August 14, 2017 at 1:38pm

Using Footnotes in Blot

I’ve been working my way through the various features of Blot, taking Baby Steps, and having a pretty easy time of it. After it was so easy to get pictures working, I took another look at the Blot help page to see what I might take on next. Two things jumped out at me: footnotes and tags.

I couldn’t think of a reason I might need to use a footnote, but a recent experience had brought them to my attention. I had come upon a scholarly article by Steven Rings at the University of Chicago about one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding).” And I do mean scholarly! The pdf file of the text has 39 pages. with another pdf file of 27 pages which has the examples. It has an Abstract, a Table of Contents, an Introduction, many pages of discussion, a Bibliography, a Discography and 102 Footnotes. I was last reading scholarly papers in grad school at UC Berkeley, a loooooong time ago. This thing has the whole nine yards, verrrrry impressive.

The footnotes impressed me with the sheer brilliance of their execution on the web page. Each numbered footnote has a footnote number in parentheses, elevated a bit at the end of the relevant line in the text. Hover over that number and you can read the text of the footnote in a popup window. Click on the number and you jump to that footnote in the Footnotes section at the bottom. And just below that is a link labeled, Return to text.” Click on that and you’re right back to the text you were reading when you clicked on the footnote number. I had NEVER seen that on a web page and I was very impressed.

So when I saw Footnotes in the Formatting blog posts section of the Blot help pages, I focused in a bit in my reading. The Blot instructions had a title and four lines of text. That was it. So it was a candidate I put on my list for possible future experiments. I tried to think of an article I could write that would need footnotes, but I couldn’t think of one.

And then one fell into my lap! There had been a bit of a discussion of my article about Location (Where Are You From?) on Microblog and I decided to edit the original article to add that discussion as an Update. As I did that, the opportunity for a footnote, even the necessity for a footnote jumped out at me. I went back and read the four lines of Blot instructions about footnotes and gave it a try. It worked beautifully immediately, first try. Take a look at the updated article.

Okay, it doesn’t have the popup window for reading the footnote. But clicking on the footnote number does take you to the footnote at the bottom. AND look at the tiny little arrow to the right of the image at the bottom. Click on it! It takes you back up to the text where you clicked on the number 1 for that footnote. I nearly fell over. Four lines of instruction, easily implemented and I get that? WOW!

Blot continues to amaze me with its simple implementation and the clean, clear formatting that results. I am very pleased that I decided to give this thing a try. I received no compensation of any kind for this endorsement. I’m just a happy camper.

I searched Google for Best blogging software” and got sixteen results on the first page with lots of articles comparing five to eighteen platforms, all the usual suspects and none mentioned Blot. In fact Blot doesn’t seem to even be on the radar, except for one site from a domain name seller. But that’s fine with me. I’m having a great time with both Blot and Manton’s Microblog (also not mentioned in these results) and I used a lot of Dave Winer’s many tools for the last several years. I don’t even remember how I found Blot, probably from someone on Microblog, maybe Jack Baty, who always seems to be on the bleeding edge of technology.

Did I mention that I don’t have to pay for any server in the cloud with Blot and my data is all in my own Dropbox folder?

© 2017 by Ron Chester - ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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