Saturday, March 3, 2012

what do other blogspot bloggers do?

Fremont's star-lily / death camas
Toxicoscordion fremontii (formerly Zigadenus fremontii)
Melanthiaceae (formerly Liliaceae)

While I was examining a couple shoots, a lady stopped to chat with me. She had a well-behaved dog who sat there panting patiently while we talked. Shocking, right? The dog didn't jump all over me or knock me over into the dirt, it didn't bark and growl at me, it didn't stick its slobbery nose up where it didn't belong, and it didn't rub me all over with poison oak. OK, I've previously maligned dog owners on trails, so, to be fair, I need to point out that I also meet many dogs and their owners who are quite respectable.

This lady is a local who regularly walks the trails at Jacks Peak. She remarked how all the star-lily blooms were very early this year because of the mild winter we've had. Yes, it has been an unusually mild winter here in CA, but I disagreed with her observation of early blooms (this is not to say early blooms haven't happened elsewhere). I told her I believed it was, in fact, the right time for star-lilies to be blooming. She was highly skeptical. Too bad I didn't have access to my blog, because I have photographic records of these plants blooming 3 weeks earlier in the season on February 11, 2011 here at Jacks Peak. I also have records of them blooming at Wilder Ranch on March 7, 2010 and Fort Ord on March 14, 2009. To me it's not surprising to see them blooming right now. Of course, they could continue to bloom for a while.

Part of why I started Nature ID and am so persnickety about backdating picture IDs to the date of my photos is to record when things occur. I already knew my memory is fickle. Had I not been keeping track of bloom dates like the Fremont's star-lily, I would have come to the same conclusion as the lady with her dog. However, I've slowed down in posting repeat IDs unless the date or some other observation is unusual. The reason for this is I've reached 66% of my blogspot storage capacity, and I'm starting to wonder what I'll do once I reach max capacity. I'd like to continue my blog for a while, because I know I have many more new IDs yet to make. One can purchase additional storage, but I'm not sure I want to go down that road.

What do other blogspot bloggers do when they reach maximum free photo space?

In addition, google made major changes throughout February 2012 with the way people can comment on blogspot. In response, I've been testing out the different comment features, which will be ongoing. I removed the CAPTCHA, because the word verification test to make sure you're not a robot became extraordinarily difficult to decipher. I'll admit that I sometimes skip commenting on someone else's blogspot if the CAPTCHA is too murky. For a couple weeks I was inundated with anonymous spam once I turned off word verification, but now for some reason those kinds of comments have ceased. Then, I also switched from my favorite of pop-up window to embedded comments. Embedded comments are now the only way they can be subscribed, but only if you have a gmail account (see lower right below the comment box). I haven't taken advantage of the new reply to comment feature available in the embedded comments options, since I don't want to inundate those who subscribe with extra emails. In my search for fixes to google's changes, I found a quote I liked, "You're not a customer of google; you're their product."

What do other blogspot bloggers do to fix their comment features?

ps 03/19/12 - Looks like google blogspot bloggers are not the only ones having issues; WordPress has also apparently changed its comment settings. Very odd.


Cindy said...

Eeek, you had me worried, I had no idea what my remaining blogger capacity was. Then I had to figure out how to find it ---> go to your google account, find and choose the Picasa web album option, look on bottom of page for your capacity. I'm at 29% but I think it might be because awhile ago I switched to posting photos at 640 x 640 size because I read you don't need larger files than that for websites and it is a jpeg choice on my photo software (Aperture). Occasionally, I post a larger size photo, but mostly it doesn't seem to matter much. Eventually, I plan to go back and downsize some of my early photos. So that is what I do. Persnickety, backdating and fickle - love your descriptive language.

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Hi, Cindy. The easy way I've been tracking my photo storage capacity is whenever I create a new post and there's a little note at the bottom of the add image box. I hate to add another blog project, but reducing the size of my pictures is a decent option. Although, I prefer the larger lightbox slideshow. When you click on any of my pictures they show up as a larger overlay, which is especially good for photo IDs. I checked yours and your lightbox photos are indeed smaller. I fiddled around last night and discovered I can reduce existing blog pic sizes through picnik, which will only be linked with Picasa until April 19, 2012.

Ahh, I must be getting old, because I'm getting more resistant to change.

Imperfect and tense said...

Katie and Cindy, Many thanks for raising this issue. I didn't have a clue how to find out my photo storage usage, but your advice has been a great help. I guess any solution is temporary, as the time will eventually come when even the most frugal of resolution reducers will have to make a tricky decision. Perhaps, Katie, you already have something of the answer through your use of the tester blog. Creating a new blog with a very similar title and then having the old blog as a gizmo link in the sidebar, may give enough continuity for you (and your adoring public's) need. On another note, now that I've reverted to the old dashboard, the orange circle with the pencil (in Replies) has turned grey. So it's linked to dashboard version?

Katie (Nature ID) said...

Haha, adoring public, eh? I have a couple thousand photographs on Nature ID, which are unfortunately linked to my companion blog. However, our private trip blogs to India, New Zealand, and Italy were created under a different user name and are stored in a separate Picasa album, so there is a work around. I haven't figured out the purpose of the circled pencil, yet, but now that I've switched to embedded comments, I have it, too. I'll see what switching to the new dashboard version does. Thanks, Graeme.