Saturday, December 8, 2012

Mount Everest.

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.
         This 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.


O'Quilts said...

OMG That is some post. I think that my concussioned brain has to take a long nap after this one. I am paying $3 a month now for blogger to let me post my pix. I cannot figure out the other way because my brain still cannot multitask...Oh, Lordy and then I see the political thing. I feel a spin out of control..Shame, just a shame that the world is so very crazy. TG for your art.

Debbie said...

Nadia, In the US we are heading in the same direction....Washington groups are grabbing power to do their thing no matter what the people want, and they all play the blame game with no solution offered. I fear for our country and those who are so under informed.
As for the photos on Picasaweb.....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.

Lisa Jeffers Fulton said...

Nadia, thanks for taking the time to inform us about the blogger/picasa issues. And thanks even more for taking the time to write about the state of affairs in Tunisia and Egypt. One almost feels hopeless. But then I reflect that's how my parents must have felt during WW2, my grandparents during WW1, and on back through time. Is this time in history more dire? Who knows, but it feels like it.

Cate Rose said...

Well, the foul habits of a so-called democratic regime also die long and hard. And may be more difficult to overthrow in the longer run. It is greed and power here, like everywhere else. But unlike a lot of other countries, Congress DOES NOT often vote the way the people want, and getting rid of them is a much bigger problem.

Anyhow, I've been on Blogger for nearly five years, I post nearly every day, and I don't know anything about a limit on images. But then, I ALWAYS resize my images in Photoshop before uploading. And I always keep the images on my hard drive, in bigger res form. And I back up my images periodically to an external hard drive.

Have a good weekend!

Cate Rose said...

p.s. -- I just went to my Picasa account, and apparently I'm only using 32% of my allowed storage. This, after five years.

Mosaic Magpie said...

I have begun the LONG task of resizing my photos. I too had gotten the message I was unable to add anymore photos. I have gotten my storage down to 40% but there is still more to be done.

Anonymous said...

On a Mac you can resize your photos in 'preview'.

Vivian said...

I appreciate your sharing of the current situation in Tunisia. It's one thing to see bits on our news--it's something else to hear about it from someone living through the changes and challenges.

Re: the Picasa album -- it can be a blessing. I happily found out about all my blog photos safely sitting in there when our PC suddenly crashed and died early this year. I lost 1000s of photos (thought I'd been backing up the computer every 2 weeks, but it wasn't done properly). I was able to get copies of 100s of photos from Picasa and was thankful to get those.
Right now I'm heading to my album to see how full it is. Thanks for the instructions!

Julie Fukuda said...

I am way behind in figuring out my picasa pictures. I still have multiples of the same picture down-loaded at different times and don't even know how to get rid of the duplicates.
Elections in Japan are coming up but I haven't much hope for either progress or change. Taxes are going to be raised and we will be eating less.

MulticoloredPieces said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Meta. I fiddled around with a photo in Preview where I have "Automatically Resize" checked and I found it still weighed about 800K. I can get it down to around 150K in the Picasa Web Album ("Creative Kit" under "Actions" has "resize").

Teodo said...

A very important post. Thanks. And your Mount Everest is fantastic. I like it very much.
ciao Linda

Unknown said...

Wow! Such a post! I have been watching the news of Egypt and wondered where it will go. As for the blogger post info thank you so much!

Janet M. Atwill said...

What a generous post, in many ways. Yes, the resizing issue is very important, something I learned in fairly difficult and expensive ways.

Thanks so much for your summary of recent events in Tunisia. I did not know about Farhat Hachad's tole in creating the AFL-CIO.

Thinking of you, Janet

Becky said...

I'll have to bookmark your post so I can figure it out too. Crazy that 7 people have mentioned this. I know I have, and can think of at least another blogger too. Coincident? Hmmm one wonders. I've also learned that you can upload the pictures to a free photo hosting site, like Flickr or Photobucket, then copy and paste the URL code into the blog when you want to post a picture. That works well too. I'm also dealing with the resizing of photos.

The other news really is unsettling. I sure hope you stay safe. I can't help thinking that global political unrest will worsen as global warming and world population keeps increasing. I consider myself an optimist too. I don't know how, but we all need to put our heads together and figure out how to live sustainably and peacefully. One step at a time...

Sandy said...

Your Mount Everest is wonderful! Your artwork always amazes me.

So many countries are in turmoil. Please stay safe, Sandy

Norma Schlager said...

Great post, as usual. As for using up your photo allotment, I was told that if you resize your picture to 800 on the biggest side that it doesn't count in your allowance. I resize mine in Photoshop Elements. I've been blogging for about four years and put in a lot of photos and had no problem so far.

ali said...

Awesome instructions! Thanks. Mt. Everest is looking fairly conquered to me, and beautifully so!

Kathy said...

Thanks for sharing the way up blogger Mt. Everest. I was wondering what I'd do if I ever got that message. I've bookmarked this post.

I hope things settle down in your neck of the woods sooner than later. It has got to be so very frustrating to so many people.

paula said...

quite the post! thanks for the info and updates :) as i scroll down your blog i'm loving the intricate work too!

Carole Reid said...

Akkkk Nadia, with all the deleting I did I lost a couple of photos I had wanted to keep. What I learned from this is if you delete a photo in Picasa it will be deleted automatically from your blog. Thankfully I still have the photos in my iphoto so I will repost them again.

I'm not sure how many followers read old blog postings as I don't often read anyone's postings from years ago. Once I had 200 of my posts printed in the book I was almost relieved to delete them!

Take care, Nadia. Keep safe. May your Mount Everest not rumble. xo Carole

Kit Lang said...

My goodness!

First part of the post:

I had this happen to me recently and resorted to using photobucket for my recent photos, but have gone into my Picasa albums and deleted all the photos from my prior, closed blogs (it's not just photos on that current blog, but any photos associated with your email address and blogger); so that freed up some space, but I also planned to resize the remaining one - thanks for the tips on doing so.

Second part of the post:

Thank you so much for posting all of this. The situation is so unclear for me, personally, I'm not even sure who the "good guys" and "bad guys" are anymore - newspaper stories are coloured by the prejudices of the companies that own them and advertise in them, ad-hoc articles are coloured by the personal biases of the writers - Facebook is a battleground!

This gives me a clearer sense of the issues and some sense of what's happening "on the ground". Thank you for sharing. And... prayers of your denominational choice for safety for your family and peace for your country.


Anonymous said...

I love your detailed needleturn. It is such an expression of you and your life. I hope you keep posting at Nina Marie's so we can keep following you. My best wishes for a peaceful Tunisia.

Amoola said...

Thanks for sharing re photos. I didnt know that! My brain is feeling mushy atm so will have to read it again to digest it properly! And thanks for the update on Tunisia. Am loving the quote " The foul habits of a dictatorial regime die slowly". May God help Tunisia, Egypt and Libya! Also I'm praying we hear good news from Syria soon!

blandina said...

Many thanks for your suggestions about Picasa and resizing, they are very precious to me since I am no computer savvy.
Sorry to hear about your country, mine is not in much better shape...

Kim said...

Too bad I didn't see your post before paying for "additional storage". *sigh* Definitely something fishy going on, when so many hit their "limit" at the same time.

But we've been without our own internet for three months, so I didn't have time to research my options first. Living in Argentina has it's challenges, which include a phone company monopoly that also owns all the rights to internet service (while there are other internet providers, they all have to buy from the main company, so no matter who you use, it's all coming from the same source). It could be months before we get phone and internet service. *sigh*

We don't have the amount of civil unrest that you do. YET. But this past week mobs attacked, looted and destroyed stores in four large cities throughout the country (over 3,000 hit one store alone). Unrest simmers just below the boiling point. Many Argentine friends are concerned for their country, and we are too. Corruption is so endemic that we don't see how the problems can be overcome without a major overhaul, which won't happen as long as those in power can hang onto their power...and even if another group gets in, it's like you said, they just want a piece of the pie and nothing really changes.

We went to buy an air conditioner this week (our Christmas present to ourselves) and learned we have to register the purchase with the government. Apparently any "big ticket" item must be registered. I wouldn't have considered a small a.c. unit a big ticket item, but that's probably my American perspective. Anyway, the government decides if you should be able to afford something, and you can get into trouble if you buy something they deem over your "pay grade". Talk about Big Brother!