How to present your ideas effectively?

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A really great talk from TED.com to share with you about how to present business ideas effectively. Geared towards business persons, but can be easily applied to other purposes as well.

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How to install new templates without losing widgets?

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It's frustrating to install a new template on your blog if you lose all your widgets. Here's how to avoid this problem and keep your old widgets on the blog when you install new templates. Don't worry, there's no coding involve. You just have to know where to copy and paste codes in your old template into your new template file.

1. Save your current template first
This is a must. Save the old one first just in case something screws up and you need to get back to the old template.

2. Use a text editor
Don't do any coding in the Blogger Editor; it's too easy to mess things up. Get a text editor to do any code tweaking on your computer. If you have no idea what to use, just use Notepad++. Download the latest Notepad++ Installer.exe file. It's free and it makes it easier for you to do your coding.

3. Open up the old and new template XML files in the text editor
Open them up because you'll need to copy some codes in the old template and paste them in the new template files. These codes that you'll copy and paste are basically the codes for your widgets. You don't have to understand what's going on inside the code; you just have to know where it is and what widget it is for.

4. Find out where the codes are located
Look at the image below. See the <body> tag? Click on the image to make it larger. All the codes above this tag are mostly CSS, the type of code that controls the appearance (colors, fonts) of your blog. You don't need to copy/paste anything in this section.

The codes below the <body> tag is the main XML code for your blog. Basically, it's the part that controls the layout (where the sidebars, widgets, headers are) and controls the data flow from Blogger into your blog. This is where all the codes for the widgets you want to save are located.


All your widgets are coded within the tag <b:widget> ... </b:widget>. All the <b:widget> tags must be located within the <b:section> ... </b:section> tag. The structure looks something like this:

<div id='sidebar-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='LinkList1' locked='true' title='Linkbar' type='LinkList'>
...
... some additional codes here ...
...
</b:widget>
<b:widget id='HTML1' .....;
...
</b:widget>
<b:widget id='Image1' .....;
...
</b:widget>

</b:section>
</div>

The above is a sample code on how a widget code looks like in a template XML file. The main location of the widget is identified with the div id label. In this case, div id=sidebar-wrapper. Below the div id is the b:section tag. All widgets must be located within this b:section tag. You don't need to worry if you don't understand much about the div or b:section thingy. The important tag you have to know is the b:widget tag. Note that you can put as many widgets as you want inside the b:section tags.

Here's an actual example of a widget tag embedded inside a b:section tag. The location is sidebar-wrapper, meaning that the widget is placed inside one of the sidebars in the blog. The widget is an image widget, as you can see it being labeled id='Image1'.


The most important thing to note is that the widget code starts with the <b:widget> tag and closed with the </b:widget> tag. This is the single most important thing you have to know when copying/pasting later on.Remember also that the widget is placed after the <b:section> tag and closed with the </b:section> tag.

Here's another example. The widget is a Linklist widget. You don't have to know the codes inside the widget tag because you won't have to change anything in there.


5. Copy and paste the widgets into new template file
Identify all the widgets you want to keep in your blog after template installation. Locate their codes in the old template file. Remember, these are the codes within the <b:widget> tags and must be close properly with </b:widget>. Copy the codes for a widget that you want to keep and paste them in the new template file, within the <b:section> tags at the location of your choice. Make sure the b:widget and b:section tags are closed properly.

If you don't know the div id location you want to paste them in, just put them in any div id, but must be inside a b:section tag. It'll then show up as a widget in the Layout > Page Elements page (as in the image below) and you can then drag and drop the widgets to any new location.


6. Upload the new template as your new blog layout
Once you've pasted all the widgets you want into your new template, upload the new template into your blog using the upload button shown below.


7. If not sure, test this technique on a test blog first
If you're not sure whether it'll work out okay, try it first in a test blog. Create a test blog with a few junk posts (lorem ipsum), create some widgets, and then try changing into new templates using the technique above. See if you can make it work.

------------------------------------

Easy no?

I bet most of those bloggers who use the basic Blogger templates do so because they all got so frustrated of having them widgets gone every time they install new templates. Now you don't have to stick to those basic ones knowing this trick; plus you've got all the templates you ever wanted here in Ourblogtemplates.com (just kidding, or not!).

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XML Blogger Template: Romantico

>> Browse templatesMoney tips84 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The left sidebar is 160 px wide and the middle sidebar is 120 px wide.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 980 pixels (with any height).

Header image credit: adapted from Jsome1 (credit accordingly if used).

Terms of Use
The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Templates 131 - 140

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XML Blogger Template: Palm

>> Browse templatesMoney tips169 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 300 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 980 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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XML Blogger Template: Shiny

>> Browse templatesMoney tips259 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 300 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 980 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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XML Blogger Template: Skyblue

>> Browse templatesMoney tips66 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 300 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 980 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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XML Blogger Template: Inspiration

>> Browse templatesMoney tips240 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 300 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 930 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Contest: 1st Winner

>> Browse templatesMoney tips14 comments

Here's the 1st winner of this contest that we'd opened up last week. Anyway, there were only 3 entries submitted for a 3-winning spots. So by default everybody wins. You all got to stay on our front page for 3 days!

We chose this as the first because of the detailed descriptions on using our template.


And here's the winning entry from Dao:

Since I changed my blog layout from Blogger's free 2-column template to the current 3-column template, I was asked of how I got the template and all the details related to it. Well, I'm not a person who likes to keep secrets to herself, and life is too short to keep them anyways, so I'm going to let you know about a mayjah website, ok?

Ready? It's Our Blogger Templates, a website that provides high-quality and free templates for Blogger users (did I mentioned free?). I know there are so many websites out there that do the same thing. However, I've never seen any that gives such polished and customizable blog layouts like OBT. Before changing to the current layout, I wanted a 3-column template really really badly. However, Blogger does not provide a free one and most 3-column templates out there do not suit my taste (and you know I'm picky!)

OBT's Brooklyn is a very nice 3-column template that caught my eyes as it is a very gorgeous black-and-white layout. However, if you're reading my blog right now, does it look black-and-white to you?And I also bet you doubt if it's really Brooklyn at all! That's how much customizable this OBT template is: it allows me to stretch my creativity and the result is one colorful blog of mine :)

So the transformation went like this:
  • I found a blog banner and customized it (that was not simple, I spent a lot of time find the one!)
  • Then I installed Brooklyn template...
  • ...and spent about 1/2 day customized the fonts, colors, etc...
  • Finally came the widgets and I was done!
The whole process took me about 2 days because I know zip about HTML and web designing. Also, i do not enjoy the idea of just slapping a pre-desinged template to my blog as I do not want it to look like the one I stumbled into. Blogs are your own selves projected online, you definitely do not want to look like the one who sits next to you. Moreover, if I can do it, you can too! So if you're thinking of doing a blog facelift, head straight to Our Blogger Templates and find a layout that suits your taste. I'm sure you will find one.

One last thing: I found out these guys are Malaysians, hello fellow South East Asians! Thanks for hooking me up with a wonderful layout, m'kay? Love you guys! Now go ahead and show case my blog, please!

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Contest: 2nd Winner

>> Browse templatesMoney tips12 comments

This blog is the 2nd winner of our contest.

Here are some words about us in the blog:
I found ourblogtemplates.com's blog by chance. They have a variety of beautiful and highly customizable blogger templates. They are FREE and easy to use. The link bar, interchangeable header image, background colors are some of the features I liked most in their layout. They are simply AWESOME! I like to change my header image every now and then. Our Blogger Templates is able to meet my expectations in this area because changing header image is as easy as ABC. They also provide tutorials that serve as a useful guide for bloggers. They replied to questions raised in the comment section promptly. Last but not least, they have put alot of effort in designing these amazing templates.

If you are thinking of giving your blog a facelift, I would not hesitate to recommend Our Bloggers Templates as I am very happy that I finally found the BEST template(s) for my blog. I am sure you will also find one layout that suits your blog too.

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Contest: 3rd Winner

>> Browse templatesMoney tips8 comments

This is the 3rd winner of our contest.


And here's the post about OBT templates:
Let this post serve as my official entry in Our Blog Templates' contest for sites using their templates. I am new to the whole arena of web page design and management, and Our Blog Templates' free pre-designed templates made it easy for me to make this site (and my other sites) look great! If you do any blogging or website design, you should definitely check them out! The thing I like best about their Blogger templates is the ability to completely customize the colors and layout. I appreciate the ability to try out different templates for free until I feel that my site has just the right look and feel to suit me. I am forever appreciative to them for their hard work and generosity in making the templates available for free! Now, back to our regularly-scheduled topic :) I hope you've had a great weekend! LA

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Contest: Showcasing Your Blog Here

>> Browse templatesMoney tips16 comments

Update: This contest is closed and we've got our winners here: 1st, 2nd, 3rd.


We'd like to open up an opportunity to all bloggers out there to showcase their blogs here at Ourblogtemplates.com. We'll open up a small competition at the end of which 3 blogs will be selected as winners to be showcased in 3 individual posts here. The closing date is September 21, 2008.

We'll leave the showcasing posts as the most current posts for 3 days before posting something else. The 1st winner's post will get the top most position and the 2nd and 3rd winners will be posted below it.

Benefit for you
We're currently ranked at 116,021 on Alexa with PR4 and receiving around 4000+ hits/day. A showcase of your blog on this blog for 3 days will mean more traffic to your blog plus a backlink from here. Obviously, it's good for bloggers who have ranks and traffic lower than us here.

What to do?
Here's how to join in the competition.

  1. First, you have to use one of our templates by Ourblogtemplates.com on your Blogger blogs. We'd suggest that you use newer templates because they have better functionalities than the older ones (but it's okay if you prefer to use the old ones too). Make sure to keep all the credits to us intact!
  2. Make sure your blog looks great. We'd recommend that you create your own header image instead of the ones provided here to make it more personalized to your style. You can also further customize your blog templates from the Fonts and Colors Layout tab to show others how easy it is to customize templates by Ourblogtemplates.com. But most importantly, you have to make it look good. Placements of widgets/gadgets will also be taken into consideration in our selection (what we mean here is not to make them look too crowded).
  3. Then, you have to write a post about Ourblogtemplates.com on your blog (whatever you can think of to get more people interested to visit us, obviously). Then, create a link (aka a backlink) in that post of yours to this showcase contest post at Ourblogtemplates.com. Your backlink in this post (that opens up a page about Ourblogtemplates.com in your blog) is basically your final submission to this competition.
  4. That's it.
If the number of entries is small and the quality of blog designs and their review posts are not good enough, we may cut down the winners to 1 or 2 only.

How do we make the selections?
We'll basically look at 3 things:
  1. Your overall blog design using the templates here - you can customize the fonts and colors further to make it look better. Again, your own header will make it more personalize and we'd like to see these templates used that way. We don't like to see blogs crowded with unneccessary gadgets or too much ads.
  2. What your review is about Ourblogtemplates.com. Of course, the chances are better for words that sound good to our ears. You might want to say something about how you use the templates and customize them to your style.
  3. Content - we don't actually care what you blog is about, as long as it's not inappropriate (what is appropriate is quite self-explanatory, so no need to elaborate on that).
  4. Extra: We may pick one of our countrymen the Malaysian bloggers as one of our winners if they can submit great blogs to compete in. In this case, we'll put 4 blogs as winners. If you want to submit your blog as a Malaysian blogger, indicate in your post that you are one and your blog content should also have some proof that you are one.
* Since we only understand English, Malay (and Indonesian language for that matter), we only accept blogs submitted in these languages to check their suitability. Sure there are translator sites around, but it's too much of a hassle to translate everything and check them out.

What we'll write if you win?
If your blog is selected as one of the 3 winners, here's what we'll put in the showcasing post.
  1. We'll take a snapshot of your entire blog and save it as .png pic file (just like the pic file as the static demo for the templates here) which we'll put in the post. We'll then place a link to your blog too. Some of you may change your template to a different one in the future, so the picture is sort of a reminder of how great your blog looks like once when using our templates.
  2. If your review entry is great, we'll paste it in the winning post as well.
  3. We won't really say much or write a review about your blog, because it doesn't really matter to us what you write about as long as it's suitable for all viewers. All that matters is how you use and customize our templates to make it look good. An individual post and a link to your blog here is a great thing already.
Happy designing!

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OBT Web Design: Trap

>> Browse templatesMoney tips41 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 336 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 930 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Artsy

>> Browse templatesMoney tips23 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 336 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 930 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Joy

>> Browse templatesMoney tips73 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 336 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 930 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Digi-digi

>> Browse templatesMoney tips18 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. The right-most sidebar is made 336px wide so that you can put the large Adsense square ads (in case you want to). If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

The right sidebar is 336 pixels wide, great for the placement of a large Adsense square box, or if you want to put large pictures like in the test blog below.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Sunset

>> Browse templatesMoney tips175 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 950 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Nightingale

>> Browse templatesMoney tips42 comments

This free Blogger template can be either a 3- or 6-column template. If you want a 3-column template, simply don't fill in the lowerbar widgets and make its colors blend with the post column.

Download Template | Other Templates

Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Leaving

>> Browse templatesMoney tips17 comments


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Header Image
To put the header image in your blog, left-click on the image below and save the actual size into your computer. Then, upload the image using the Layout > Page Elements > Header Edit tab. If you want to use your own image for the header, the image width has to be 970 pixels (with any height).


Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Template: Columnus

>> Browse templatesMoney tips96 comments


Features
Help links: template installation guides and instructions.

Terms of Use

The template is free but please value our hours of design work by leaving the footer credit to Ourblogtemplates.com intact.

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Blogger Templates 121 - 130

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