Sunday, March 7, 2010

Blog Book and Birthdays

I mentioned a little while back about the blog book I was making; well it finally came on Friday, March 5. It contains all my blog posts from my first MySpace blog, so it ranges from June 2006-March 2008 when I stopped using MySpace to blog and started using Blogger full-time. I originally got the idea of a blog book from my friend Jessica Kay as she had done that some time ago to her blog as a way to archive it. I had tried putting one together several months ago using the service she had used, but at least then they didn't offer the option of using Blogger to publish a blog from; you had to have one of the other blogging sites. A solution I tried was opening a mirror to my blog on one of those sites, but it didn't transfer the pictures and it just became a headache, so I gave up until a few weeks ago. The biggest challenge from this was getting the MySpace blog posts into this one as well as the comments from those posts. If there was some kind of automatic way to transfer blog posts from MySpace to Blogger I certainly wasn't aware of it, so I did them manually, one at a time. Even that wasn't quite so simple as I had to go through the "Edit HTML" tab on Blogger to eliminate the MySpace text formatting and background. Once I figured out exactly what needed to be done (like copying text from the posts and the comments directly to the HTML instead of the Composition area), it got a little quicker, but still took some time given the amount of posts. I also made sure to tag them and place them in the original time they had been published on MySpace.

The next challenge was where the two blogs overlap in February and March 2008 as I was starting one and closing out the other. When putting a book together, you simply specify a date range of posts for the program to put in a given book. Because I wanted just the posts from MySpace in a book, I had to figure out a way to remove the 2 Blogger posts that are dated before my last MySpace post in 2008. I had hoped it was just as simple as just deleting the posts from the book itself before publishing, but it wasn't that simple. The book software essentially "takes a picture" as a representative told me, so you can't actually edit the book once it's been "captured" from the blog posts. That was annoying to me because it doesn't truly "take a picture", so there are instances where the pictures are in a different arrangement than they were on the blog itself and then the captions below get all weird (Blogger needs a picture caption feature). She suggested that I save the posts I didn't want in the book as drafts and then put the book together before republishing the posts again, essentially hiding them for a little bit. It worked, so thankfully I won't need to do it again as the book for my 2008 blog posts was already created before I added my MySpace posts.

Overall I like how it turned out. It certainly isn't perfect, but that's mostly my fault in missing little things from typing and then not catching them before publishing. Also, if you do use this service, make sure your pictures are in JPEG format because it won't recognize anything in PNG. As I said, my biggest problem was not being able to edit the layout of the pages in the book, but I did like being able to choose a cover picture, back cover picture, inside cover picture (all with captions if you want) and I could add pages in the book, which I did to include the Christmas newsletters from 2007 in full size. The cost is fair, though it certainly isn't cheap. This book was 57 pages long and cost about $38.00 for the hardcover. There are other options to make it cost less. The base cost of $24.95 for a hardcover includes up to 20 pages and shipping and then 35 cents per page after that, so if you blog as much as or more than I do, it can start to get pricey. Anyway, the company is SharedBook if you're interested. I would highly recommend it!

On a side note, I had a great 28th birthday! I appreciated all the birthday wishes via Facebook (it's such a great reminder!) and the cards I got. I think I most enjoy hearing from so many people on my birthday more than anything, some of whom I rarely hear from much any more. The day itself was relaxing (I didn't sub and we didn't have Akron After-School but I did have a callback at Weathervane for "The Wedding Singer" auditions) and I got some very cool presents like tickets to an Indians game in May and a $50 gift card (which I just used!) to get the two books I had wanted. I also got an interesting "History of the Simpsons" book and some new warm-up pants, not to mention some money :). Now I am looking forward to my upcoming trip to Utah in less than a month!!


Becky said...

Your book looks cool. Can you bring it to show me? Did Dad get your the Indians tickets? That sounds like fun! I hope you like your book. I found it while we were home at Christmas and Mom said you would probably like it.

Can't wait to see you!

Jon said...

Katie got me the Indians tickets actually...she let me pick the date, so I picked the May 21st game against the Reds. She can get good tickets for cheap that night (I had about 8 choices) because of her union at Acme Local 880.

I will have to sit down and read the book...maybe I can do that when I'm flying to Utah!