17 February 2007

** Those little stars **

If you're listed on the UAE Community Blog or a Blogrolling.com user and want to know how to get those *Updated Blog notifiers* (the little stars) to show again, you need to read this!

Over at the UAE Community Blog, there are long lists (known as Blogrolls) in the left and right hand columns of blogs whose owners have requested to be listed there.

To manually maintain these lists by having to type each blog's URL
into the UAE blog template would be a nightmare of a job, so the UAE Blog moderators use an application called BlogRolling.com to manage the lists.

We do too - all the links that you see in the right-hand column are managed in BlogRolling.com - no more tedious adding of html to our blog templates
everytime we want to list a new blog!

All we now add to our blog template is a string of code provided to us by BlogRolling.com which is the link to our blogrolls that are now managed in BlogRolling.com.

Adding blogs to our blogrolls using BlogRolling.com
To add a blog to our lists is now simple. When we see a blog that
we want to add to our Blogrolls, we click the Blogroll It! (a plug-in available from BlogRolling.com) link in our browser links bar.

The BlogRoll It! Plug-in as it shows in our browser

BlogRoll It!
This opens a window which lets us log into BlogRolling.com and add the blog to the list in which we want it to appear. Refreshing our blog page then shows the blog added to the list - it's that easy!

The window which opens into BlogRolling.com so that we add a new blog to our blogrolls

BlogRoll It! Pop-up Window
Updated Blogs Notification
A really useful feature of BlogRolling.com is that you can activate a setting which will notify you of when a blog on your Blogrolls is updated.

On the UAE Community blog, you can tell which blogs have been recently updated by the addition of a little * beside the name of the blog.

The UAE Community Blog has chosen to show 1 * beside blogs which have been updated

Updated Blogs on UAE Blog
On our blog, we can tell which blogs have been updated by the addition of ** (2 stars) beside the blog name, as that's what M has chosen as our notifier.

Pacific Islander (Pandabonium and Momo) and Rod Drury have new posts!

Updated blogs on M&J

It's not working!
Sadly and alas, the automated Update notifier for Blogroll hasn't been working properly, so unless you're using an RSS feed or another option such as Bloglines to keep tabs on updated blogs, it's been difficult for us BlogRolling.com users to know which blogs have been updated.


I've noticed that the manual Pinging feature in BlogRolling.com still works and this will activate the Updating feature.

What's pinging?
Pinging is when you send a trigger message to a site like Technorati,
BlogRolling.com, Feedburner etc to tell them that your blog has been recently updated. In turn, this updates their info to include your recent posts.

BlogRolling Pinging
BlogRolling has their own form to fill out which is available on their website.

BlogRolling's ping form and, circled in red, the link from their menu to get to it

Or you can use a generic Ping form such as the one from Ping-o-matic which will then notify a whole lot of Blog aggregators that your blog has been updated - including BlogRolling.com!

Ping-o-matic's ping form - select the sites that you wish to notify about your updated blogs and do them all at once!

For blogs listed on BlogRolling.com-generated blogrolls, using the Pinging services will then activate the selected updated symbols whenever your blog is updated, such as on **ours** and the *UAE Community Blog*.

It's a good workaround until BlogRolling.com can fix their automatic pinging.

Now let's see how many UAE Community Blog members read this blog and start to manually ping!


BuJ said...

wooo hooo!
this is way too technical for me!!!!!

now i know how they get these special stars to appear! btw, it took me a while to figure out that a star (astrix) means updated blog on the UAECB hehe

there is thick and there is thicker :P

CG said...

and there is thickest.

nzm said...

and there is thickest ever. :-)

Pffft, and I thought you were into technical stuff as a great engineer!

BuJ dearest, let me explain.

1. Sign up to BlogRolling.com

2. When you update your blog, go to Blogrolling.com and click on the Ping Form link.

3. Enter your site title: BuJ Al Arab

4. Enter your blog URL: http://bujassem.blogspot.com/

5. Click the red Ping button

6. The update * will soon appear by your blogname on the UAE Community Blog!

7. Millions will flock to your blog to read it! :-)

Keefieboy said...

Cor! Aren't you clever!

Anonymous said...

I wish I had a blog too! I would try this pinging! You made me jealous now, my friends :-)

Qatar said...

I am not a community member, but I'll give the blog rolling thing a try :)

Thanks for explaining how it works!

nzm said...

Keefie: it depends on your measurement of brilliance!

Hatem: get a blog - and then you can show BuJ how to ping! LOL.

QC: when you move to Dubai, you should join the Community Blog. Until then, everytime you update your blog and ping, you can watch ** appear beside your Blogname in our UAE Flavour Bloglist!

Qatar said...

LOL that is IF I update.

Now, why my nickname is suddenly Qatar instead of Qatar Cat?

Sometimes I hate Blogger.

Qatar Cat said...


Qatar Cat said...

OK back to normal now. Sorry I used your blog to try and sort it out! Now who in the world is Qatar and why was I logged in as Qatar?


Must ping.

Mise said...

Great tutorial M@J :D

Kishor Cariappa said...

Somehow, I like the manual way of blogrolling. Automation irritates me!

Pandabonium said...

Good information. I was using ping-o-matic, but for some reason started having trouble with it - the list was growing shorter. I now use "king ping" www.kping.com and it works fine. Does the same thing, just an alternate if you ever need it.

BuJ said...

nzm !!!!

See, you summarised it so well in your comment, I should have read it instead of the longer post hehe

I guess I am into technical stuff only if it interests me! I like blogging to have a personal touch and as thus I like to manage my blogroll manually (old fashioned I know).. u know what they say,, if it ain't bust then don't fix it!

Anyway my humble abode is not as busy as the UAECB.. and they will be spending all day if they did things my way given their great number of members.

By the way, do you know how the word "ping" started? it's originally taken from the good old table-tennis.. or ping pong.. basically you ping a computer and wait a certain time before you get the response or the pong.

if your response time is long then you know you're lagging.. I used to use this back in the days of Khalid's mIRC.. of course back in the 1990s the net was much slower and you'd wanna know if you had a problem with your connection. Now the term has died out but been reused in blogging.

just thought you might appreciate the history given you're the best blog-engineer I know!

QC I'm sure you're very welcome to join the UAECB even if you're not in the UAE. After all Qatar is our friendly neighbour and if KSA didn't have its way Qatar would be part of the federation (along with Bahrain).

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Oh dear I think I got a technology-shock!

nzm said...

QC: glad that you worked it out - feel free to use us anytime! LOL.

Mise: thanks!

Kishor: both have their advantages. I like the automation for speed, but then our blogrolls are now listed on the BlogRolling server and if it should go down, all our info could be lost. So I also keep a record of listed blogs in a document on my computer!

Pandabonium: thanks for tip. King Pin looks better - I'll definitely use that over Ping-o-matic.

BuJ: I can see that I'll have to release a BlogRolling for Dummies version of my technical post! LOL! (Just joking!)

Thanks for the history on pinging and ponging - that's interesting.

Sha'ira: it's not that bad! You should see the Microsoft Administrator manual that we have for their new release of Sharepoint 2007 - it's 1100 pages of small writing - AAAAARGHH!!

Jin said...

'ping' is the noise the microwave makes when it finishes................so how do I link it to the blogroll hey?
Way too technical stuff for me I'm afraid......I'm still using carrier pigeons.........ahem

Seabee said...

nzm, thanks. The missing * was annoying me more and more. When I get back to Dubai at the weekend I'll try to get onto it - and I hope everyone does.

clayfuture said...

I knew what the little star meant! So I'm the next smartest one after nzm!! muahahaha........

BuJ said...


****WAKE UP!!!****

Seems the snow got inside and everything's frozen, hehe.

nzm said...

Sorry BuJ and everyone, we've been a bit stressed and busy to post.

Hopefully we'll be back to posting soon.

BuJ said...

Who's the man?
I guess I just showed you how to Shake It!