Setting up WordPress blogs on Flickr properly

En el Desierto - Flickr NO SE VENDE
En el Desierto – Flickr NO SE VENDE, a photo by Rocorocks on Flickr.
Flickr allows you to connect your WordPress blog, which allows you to use a Flickr photo to illustrate a blog posting by pressing a button.

(I always use this in conjunction with Donncha Ă“ Caoimh’s “Blog This To Draft” to prevent it from getting published immediately.)

However, Flickr’s standard WordPress code isn’t very good. It encapsulates the whole thing in <div>s, which means that WordPress cannot work out that it’s an image, which leads to all sorts of problems when you’re trying to pull out the first chunk of text from a posting, for instance in an RSS feed.

However, if you know what you’re doing, it’s quite easy to change. You need to go to your Flickr settings, and then click on the “Sharing & Extending” tab.

You should now see your blog (if it isn’t there, add it by clicking on “More sites” and following the instructions).

Now click on the “edit” button next to the name of your blog, and click on “select a blog layout”.

Now pick one of the layouts by clicking on it, and then choose “customize”.

This should display some HTML code such as this (I’ve added some white-space):

<div style="float: right; width: 240px;
    margin: 0 0 10px 10px; padding: 0;
    font-size: 0.8em; line-height: 1.6em;">
  <a href="{photo_url}" title="{photo_title}">
    <img src="{photo_src_m}" alt="{photo_title}
      by {uploader_name}" />
  <span style="margin: 0;">
    <a href="{photo_url}">{photo_title}</a>,
    a photo by <a href="{uploader_profile}">
    on Flickr.
<br clear="all" />

Now change it to use WordPress’s [caption] syntax, e.g.:

[caption align="alignright" width="240px"]
  <a href="{photo_url}">
    <img src="{photo_src_m}" alt="{photo_title}"
      width="240px" class="size-thumbnail" />
  <a href="{photo_url}">{photo_title}</a>,
  a photo by
  <a href="{uploader_profile}">{uploader_name}</a>
  on Flickr.

Now click “preview”. This will look dreadful, because this is WordPress code, not HTML, but just click on “save this layout” anyway.

You should now be able to use the “share” button on Flickr to generate pretty WordPress posts.

Read Arc of Prosperity if you’re interested in Scottish independence

When I created my independence blog, Arc of Prosperity, I decided I would at first publish relevant posts on both blogs.

However, it’s not ideal that there isn’t a primary location for each post. For instance, it means comments on the same story aren’t always made in the same place.

I’ve therefore decided to put my blog postings about Scottish independence exclusively on Arc of Prosperity from now until the referendum.

I’ll post appetisers here, but you’ll be required to follow a link to read the full story.

Tweeting in many languages

Most of the people I follow on Twitter tweet in English, and so do I most of the time.

However, I often retweet stuff written in other languages, and I do also from time to time tweet in Danish and occasionally Spanish myself. This shouldn’t cause any issues for those of my followers who know the same languages as me, but if you only speak English, it must be a tad annoying to see your Twitter stream filling up with gibberish.

In theory I could set up separate Twitter accounts for all the languages I’m likely to tweet in, but that would be a complete mess. Not only would I need to flit back and forwards from one account to another, but it would appear that I had fewer followers than I do, and many people would only follow one of my language personas, even if they would be capable of following more.

I think Twitter should consider adding languages to the user interface, even if it would make it slightly more complex. This would involve adding language capabilities to the user profiles (allowing you to list the languages you can read) and tagging each tweet with a language (presumably everybody would have a default tweeting language). Twitter would then hide tweets written in languages that you cannot read.

I think this would really make life easier for the multilingual twitterers out there.

Blog topics

In connexion with my recent posting about the languages used on this blog, I also had a look at the topics used:

I’m not entirely sure what to conclude. Politics (top, red) has obviously been my favourite topic ever since the beginning of this blog. However, most other topics seem to come and go. Linguistics (second from top, orange) is probably the most stable of the other topics, but there have been several months without any mention of it. Most other topics disappear for many months at a time.

I guess the only thing that’s safe to conclude is that the Widmann Blog contains a bit of politics and a lot of everything else. 🙂

Danish is still written here

A few years ago, I analysed the languages used in this blog, and I thought the time had come to do it again.

I expected the results would show that I’ve been using languages other than English less and less.

Here are the results (English [en] is the blue bit at the top; Danish [da] is the red bit underneath):

It was somewhat surprised when I saw the graph: Although Danish was used more for the first year or so, there haven’t been any major changes over the past couple of years (last month was 100% English, but that was clearly an exception).

I still have a niggling suspicion that I don’t use Danish as often as I used to, however. Possibly it’s to do with the length of blog postings – I have a feeling that I don’t write many long ones in Danish any more. I might try and investigate that another time.

Arc of Prosperity

I’ve decided to make a blog dedicated to Scottish Independence. It’s called the Arc of Prosperity, and you can find it at

To quote from the About page:

On the 11th of August 2006, Alex Salmond said:

Scotland can change to a better future and be part of northern Europe’s arc of prosperity. We have three countries ­ Ireland to our west, Iceland to our north and Norway to our east – all in the top six wealthiest countries in the world. In contrast devolved Scotland is in 18th place. We can join that arc of prosperity.

I spent the first 30 years of my life in Denmark, but ten years ago I moved to Scotland, and I often wonder about the differences between Scotland and Denmark. I strongly felt that Salmond was absolutely right in making that comparison, although I don’t really understand why he didn’t include Denmark in the arc.

I’ve been blogging for years at The Widmann Blog, but when Alex Salmond announced that the Independence referendum would take place in the autumn of 2014, I decided to create a new blog dedicated to Scottish Independence, and when I was looking for a name, I decided on the Arc of Prosperity to show that I’m approaching Scottish Independence from a Danish perspective.

At the moment, it only contains copies of postings from this blog, but that might change it the future, so please bookmark it, too!