Category Archives: Online Presence Tips

How to reduce a photo for your NaNo profile on MAC

Have you posted a NaNo photo? Or are you floundering like I was? The instructions are blessedly clear that the photo must be 100 x 100 pixels and less than 30KB. But how to do that? I vaguely remembered my NA kid’s instructions and another writer friend and I stumbled through the steps with success.

Though my dear NA kid thinks I’m a Luddite and nuts for posting these instructions, I know they will help someone! Sorry, I only know how to do this via MAC Preview.

Open a copy (Don’t want to mess with the original!) of your photo in Preview. Open Tools on the Menu bar and choose Adjust Size.

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In the window that opens, select ‘Custom’ in the top bar and in the below and to the right, ‘Pixels.’ Note my original photo is 163KB–no wonder it wouldn’t load!

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Next type in your desired pixel size – 100 x 100.

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Click ‘OK.’ The photo adjusts and–voila!–we have a 10KB photo! Rename this copy, with the size so you can find it at a glance.

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It loads in a snap onto the NaNoWriMo website, giving your buddies a brighter view of you!

* But finding this location is tricky, one of my CPs Nooce reminded me in the comments. On the top bar, click where it says “Hello, Your Name!” That opens your account settings. Scroll down. Under ‘Picture’, click ‘Choose file’ and then upload the photo you have renamed. Be sure to hit ‘Save’ at the bottom afterwards.

I save my various social media photos in a file. Both the original, duplicates to work with and the reductions. It’s a time saver when you open up on the next site.

Drafted Post Not Posted

Ah, man, I feel like such an idiot. I logged on tonight to post my next Six Sentence Sunday, only to discover that I never let last week’s post out of the ‘draft’ box. (sigh)

I’ve done this one other time in my blogging history – on my squirrel blog. I ran around (Okay, I ran my curser around.) the dashboard, trying to figure out what went wrong. There it was, why wasn’t it showing up. Finally, after a few minutes I noticed the red–yes, red!–draft tag on it. I thought I’d trained myself, but see that had an expiration.

So, that’s my online presence tip for the day: At the completion of your session, run your gaze down that list of ‘All Posts’ and make sure none have the dreaded red ‘draft’ sign.

In my defense, I have had a sprained ankle, so things aren’t in the ‘normal’ flow. On the flip side of that, wow, I’ve made real headway in my revisions of Passages. Not being able to work, exercise, shop…(you get it, I’m sure) has provided the long periods of time I needed to sort the storylines and get the new bits into their proper places.

In conclusion, I apologize to the nice readers who did check me out. I’ve released the post. And I will be sure to click all the buttons tonight.

Tiny URLs, or Shortlinks

I’m offering another short lesson in blogging shortcuts I’ve learned.

Back a few months ago when I started my nature blog, and was trying to get attention for it, a chapter mate suggested tweeting it with Tiny URL.


I don’t know the history, but someone devised a way to condense URLs into short versions that, according to the website, ‘will not break in email postings and never expires.”

Great. I used the site with success. Then a few days later I noticed WordPress offers this same service—and on my website. Ah, more time savings! Here is the location:

Open your post. Note in the screenshot below just underneath the title box (Coneflowers) is a row of buttons. The last is ‘Get Shortlink.’ Click it.

The box gives you the highlighted URL.

Copy and use to paste in your tweet or to your Facebook entry.

There is a second shortlink accessible when you open your website in edit mode. Look for your icon and website name at the upper left and click for the dropdown menu. In the lower half is a shortlink is for your website home.

I have used the post shortlinks as links back to prior posts within my website. One caveat: Be sure when you post the shortlink in the link box that the existing ‘http://’ that is highlighted is replaced by your complete link, not added to it. I had a couple of malfunctioning links and discovered my pasting was faulty.

Happy posting!

Adding a link in a WP text box, without knowing how to code HTML

Most of you computer-savvy people out there will shake your heads at me, but I’m thrilled I figured this out and posting the process may help someone else.

I can’t write HTML code, but I wanted to add a link in the text under my Gravatar. I knew WordPress does it for you when you are in the ‘page’ or ‘post’ areas, so I used ‘post’ and typed up my little blurb. While in the ‘Visual’ version, I highlighted the title of the words I wanted as a link, The Squirrel Nutwork, and clicked the ‘link’ button on the menu bar.

This is the same process I would use to make those words a link in this post text. Once the link was established, I switched the view from ‘Visual’ to ‘HTML’. Now the HTML code appears. I highlighted the entire text—my message with the code within it—and copied.

Next I accessed the ‘Widgets’ under ‘appearance’ and opened my Gravatar box I had already set up in my sidebar. In the box for ‘Text displayed after Gravatar.’ I pasted my text with the HTML code.

I hit ‘save’ and closed, then went to look at my website.

Voila! The link appeared, as you see over to the right.

I also tried this in the widget labeled ‘text’ and it works there as well.

Online Presence

In the last few weeks, I’ve run across this phrase, online presence, several times: At a talk by an agent at one of my writing chapters, Washington Romance Writer’s, listening to a editor panel lecture from last year’s RWA National Conference CD and then very thoroughly at this week’s Maryland Romance Writer’s workshop, Online Book Promotions: Tips From the Trenches, presented by Laura Kaye.

Our chapter-mate Laura has been so polished and professional in establishing herself as an author, I had forgotten it’s just been one year since the release of her first book. Her very inspiring PowerPoint documenting the avenues she’s explored in her debut year have prompted a group of us to band together into a Sixty Days to Online Presence.

Between now and the end of June, I will be following many of Laura’s suggestions, including revamping my website and setting up and author page on Facebook. It’s great timing with my two novels in the final stages of polishing.

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