Blogging may be considered an extreme sport. After
struggling, climbing up, scrambling over rocky spots, huffing and puffing, and
investing more time than I really wanted, I now feel like I have conquered Mount
Everest, that is, the Mount Everest of blogging. If your worldly knowledge
includes how to resize photos for your blog or you don't have a blog, then, skip to the News Update.
all began when seven blogging friends received messages that they could
no longer upload photos to their blogs because they had used up the space.
Does this seem sneeky to anybody? Lure you in, then grab you by the throat? Admittedly, a blog is free (at first), however, most of us have learned our way around blogland by trial and error and have missed the fine print that explains space limits, if it exists.
Therefore, I would like to explain how I dealt with this problem in case any readers need help or are just at the beginning of blogging and have no idea. You also might want to visit Carole Reid's discussion on the subject as well. Her solution was to eliminate the first 200 posts because she had put them into a book. Other bloggers pay a small fee for more space. I haven't gotten the message yet and I like the status quo, however I found that I had used up 98% of my space, so I decided to take action. My résumé of the situation follows:
The first thing they don't tell you: you need to resize photos before uploading them to your blog. Already, I had set my digital camera (Canon powershot) on a lower number of pixels ("M3" for those who have this type of camera,) to 1600x1200 pixels. However, pixel size can be further reduced without affecting the image (as far as I can tell). A photo may be reduced from around 700K (or more) to around 150K--a rather substantial reduction.
Question 1: How do you resize? Much scratching of head, here, and fiddling around. I have a Mac, so I concluded that the easiest way for me to resize is to send a photo from iPhoto (click on "Share" in the top bar) to my email. It automatically asks how I want the photo resized--I usually choose "medium".
Then I go over to my email, and save the photo to my Desktop. I immediately put "resized" in the title of the photo so I don't confuse myself. Then I can upload it to my blog. And if there is an easier way, please feel free to leave a comment. I would be curious, because this does create a couple of extra steps.
The second thing they don't tell you: you need to get into Picasa and delete your original photo. Surprise to me, Blogger automatically sets up a Picasa album for your blog. If you don't delete the heavy photo from there, then it's still weighing down your blog, even if you removed the photo from your blog. In addition, I discovered a quantity of photos that I had uploaded and then hadn't used.
UPDATE: Debbie at Stitchin' Therapy kindly pointed me in the right direction and has just posted about the Picasa web albums. She advised:
"Don't delete them from the albums and loose them from your blog. It takes a bit of time, but you can resize them in the album. When you call up the web album, select a photo---you can see the pixels size on the right hand side of the page--- click on action. Select to edit on line in Creative Kit. It will load your photo and you can resize to 800 pixels and replace it in your album. I have reduced my usage by 50% this way."
Yes! This works, I tried it. So resize directly on the Picasa Web Album. When you resize in Picasa, it's automatically done in the blog too--I double checked. Thanks, Debbie!
Question 2: How do you find the Picasa web album for your blog? More scratching of head and fiddling around. I would be embarrassed to say how long it took me to figure this out. I have a Picasa application on my computer, however, I couldn't figure out how to get to the web albums. Easiest thing: Do a google search for "Picasa Web Albums" and click the "Sign in". If you don't have a Picasa account, you'll have to figure that one out and probably just create an account. Once I finally found my Picasa "home" with the blog albums, I bookmarked it so I wouldn't lose it.
Problem: Be careful. If you delete photos from the Picasa web album, then you lose them from your blog. So you need to have them backed up someplace, such as on iPhoto or in a separate folder on your computer. I'm resizing slowly, post by post, so that I don't do something irreversible that I'll regret. I also back up to a Lacie external hard drive.
Whew! Now you understand why I feel triumphant. If you should have any enlightening information on this subject, please add a comment.
IMPORTANT UPDATE about Picasa: Picasa has just increased size allowances for photos. They went from around 1 G. to 5 G. I had managed to get my photos sized down to take up 40% of the space and then suddenly I had only 9% used up. Wow!
News Update: No feelings of triumph here. It isn't a rocky road for Tunisia anymore, as I suggested a year ago (here). The chaotic situation of last December grows worse and now we stare up at a Tunisian Mount Everest with a long, weary trek ahead and the possibility of falling into a ravine at every twist of the path. The government goes from scandal to scandal and government administrations remain paralyzed--nobody dares to do anything. The government, that is, the ruling religious party, controls the Ministry of Justice, and abuses are flagrant and far too frequent. The foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly.
On December 4th, during preparations for the annual celebration of the 1952 assassination of Farhat Hachad (an internationally known Union leader who helped negotiate the fusion of the American AFL and CIO), fighting broke out when Union (UGTT) members were attacked by extreme right militiamen. The son of Farhat Hachad received information about the militia's plans the evening before. Despite the fact that the authorities had been alerted to the possibility of conflict by Mr. Hachad the previous evening, and despite the desperate phone calls of UGTT members under attack, the police arrived two hours after the violence began. They are located less than a kilometer away--traffic must have been very heavy...The foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly.
It would appear that the militia wanted to physically oust Union directors and replace them with those faithful to the ruling party. Fortunately, they failed, however, the ruling party continues to defend the militia while all other parties are calling for its dissolution. Since the 4th, the Union has called for grève générale (general strikes, meaning everything closes) in four cities. The Union called for a grève générale for all of Tunisia including Tunis, the capital, for December 13th after the president of the ruling party made statements showing he approved of the December 4th violence. The ruling party, which lost its legitimacy as of October 23rd when its one-year mandate ended, does not appear to want to negotiate or back off. At Friday religious services in Sfax (3 hours from Tunis), an extreme right imam called for civil war--and the congregation cheered. What???? I argue that Islam is a religion of moderation and that all this has nothing to do with religion, but with economic and political factors. A disadvantaged group grabs power because they want a piece of the tasty pie. Why wasn't that imam arrested for something like treason or sedition? One can feel palpable violence in the air. The foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly.
In the meantime, Egypt is also on the brink of civil war, which affects Tunisia indirectly as the problems are similar. Tunisians and Egyptians watch each other's leaders and opposition closely. Morsi, the Egyptian president elected for 5 years (unfortunately for Egyptians) and also belonging to a ruling religious party, has grabbed all power including the judiciary branch, which he incapacitated recently by his own proclamation. Courageously, Egyptians took to the streets and have been demonstrating by the tens of thousands for several weeks in many cities. Protesting crowds surround the presidential palace although Morsi ran away. From a distance, he announced that he stands by his actions. Another incompetent idiot who doesn't know how to negotiate and doesn't care about the well-being of his country. As many Egyptians and Tunisians have said, "You can't do anything you want just because we voted for you." The foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly.
Unfortunately, after the Libyan mess, extreme groups can acquire all kinds of weapons in both Egypt and Tunisia, while responsible citizens search for solutions through peaceful negotiations and political processes that include free and untainted elections. When the end justifies the means, then "Might is Right" takes the upper hand. Now who wouldn't predict a gloomy outcome?
Indeed, Mount Everest looms in front of us
because the foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly.