Dec 31, 2011

Feliz Año 2012

Hope you all have a prosperous and Happy New Year 2012. 


Dec 24, 2011


With the best of wishes and cheers this Christmas 2011 from 



Dec 31, 2010


At the call of a toast, surrounded by  the warm of company from family, friends and loved ones.  Looking at a sky full of lights and hearing the sounds of bells afar announcing the new year is here, I wish you all a great New Years Eve and a excellent 2011.



Dec 24, 2010


(2010 Christmas Tree in Buenavista, Mexico City )


Wish you all a Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad from Mexico City and hope you have a great festive time with Family and Friends. 

Jan 3, 2010


Cyclur is a feed widget generator. It lets you do everything from a well designed single page. The main hook of it is that it is iframe based so it will work everywhere while remaining light. The problem to this is that it is subject to fail to load more easily than a JavaScript widget.


But the generator is simple and will let you customize and preview the results instantly as as you change things. For example i moved some details from the default preview Cyclur widget and 30 seconds later i had this widget (Photo below) with the code ready to go in the bottom of the page.


The other problem so far is that either its feed validator is too picky, or there is something wrong with it. It failed to recognize feeds coming feedburner. I tried with several of them and some did worked so maybe it was just me. Cyclur is also promising a advanced version of this generator for later. I do like the simplicity of it. just hope it works right.


If you want to put it in your Blogger Blog, then you need to grad your generated code and follow these 4 simply steps:

  • 1.-Go to your Layout section.
  • 2.-Click Add Gadget in your desired sidebar section
  • 3.-Select the HTML/JS gadget
  • 4.-Paste your Cyclur Code
  • 5.-Save and Place accordingly.





Jan 1, 2010

2009 was the year Blogger finally woke up from a neglect induced coma and it was put on a clear development path by Google. Maybe i should personally thank for that to the CEO’s of Six Apart, Tumblr and Posterous.  Others would say that it was Wordpress pressure but if that was the case Google would had reacted in 2008 and not in 2009.  I feel it was directly related to Six Apart trying to present themselves now as more consumer friendly but most of it all was a reaction to the rise of Fast Blogging Platforms like Tumblr, Posterous (Posterous CEO even told me that they never considered themselves in Microbloging and pretty much implied that they were indeed aiming for Blogger) and These are the ones that do represent a threat to Blogger dominance as they are also “Simple, Easy and Fun” like Blogger, They are hosted solutions and they also happen to be faster to set up and use.

Blogger archived many things in 2009 and released some seriously needed new features.

But even then they still fell short and maybe they would like to correct that in 2010.


It was hinted very subtlety in the introduction of the “Read More” post breaks. It was also rumored that it was going to be released in December. It didn’t happened.

So now that Google have picked our curiosity, i hope they play nice and let us have that feature.

Pages (About, Contact, etc) would be a usability boost, a time saver and a feature that would bring more credibility to  Blogger against those that say  is not a serious enough Blogging Platform.

Prove them wrong Google.

2.-AJAX Contact Form

For this one we would need Pages. But it is something that Google already got set up via Google Docs. Adding it to Blogger would be trivial.

What a better way to demo a new pages feature?.

3.-Better Blogger Gadgets

There have been some nice ones, but Google could do better promoting them and encouraging their development by making some Demo ones and maybe even a contest.

4.-Better Blogger Page Elements

The same as with Blogger Gadgets, There have been some nice ones but they could do better and show some demos, better documentation and promotion.

5.-Better Google Gadget Integration

Google hinted at it over a year ago and it came down to very little. I do love the idea of taking iGoogle  or Google Web Gadgets and integrate them in a Blogger blog. Unfortunately that task so far is a pain. And there are no clear indicators on what Google Gadget will really work. Right now it is a find out for yourself game.

6.-Better Adsense Integration.

I.-Adsense in the bottom of post pages

Right now if you follow the Adsense rules (And you should), you only are allowed to have up to 2 adsense gadgets in a sidebar and 2 or 3 gadgets in the main content area of your blog.  Everything else is about seeing what is allowed or not.

A Adsense Ad in the header is allowed but will cost you one Adsense item from your main content area of your blog. The same for  a Adsense Ad in the footer.

A Adsense Ad in the bottom of a post page is cool, so it is one in the Comments area.

You need to add these yourself if you want them. But everything else is a violation of terms. So be aware of this.

But i seriously don’t see why Google don’t allows a ad, even if of a fixed size in the bottom of post pages.

II.-Adsense In Blogger Search

Another pain is that you don’t count with Adsense support for the Blogger AJAX Search Gadget. You are then forced to do a custom search solution that is not Asynchronous (iframe) or doing a advanced custom search solution that is in Ajax but that is not as elegant as the regular Blogger AJAX Search Gadget.

III.-Adsense in Feeds

It is not clear now and it is something that should be better executed as you can only have a fixed size of Ad and Google don’t does a good job promoting this either.

7.-The Return Of Blogger Plus And Maybe Also Blogger Pro

Before Blogger was bought by Google, a Blogger Plus version that offered you more options and features was available. While Google prefers to offer you Adsense integration as your way of saying thanks. I would like to pay Google money in exchange of better features integrated directly in Blogger instead of looking out for them myself.

It would be also a great idea if they also offered you a Blogger Pro account and it came with your Domain directly from a Google Partner too. I think a 9.99-14.99 for the Plus version and 29.99 to 99.99 for the Pro version (Depending what kind of features they would include) would be something i would like to see as a Option.

8.-More Blogger Navbar Colors And Options

Seriously Google, how hard is to give us a truly customizable Blogger Navbar?…

9.-Updated Profile System

Outdated and Obsolete go hand in hand when you think of Blogger Profile Pages. They have not been updated since the start of version 2.0 of Blogger (When Google bought and revamped Blogger)

What once was a really great current feature became in a years forgotten feature. Please Google, do something with it or let us do something with it.

10.-Improved Comment System And Management

Right now comment management from the Blogger dashboard is a awful as it lacks good user controls and any resemblance of a productive usability. The look of the Comment System and the Comment form is also a mess.  I would have ditched it already if it was not for the comment moderation improvements that were added.

I may still ditch it if there is no sign of life for it in the coming months.

This is the feature in Blogger that needs the most improvement given how drastically Comment Systems have changed with the Disqus vs JS-KIT vs Intense Debate (Now Echo) War that transformed blog commenting in 2008 and 2009.

It also happens to be the one that users complain about the most. Maybe it is time to improve it?


I think it is not much to ask for Blogger in 2010. I made an effort to be as realistic by only thinking in the very essential. But if you got other requests or addendums to/apart what i point out. Please comment and tell me about it.



Dec 31, 2009



2010 is a transitional year. but unlike any other it aims for a future of wonder and the things next to come in the second decade of the 21st century. If the year 2000 meant that we were touching the Future.  2010 is the year were we need to accept that we are now living it.

Now lets think, dream and act on the promise of a better future and a reality of based on the better good.



Happy New Year and a prosper 2010!

Feliz Año y prospero 2010!

-Avatar X

Dec 29, 2009


Almost a month ago a friend asked why Blogger was still a good service compared to Wordpress or other choices. I gave him a quick reply with the promise of extending that into a Blog Post so here it is.

Why Blogger?

Blogger even now 10 years after it was introduced continues to be the #1 Blogging Platform of the world. Wordpress is now not as behind in the numbers as it was only 2 years ago. Wordpress i will concede that have been ahead in terms of features for almost 3 years now. But that only happened because of  Google serious neglect to Blogger.  The why on that is subject long enough to be explored in several long blog posts if i truly desired it. But i actually have already done that before years ago. There is not really much of a point now.  Not because it is not relevant, but because it would be beating on a dead horse that has been dead for years.

But even with the age and the tribulations, Blogger continues to stand tall mostly thanks to 3 things:

I.- Its core concept is around Freedom.

Blogger is a Free service that gives you all the Freedom to do whatever you want of it.  The only requirement for you to take advantage of Blogger is to have the know-how.

Unlike what Google would want you to believe, this was always the concept from the very beginning. Blogger was really so advanced in its core principles and philosophy that it took the world by storm and its first mover advantage gave them such a immense head start that it remained untouchable for almost 7 years.

II.- It is hosted but extensible.

Blogger is a hosted service like and but unlike them, you can not only do more than what those Blog Platforms can, with Blogger you can now do pretty much everything that a self-hosted Wordpress and Movable Type blog can do. You only need to know how to do it and know the right services and tools to do it.

Blogger big weapons start with Blogger Gadgets and Blogger Page Elements. 

There is a ecosystem of these you can use to change your blog and add services that do not come integrated by default.

But you also can count on everything from third parties too.  Web services and widgets in general. These same things can be said of the self-hosted Wordpress. but given its nature, that is not the standard way.

III.-Strong Community

Wordpress got a very strong community. But guess what?.  Blogger does too.  I would say that Wordpress and Blogger are without question the biggest communities too.  The problem with Blogger is that the communities are extremely localized given that Blogger is a truly Global online service.

Going Into Specifics

But if i have to specify the why of Blogger is still a great choice for everyone, i would have to give out the TOP 10 reasons why i choose it over everything else, even after having been using Wordpress, Movable Type and other CMS like Joomla and Drupal in the last 2 years i was mostly away from Blogger:

(In no order of importance)

1.-Blogger now got 3000+ Templates.

One of the weakest points Blogger had before it reached version 3.0, the one that we now simply call “The New Blogger” were Themes.  There were  lot of layouts but not  a lot of fully themed templates. Much less really advanced ones.

Now any Template you can imagine in any blog platform can also be ported or you can find a equivalent of it for Blogger.

2.-Blogger Gadgets

There are 1000 compatible Google Gadgets that can be used in Blogger if you sum Blogger Gadgets, iGoogle Gadgets (properly formated) and Web Gadgets.

You can also develop your own and submit them to Blogger.

3.-Blogger Page Elements 

They are a way to create services for Blogger and even distribute Hacks and Mods into a Blogger blog eliminating all the installation complexity of the old days. They are Blogger version of Wordpress Plugins and two good examples would be Blogger Blog Pagination and Advanced Blogger Blog Footers. Both can be installed into a Blogger blog via a One Click Install page element.

4.-Easy Widget Handling

Handling Flash, Silverlight,Java,  JavaFX, Ajax, Media based or any other kind of Widget is not a big deal in Blogger.  You only need to put it in the post or at most add it to a third party code sandbox Blogger Gadget (The HTML/JS gadget) and Blogger will let it render.

This is not the case in most Self-Hosted blog platforms.  You first need to add a plugin to ensure optimum compatibility for Media based widgets and even for a better handling of Silverlight or Java based ones.

5.-Widget Services

Pretty much any Widget works in Blogger and if  it don’t, you can force it to work.

Widget based services can also be very advanced ones like

  • Alternative Comment Systems,
  • Alternative Profile Systems,
  • Ranking systems that output results to a sidebar widget,
  • Backup services,

Etc, Etc.

6.-Easy Maintenance

Maintenance, Back Ups and Security could not be easier to check on. You can back up locally and there are also services to back up to online for you. You are able to restore with one click too. Try to do that elsewhere. You will need to set up several Plugins to help you with each thing and if your blog database gets corrupted be ready to fire up a FTP to your host so you can fix it.

You only really need to take care in having a great password and a great secondary security password that links to a secondary e-mail account that also has a different great password.  Those things are ESSENTIAL since in Blogger what you need to protect is your Google Account.


Automatic SEO-SEP since it is a Google Property you get INSTANT Google indexation with very good results and without cheating. While there are not SEO-SEP plugins (that i know of) in Blogger. You can archive the same things by hardwiring them to a Blogger blog by copy & pasting code in the right places.

8.-Easy Monetization

Ads integrations and Ad Management could not be easier.

You got integrated Google Adsense, Integrated Amazon Affiliate options and also you will quickly find out that all of the big Ad Networks support Blogger. then you will only need to do one click installs or drop code into a third party code gadget and you will be in business faster than in any other Blog Platform.

9.-Easy Stats Integration.

All of the Top Ten stat providers work in Blogger, you can choose one or simply go with Google Analytics. Easy peasy.

10.-Free Everything

You only really need to pay for your Domain and that is IF YOU WANT TO.

(If you know where to look, .Info and .Name domains are offered for FREE in exchange of simple link back or a badge, otherwise these only cost $1 a year).

So with a Blogger Blog you got:

  • No Hosting Fees,
  • Full Source Code Access,
  • Free Image Hosting,
  • Free Video Hosting,
  • Free Stats,
  • Free Services
  • Free Templates
  • Free RSS services
  • Free social sharing tools.
  • Full Control.

Having a Self-Hosted Wordpress, Movable Type, Joomla, Drupal Blog will run you from 50 to 150 bucks a year compared to the 1 to 15 bucks you pay for a domain depending the kind of domain or what special domain based features you need or want. Even hosted blog platforms will run you from 50 bucks a year and up.

I for example at one time (2006) did a whole organization website network based in lots of custom Blogger Blogs linked with each other since every section (section.domain) or page ( was handled by smart forwarding, domain masking, etc. All based on simply being clever for the low low cost of 30 bucks a year and that i obviously charged a bit more for. The same thing can of course not only be still done, but right now it would be truly impossible to notice it unless you looked at the source code. There are also a lot more of nice domain services and very very powerful Widget based services compared to then.

In Conclusion….

For everything i wrote above and maybe more, Blogger is a great choice and it can be the best choice for a Blog Platform even now as we are about to reach 2010.

Dec 24, 2009


                                  (New Christmas Tree in Mexico City for 2009)

I just wanted to wish everyone Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad. I hope everyone have a great Christmas dinner and a night full of good memories with the people you love.

Happy holidays!, now i leave  you with this nice image that was part of this year Mexican Christmas Spirit .

Best Wishes,

-Avatar X

Nov 30, 2009

The guys over the draft version of Blogger have been busy lately and they now present another nice little feature that will find its way into the Blog Post Editor:

A Dictonary that can be used in the Compose Mode and that lets you Define words  and phrases in 12 languages and look for synonyms in English.


A very nice feature to have and that has been very well integrated. Given the last new features for Blogger in Draft have been all about the Blog Post Editor. It looks like Blogger really wants to revindicate it for everyone that has been unhappy with it in the last i would say two years.  They are right, one of the most outdated parts in Blogger has been indeed the Blog Post Editor.  In my case i don’t really have used it in the last 2 years thanks to Windows Live Writer that is the very very very best Desktop Blog Editor that exists. This will not sway me but it should prove useful for everyone using Blogger since only 15% or less of Bloggers use a Desktop Blog Editor.

But i would truly like if they dedicated more time the most outdated thing in Blogger: The Comment System.

However, a new feature is a new feature and this one is also a good one to boot.

via Blogger In Draft

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