A Review of a Photo Gallery


      After visiting a photo gallery, today I’ve decided to write a review of it.
      The photo assignments were given to some high schoolers. They were told to take a photo of what they would like to do in the future, and to optionally write a paragraph about it. Most wrote a paragraph.

      What was interesting to me was that most of the photos didn’t seem to stand out as much as the paragraph about each one. If you didn’t know that it was a photo assignment, you could be easily confused and think that it was a simple writing assignment. One example was of a girl who wrote that she wanted to be forever happy in the future. Her photo was a simple, black and white self portrait, but to me, the paragraph caught my attention more than the photo:

      It was like that girl was more into writing, rather than photography.


      Most of the photos were average-looking so they did not catch my attention as much what the students wrote about themselves, It seemed as though most of the photos were just taken to complete the assignment. They were definitely not National Geographic-quality photos, but rather simple, easy-to-take pictures. You couldn’t even tell that most were taken by only high schoolers, but maybe even someone younger:



      If I were to taken one of those pictures, I would’ve done something like go to a Google office and take a picture of a slide in there, because my future is in technology and photography. To me, the photo would be eye-catching because what office has a slide in it? You don’t have to be into technology to find a slide in an office interesting. Anyway, enough of my own photo. Let me continue the review.
      One student’s photo was clearly the main focus. It was of a girl talking about her mom. Unlike most, she was working with different kinds of perspectives, and also had her mom pose and wear different outfits for the photo shoots. It also seemed as if she put a lot of effort into the graphic design, with drop shadows and everything:

      It didn’t seem as if it was really about what she wanted to do in the future, though. It could be that in the future, she wants to make her mom proud but, still, to me it didn’t really seem clear what she wants to do in the future.

      There was also another photo that caught my attention because it’s not everyday high school students get on a plane, so that it was different.


      This one slightly caught my attention, but it still looks kind of simple:

      Maybe it’s because I visit Digital Photography School, and I’m constantly reading the opinions of professional photographers. Maybe because I’m just picky. But overall, I give the whole photo gallery 2 to 3 out of five stars.

A Review Of Blogger

      Today I’ve decided to write a review of Blogger, after having used it for two years. That gives me plenty of experience to talk about it.

An Overview

      Blogger is a free blog builder built by Google. Lots of people use it, and it’s been around for years.

      With Blogger, you can do more than just start a blog. With it, people can follow your blog, you can create your own blog theme, view your statistics, etc. .And it’s free, which makes Blogger very awesome.

      Once you create a blog at www.blogger.com the first thing you’ll see is the dashboard. I really like the Blogger dashboard, which is shown below:

      I like the fact that you can see all your blogs, followers, pageviews, amount of posts, etc. right in the dashboard. This makes things easier for new bloggers, and for those who don’t have a lot of time to really learn anything. Navigation is easy, and I don’t find the dashboard too busy. I actually find the WordPress dashboard more confusing to navigate, and somewhat busy.

      One of the coolest features of Blogger to me is the reading list in the dashboard. With the reading list, you can add blogs you like to visit, and those blogs’ posts will show up the moment they’re posted right there in your dashboard. This is really cool. If you have a lot of blogs to keep up with, you won’t have to visit each individually anymore all the time to check for updates. Blogger doesn’t force you to choose from other blogs built with Blogger; you can get updates of blogs built even with WordPress, or almost anything else.

      I give the Blogger dashboard 5 out of 5 stars.

Posting

      I also like all the abilities you have when posting a post. You can customize your text nearly anyway you’d like. There’s different fonts to choose from, you can change the size of your text, you can also change the text color, and add something like a strikethrough or underline your text. You can also uploads photos, and even videos. There’s also an option to create a list, and add links. There’s even a spell check. All these features are shown below:


      Besides this, you can still do many other things such as scheduling a post. When you schedule a post, you choose the date and time for it to appear on your blog. This is good, if, for example, you know you’re going to be busy tomorrow, but still want your viewers to see something on your blog. You can write a blog post today, and your blog viewers will see it tomorrow.

      However, not everything is perfect when you’re posting something to Blogger. Sometimes, there are weird formatting issues, although most of these issues can be easily fixed in the “html” section if you know some code. I’ve also noticed problems sometimes when scheduling posts. Sometimes, when I schedule something, for example, tomorrow, it’ll post today. I don’t know why this happens, although I don’t see how it can be a huge problem, because it rarely happens, and is usually fixed within a few hours.

      Overall, I give posting with Blogger 4 ½ out of 5 stars.

      Tomorrow I’ll continue my review with a look at Blogger statistics and templates.

PNG vs JPG

      There are many different types of files you can save your image as. The two most popular, JPG and PNG, are sometimes confusing to choose from. Today, I’ll explain the difference between a JPG and a PNG.

      The first major difference is the quality. As seen above, you can tell that when saved as a PNG, the photo looks clear, but when saved as a JPG, the photo is slightly fuzzy. The blurry fuzziness is particularly noticeable once words are added to a photo on a JPG. PNG’s are usually known to make photos look clearer than a JPG.

      PNG’s do take up more storage, and can take slightly longer to load on a web page. The JPG above is 24.2 KB, whereas the PNG is 270 KB. For some people, like me, I say a slight amount more of storage isn’t a big deal and is usually worth it. I also think it’s worth a few extra seconds waiting for a PNG to load.

      If you still think there’s a problem with the storage and web page speed, there are software programs such as Adobe Photoshop that let you change the size of a PNG. If you’re using Adobe Photoshop Elements 10, you can resize your PNG using this tutorial.

      For some people, photo quality isn’t a big deal. Those people might be thinking, “What’s the big deal with all of this? I can’t even tell the difference! If a JPG is slightly blurred, who cares?” If you’re one of those people who doesn’t care about this at all (but you’re still reading this somehow), there’s still another great feature to my favorite file type, the PNG.

      This is the feature of a transparent background. Let’s say for example, your website had something like a dark gray background. And let’s say you wanted to add text to that website with a dark gray background, except you wanted the text saved as an image. Here’s what will happen:

      With a PNG, you can have a transparent, invisible background if you wanted to, but with a JPG, you’re forced to stick with a non-transparent background.

      Think of these two images shown above with a gray background like a layered cake. A PNG with words only will only save that layer of words, but a JPG will save the layer with words, and it’ll also add one annoying white background. This can get really annoying sometimes.

      Here’s how Adobe displays it. This is a JPG:


      Notice the two “layers of cake,” the text and the forced-on-you background.
      Now look at the PNG:

      The PNG has only one transparent layer of text!

      So now you know about PNG vs. JPG, and that my favorite of the two is the PNG file type.

      Tomorrow I’ll write GIF vs. JPG. A GIF is the third most-used file type I’ve seen on the web.

How to Install A Blogger Theme


      It’s very important to have a nice theme for your blog. You can have the greatest content in the world, but this is still important. Who wants to see a horrible-looking blog? I know I wouldn’t.

      This is why I’ve written this post: How to Install A Blogger Theme. These instructions are for Google’s Blogger, and will not work for installing a theme on other website builders, such as WordPress.

      Although Google has a selection of free, pre-made themes to choose from for your blog hosted by Blogger, these instructions will not teach how to install those. I don’t think it’s the greatest idea to use one of those themes. SO many people across the web have already used them for their blog hosted on Blogger. These instructions will only work for certain websites that provide Blogger themes.

    Log in to your blog
    Make sure you’re viewing your dashboard using the new Blogger interface. If you’re using the old interface, you might be confused about installing your theme. So switch to the new one. You can always go back to the old Blogger interface when you’re done installing your theme.
    Select Template, as shown below:

    In the top right corner of your computer screen, you should see a button that says
    backup/restore. Click on it, as shown below:

    Select Download full template, as circled in red below:


You’re downloading your template, because if anything should go wrong with installing your new theme, you would never be able to get your old one back again. You don’t want that, now do you? That’s why it’s important to have a backup of your current template (template is another word for saying theme, both have the same meanings).
Now that you’ve downloaded your template, close that box. Now select Edit HTML, as shown below:


You’re going to get this message:

Because the code you’re going to put was written by someone who’s an advanced user, select Proceed. Besides, you already have a backup of your current template, so what’s the big deal if something should go wrong?

    Highlight all that code, and then delete it. Now highlight, copy, and paste the code from your provider in that box. If your provider is using old code, it will not work with the new Blogger interface. The old Blogger interface isn’t going to be available starting sometime in May, however, so it’s important to make sure your theme provider is using the new code.
    Now you’re done! Here’s an example of a theme with a pre-made blog theme made by Google on the left, and then with a unique blog theme on the right. It’s a major difference!

How Kids Can Build A Website For Free | Part 4 of 4

      This post is the last installment of my four-part series, How Kids Can Build A Website For Free. To read part one, click here. To read part two, click here. To read part three, click here.

      Yesterday, you built your website, learned about site maps, created your website’s CSS, etc. Those are the hard things to do, so today you’re going to be doing easier tasks.

      The first thing you’re going to do is validate your website. When you validate your website, you are checking the code, to make sure you didn’t forget a bracket or anything like that. You can try it out here. An easier version to understand can be found here. The easier one doesn’t have confusing things like, “which encoding would you like?”

      If your website isn’t validated, you should read the previous blog posts I wrote, and revisit Lissa Explains It All. There might be something missing there that you didn’t understand. Another great thing to try are the forums of Lissa Explains It All. 000webhost also offers a help center if you’re confused about your website’s code.

      You also are going to need to make your website search engine optimized. There’s really no point in having a website when it’s not indexed by the major search engines — Google, Yahoo, and Bing. Making your website search engine optimized is very simple to do. All you have to do is add a description like this in the head section of your webpage:

      <meta name=”description” content=”Write in a paragraph or less what your website is about here.” />

      This description shows up when someone Googles your site. You’re also going to need keywords, which are also words people “google.” For example, if someone were to “google” landscaping, they would find your website, because you added “landscaping” as a tag. You wouldn’t be indexed on the first few pages though, unless you’re website that has been around for a long time, and lots of other websites have linked back to you. That’s why, for example, if you were to do a website design for someone, it would be smart if you told them to write that you designed the website, and include a link back to your site. Here’s the code to add keywords to your website:

      <meta name=”KEYWORDS” id=”mKeywords” content=”landscaping, snow, removal, landscape, installation, maintenance”>

      That should also be included in the head section of your webpage.

      You should also double-check everything else on your website. Make sure there are no broken links. This is neccesary, if, for example, you added a link to http://www.oogle.com but meant to write google.com. You should also make sure you didn’t misspell anything, or have incorrect grammar.

      The last thing to do is optional. You can purchase a domain, but it isn’t fully necessary, depending on what type of website you have. A domain can make your website look more professional. Nobody can remember google.hostedby000webhost.com as easily as google.com. So when you purchase a domain, you basically have a shorter URL, that’s easy to remember.

      Tomorrow you’ll learn how to create a blog!