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Maintaining our blog

Chris SCarrington26 April 2016

Since launching, the LibNet blog has been well used with lots of colleagues contributing posts and also commenting on them.
However, like any other computer system, the blog has a finite amount of storage space. Indeed we recently reached 100% usage of our allotted space. One more post and the blog could have been lost forever! Okay that’s a bit extreme; instead we’ve had our storage space increased by ISD. Phew.

Large images

Looking at the blog’s media library (the place where images, PDFs and documents get added to) we can see that all colleagues can help with ensuring that we don’t reach maximum usage again – after all, we can’t just keep endlessly getting the space increased.

The biggest usage of the blog’s storage comes from images that are huge both in size and file size (one was over 10MB, tut tut). So with that in mind, here are some tips to consider when adding media content to your blog post.

  • For images, please only upload jpeg, png or gifs. Avoid bitmaps and tiffs especially.
  • Check the size of the image and shrink it if needed. Remember that the image is being used on a web page so it doesn’t really need to be bigger than 1200 pixels square.
  • Normally reducing the size is enough to reduce the file size at the same time. But if the image is very high resolution you can also compress it.
  • Check that the image you’re about to use doesn’t already exist in the media library. Images can be shared across blog posts. Examples would be UCL buildings, of which there are many.
  • Word documents and PDFs can often have their file size reduced by ensuring all of the above tips are applied to any images inside your document. E.g. don’t paste a tiff into Word.
  • When creating a PDF from a Word document tick “Minimum size (publishing online)” for the “Optimize for” setting.

Lastly, if you’re unsure of any of the above or would like help resizing images you can contact us at lib-websupport@ucl.ac.uk.

Happy blogging!

New look for the blog

Chris SCarrington25 April 2016

If you’ve looked at the LibNet blog this week already then you will have noticed (hopefully) that something is quite different.

At the end of last week we applied UCL’s Indigo template to the blog. Indigo is ISD’s new web template that is being implemented across UCL websites.

Some of the immediate advantages of the template are:

  • It is responsive; this means the pages adapt for mobile and tablet
  • The text is larger
  • There is more space on screen

Does this change how I write a blog post?

In short, no. Underneath the new look and feel, WordPress is unchanged. Once you log in to the blog admin everything is the same as before.

In addition to the login link at the foot of the page, we’ve included another login link inside the right column of the page, underneath the “Subscribe to the blog” section.

Moving forward

Currently, only one colour scheme has been added to the blog templates so for the time being we’re stuck with the colour we have now.

Assuming ISD add further colours, we will then look to apply the template to our other Library Services blogs.

How to read the LibNet blog in Outlook

RobertDrinkall25 July 2013

Did you know that you can set up a feed for the LibNet blog in Outlook and you can then read blog posts in the same way that you read your email?

Folders before the feed has been added

Outlook folders

If you’d like to do so, please follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on the ‘RSS Feeds’ folder (pictured, right) in the left-hand pane of Outlook and choose ‘Add a New RSS Feed…’ from the menu
  2. Paste the following URL into the ‘New RSS feed’ box which appears and click ‘Add’: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/feed/
  3. Answer ‘Yes’ to the ‘Add this RSS Feed to Outlook’ window which follows

A new folder called ‘LibNet staff news’ should then appear under the ‘RSS Feeds’ folder in the left-hand pane and blog posts will appear here.

folders-feed-added

Subscribe to particular categories rather than every post

If you only want to subscribe to posts that belong to one category, e.g. “User experience”, instead of all posts you can do this also. The process is the same as above, except the URL to paste is different.

To get the URL for the category, click on the relevant link in the right column of the blog, under ‘Categories’. Now take the URL in your address bar and simply append ‘feed/’ to the end.

So, using the User Experience example, the URL to paste into Outlook would be: http://blogs.ucl.ac.uk/libnet/category/user-experience/feed/

You can have as many category feeds as you wish.

Full article or snippet

Lastly, if you select ‘Advanced’ from the ‘Add this RSS Feed to Outlook’ window you can opt to get the full article in the email rather than a snippet and hyperlink to the full article.

Deleting feeds

If you want to stop subscribing to the blog you can right-click on the relevant folder in Outlook and select ‘Delete Folder’.

Still getting emails?

If you find that you’re still getting emails each time a new post is added, then this is likely because you are subscribed to the blog inside WordPress.

Unsubscribing yourself will fix the issue. Instructions on how to unsubscribe from the blog are available.