By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Tag: Blogger Page 1 of 3

Welcome to Media Nation’s new home

I ended up moving more quickly than I had intended. But as of today, this is the new permanent home of Media Nation. After four years on, I decided I wanted a better-looking blog with the greater functionality offered by WordPress. Over time, I plan to consolidate my various other Web presences here.

Thank you to everyone for your comments and advice on the new look and feel. I agree with those who say the photo — taken in the booth at WBZ-TV (Channel 4) while political analyst Jon Keller was interviewing U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch — is  distracting. No offense to Keller and Lynch; the fault is entirely the photographer’s. At some point I will come up with a better image.

Please adjust your bookmarks and your RSS subscriptions.

Many thanks to my former student John Guilfoil, the founder and editor of Blast Magazine, who helped me with the set-up process and is now assisting with tweaks to the design.

Tweaking away: What I know about CSS would not fill a tiny thimble. But I’ve managed to boost the body-type size by 5 percent and improve the contrast a bit.

Platform angst

I’m seriously thinking of switching to so that I can bring my various Web sites under one roof — Media Nation, “Little People” and


  • WordPress has nicer templates than Blogger, so I should easily be able to come up with a better look than I’ve got now.
  • I’ll be able to use my own domain name.
  • I can set up static pages so that each of my different online projects will be in one spot.


  • I’ll have to pay $6 to $10 a month for Web hosting. Not bad, but free is free. (I can’t use the free service because it forbids advertising.)
  • I can use or as my main domain name, but the one I really want — — is already taken.
  • I’ll need to put in some time getting up to speed technologically, and I really could put that time to better use.

So I don’t know. If you were me, what would you do?

Opening the spam door a crack

The spambots usually attack at night. Since I’m going to be on the road, I’ll remove moderation for the day and see what happens.

Attack of the comment spam

I have turned on comment moderation, as Media Nation was hit with comment spam overnight. Unfortunately, I’m going to be offline a good part of the day. Will try to approve comments later, as well as take down the spam.

Tracing Blogger links

Recently I turned on the Blogger feature “Links to this post.” You can see it at the bottom, right next to comments.

It would be a whole lot more useful, though, if I could somehow be notified every time something pops up there. Any thoughts?

Template quirk

A reader pointed out an odd quirk with the new design — if you narrow the window too much, the right-hand column slides off and disappears to the bottom. My correspondent said the problem appeared to be with Firefox for Windows, and he didn’t mention the window width. But I’ve been able to reproduce the problem with the Mac version of Firefox and Safari.

Ideally, the window would hold steady as you narrow it, as it does with the site I recently put together for our church using If you narrow the window there, you’ll see that the page holds steady.

I don’t know what to do about this; it must be inherent in the template, and not amenable to a quick CSS tweak. All the more reason to think that, someday, Media Nation will move to

It’s been an interesting day — Blogger’s been more up than down, and both my Gmail and Northeastern e-mail accounts have been acting up. So there you have it.

Fixed. Again, thanks to Steve. By the time we’re done, he ought to be able to sell a modified version of this template.

Better and better

Media National Steve figured out how I could make the type size in the sidebars smaller than what’s in the center well. I’ve asked him about another possible tweak or two.

Calling all code warriors

Now that I’ve got a template I like, I was wondering if anyone out there in Media Nation could help me with a small tweak. I would like to change the template so that content in the center well doesn’t actually touch the line separating it from the right-hand column. I want a margin of a few pixels on the right, matching the margin on the left. (You can really see what I mean in my second Dylan post.)

The template I’m using is called Sand Dollar, and you’ll find it here.

Sunday morning update: Problem solved. Thanks, Steve. And thanks to Jess as well.

Much better

I think I’ve found a redesign I can live with. Hope you like it. And yes, I’ve restored links, this time in the left-hand column.

Redesign hits a snag

For the moment, at least, I’ve decided to revert to the old design. The problem is that Blogger provides very few templates, and they’re all two-column.

The three-column template I tried last night was of uncertain provenance, and there were some things that just didn’t work properly. In addition, Mrs. Media Nation informed me that though it allowed me to try some new ideas, it was pretty much unreadable. I knew she was right, but tried to tell myself otherwise.

So I tried a different three-column template tonight, and it was pretty clear that I’d chosen something with even more problems.

I’m sick of this design, but it’s relatively easy on the eyes. So, for now at least, it stays.

If didn’t ban advertising, I’d switch. It has many more options and, in general, is a more robust blogging platform than Blogger. It even works as a pretty decent content-management system. Check out the site I put together for our church.

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