Getting Socially Updated & Upgraded

August 12, 2011 | By | Add a Comment


This month’s Facebook page was set up (yes, I caved), and by virtue of its existence, the blog and review sites have to updated to ensure everything is easily linked.

Since 2006, I’ve been using Douglas Bowman’ “Dots Dark” template for Mondomark’s Blogger account, and it was time to upgrade because there was no way to incorporate any social media widgets or plugins.

Blogger announced it was making its key templates user friendly back in December of 2010 and later May of 2011, but the media alert, which inferred linkage to downloadable pages, was nowhere to be found. Several bloggers reported on the news by merely regurgitating or copying the p.r. sheet, so their ‘news updates’ were equally useless.

In the end I selected a template designed by Metalab because I realized it offered several conveniences: the dotted background evoked Bowman’s original design; the layout was clean, and it welcomed a lot of widgets – namely the social media stuff.

As is typical with any new template, you have to customize its look, and as most bloggers and publishers know, you gotta do a lot of tweaking. With Blogger, it mandates cutting & pasting html and java code into the template through an edit window, hitting preview, and seeing what did what. (If you can deduce code at a glance, it’s a breeze, but most – er, me – will likely recognize only a few patterns and codes.)

To make it brief, you gotta change colours, fonts, font sizes, button colours, and space things to reflect your needs, which the designers know and allow for, but here’s the new mondomark.blogspot page, and the original template, “Fluid.”. My corrections just offer up a cleaner, larger font, which is more legible, and I tried to tweak the design so if viewed on a mobile or template, it looks clean and easy to read.

Yes, I know some people hate white text on dark backgrounds, but there’s another half on planet Earth who find black text on white backgrounds equally hard on the eyes; the Blogger page and Word Press variant respectively give you a choice.

“Hey Mark: Why have two mirror-like blogs?”

The Blogger page was supposed be closed when the Word Press page was set up, but shit happened. The month of May wasn’t acknowledged by WP when the data was ported over, nor some earlier posts, and rather than lose posts (not to mention the higher traffic counts the Blogger page still yields), I left it alone.

I also figured some subscribers prefer to remain in specific networks (Blogger’s pages are all interlinked within the Google dominion), so why create a disruption? Moreover, my ego likes having two sites, even though getting text from MS Word to either blog for a new post, and making it look natural is a *)&~@#$^) pain.

As many know, Word doesn’t come from Microsoft: it comes from Hell.

If you write in Word, paste it into WP or Blogger and hit publish, you get multiple issues (such as missing html hyperlinks, format fubars, wrong fonts, bad spacing, etc.), and in my case it doesn’t matter whether the text originates in Word, Open Office, is pasted into Wordpad, and then pasted into the respective blogs; it all comes out flawed.

My solution stemmed from an accident, and at least for me, it minimizes the buggering that programmers should’ve fixed a decade ago.




My posts are written in MS Word, & pasted into Dreamweaver. I fix links (making some linked text open in new browser windows) and dumb typos.

Next move is to highlight the text of the finished post while in Dreamweaver’s half code / design mode, then copy the text from the code window and paste it into WP in its code option when beginning a new post. (Like Blogger, you can write a post in Design or Code mode, depending on which tab you select.)

WP ignores Dreamweaver’s double spacing, but it also adds a space when two separate sentences are atop of each other, as designed in Dreamweaver. (This is a style attribute leftover from my original Word document. Two lines on top of each other pasted over from Word will display the same in Dreamweaver, but if you can’t replicate it by typing a new sentence, hitting Enter, and expecting to type a line underneath. That requires a code adjustment, and extra time.)

Solution: You have to flip from code to design view to see the buggering in WP; design lets you see the changes WP will make, and what style attributes it will not recognize prior to any code adjustments.

Next step: flip back to code view, and delete the extra line it added between the two lines to ensure (in my case) the byline at the end of each posts (“Mark R. Hasan, Editor” followed by “”) doesn’t have that extra line. If you don’t edit the code by hitting backspace and deleting that gap, WP adds an extra line.

WP doesn’t also allow for double-spacing, so I add white dots to mimic double or triple spacing. This makes the post look normal.

Replicating the post in Blogger: After the WP blog is done, I flip back to code, copy the contents, and paste it into Blogger’s create new post window, but also in code view mode. Blogger will acknowledge the text and its hyperlinks this way.

However, Blogger will not acknowledge the text as originally running beside an image, as I do in WP, so the images have to be deleted, and uploaded anew to Blogger, then pasted into the post. (I do this tedium because I also don’t want to tax the server hosting the WP account.)

When pasting images into Blogger, it disallows running text beside them, as well as image resizing options that please me, so I leave it dead centre atop the text. (You could fix this issue by editing the code, but it’s exceptionally tedious, and think about it: you’d have to do it for every single image you add to the blogger post, and I’d like to have lunch by this point.)

Before hitting publish on Blogger, I have to shoot down to the byline, and backspace from the beginning of “Mark” to the line below the last sentence of the blog’s body.

Why? To get rid of the white dots necessary for WP to display triple spacing, and because Blogger doubles the spacing between the white dots. By hitting enter three times after making these deletions, I get a more normal set of triple or quad spacing between the last sentence, and the byline.

Then I hit publish.

“Hey Mark, why don’t you just have Blogger publish the RSS feed from the WP blog?”

Because I know if I do all of the above, Blogger is publishing what it recognizes, and my changes work, instead of a feed derived from an amalgam of style attributes which may have its own issues when recombined into a post by Blogger.

It all sounds crazy, and time consuming, but it’s not. It’s just annoying. In talking to other publishers, they have to do similar bouncing between programs and code edits (if not way more edits depending on needs), and it still isn’t all they hope it to be.

Bottom line: You find a formula that works and wastes the least amount of time, and stick with it until something better, fast comes along.




So ideally by the end of this weekend, the WP blog will have the same social media links as the Blogger page, and the mobile and main versions of will have reciprocal links for subscribers. I should also have fixed all the font issues on the Blogger page.

The ultimate goal is to boost the site’s profile, given there’s around 1000+ reviews online, many for movies classic, weird, sleazy, eccentric, and “special.”

I also plan to publish some new & related multimedia content, of which the first so far is a series of extracts from the recent discussion between Guillermo Del Toto and TIFF’s Noah Cowan on Suspiria, Dario Argento, Frederico Fellini, and the giallo.

If you go to’s Facebook page, you’ll see linked posts that will pay audio files from the 50+ minute discussion (in five parts, not counting the Intro), held at the TIFF Bell Lighbox July 2, 2011.

More good stuff will follow, and coming soon is a review of Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams, the 3D film that’s been held over again at the TBL for another 2 weeks until August 18; the horror shocker Blood Night, soundtrack reviews, and the first film in Warner Home Video’s Superman Motion Picture Anthology Blu-ray box (which is simply awesome).

. (black dot before turned white to simulate double-spacing)

. (white dot simulating double-space WP disallows because it’s petty)

Mark R. Hasan, Editor ( Main Site / Mobile Site )

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