OK, so I am aware that some people have issues with the PDF downloads in the sidebar. I’ve been considering how I might resolve that. I think, after spending a bit of time researching the WordPress help forums, I’ve sorted out what I need to do so all the clicks automatically download the PDF (as opposed to how some of them, now, take you to another page to click a link). That was the first hurdle.
The other issue is that people looking at the list have NO IDEA what the project is that they are downloading, other than my simple title by way of description. There is also a ton of stuff where I only made a YouTube video with instructions and not a proper PDF. I HOPE that the video has enough info that the determined scrapper can make the project. So my undertaking is multi-part! First, I’ve been toying with the idea of adding small preview images of all my stuff to the sidebar. Or with adding a post that has a table of all the images with clicks for multiple things (PDF, where available, original post if the post has a JPG with instructions and/or You Tube embedded video, and perhaps links to more than one post). There are good reasons to do it both ways – a strip of preview images with clicks in the sidebar makes it a one-stop thing, but it also means a main blog page that is quite image-intensive and a sidebar that is VERY LONG. Having a simple link Click here for my Downloads and Projects is neater, and shorter, but may not be very tempting.
But OMG! I have made over 400 posts so it is A LOT of stuff to sort through and organize (as well as finding the original photos in iPhoto as in some cases I didn’t add a single shot of the final project, but did have one in the video, then sizing them all at least similar if not exactly the same size)
As some of the photos are just a matter of It’s on my desk, CLICK! I really need to take a further step and perhaps re-photograph some of them to showcase what makes them unique. I want people to know what they are getting when they click to download.
Then there is the whole issue of sorting out the HTML code to make things display the way I imagine them. WordPress themes have specific widgets associated with them and only by using something like a plain text widget with proper HTML in it to make images and links appear will work the way I want it to. This may be where Blogger and Typepad have an advantage (or a custom WordPress theme with a self-hosted on your own server blog rather than a wordpress.com hosted blog) as they seem to have sidebar sections that are more appropriate for this sort of thing.
So there you go. Dead boring, not at all “crafty” but time consuming and I hope worth the effort for my readers in the end. We’ll see how it goes. No matter what I eventually end up with, it will surely be an improvement over the current situation. I’m hoping phase one (sorting out the links to get the PDFs to download on clicking) will be easy and not take too long. The rest of it, well, only time will tell!