Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Status of Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers

Just a quick note to explain the lack of posts here at Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers:

There haven't been any posts since July 29, 2009 and folks have noticed this - as well as the site having more technology-oriented posts.

I've been working on developing a technology section of GeneaBloggers complete with a printable PDF newsletter and an easy-to-use menu system so you can locate the blog help you need.  The target date for this new project is January 2010 - stay tuned!

And in case you are worried, Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers won't be going away - it will stay here in its current form with all the archived posts for those genealogy bloggers looking for assistance.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings for Photos

Just an FYI to check your Facebook privacy settings so that third-party vendors are not able to use the photos that you post. Is this something new or a change in Facebook's Terms of Service (TOS)? No. But there have been recent incidents where a Facebook user suddenly sees their photo that they posted on their Wall show up advertising a website or an item

Example (and in the funny or not-so-funny vein depending upon your perspective): a married man was on his Facebook page when suddenly he sees his wife's picture advertising a dating site with the caption "Hot singles are waiting for you!" The problem is that your photos can be "co-opted" to advertise to your friends on Facebook!

Here is how you can make certain that your photos are not used by third-party vendors in Facebook:

1. Go to your Facebook page.

2. In the upper right corner click Settings and then select Privacy.

3. Next, click News Feed and Wall.

4. Click the Facebook Ads tab.

5. Make sure the setting for Appearance in Facebook Ads is set to "no one."

6. Click Save.

(via Mashable)

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Tracer - A Tool To Enforce Your Creative Commons License

Over at GeneaBloggers I've recently written about blog content theft and offered tools on how to track who is copying your text and how. Well now with a heads-up from a recent post at Creative Commons blog, there is a new tool which can help you enforce your Creative Commons license.

The tool is called tracer and here is the premise: when a snippet of javascript is installed on your blog template, a person copying text from your blog will see an attribution and link back to your post when they paste the text.

Pretty neat, right? Here is what happens right now if you copy and paste from the GeneaBloggers site where I have tracer installed:

1. Select text to copy then use CTRL + C or right-click and select Copy from the shortcut menu.

2. Next go to a Rich Text Editor based location to paste the text. This would include the screen used to create a blog post, a Microsoft Word document or even a blank email message using Google Mail or Microsoft Outlook. Use CTRL + V or right-click and select Paste from the shortcut menu.

3. You will notice how not only is the original copied text pasted, but there is also text at the end of the copied segment with a link back to the original post and the type of Creative Commons license in effect.

tracer could not be easier to sign up for (it's free) and use. In fact, normally I would post a "how to" on getting the javascript code pasted into your Blogger or WordPress template. But tracer has a great How To Setup Tracer On Your Blog page so they've made my job easier! (Note: currently you can only use tracer on a hosted WordPress blog - meaning you have your own domain name and paid hosting for your WordPress blog.)

In addition, once you setup and install tracer, the website provides a dashboard to track where your content is appearing over a 1-day, 7-day, 30-day timeline.

While tracer will not stop someone from deleting the attribution link and language, it will serve as a reminder to to person copying your valuable content that there is a Creative Commons license in force at your site.

I am off to install tracer on my other blogs!

© 2009, copyright Thomas MacEntee

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Using Google Custom Search On Your Blog

Here's one for the "How did he do that?" file. Many genealogy bloggers have said they like the convenience of the new Search GeneaBloggers Member Blogs widget (which allows you to search all posts in all of the nearly 500 genealogy blogs listed at GeneaBloggers). But many have also wondered how they can leverage Google Custom Search for their own blogs and website.

The details of the "how to" are listed below and only give you the basics - as with most Google apps, there are a myriad of bells, whistles and customizations you can add. Many depend upon your technical knowledge and the type of site you are running.

If you don't already know, I am a big fan of Google and all their free, open-source applications. I use Google Reader not only to read the posts from almost 500 genealogy blogs, but also to generate many of the widgets used over at GeneaBloggers including those for Tombstone Tuesday and Wordless Wednesday.

1. Go to the Google Custom Search website - you will need to log in with your Google credentials. If you do not have a Google account, go here to create one.

2. Click Create a Custom Search Engine.

3. The Set up your search engine screen appears.

4. In the Search engine name field enter a name for your search engine. Then in the Search engine description field enter a brief description of what type of search is to be performed. (Tip: Make sure to use your blog or site name as a form of branding in each field.)

Select your preferred language and in the What do you want to search? section, select Only sites I select.

5. In the Select some sites section, enter the URLs of the sites to be included in the search with one URL per line.

Select the Standard Edition radio button, mark the Terms of Service check box and then click Next.

6. You can now test your search engine in the Preview section. If you are happy with the results click Finish.

7. Click the Google custom search logo and then click manage your existing search engines. You will see a list of all the search engines you've created. Click Control Panel next to the name of the search engine.

8. Review the various customization options available in the left sidebar. Only work with the ones which are relevant to your search engine and your level of technical expertise. Don't be overwhelmed or feel that you need to totally "pimp out" your search engine with every option.

9. One area you should look at is Preferences in the Basics section. Decide if you want to include collaboration on your search engine (letting others add sites or make changes) and whether you want your search engine visibility made public or unlisted. Click Save Changes when finished.

10. Click Get Code to review the options available for inserting your new search engine on your blog or web page. For the Search GeneaBloggers Member Blogs widget, I used the first option which required me to place the code somewhere on my blog or website and the results would appear on a Google results page.

You can get more information and follow the latest news about Google Custom Search at the Google Custom Search Blog.

Monday, July 13, 2009

FavBackup - A New Way To Backup Your Browser Settings

As part of our Data Backup initiative, we are always on the lookout here at Bootcamp for GeneaBloggers for new tools to assist you in backing up your data. This means even browser settings such as security levels, favorites etc.

There is a new application (free but works only with Windows OS) called FavBackup which works with any browser including Firefox and Google Chrome to backup all your browser settings. Not only is a tool like FavBackup great to use during your monthly backups (which you are doing, right?) but it can help you when transferring data and settings to a new machine.

FavBackup (via LifeHacker)

© Thomas MacEntee - 2009

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Screenjelly Makes Screencasts Simple

Have you ever wanted to explain a procedure to a family member or colleage but e-mail or a phone call just didn't convey what could be done visually? And what about those procedures where a series of screen captures just don't work either?

Well if you've been hesitant to invesigate creating "screencasts" because you thought it would involve special software, complicate audio recording, etc. then you need to check out Screenjelly.

All that is required to create this snippets are a java-enabled web browser - audio is optional. There is a 3-minute max on the length of recordings.

The best feature is how easy Screenjelly makes it to share your recordings: you can send them via e-mail or post them via Twitter or Facebook!

© Thomas MacEntee - 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Market Your Blog Posts with

I've written before about the use of URL shortening websites with Twitter and while I had been partial to using, I've made the switch over to and here's why: allows you to not only shorten a URL for one of your blog posts, but you can also post to your Twitter and Facebook accounts as well as bookmark your blog post to StumbleUpon

If you are interested in effectively marketing your blog posts or any of your other items, then you need to consider all the different ways you can publicize their posts. And it becomes tedious to try and update or post to each site individually - this is how combination sites like can help. You will need to set up a StumbleUpon account and then link your Twitter and Facebook accounts in order to reap the time-saving rewards of via Lifehacker

copyright 2009, Thomas MacEntee