I was poking around in SquidU forums and came across a message from TriathalonTraining in which he said he was pretty much getting out of ecommerce since it's taking up a whole lot of his time and sales are declining. His Squidoo Tools, Resources and Guides lens is ranked #1 in Squidoo Tips. In it I found a site for pinging, Pingler.com, I thought I'd start using when I update or create a lens.
That, of course, meant I had to update a lens in order to have something to ping. I'm not sure why my Spider Robinson lens has been slipping in lensrank lately, but it certainly has, so it seemed like a good test lens. Since I've been looking into ways to spice up text and such in lenses, I thought I'd experiment a bit.
Yesterday I came across stargazer00's lens on The Orphan Trains. In it she uses bordered boxes and drop caps in a way that looks really nice. Also, in Advanced HTML for Squidoo by N376 (aka Glen) there are some interesting drop caps. I liked the one with an inset box that created a shadow effect.
Taking the coding from both the text box and the drop cap, I decided to create an inset box for text with a thicker border to resemble a picture frame and use it for Callahan's Motto: Shared pain is lessened; shared joy is increased. It worked, but not without a lot of tweaking to get the size of the box right and get the text more or less centered. After a while, I had it so it looked nice in the edit version of the page, so I published it. You'll have to follow the link to see it. I tried putting it in this blog but it didn't look good. [Edit: After a few hours I went back and changed the border style from inset to ridge - looks better, I think.]
Another thing I'm trying is linking from this blog to a specific module in a lens, which involves finding out its module number. That was a bit tricky because the motto's module doesn't have a title, so I had to go into Edit mode and hover my mouse over the Delete button for the module and write down the number. Then I took a look at the page as others see it and scrolled down to the motto.
Yuck! It looked horrible! It turns out the edit version's text area is about 50 pixels wider than the published version's text area, so my padding on the left and right, 80 pixels each, was too much and forced the word "Motto" onto another line. I reduced left and right padding to 60 pixels and that didn't work, so I went back and tried 50. It worked, but all the text wasn't quite centered. 60 pixels on the left and 50 on the right worked to get everything close enough for folk music. Each time I had to go from the published version to the edited version, make a change, publish, then view the page. But now it seems OK, at least on my Firefox and IE browsers.
Oh, and the link to the module worked fine. Also, I was able to successfully use Pingler.com. TT had a note about it that information might have to be entered twice the first time the service is used, and that's what happened.
After a year of creating lenses, I still feel like I've got a lot to learn, but I'm finding information on Squidoo from folks like TriathalonTraining, stargazer00 and Glen, among others, and learning more about HTML attribues, then experimenting a bit.