Friday, May 16, 2008

NEW - Automatic publication of future-dated Blogger posts

I used the Blogger scheduling publishing function - announced on 1st May 2008 - to set up the previous post Book Review: Besler's Book of Flowers and Plants to publish automatically at 8.00am this morning.

I was, of course, sat at my computer and 'reloaded' my blog at 8.01am to see what had actually happened - and the post duly appeared - as did a big smile on my face!

Late white tulip,
Golden garlic, Mountain garlic

Basilius Besler (1561-1629)
Plate: 79 Hortus Eystettensis 1613

So, having mastered that new trick, here are some tips for people wanting to use this new function in Blogger to schedule posts for publication in the future.
  • ESSENTIAL Read the Blogger Buzz post about how to schedule future-dated posts Blogger now schedules future-dated posts
  • Make sure that you have your Blogger Settings set up correctly - in the "Formatting" tab check that you have got:
    • the correct time zone selected. That way when you select the date and time options for posting (see post options underneath the text entry window) in the 'create' tab you'll be selecting correctly for your time zone and the time you actually want to publish
    • the Date Header Format and the Timestamp Format set up the way you want it. I don't think that either of these actually make any difference to the time of posting but I do suspect it will make it a lot easier for you to see what you have done and whether posts publish correctly if these are set up properly
  • Make sure, once you are happy with your post, have your settings set up correctly and have selected the future date and time, that you PUBLISH the post rather than 'save' the draft. It's this last action which actually makes the difference between saving a draft of a post which relates to a future date and actually publishing it.
  • Next check to see that it now appears in the Scheduled Posts tab (inbetween 'Draft' and 'Published'). If it doesn't then you have either published or it is still a draft!
  • Do a test run. Try this function out for the first time to 'future publish' a post which publishes when you are around - just to check that everything works OK. Once you know everything works fine then you can 'future publish' blog posts without any worries.
Who benefits from this new function?

I can imagine that this function could work very well for people who are marketing their art through Blogger. For example, you will have noticed that the more well known 'names' in the daily painting / painting a day world always tend to publish at the same time each day.

Another benefit is for those busy people who tend to write a set of posts in advance and all in one go - and who then publish them one by one as they get a couple of minutes at their computer during the day. Now you can to set them up to future publish as you complete them and only need to visit the computer to read any comments.

People who don't want to lose their regular readership traffic while on holiday or taking a break could, if you wanted to, set it up so that it maybe posts one post a week.

However I would NOT try to write a whole set of posts to cover every day that you are away unless they are incredibly quick to do and don't leave you really needing that break from blogger burnout!

I'm adding this post into the tools, tips and techniques section of Blogging for Artists - Resources for Artists

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