Thursday, April 5, 2012

How to add or update the Facebook Like Box on Blogger

This is the revised guide replacing my previous posts on 'How to add the Facebook Fan Box on Blogger' and 'How to add the Facebook Like Box on Blogger'.

The code for the Like Box plugin has changed since Facebook switched to the new Timeline layout, so the older posts I mentioned above no longer apply.

The Facebook Like Box has also been updated so that it appears on your blog even while you're logged in as the page admin.  However, the Like Box still won't work while you're in preview mode on Facebook.

Here are the new instructions for adding the Facebook Like Box on Blogger and how you can update the existing Like Box on your blog.


1.  Get the code for your Facebook Like Box.
You can do this through the Facebook Social Plugin Page, or from your own Facebook page by going to Admin Panel > Manage > Edit Page > Resources > Use Social Plugins > Like Box
See the pics below for more info: 
a) Open Facebook Page Admin Panel

b) From Admin Panel > Click Manage and Edit Page
c) Click Resources > Use Social Plugins

d) Scroll down and click Like Box.

2.  Under Facebook Page URL, delete the URL that's currently in the box and replace it with your Facebook Page's web address.

For example, my Facebook Page's URL is, so that's what I pasted in the box.

Once you enter the correct URL, your Like Box will appear on the right hand side, instead of the default Facebook Platform Like Box.

3.  Customize any of the other settings, i.e. Width, Height, Color, Faces, Stream, Header and click Get Code.

The settings I used were:
width="200" (The width of your Like Box)
Color scheme=Light (White or Black background)
Show faces ticked (Pictures of people who like your page)
Show stream ticked (Info from your wall posts)
Show header unticked (Find us on Facebook bar)

4.  Copy the code under IFRAME.
5.  Sign in to Blogger and click Layout.
6.  Click Add a Gadget.
7.  Choose Basics > HTML/Javascript
8.  Add a Title and paste the code for your Facebook Like Box under Content.
9.  Click Save.
10.  View your blog and edit the HTML/JavaScript box again if necessary.
11.  Don't forget to Save the changes once you are finished :)

Updating the Facebook Like Box on Blogger

1.  Follow the previous instructions from Steps 1 to 4.
2.  Log in to your blog.
3. Go to your Like Box and click on the Edit icon (see pic to your left).
4.  Paste the Like Box code under Content.
5.  Click Save.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

How to export PDFs with facing pages on Issuu

A step-by-step guide on how to convert your PDF pages so that they can be seen on Issuu as one spread, instead of individual pages that don't match up.

Here is one example of a document that I uploaded on Issuu which was split into 2 separate pages, even though the pages should be displayed in a single spread:

Issuu facing pages PDF problem - Page 1
Issuu facing pages PDF problem - Page 2

As you can see from the images above, even if it looks OK on Acrobat and you can see the spread, the document's facing pages settings may not work after the PDF is converted on Issuu.

The problem:  PDF with facing pages are published as individual or single pages on Issuu. 

The Solution:  Use Acrobat and InDesign so that your PDFs on Issuu are seen as a spread.

1.  Use Acrobat to export your PDF as TIFF images.
You can do this by going to File > Export > Image > then click TIFF.
 See the image below for more info:

2.  Save the TIFF images and open InDesign.
Create a new document, then make sure you tick Facing Pages and also type in the number of pages in your spread.

3.  Place the TIFF images into InDesign  
You can do this by dragging and dropping the TIFF files onto the spread in InDesign, or by pressing CTRL+D (or Apple D on a mac) and choosing the files you want to place into the spread.

4.  Export the PDF
Choose File > Export > then click Save.
In the dialog box that pops up, make sure you choose Layout: Two-Up Continuous (Facing) from the drop down menu and click OK

5.  Upload the new PDF generated from InDesign to Issuu.
Your PDF should now display as a single spread with facing pages on Issuu.
Here are two examples of PDFs with facing pages on Issuu that were created using these same steps:  NSW nurses switch union payment options and Super holds up.
If you come across any issues or would like to send me a message, please leave a comment below or find me on Facebook to get in touch.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The next big thing in digital: Visual Search and Image Recognition


The likes of Google and Facebook are going beyond the hypertext form of indexing into a visual realm. Say hello to the hyperimage.

It's being used for online shopping in Google's website and will be coming soon to all Facebook users as part of its 'facial recognition' photo tagging feature, enabling your name to be suggested to friends when a photo looks like you.

But the potential for this goes far beyond the mere enhanced shopping or stalking experience. This could be another step closer to the real Memex.

With the sea of data that traverses the internet every day, the web now faces the same challenges that traditional media, librarians and scholars have struggled with for years. How do we sort all that information out and present it so that it makes sense? And how does one find quality information that's relevant?

NYU Professor Clay Shirky highlighted this issue during his presentation at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York:
"All of those other media types have the same economics. Whether it's a printing press or a TV tower: 'It cost me a lot of money to get started, and so I had to filter for quality'.
So here's what the internet did: it introduced for the first time post-Gutenberg economics. The cost of producing anything by anyone has fallen through the floor, and as a result, there's no economic logic that says you have to filter for quality before you publish."

It's Not Information Overload. It's Filter Failure.

In the pioneering article, 'As We May Think', published in the Atlantic Magazine's July, 1945 issue, Dr. Vannevar Bush clearly vents his frustrations on the way scientific research is organised and retrieved, based on the system design issues he observed which are quite similar to what's happening on the web today:

"Our ineptitude in getting at the record is largely caused by the artificiality of systems of indexing. When data of any sort are placed in storage, they are filed alphabetically or numerically, and information is found (when it is) by tracing it down from subclass to subclass. It can be in only one place, unless duplicates are used; one has to have rules as to which path will locate it, and the rules are cumbersome. Having found one item, moreover, one has to emerge from the system and re-enter on a new path.

The human mind does not work that way. It operates by association. With one item in its grasp, it snaps instantly to the next that is suggested by the association of thoughts, in accordance with some intricate web of trails carried by the cells of the brain. It has other characteristics, of course; trails that are not frequently followed are prone to fade, items are not fully permanent, memory is transitory. Yet the speed of action, the intricacy of trails, the detail of mental pictures, is awe-inspiring beyond all else in nature.

Man cannot hope fully to duplicate this mental process artificially, but he certainly ought to be able to learn from it. In minor ways he may even improve, for his records have relative permanency. The first idea, however, to be drawn from the analogy concerns selection. Selection by association, rather than indexing, may yet be mechanized. One cannot hope thus to equal the speed and flexibility with which the mind follows an associative trail, but it should be possible to beat the mind decisively in regard to the permanence and clarity of the items resurrected from storage.

Consider a future device for individual use, which is a sort of mechanized private file and library. It needs a name, and, to coin one at random, "memex" will do. A memex is a device in which an individual stores all his books, records, and communications, and which is mechanized so that it may be consulted with exceeding speed and flexibility. It is an enlarged intimate supplement to his memory."
Perhaps we could all be using visual 'filters' for trawling the web in the not too distant future. As image recognition reaches maturity it could very well become an an alternative method or welcome addition to the keyword search. So here's hoping for Bush's, "Selection by association".

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

How to add the Facebook Like Box on Blogger

An updated version of this guide can be found here: 

Please note: 'How to add or update the Facebook Like Box on Blogger' is the new version of this post.  The post you are viewing now was made in 2010 and may no longer work.

This is an old update to a previous post I made in 2009 on 'How to add the Facebook Fan Box on Blogger'.

  1. Get the code for your Facebook Like Box. You can do this through the Facebook Plugin Page, or if you're already logged in to your Facebook page, go to Edit Page > Marketing and click Add a Like Box to your Website. See the pics above if you're having any trouble.
  2. Under Facebook Page URL, delete the URL that's currently in the box and replace it with your Facebook Page's web address.

    For example, my Facebook Page's URL is, so that's what I pasted in the box.

    Once you enter the correct URL, your Like Box will appear on the right hand side, instead of the default Facebook Platform Like Box.
  3. Customize any of the other settings, i.e. Width, Color, Connections, Stream, Header and click Get Code.

    The settings I used were:

    width="200" (The width of your Like Box)
    height="554" (See Step 10 for more details)
    Color scheme=Light (White or Black background)
    Connections=6 (How many pictures of people who like your page show up)
    Show stream ticked (Info from your wall posts)
    Show header unticked (Find us on Facebook bar)

  4. Copy the code under XFBML.
  5. Sign in to Blogger and click Design.
  6. Click Add a Gadget.
  7. Choose Basics > HTML/Javascript
  8. Add a Title and paste the code for your Facebook Like Box under Content.
  9. Click Save.
  10. View your blog and edit the HTML/JavaScript box again if necessary.

    To change the height of your Facebook Like Box, edit the code you pasted in the HTML/JavaScript box and paste height="554" after the width="..." parameter. You can customize the height to suit your own blog by replacing the numbers 554 with your own value in the quotes.

    E.g. For a Like Box with the height of 200 pixels, paste height="200" instead.

  11. Don't forget to Save the changes once you are finished :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Blender 3D Instructional Package

View the instructional package:

Blender 3D - Quick Start Guide

This is an interactive instructional package I created for those new to Blender's 3D software.

It's a great guide for those new to 3D modeling, rendering and animation and aims to help you to get started with the basics of using Blender.

The guide covers a lot of topics including how to install Blender, which is a free open source software, and gives you ideas to consider if you're unsure about whether or not Blender is right for you.

There are also video tutorials and other resources to help you along the way, as well as some extras for those who might like to advance their Blender skills.

Alternatively, if you would like to save the SWF file to your computer you can download it from here: Blender 3D - Quick Start Guide.swf (2mb)

Please note that you will need the latest Flash Player or at least Flash Player 10 installed on your computer in order to use the file.

If you would like to upload this to your own website, or if you have any problems or suggestions please let me know by contacting me at using the contact form. This way I can continue to improve on the instructional package and let you know about the updates if you're planning to use it on your website.

The video files are hosted by Google so it's all been done for you basically. All you need to do is create the HTML file for it (although that also depends on what sort of website you have).

But apart from that, I'm pretty open to letting you publish the SWF onto your own site under Creative Commons licensing:

Blender 3D Instructional PackageCopyright © Maria Tan |


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Digital Imagery: Legal and Ethical Issues

Download or print this publication

People know that piracy is illegal, but at least two thirds of Australians are still tempted to obtain pirated material according to a recent Newspoll survey (Stafford, 2009), which found that almost half of the respondents were undeterred by the possible legal ramifications of such actions.

In light of the recent financial crisis, the results are understandable. Yet despite the economic downturn, Canon’s Consumer Digital Lifestyle Index reported that digital camera sales rose by 23% in the second half of 2008, with Australian consumers purchasing 2.6 million digital cameras, “reflecting the growing importance and integration of digital imaging in Australian consumers’ lives,” (GfK Retail and Technology 2009, p.2).

Illustrating the growing need to protect images and intellectual property in the digital age, Canon also filed a US patent application early last year for the development of new ‘biometric’ camera technology, which imprints the photographer’s iris onto images as a digital watermark. Canon posed the legal and ethical issues pertaining to piracy and the use of digital imagery, succinctly on their application:

“Even ordinary individuals can now create and distribute copies of digital images easily and inexpensively for purposes beyond private use. Accordingly, though the handling of digital images does not pose a major problem so long as it involves photography for personal enjoyment, the fact that such image data can be copied and distributed easily by unauthorised individuals has not gone unnoticed by those who circulate digital images as a business” (British Journal of Photography, 2008).

For the digital media designer, the risks of breaching intellectual property, trade practices and defamation laws are two-fold. As creators of original works across many industries on multiple platforms, designers face the obvious matter of exercising their rights in order to protect their material from plagiarism, moral rights violations and defamation. On the other hand, digital media designers must also beware of committing the same acts in turn, as their works can also be held under the same scrutiny.

This scrutiny is prevalent within the advertising and marketing industries, where digital image manipulation is commonplace. One such multimedia design company, Perth Print Design, specialises in “ready to print artwork”, which is ultimately constructed in order to generate profits for their clients.

“Visual manipulation gives you an opportunity to create fantastical images that cannot be achieved through standard photography alone. When an image is unique, it stands out to the consumer – and this translates into increased revenues,” (Perth Print Design, n.d.).

Ethically speaking, the digital media designer is bound by the rules which govern the particular industry of which they are a part. Both the advertising industry and media outlets which publish these advertisements have their own self regulatory bodies which enforce codes of ethics to which the designer is also bound. This is in addition to the Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) and each State and Territory’s Competition Codes and Fair Trading Acts. The rules and regulations specific to these industries all assert notions of truth and accuracy (Trade Practices Act 1974 ((Cth)) ss.52-53, Fair Trading Act 1987 ((NSW)) s. 42, s. 44, ss. 49-50, AANA Code of Ethics n.d., s. 1.2, Media Alliance Code of Ethics 1999, s. 9), yet much debate lies in how these guidelines are followed in relation to digital image manipulation:

“These particular clauses are relevant to digitally-altered or airbrushed images which are not an accurate representation of truth, and are, in some instances, grossly distorted to make the model even thinner than they are in reality. It is impossible for the average person to distinguish what is real from what is a heavily synthesized image, far beyond the reach of mere mortals,” (Media Code of Conduct on Body Image Working Group 2007, p. 11).

Multiple legal issues also arise when an image is digitally manipulated. Not only does the digital media designer have to be wary of copying someone else’s work, but there are also moral rights to consider, as well as defamatory imputations and even the possible breach of other laws on an international scale.

If copyright infringement is found to have occurred, the digital media designer could potentially be ordered by a court to compensate the copyright owner financially. This could be done by way of damages or an account of profits, where the designer or the company they work for is either ordered to pay the amount the copyright owner would have charged for the work, or they could be ordered to submit any profits made as a result of the infringement. Further costs could be incurred depending on the “flagrancy of the infringement” under section 115(4) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), along with conversion damages based on “the value of the infringing articles,” (Baulch, 1998). Apart from civil suits, there is also the possibility of criminal charges and their consequent penalties.

Moral rights and defamatory imputations add further complications to the legal issues surrounding digital image manipulation. As these freedoms cannot be bought or sold, a designer must be especially careful to ensure that they do not violate these rights, even if the image copyrights belong to the designer. Repercussions for any alterations may range anywhere from public criticism to legal action.
“Defamation is concerned with protecting a person's reputation in the eyes of the community. Moral rights is primarily concerned with recognising and preserving a creator's link with his or her work” (Australian Copyright Council, 1993).

When TIME magazine received a public outcry due to the alterations made by darkening O.J. Simpson’s mugshot on the cover of their June 27 issue, TIME’s managing editor, James R. Gaines, published an editorial piece just days later explaining, “that no racial implication was intended, by TIME or by the artist”, “nor did we intend any imputation of guilt” (Gaines, 1994). Although there was no legal action taken, an argument for defamation certainly exists.

Some other famous examples of digital image manipulation involving celebrities include tennis player, Andy Roddick, “complaining about the way he's been portrayed” (SMH Online, 2007) on the cover of the June/July 2007 issue of Men’s Fitness after his arms were digitally retouched to appear larger, while actress Kate Winslet was digitally “slimmed down” (BBC News, 2003) for the February cover of GQ magazine to which Winslet protested that: “the retouching is excessive. I do not look like that and more importantly I don't desire to look like that,” (Hello! Magazine, 2003). In response, editor of GQ magazine, Dylan Jones, justified the image alteration by stating: "we do that for everyone, whether they are a size six or a size 12. It hasn't a lot to do with body size. Practically every photo you see in a magazine will have been digitally altered in this way".

Although the manipulation of images may be commonplace, it is not without consequence. Violating moral rights could lead to court orders for financial compensation, a removal or reversal of the infringing material (if possible), as well as mandates requiring a declaration by the offender to make public their infringement and/or apology (Australian Copyright Council, 2006).

By simply not giving credit where credit is due, or even through altering a stock photo without the express permission of the image’s creator, moral rights could be infringed upon. Even if the original creator’s work is found not to have been copied, mis-attributed or treated in a derogatory way, there are many other laws to consider for those who may have been the subject of image manipulation.

Internationally speaking, there are other laws such as the Right of Publicity and the Tort of False Light which do not exist in Australia, but do apply in other jurisdictions which are within reach due to the widespread capacity of the World Wide Web. In the United States of America (US), Dustin Hoffman v. Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. was one such case where the subject of image manipulation, Hollywood actor Dustin Hoffman, was able to sue under four different US laws relating to the right of publicity, trademark and competition laws for the misappropriation of his name and likeness, even though he was not the copyright owner of the images that were digitally altered.

Hoffman pursued legal action against Los Angeles Magazine for publishing a digitally manipulated composite image which had contained Hoffman’s head superimposed on a male model’s body, imitating captured still footage of Hoffman from the movie Tootsie. There were other substantial changes made, in terms of attribution in the captioning of the published photo, as well as the clothes that Hoffman was depicted to be wearing.

“The manipulation exploited and robbed the dignity, professionalism and talent of Hoffman and he was violated by technology, the court said” (Ho Kim, G. & Paddon, A. 1999, p.71).

Hoffman was granted compensatory damages of US$1.5 million as well as US$269,528.50 in legal fees along with entitlements to punitive damages (Dustin Hoffman, Plaintiff-appellee, v. Capital Cities/abc, Incorporated, Defendant, and L.a. Magazine, Inc., Defendant-appellant, 2001) by the US District Court. However, upon the review of the Ninth Circuit Appeals Court, this decision was overturned:

“The appellate court held that the magazine’s depiction of Hoffman
was not literal but ‘transformative’, was not an advertisement (which was pertinent as commercial speech is less protected), and was not intended to create a false impression that the body in the dress was Hoffman’s” (Caudill, 2004).

In addition to the laws and ethics a digital media designer is expected to abide by, there is also their own reputation at stake, if the case should arise, where the designer is held accountable for breaching these regulations. This has already happened in two notable instances during 2003, involving ex Los Angeles Times photojournalist, Brian Walski, who was fired for combining two separate images into one composite photo, and The Charlotte Oberver’s Patrick Schneider, who had three photojournalism awards revoked by the North Carolina Press Photographers Association for “overly darkening some portions in the digital editing process” (Background Altered – Observer photographer loses awards 2003, 15 August, p. 1).

Schneider consequently lost his job three years later due to another photo retouching incident, which Observer Editor, Rick Thames, explains: “In the original photo, the sky in the photo was brownish-gray. Enhanced with photo-editing software, the sky became a deep red and the sun took on a more distinct halo.

"Schneider said he did not intend to mislead readers, only to restore the actual color of the sky," the note continues. "He said the color was lost when he underexposed the photo to offset the glare of the sun." (Thames 2006, cited in Lang, 2006).

The ethical issues and legal ramifications for a digital media designer are robust, complex and yet still in their infancy, as they continue to evolve with the growth of the digital media industry. It is as Peter Giles, director of digital media at The Australian Film Television and Radio School, describes: “digital media is all about change”. “In the digital world, if you blink, you miss it and you’re left behind,” (Giles 2007, as cited in Jordan, 2007).

“There are jobs that didn’t exist a decade ago, in areas like mobile content and visual effects, and others that evolved out of existing careers in industries such as marketing and publishing.

While the developments have been particularly profound in media and communications, every sector of society has been affected” (Jordan, 2007).

The issues surrounding digital image manipulation in contemporary society are multi-faceted and multi-national. A digital media designer walks a fine line between compliance and infringement in their daily work practices, whether they are altering images, designing websites or other forms of content for a specific delivery format.

“Laws and treaties have traditionally been made and enforced by nation-states operating in a patchwork of territories. Now, the media and technology marketplace is being globalized in digital networks. The law is only beginning to respond to this change” (Geller, 1998).

For a full list of references click here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Digital information technology's impact on rave culture*

Digital information technologies offer liberating, emancipating opportunities for the creation of new communities and spaces where young people can belong, yet they can be constraining and oppressive as well.

Digital information technologies could be considered constraining and oppressive in terms of access and usability, and the broad appeal and reach of digital information technologies has actually been a disadvantage to some cultures in terms of removing exclusivity.

For example, the majority of web content is written in English, which means that users must be literate in the English language, or hope that the website they wish to visit has alternate versions which have been translated into their language. The web also favours fast internet access and users without disabilities, as seen in the design and layout of many popular websites such as YouTube, which is better suited to broadband connections, inaccessible to the blind and does not yet provide captions for the hearing impaired.

To expand on my LJA6 essay on rave culture, digital information technologies have played a part in allowing access to what was once regarded as an ‘underground’ rave scene. The proliferation of change and growth in rave culture has traditionally not been openly accepted by the community itself even prior to digital media, forcing fandom and culture cycles.

With the integration of ‘dance’ music in commercial radio broadcasts, enduring news reports of illegal drug busts, films portraying the subculture, and websites dedicated to advertising rave culture, some aspects of this culture’s entrance into the mainstream, in what was once an “underground, pre-commercialised rave scene” (Siokou & Moore 2008, p. 56), is now regarded with nostalgic mourning by authentic raver identities (Siokou & Moore 2008, p. 56, Brabazon 2002, p.20).

So in a sense, digital information technology has removed the ‘exclusivity’ from what was once an underground practice, much to the dismay of the rave culture’s fandom as this has attracted thousands of punters who didn’t adopt their beliefs and practices, thus mutating the culture.

*Discussion Forum Activity posted on 1st April, 2009 by Maria Tan

CMNS6060 - eCulture and Audiences, The University of Newcastle