Showing posts with label Website. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Website. Show all posts

Monday, August 15, 2011

Tag Updates

My apologies if your email or RSS subscriptions have been flooded with updates today.  Ever since I changed this site over to the newer style Blogger template that includes labels, I haven't gone through to update all of my old posts until today.  All of my posts should now be properly tagged with the Blogger labels.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blog Fade, Cache Fade, and Resurrection - Part 3

In the final part of this "blog fade" series of posts, I want to share with you about an exciting new service that I've integrated into the individual posts of this site - Readability.  A few weeks ago - on January 29, 2011 to be exact - the team at Arc90 released the new version of the Readability service.  Previously, Readability was a little browser bookmarklet that stripped away all the cruft from a website leaving just the text behind - almost like a print-preview if you will.  Now, the service from Readability does that and so much more!

From their website (
Read comfortably — anytime, anywhere.

Readability turns any web page into a comfortable reading view right in your web browser. Too busy to read right then and there? Readability makes it simple to save your favorite articles for reading later.

Readability works on all major phones and tablets. It detects your device and optimizes your reading view for maximum comfort.

As a Readability subscriber, you’ll be a part of something bigger: a sustainable publishing ecosystem. Here’s how it works: every time you use Readability on a particular article, a portion of your subscription fees go right to the content creators. You get a fantastic reading experience. Publishers and writers get compensated for the content you enjoy. Everyone reads happily ever after.

Arc90 is also working with Marco Arment (founder of one of my favorite web services - Instapaper) to create a Readability app for iOS devices.  In addition to creating the app, Marco is an advisor for Arc90 about the Readability service so you know it will be good.  You can read Marco's blog post about his involvement with Readability here,

In order to make it easy for you to use Readability, I've discretely added the Readability button underneath the post header for all individual posts and pages.  Since Readability isn't designed to work on main collection pages, the main page of this blog will not contain Readability links.  So if you want to try out Readability, click on the the title of any blog post to visit that individual article.  Then simply click on "Read: Now" to see that article optimized for your reading pleasure by Readability.  If you like it, consider joining to support future development of the service and to support content creators - including me!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Blog Fade, Cache Fade, and Resurrection - Part 2

In the time since my first post in 2005, blogging technology has changed dramatically, so it was time that this site change as well.  In part two of this post, I want to briefly share what is new and different on this site before I return you to your regular geocaching programming. 

For those who might not know or remember what this site looked like before - and I'm not so vain to assume that you do - this site used a somewhat customized version of the Rounders 3 template provided in the old template library in pre-2008 Blogger.  

The old blue/green/tan template worked well for a number of years.  But it was not widget-based, so any customizations including side-bar changes required direct editing of the main template file itself.  To work around this limitation, I used multiple embedded JSON feeds from ( back then) to display both the popular posts list, tag-based categories, and the other blogroll-type lists on the page.  At the time, this was a fairly unique use of social bookmarking.  Now, it is just old and kludgy.

The new site uses a version of the Picture Window theme built from the Blogger Theme Designer that was customized slightly for my personal use.  It is widget-based and allows me to reorganize and rearrange the sections of this blog simply by dragging-and-dropping.  It uses Blogger's built-in (powered by Google) search, popular posts lists, list of followers, and category labels.

The old site contained Google Adwords at the top of each and every post.  The new site doesn't.  I still use Google Adwords, but never within the posts themselves.  They are limited to the small gap between posts and only appear after every 3rd post.

I also changed the manually-coded sharing/subscribe section to use a customized widget from  This new "Bookmark and Share" section displays popular sharing/bookmarking options that are unique to each visitor based on the sites and services that each visitor has used recently.  All visitors will see the GoogleFacebook, Twitter, Instapaper, and Evernote buttons [my personal fave five], but the rest could differ for each visitor.  For example, if visitor "A" normally shares links on Digg, that button will appear higher in the list.  If visitor "B" normally shares links on Tumblr, that button will appear higher in the list.  If visitor "C" normally bookmarks links on Diigo, that button will appear higher in the list.  Altogether there are over 300 various bookmarking and sharing services available to users that can be accessed under the last AddThis button.  So regardless of where you like to share or bookmark links, you can now do so quickly and easily!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Blog Fade, Cache Fade, and Resurrection - Part 1

Whether you are (were) a long-time subscriber to this site or are a new visitor here, you will no doubt notice that the post just prior to this one was dated over two years ago (2 years 147 days to be exact). As you have no doubt guessed, this site was a tragic victim of "blog fade" - the fictional blogging condition where blog authors gradually stop posting to their blogs and often abandon their blogs entirely over a period of time.

Sadly, if you look at my cache stats on my geocaching profile, you'll notice a very similar trend there too. When I first began geocaching in 2005, I found 168 caches that year. Since then, my cache finds have steadily decreased to almost none in 2010 (only 1 traditional and 3 virtuals at Disney World).

The good news is this - I'm back!  Of course I can't say how long I'll be back, but in just the first few weeks of 2011, I've already found 15 caches.  If you need help with the math from the chart above, that is the same number of cache finds for 2009 and 2010 combined!  While that total may not be very many for most geocachers, it is tremendous amount in a short period of time compared to the last 4 years for me.

So in the spirit of my return to geocaching, I decided to resurrect my Adventures in Geocaching blog too!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Site CSS and Template Changes

Recently, the Blogger site has been having some "issues" with displaying all of the images that make up part of the site template. Because of this issue, I've decided to pull all of the CSS and template related images off of the Blogger servers and place them on a separate server to be independently hosted. Now, if the Blogger image and CSS servers go offline the site will still display as it should. The photos, maps, or other images associated with each individual post will still be hosted by Blogger, but everything with the template will no longer rely on Blogger.

Also, I've made the post titles links to the permanent URL for each post.

Because these are fairly significant changes, please let me know if you discover anything that isn't displaying as it should. Thanks!

Monday, July 24, 2006

PayPal and Podcacher

I neglected to mention two other small additions to the Adventures in Geocaching sidebar, PayPal and Podcacher. If you are feeling generous, I've made it very easy for you to donate to Adventures in Geocaching by using the small PayPal donate button on the sidebar. :)

In addition, I've included a small embedded podcast player right underneath the button. This mini-player will allow you to listen to or preview the current podcasts directly from this site. The podcast is a family-friendly, weekly podcast all about geocaching. If you aren't already a Podcacher listener, I highly recommend that you check it out!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Social Bookmarking and Geocaching Categories

For the past couple of weeks, I've been hard at work making some subtle, but hopefully helpful changes to my Adventures in Geocaching website. If you are a regular visitor to the website and not just a subscriber to the feed, you might notice a few of the changes. Ideally they are all so inconspicuous that you probably won't even notice until you happen to use them.

First, I've changed the way I have been tagging posts. The little section at the bottom of each post that normally said something like "Tags: Geocaching Software Reviews" has now been hidden. It is still there, so if you are just dying to know how I tagged a particular post, you can View Source and see the tags, but now they won't be taking up space in the posts themselves.

The reason that I decided that seeing the tags is no longer as important is because I've changed the entire Previous Posts section of my sidebar to display previous posts based on topics instead of just the 10 most recent posts. Typically, Blogger hosted websites show the 10 most recent posts under Previous Posts - as did this site. Now, you will see a drop down box with the tags I've used as categories or topics. Selecting a topic from the list will show you the previous posts for just that topic. For example, if you wanted to read my previous posts that I've tagged as being about geocaching software, just pick "Software" from the topic list and the Previous Posts list will suddenly change to show you just the 5 posts about geocaching software. Obviously, choosing the category "Geocaching" will return a very long list of posts since almost everything I write about in Adventures in Geocaching is about geocaching!

All of these topics reflect the way I've tagged posts at Each time I add a new post and tag it at, it will automatically be updated in the appropriate category list. This was accomplished using a script called Freshtags and by re-tagging every one of my older posts. I'm also now using bookmarks to display the Links and Blogs sections dynamically so all I have to do to add a new Link is bookmark it instead of editing the Blogger template. Both of these items can help make this a much more dynamic geocaching site instead relying on hard-coded HTML in my sidebar.

Finally, the last change involves the use of social bookmarking links at the bottom of each post. If you use one of the more popular social bookmarking services, using the icons below each post, you can now quickly and easily bookmark a post at, Blinklist, Google, Furl, Simpy, or Slashdot. You can also quickly Digg any post or add to your favorites at Technorati.

If you haven't begun using one of these social bookmarking services to keep track of your web favorites, I highly recommend giving them a try. All the ones I've configured are totally free and most fully integrate with most modern web browsers. Using these can make accessing your favorite geocaching websites a breeze from any computer. In addition, sharing your bookmarks publicly or submitting to sites like Slashdot or Digg really help gain exposure to Adventures in Geocaching. The more people that publicly bookmark or Digg a post, the more visible the post becomes and the more traffic this site will receive. Learn more about social bookmarking at or

Now comes the begging section of this post.... if you would be so kind as to choose one, two, or a dozen of your favorite Adventures in Geocaching posts and bookmark and/or Digg them, I would be most appreciative. :) Using the icons below each post will automatically fill out the title and URL for you, so all you really have to do after signing up is add your own tags/description and click OK.

Friday, May 12, 2006


Have you ever browsed Google's directory for geocaching sites and been curious where these listings originate? Have you ever wondered why some websites get spidered by Google and others do not?

The answer to these questions is DMOZ Open Directory Project. "The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors."

Just recently, I've been selected as a volunteer editor for the category Recreation/Outdoors/Geocaching/Personal_and_Team_Pages. To help build this category, I have been adding and reviewing some of the geocaching blogs that I'm aware of and read, but I need your help. If you know of another good geocaching blog or geocaching-related personal web site, please let me know by suggesting it to the directory using the link below.

In addition, I will soon begin adding many more XML links to correspond with blog sites that provide RSS or ATOM feeds. If your site provides a valid XML link to your content, please suggest that URL as well.

Suggest a Site

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Site Changes

In recent weeks, I've been unable to do much geocaching because my wife and I are expecting our second little girl at any time. Instead, I've been sitting by the computer and have been playing around with the site template for this blog. I've made a few small changes - nothing too big or drastic - just a few, small things to hopefully clean it up a little bit.

Under-the-hood, the XML feed has been completely revamped. Now, instead of using the standard ATOM feed, this site uses FeedBurner to host a multi-format feed that works in almost every feed reader I've tested. To do this, I had to manually change the self-discovery links in the template to point to the new feed. For this reason, if you are already subscribed to this site or want to subscribe for the first time, please use the following link:

The rest of the changes are mostly cosmetic. Near the top of this site, I've included the official Groundspeak Geocaching logo (with permission). Also, the side-bar has been segmented into logical groups with the important sections first and the less important information further down. While making the changes to the side-bar, I decided it would be easier to navigate through older posts by moving all of the archive links into a reverse-sorted drop-down box instead of an ever-growing list of months which was already 12 links long.

Below that, I added a new Subscribe section that displays various 1-click chicklets to various web-based feed aggregators and includes the new standard RSS icon. All of these URLs reference the new FeedBurner feed. The final sections of the side-bar contain the Links and Banners groups. To keep the individual posts from being cluttered by all of this extra side-bar content, only the Previous Posts and Archives section will be visible when viewing individual posts.

In addition, I will soon begin tagging all of my new and old posts to use as community bookmarks or categories at These tags will appear at the bottom of each post right above the white comment bar. If you are reading one of my posts about a specific topic, you can click on one of the tags to see a list of related posts. This feature is very limited right now until I have a chance to go back and add tags to all 47 previous posts.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, the Google search bar and content-sensitive advertisements will continue to be listed in the footer. There are a few other changes that only *I* can see, but that's all you'll notice for now. This is a partial list of the web resources I used to make these changes.

Overall, the basic site structure and design hasn't changed very much. These minor changes are meant to be just basic improvements to hopefully make my Adventures in Geocaching even easier to read and navigate. I welcome your comments and feedback about these site changes! Please feel free to email me through my profile or use the links below each post to leave your comments.

One final note: since our second child is expected to arrive at any moment and my adventures will be limited to diaper changing and spit-up removal for the next several weeks, I have pre-written several more articles that will be posted during my short absence from geocaching. Some of the topics will include: how-to write a good Geocaching log, information about the original Geocaching website, and more geocaching-in-the-news! Look for these and more over the next few weeks!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2006


Over the past few months, this site has been one of an ever-shrinking minority of sites on the web still not hosting Google Ads. Sadly, the time has come for Adventures in Geocaching to join forces with Google to advertise-the-heck out of the Internet. For this reason, I am now going to incorporate Google Ads and a Google Search in the footer at the bottom of this site.

I have chosen this location for two reasons. First, it's at the bottom and won't interfere with the site's normal visitors and activities. Second, if these Google Ads work as they are intended by supplying content-related advertising, I want readers to see the entire page of content before they encounter an ad trying to steal them away from the content. Please know that I will try to avoid having advertisements placed inside actual page content or the RSS feeds.

In addition to these two additions, I will be making several changes to this site's template over the next few weeks. Once all of the changes are made, I'll be sure to let you know what they are and how I did it.

With all of this in mind, I give you.... Google Advertisements!!!!!


Thursday, March 31, 2005

Walk Alone

I decided I would try my hand at a new avatar yesterday. I've seen some avatars done by other people that were like little scenes more than just a logo, so I thought I'd give that a try and see what I think. This edition has my own version of a non-trademarked "stick figure" man hiking. It also really captures my interests and is a little more symbolic of how I feel about geocaching.