Friday, June 12, 2009

Updated multiple word Technorati tag creator for Blogger (Firefox 1.5, Greasemonkey 0.6.4) with added features

This post explains version 1.0 beta of the Magical Sheep userscript for the free Firefox browser (also works with Firefox with the Greasemonkey extension - updated 20 August 2006 to work with Blogger Beta (reviewed in this post).

It's a tool designed to help Blogger users add code for the Technorati tags of choice to the end of their blog post easily and quickly (what are Technorati tags?), with various extra features.

(Note: this post was heavily rewritten in April 2006 to explain from scratch all the features of version 1.0 beta of this script, which Kirk has substantially improved, all power to him! A summary of the latest changes he's made plus technical details is at the end of this post.)

- How to install Greasemonkey and other Firefox extensions. For those not familiar with Greasemonkey - it's an extension for the free Firefox browser (). You have to first go to the Greasemonkey site and install the Greasemonkey extension (Firefox users should be familiar with how to install extensions - click the installation link e.g. the "Install Greasemonkey" link. If nothing happens and you see, just below your Firefox tab titles, a message in horizontal bar that "To protect your computer, Firefox prevented this site ( from installing software on your computer", then you should click "Edit Options" at the end of that line, then "Allow" and "OK"/"Close" to allow that site to install software, then click the Greasemonkey or other extension link again, give it a few seconds then click "Install now". Close and re-launch Firefox.)

- How to install a user script. Greasemonkey won't do anything without a user script. To install a script (which is a text file whose extension ends with ".user.js"), you click on the link to the script. You should get a popup box - wait a few seconds if necessary for the "Install" button to stop being greyed out, then click Install to install it. [Updated for newer versions. For older versions: When you're on that page (which looks like just a bunch of text), click the Install button at the top right, or in your Firefox Tools menu choose Install This User Script. Alternatively you can just rightclick on the link to the script and choose Install This User Script].

- Beware though, not all scripts will be innocent - some could wreak havoc if malicious. Only install if you trust the originator of the script. You can use the "Show Script Source" button in the popup to check the script's content before installing it (or for newer versions of Greasemonkey rightclick the link to get the View User Script Source option), if you understand Javascript/Greasemonkey.

- How to update the Magical Sheep script for Blogger Beta, now known as New Blogger. The downloadable script has been updated already but if you're already using the script and don't want to download the updated version (it'll preserve your settings), here's how to do it the manual way.

IMPORTANT: if you are already using the Magical Sheep script, this version is not compatible with previous versions of the script so you MUST uninstall it first from Firefox - Tools, Manage User Scripts, click on the script name (Technorati Multiple Word Tags for Blogger), FIRST tick "Also uninstall associated preferences" THEN click the Uninstall button. Then install the new script as above. You will then have to re-enter your "MeTags" and own choice of separator, but that should only take a few seconds.

Get the userscript (version 1.0 beta) from (UPDATED 17 Dec 2007 to fix a Blogger Post Editor change on 14 Dec which broke the script). If that site is down or slow, try rightclicking on the link for the following alternative location and then choosing "Install This User Script" (that's important - if you leftclick it, you'll have to save it to your computer then open the script from there, which takes longer; this is because of the way Google Pages handles Javascript files hosted there, unfortunately):

* Improbulus Google Pages
* Improbulus Ripway pages
* Kirk's Google Pages

Third update of Jan 2007. There seems to be an issue with Technorati's tag pages (yes, another one! or rather, with the way their tag searching works) and multiple word tags don't work quite as expected. In brief, you might think that if you insert the tag "consuming experience", clicking on that tag should bring people to the tag page listing all posts with the tag "consuming experience". In reality, it takes them to all posts which have a tag (whether single or multi-word) with "consuming" in the tag, AND which have a tag with the word "experience" in it. Not the same thing. And they might get some irrelevant results because of that. However, if you put quotes round your multiword tags in the href bit to make it better for users who click on the tag links, your post won't appear on Technorati or other search engines' tag pages at all. See this post. So don't do it. But do lobby Technorati to tweak how their searching works!

You can read the rest at Consuming Experience

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