Monday, September 17, 2012

Gosh, Google's got me in a giga-grip

Recently I heard the phrase, "There's no such thing as a free blog."

Sure there is, I thought. Blogger is free. It doesn't cost a thing to join. You just pick a background theme (one that will soon embarrass you to no end and that you'll spend countless hours revamping) and you start writing. And posting photos. And uploading videos. It's a win-win situation. My blog is the photo album I never kept up and the diary I never updated. Blogging - love love love it!

Recently I went to post some photos, as usual nothing earth shattering. Probably yet another cute photo of the dog, or a newly finished rag quilt or something from our white trash garden. Then the trouble began. A message popped up - my Picasa storage was full. Huh? I'm not even using Picasa to upload my photos, I'm just uploading from my computer. Not so, my little deary, was the answer. Not only does Blogger put all uploaded photos onto Picasa without us really knowing it, once Picasa fills up they want us to spend $2.50 a month to increase our storage space.

OK, $2.50 a month is nothing, hardly worth thinking about. But one of the first things I probably said as a kid was "Not Fair!" stated with my face scrunched up, hand on hip and lower lip sticking out. I was that kind of kid and I'm still much the same way. Assume I pay this little paltry sum, for however long I keep doing this blog, and then stop paying at some point. So what happens to all that extra memory? It's not like I'm buying the memory, I'm leasing it. So any photos put on my blog after that point would show up as a big ugly X in all my future posts.

Hmmm, hand still on hip, what am I to do? I Googled it and got some answers. Turns out, and listen up new Blogger users, I should have been resizing my photos to 800x800 or less before uploading them. Or I should have set my camera to that setting, seeing as I think my dreams of becoming a photo journalist ended the day I took a picture of how to make dog food in a crock pot. Smaller photos mean less memory which will mean your Picasa storage should be fine.

How can you know if you are reaching Picasa capacity? Open up to your Google page. Find the pull down for More. Go to Photos. AHA! And you didn't think your photos were going to Picasa. Scroll down to the very bottom, get out your magnifying glass and the Hubble spacecraft's lens to see it, and there in tiny print is how much storage you have left. I was at 99.9%. This is what I did to get myself more storage: I put some mindless time in resizing a zillion of my photos, more zillions to go. But I read that any photos under 800x800 from now on do not count as storage so I'm good for now.

In Google go to Photos to open up Picasa:

1) Open a photo.
2) Click on top on "Actions"
3) Click "Edit in Creative Kit"
4) "Resize" (when Creative Kit opens)
5) Change the largest dimension to 800 & the other will adjust itself in proportion. (Keep proportions is auto checked)
6) Click "apply"
7) Click "Save to my album" (upper right)
8) A box opens up to confirm this. It'll have "replace" checked. Click on "replace" and it will save to your album.
9) Click the > symbol to right of the picture to go to next one.
10) As you proceed, your storage capacity will increase. You can also, very carefully, delete photos that you may have uploaded but never kept on a certain post. Do this carefully; if it's not in Picasa, it won't be in your blog.

So, where do I go from here with my blog at the mercy of Google and Blogger and Picasa? Many bloggers are switching to Word Press, but the process sounds daunting. It acts more like a website, I guess, but you need professional help to make the leap. I know I need professional help in many areas of my life, but really, for a blog? A blog that is mostly about my dog? If ever there should be a free blog, a dog blog should be one of them.

Ernst wants me to forget the whole blogging platform and take the leap to getting a website. Again I say that seems to be a bit of overkill. Besides, is taken as is What we came up with is which I'm not in love with, but could live with. Until my friend Julie said it sounds like With the state of things lately, that might be just perfect.