feeling that not all my readers know all the wonderful ways they can read Silverbrow on Food, so this is a quick refresher.

The first and most obvious method is by typing the address into your web-browser. The address I usually give people is www.silverbrowonfood.com. However, because this site is hosted by Typepad, I have a Typepad address as well silverbrowonfood.typepad.com. Don't worry, there is no difference between the two. If you do go to the Typepad one, you are automatically redirected to www.silverbrowonfood.com.

Another way to reach me is to type 'silverbrow' into Google or another search engine. I'm surprised how many of my regular readers still do this, but if that is how you like to do things, who am I to complain. If you do go the Google route, there are any number of derivations to get to my site but 'silverbrow' should be sufficient. For the time being - and some time past - you will be lead directly here, into my waiting arms.

I read a lot of blogs, especially food blogs, but also a fair few political and techie/geeky ones as well. I can't remember all the addresses and half the time I stumble upon blogs through links on other blogs meaning I rapidly forget their names. So to make sure I read everything I want to read, I'm a disciple of RSS. The letters stand for Really Simple Syndication, but that doesn't matter. What matters is that it's a genius way to ensure you end up reading everything you want to read, and you do it by the touch of an orange button.

Many sites, including mine, have RSS feeds and they are generally identifiable by a generic RSS icon. If you look to the right of your screen, you will see an orange square with a couple of white 'Rs' in it. It looks like this . If you click that button you on the way to RSS joy.

Depending on the internet browser you are using, when you click that button a number of different things may happen, but fundamentally you will be given the option to subscribe to my RSS feed. If you use Internet Explorer 7 or Firefox 2 they have RSS aggregators built into the software. The browsers actually alert readers to a website that has an RSS feed, by either highlighting the RSS icon in the toolbar (Explorer) or in the address bar (Firefox).

For my money, I'm not keen on the built-in RSS aggregators because you can only read the feeds you have subscribed to when accessing the aggregator on the particular computer you have saved it on to. I much prefer my RSS reader to be accessible over the internet, so I can read it wherever I am. I use Bloglines because it is the most reliable over the years.

The big advantage of RSS from a reader's point of view, is that as soon as I publish a post, it is pinged to your RSS aggregator and you can read what I've said. You don't need to remember to keep returning to my site. The big advantage from my point of view, is that I know you're reading my stuff.

RSS feeds are available on everything from Google searches to the BBC News. Try clicking that orange RSS sign here or on any of the other sites where it appears and you'll see what I'm talking about.

Apologies for this techie interlude, but I think/hope that quite a few of you might find it helpful. If you do any queries about this, or anything else I'm always happy to answer queries in the comments below or by email.

10 September 2007

Twitter twatter

A new job has resulted in the blog not being as updated as frequently as I would like.

I think Twitter might be a way to keep things fresh. You can read my regular updates over in the left hand column and for those that way inclined, you can also get a RSS feed. Given that I'm twittering by texting, the updates will be necessarily brief.

01 February 2007

New month, new design

The steely eyed amongst you will realise the forewarned changes have now been made.  For some time, I have wanted to change the look of the site and with the help of a friend (ta, Dan), I was put in touch with Julian Knight, a fantastic photographer and designer who came up with the banner above.  A quick nod of appreciation as well to Matt of Abstract Gourmet who provided some invaluable assistance on how to make the new design work.

Apart from altering the look of the site, I have kept things much as they were, but tidied up a bit.  I have reduced my blogroll on the left significantly.  I realised that over the years, there are lots of blogs I felt I had to link to, which I did, but I simply never bothered to read what was written.  So I have now changed that.  The blogs listed are the blogs I find enjoyable and informative and I am keen to promote.

I have tweaked some of the navigation on the right, especially under the new heading Stay in Touch.  You can email me, Skype me, subscribe to my RSS feed and listen to my podcasts all from that one little area.

For those of you who read SoF in a RSS reader, my apologies if you have been deluged with all my posts.  Unfortunately, the redesign required me to rebuild the site, which meant republishing everything I have written.  Hopefully it won't happen again but bear with me if it does.

I would be really keen to hear all your feedback on the new layout, colour scheme and navigation.  I would also be happy to hear any suggestions for how I can improve things further.

31 January 2007

Things are going to change around here

When I was growing up, one of my mother's stock phrases was "Things are going to change around here." It was usually said/shouted at about the time my brother and I were beating the crap out of each other, but nothing ever changed.

Before you get the wrong impression, our mother rarely shouted at us despite our provocations. Unfortunately she no longer gets to use the phrase because my brother and I no longer smack each other around. This may be a result of maturity, unlikely, or, because I am now much taller and fatter than he is and I could sit on him without much difficulty. It may also be because last time we had a "fun" fight he ended up with a bloody nose thanks to a low flying deodorant bottle.

I have chosen to resurrect my mother's phrase because things are going to change around here - unlike Mum's empty threat. They will be largely cosmetic but you should notice some differences. I thought I should warn you.