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How to fix problems with Blogger and the AddThis widget

I have using Blogger as my blogging platform for over a year and a half and I had implemented the AddThis bookmarking widget within each post. I recently upgraded to the new drop-down widget. Suddenly, I began to see strange things happen to the layout of certain blog posts.

As it turns out, any post with an apostrophe or single quote within the title causes a problem with the AddThis Javascript. Basically, the title of a post is stored as a Javascript string variable. If there is an apostrophe or single quote in the middle of the variable, it generates an error related to unterminated strings. Unfortunately, it is not so uncommon to want to use apostrophes.

Luckily, it is easy to fix this by adding one line of code to the Javascript supplied by AddThis.

This is the way the code looks when I get it from AddThis (I have added some carriage returns to enhance readability):


First, change the single quotes around '<data:post.title/>' to double quotes as follows:


Then add the following line of code:


This approach removes the apostrophe in the title string.

This is not a perfect solution, but it will prevent your titles from being cut off when bookmarking. And most importantly, it won't cause any problems with your page layout. Just be sure not t0 use any double quotes in your blog titles.

Posted by TradeRadarOperator at 8/29/2008 04:36:00 PM 1 comments  

How to embellish the OpenLinkz ad slider

If you have obtained the code for your ad slider here at OpenLinkz using our wizard, then you are aware that the ad panel is essentially a plain rectangle in a single color with an ad in the middle, a text message on the left and the link for closing the panel on the right.

It is quite easy to embellish the ad panel by adding a border or a background image. Here's how it's done.

In the CSS style section, look for the "bottomBanner" id.

You can add either one of the following lines or add them both:

border-top: 2px solid black;

background: top repeat url("");

The first line would add a black border at the top of the ad panel that is 2 pixels thick. You can, of course, vary color and border thickness as you desire. One thing to remember, however, is you need to add the thickness of the border to the ad height. For our example, in the script section you would need to modify the following line of code:

var sliderDivHeight = 68;

changing it from its default value of 68 pixels to 70 pixels:

var sliderDivHeight = 70;

The second line would take an image of your choice (myImage, in this example) and repeat it across the ad panel. This would be appropriate if you are adding a colored gradient effect to the ad panel. Omit the "repeat" keyword and the image will, by default, appear once at the left end of the ad panel.

Note: for those of you who are installing the code in a Blogger template, you may find that using the "top" and "repeat" keywords caused the image to not appear at all! Trying removing the keywords and it will fix this problem.

Test, test, test --

Using these techniques, you can soften or embellish the effect of seeing the ad panel sliding into sight. Be sure to try an A/B test to determine if you get more clicks with or without the embellishments. Sometimes subtle changes can have surprising results when trying to make money online.

Posted by TradeRadarOperator at 8/20/2008 08:45:00 PM 0 comments  

Sliding ads really deliver - be sure you have the right ad strategy

I have had the OpenLinkz ad slider running on my other blog, Trade Radar, for a few weeks now. I am stunned at how well it is performing. The click through rate is more than twice that of any other ad on the site. I am just running a simple Google AdSense 468 X 60 half-banner but it gets plenty of action.

There are issues involved that web site or blog owners need to address when using sliding ads.

First, decide if you are comfortable displaying a sliding ad. Would you consider it too obtrusive and bothersome to your readers? I worried about this so I opted to only display the ad one time, on the first page viewed by the reader. Subsequent page views will not trigger the appearance of the sliding ad. Also, don't pick an ad that is too big.

Second, you need to carefully pick the appropriate ad to display. It needs to load quickly so the movement of sliding ad panel isn't "herky jerky".

Third, another aspect of picking the best possible ad is related to the payment method. This ad will definitely get clicked so you need to select an ad that has a reasonable Pay-per-Click rate. Since the sliding ad may start stealing clicks from other ads on your page, you need to carefully evaluate the best approach to maximize your earnings.

There are a number of blog posts floating around that say you should minimize the number of AdSense ads on a page in order to get the best PPC rate available for the type of content on that particular page. This is also something you should take into consideration if you choose to run AdSense in your sliding ad.

Try our wizard at to generate the code for your own sliding ad panel but carefully consider how you will use it.

Posted by TradeRadarOperator at 8/12/2008 09:47:00 PM 0 comments  

Corporate gatekeepers get wise to widgets

It's come to my attention that some large corporations are configuring their firewalls to block widgets. Right now, I know that widgets from WidgetBox have been blocked.

I suppose it was only a matter of time before widgets were targeted. It is well known that many corporate IT departments are against social networking tools. Sites like Twitter, Plurk, Facebook and Mashable are routinely blocked. Even simple tools like Yahoo! email and Google Docs are blocked. The ostensible reason is that network security teams are working to prevent unauthorized applications from introducing viruses and malware or otherwise compromising internal corporate systems.

Of course, these applications can be big time wasters and it is reasonable for corporate management to want to ensure workers keep their nose to the grindstone.

In the meantime, I believe Google Gadgets are still working on most corporate networks. Does anyone know of any more widget platforms that are being blocked?

Posted by TradeRadarOperator at 8/06/2008 11:16:00 PM 0 comments  

How to set up ads after each post in Blogger

For those of you who use Blogger as your blogging platform, you may be wondering how to set up ads after each post.

Blogger allows users to set up AdSense ads after each post. But what if you want to use ads from an affiliate network or ad network of your own choice? And especially, how do you display a different ad after each post when there are multiple posts on the page? Blogger doesn't have a built-in page element that supports that functionality.

This post explains how to do it. If you know a little Javascript, it won't be too hard for you to implement.

First, you need to decide how many posts you want to display on the homepage of your blog. For our example, let's say three posts will be displayed.

We then need to set up a counter that keeps track of which post is being displayed. Blogger will loop through posts until it hits the maximum number that you designated.

Add an HTML/Javascript page element to your blog. Add some script tags to it and implement the code for the counter, initializing it as follows:

var nPostCounter = 1

Create a function that will display your ads and enter it after the variable initialization described above. Our example does it as follows:

function rotatePostAd () {

Then add a set of IF statements that utilize the counter to display your ads in sequence:

function rotatePostAd () {

if (nPostCounter == 1) {

} else if (nPostCounter == 2) {

} else if (nPostCounter == 3) {



Note that the code increments the counter each time a post is displayed on the page.

Then, we need to obtain the HTML or script for the three ads that will be displayed. The trick is to take the statements that cause the ad to be displayed and convert those statements to Javascript document.writeln statements. This is not as hard as it seems. Peter Bromberg has written an article at EggheadCafe titled "Convert HTML/Script to Javascript Include Source". The article includes a converter. Paste the code for an ad into the first text box, click the Convert button and retrieve the document.writeln statement from from the second text box. Then take the document.writeln statement and plug into our function. After doing this three times, our function will look like the following:

function adRotator () {
if (nPostCounter == 1) {
document.writeln('converted code for first ad... ')
} else if (nPostCounter == 2) {
document.writeln('converted code for second ad... ')
} else if (nPostCounter == 3) {
document.writeln('converted code for third ad... ')


We now have a function that will display a different ad for each post. We now have to call the function from the appropriate place in the Blogger template. Go to the Layout tab in Blogger and click "Edit HTML". Click the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox. Scroll down to the section that displays the labels for a post. Look for the following line of code:

<p class='post-footer-line post-footer-line-2'>

Just before the end tag for this <p> section, paste the following:

<script type="'text/javascript'">

That's all there is to it!

Posted by TradeRadarOperator at 8/02/2008 09:36:00 PM 0 comments  

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