Friday, December 31, 2010

WordPress Plugin: SimplyHired API Job Board

A Plugin that provides tools to utilize the SimplyHired web services API for Job-a-matic style niche job boards within WordPress.

Host your own job board powered by the SimplyHired API. This plugin allows users to search for jobs, browse jobs by location and/or keyword, get possibly related jobs through our recommendation technology, and link directly to each job.

Features Implemented:

  • Admin options for publisher id, jobboard url (needed for click-tracking)
  • Highly customizable job widget with options for title, number of results, query, location, display type, etc.
  • SimplyHired click-tracking javascript in page footers.
  • SimplyHired attribution per terms of agreement
  • Post a Job button linked to your Job-a-matic account

Roadmap Features:

  • Full job search through the SimplyHired API. Browse by company, by keyword, by location, or search with any keyword / location combination.
  • Retrieve job details for individual jobs.
  • Customization of permalink structure for complete SEO control (future).
  • Capability to filter by category, company, or location.
  • RSS feeds for jobs (future).

See the plugin homepage for more information and latest details.

For a demonstration of the plugin in action, visit Construction Jobs at Buildz.Net for live example.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TypoXP : XML Template for Blogger

When it comes to free blog templates, I tend to yawn. Doesn't matter if it is a template for Blogger or a WordPress theme. They mostly are rehashed base versions and if you seen one ... you seen them all.


TypoXP template for Blogger screenshot
Every now and then, however, a template does catch my eye. Not so much the look of it, but the ingenuity I can see beneath it all. Such is the case for Ustadz's WordPress theme knock-off of Sunaryo Hadi's TypoXP 2.0. He has created a truely unique Blogger template that is not only astonishing to view, but has many add-on features that are easy to install.


TypoXP Blogger Add-on Features:

  • Expandable post summaries
  • Author Comment Highlight
  • TypoXP Sidebar Title Icon Set
  • Label (Tags) Cloud Widget
  • Archive Calendar Widget
  • Recent Posts Widget
  • Recent Comments Widget
  • Search Widget

Demo & Download Template



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Sunday, June 10, 2007

What is on your Blogger Wish List?

If you could improve Blogger in any one area, what would it be? I have a few ideas on that subject and it appears that Blogger does also.

Blogger Wishlist form optionsThe Blogger Wish List page asks us to vote on a feature suggestion. How they came up with the six suggestions on this list, I do not know. But I have seen some of them harped about in zillions of comments spread across many posts.

Of the six suggestions, I really have a passion for two of them. I also have suggestions for what is obviously absent. Could it be that by the omission of certain discussions might suggest that they are not entertaining them? That I do not know either.


No. 1 - I want to show excerpts of my posts, with links to the full text.
This is, and should be, top priority for Blogger.

The use of the so-called "peekaboo posts" hack is only a band-aid. While the hack may hide the remainder of the post from the viewer, it does not hide it from a spider or readers who have javascript disabled. All elements of your Main or Archive page, including images and embedded objects, will still be loaded whether or not the reader wishes them to.

True excerpts will be "what you see, is all you get". Excerpts will cut down on duplicate content -- and thereby reducing the amount of Supplemental Pages in the Google index. This is a win-win for both Blogger and Google Search.

No. 2 - I want to be able to upload other files to my blog besides images.
Other files? That would be nice. How about CSS style sheets (.css), javascript repositories (.js) and Html pages (.html).

Imagine unloading all of the styles and javascript from the template/layout and moving them into linked files. This will go a long way to reduce page sizes which are seriously bloated as it is. There are methods of accomplishing this by using external sources such as Google Pages or your own web server. But why should we have to?

The other four items on the list did not interest me much. The item for Recommending a Blog of Note for instance, who actually cares? I do not frequent the pages that they are "noted" on.

Or suggest a new feature
This was a no-brainer. I had two.

  • Provide a setting to Enable/Disable the Nofollow attribute in Comments.
  • Provide for "in-post" comment forms
I think it goes without saying that these are probably on the top of everbody's list. Do you have any others to add?

Vote now and get noticed
Vote now. It is easy to do and will only take you a couple of seconds.

Spread the word about the Wish List and let's see if we can get them to notice. It is worth a shot. I will be stickying this post to my sidebar in plain view in the hope that others will notice.

If you create a new post with your vote(s)and/or suggestions and link to this post, I will notice it. I will link back to your voting post by listing it here. Alternatively, you could drop me a comment below and let me know how you voted.

And yes, I voted for more than one suggestion too! =)

I hope nobody sees that =) above and suggests smilies. Yuck!


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Friday, June 8, 2007

New Custom Search Engine for Blogspot Hacks, Tips & Templates

I am announcing a custom Blogspot Search Engine designed to provide you with the most relevant results for Blogspot tips, hacks, templates, tutorials and much more. The Search Engine folds the contents of 30+ popular hack and template sites in with natural Google results. The outcome produces one of the easiest methods for finding the answers that you need quickly.

Refinement labels are added to drill down into a variety of topics or site types. Pick the results that you want to see, without all of that fluff in the middle.

Try these example queries which are popular in forums and groups right now:

Help me refine this Search Engine by leaving constructive criticism in the comments below. I will entertain any suggestion.

Are you a Blogspot tip, tutorial or template site? Chances are you may already be included in this Search Engine already. If you feel that you are not, leave your sitename and Url below and I will check into it and add if appropriate.

I will add sites that only partially deal with Blogspot as well. If you have something to offer, holler away below.



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Thursday, June 7, 2007

Clarification of NoFollow Hacks on this blog

A recent discussion in the No To Nofollow community at Bumpzee raised concerns over the hacks presented here on this blog. I hope that this post will clear some of air on what the hacks are capable of -- and what they are not.

1. There are no hacks to effectively remove Nofollow from Classic Blogger templates that are hosted at Blogspot. And there never will be, it is impossible.

2. The hack for removing Nofollow on the newer Blogger Layouts (XML) only affects the commenting Author's link. Nofollow cannot be removed from the body of the comment. There are no hacks that can effectively remove it, nor will there ever be.

3. The hack for Classic FTP (self-hosted)Blogger templates require PHP. The hack removes Nofollow from both the commenting Author's link and any link present in the body of the comment. That hack was first published here

There is also an update in regards to the FTP hack. It has come to my attention that
anyone using a double-quote within the comment will break the code. This is due to
the fact that I captured Blogger's CommentBody variable with double-quotes. The
Author's link is not affected and functions as written.

The portion of the code for stripping Nofollow from the comment body needs to be
revised back to it's original form for the time being. I am working on a fix and will
post it as soon as I can.



[rant]The policy of Blogger to force Nofollow onto it's users and make them jump through hoops to install hacks like this is ludicrous. That also goes for other Blogging Platforms as well.

Numerous hacks and plugins have been written, some so shoddily that they confused even me. It simply amazes me how much time has been wasted on just this one facet of blogging. Then there are the evil-doers who want to make a buck off of it (but I am not going there)

Blogger needs to revise it's policy and allow for a new setting in the Dashboard to allow us to choose for ourselves. They can have it set to Nofollow as a default if they wish. Just give us the choice.[/rant]

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Remove NoFollow from Classic FTP Blogger



Blogger Style:



Working with:





Blogger by default, and other blogging software such as WordPress, automatically adds the "nofollow" microformat extension to all links from user generated content. User generated content is defined as comments or external sources such as linkbacks and trackbacks.

I follow, do follow, no nofollowI support the people of the blogging community who have chosen to remove NoFollow for blog comments and linkbacks/trackbacks. If you are reading this right now, you too are probably thinking about joining us yourself. It would be a good move, read on to find out why.

If you are using the New Blogger Layout style on Blogspot, then you will need to use the Remove Nofollow from Blogger Layouts tutorial instead. This tutorial is for Classic FTP Blogger pages only.

Before We Begin


This removal procedure applies to the Classic FTP Blogger only. It is impossible, at this time, to remove NoFollow from Classic Blogger templates that are hosted at Blogspot. This is due to the fact that those templates use the variable <$BlogCommentAuthor$> which encapsulates the anchor link around linking text. Outside of petitioning Blogger to allow us the option for using "NoFollow", there is nothing that can be done.

This article also assumes that you have enabled your Html pages to process PHP script. If you have not done so already, visit the Parsing Html as PHP article before proceeding.

Nofollow Removal Process


The process to remove NoFollow is two-pronged and involves working with your template at Blogger and FTP access to upload a small PHP script.

We will first create an includable PHP script and FTP that to your server. The PHP script will do the actual work of stripping the rel="nofollow" attribute from your links.

In order for your the script to be processed, we will be revising your template to insert a few PHP directives. Also, we will isolate the portion of your code where the <$BlogCommentAuthor$> variable appears in your comments area and capture that variable into one that is recognizable by PHP.

Let's get started.

Creating the PHP Script to Remove NoFollow


I created an includable PHP file named pfblogger_functions.php. Inside of this file is a function named strip_nofollow(). There is another function in the file and more will be added as time progresses. All you need to concern yourself with is just the one function for right now.

Open up the blogger functions script in your browser. Using your favorite Html editor or Notepad, create a new file. Copy and paste the text from your browser screen into the new file, and save it with a name of pfblogger_functions.php

Upload the new PHP file via FTP to your server. I suggest uploading it into your "includes" directory if you have one. If not, then create a new directory on your server with the name of "includes". It keeps things neater this way.

Now that you have your PHP file installed, let's get on to the fun part!

Hacking PHP into your Blogger template


This portion of the tutorial may look a little daunting, but it really isn't. Just take your time and doublecheck your work.

Warning: Before beginning this procedure -- backup your template.

Navigate through your Blogger dashboard to Template > Edit Html

At the very beginning of your template, insert the following code:

<?php 

define('IN_PFBLOGGER', true);

<MainPage>
$site_rootpath = "../";
</MainPage>

<ArchivePage>
$site_rootpath = "../../";
</ArchivePage>

<ItemPage>
$site_rootpath = "../../../";
</ItemPage>

include ( $site_rootpath . "includes/pfblogger_functions.php" );

?>

Everything between the <$php ... $> markers will be run through the PHP interpreter on your server. The define statement at the beginning is for hacking security.

The rest of the code uses Blogger Conditional Tags to establish the actual path to your domain root and stores that in a variable. That variable is used with the path to your include file. If the your path to the function file is different, revise this portion of the code accordingly.

We have now properly included our function file, now let's proceed to the good part.

With your template do the following:
Find:
<$BlogCommentAuthor$>

and replace with:
<?php strip_nofollow( '<$BlogCommentAuthor$>' ) ?>

Find:
<$BlogCommentBody$>

and replace with:
<?php strip_nofollow( "<$BlogCommentBody$>" ) ?>



UPDATE: The code that acted on the comment body worked fine until somebody used a 'double quote' in their comment. This was due to the fact that I enclosed the variable <$BlogCommentBody$> with double quotes and it broke the code. I am working on a fix. If you have installed this hack, then revert this portion of the code back the way it was.

Save Template Changes, but do not replish just yet. We want to test that everything went as planned first.

Navigate to Posting > Create and enter a Test Post. Publish the post and view your blog in your browser.

Enter a comment for the post. Go back to view the post and verify that your Comment Author link is now free of the NoFollow attribute. You can verify this by several means -- one is View > Page Source from your browser menu. If you are using Firefox, there are extensions and other menu options for viewing/identifying links that have Nofollow attributes.

One last step


In order for this change to have any effect, you will have to republish your entire blog. This will rewrite all of the Main, Item and Archive pages with your new code. If your blog is large, a few hundred posts or more, this could take quite a while to process.

If you choose to delay republishing, any new comments made to your posts (existing posts included) will have the NoFollow removed from now on.


Optional NoFollow Recommendations


Now that you are a card carrying member of the Anti-NoFollow community, would you like to hook up with other blogs that share this belief? Then join us over at BUMPzee in the No Nofollow I Follow | DoFollow community.

This NoFollow community is headed up by Andy Beard and is growing everyday. The response has been phenomenol. With hundreds of participating blogs, odds are you will link up with many blogs who share in your particular interests.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Leveraging Conditional Tags in Blogger Templates

Blogger Style:
Working with:
If you have worked with Blogger templates for any length of time, then you are aware of what a Tag is and how it can insert information into your Blog at the exact location where the Tag appears. There are Tags for just about everything you can think of -- but what if you do not want certain types of information to appear on your Post Item page or an Archive page?

There are a second set of Blogger template tags known as Conditional Tags which can allow you to specify what information to display under certain conditions. The Conditional Tags are dependant upon the page type you are viewing -- those types are the Main Page, Archive Page and Item Page. A fourth Conditional Tag is an "OR" combination of the Main/Archive pages.
<MainPage>
... show this on Main page only
</MainPage>

<ArchivePage>
... show this on Archive page only
</ArchivePage>

<ItemPage>
... show this on Item page only
</ItemPage>

<MainOrArchivePage>
... show this on Main or Archive page only
</MainOrArchivePage>

You can use any Conditional Tag more than once in your template. Mix and match them wherever you want to.

Practical Uses for Conditional Tags


Let's say that you want to display a short introduction of what your blog is about on your Main Page before your Posts start to be displayed.
<MainPage>
<h1>The Widget Factory Blog</h1>
<p>Hello and welcome to the Widget Factory,
a world of widget news, reviews and fun!</p>
</MainPage>

The introduction will not appear on any of your Item or Archive pages.

If you are listing your Recent Posts in the sidebar of your blog, then having them on your Main Page is a little redundant. Also, the list is of no real value on your Archive pages. Let's display the list on your Item Pages only.
<ItemPage>
<h3>Latest Entries</h3>
<ul>
<BloggerPreviousItems>
<li><a href="<$BlogItemPermalinkURL$>">
<$BlogPreviousItemTitle$></a></li>
</BloggerPreviousItems>
</ul>
</ItemPage>

Conditional Tags work in the <head> section as well. For example, take this following code snippet which alters the your Page Title.

Normally an Item Page will have a Title in the form of "Site Name - Post Title" which comes from the Template Tag <$BlogPageTitle$>. We can workaround this by using Conditional Tags.
In the <head> section, find this:
<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>

Replace with this:
<MainOrArchivePage>
<title>Your Sitename - Site Description</title>
</MainOrArchivePage>

<ItemPage>
<title>
<$BlogItemTitle$> - Your Sitename</title>
</title>
</ItemPage>

As you can see, there are many uses for Conditional Tags. Try using this method for displaying your Blogroll on your Main Page only or putting a short description of your blog in the Item Pages only. You are only limited by your imagination.