This post was originally going to be about my continuing indecision about the wonderful offerings at the ALA convention this weekend. I spent some time with the scheduler and I have been able to narrow the entire program down to a few offerings in each time slot and I will decide the day of which I will ultimately attend. I’m playing around with different options for this blog and thought I might try embedding a pdf instead of sending a link to the schedule or transfering it as text.
Et voila, I’ve managed to embed the pdf!
The reason I make mention of embedding this pdf is I had some difficulty in finding a way to do this in WordPress.com. When you use Google to search for “embed pdf in WordPress” you are taken to a wonderful page full of plugins for WordPress.org. If you open the link you will notice that both of the WordPress sites look remarkably alike, with the same branding and the same basic layout. So I assumed that the plugins page was compatible with WordPress.com.
I downloaded an embedding plugin with high ratings and looked at the instructions on how to install my plugin. The instructions seemed straight-forward until I came back to my blog dashboard and could not find a “plugins” directory. So I went to search in some different tabs, with now luck. I tried Google again, this time trying “how to install a plugin in WordPress and saw a few snarky answers about how everyone should know how to use a FTP transfer program.
About this time I decided to go look through WordPress.com tutorials to see if I could find anything. The tutorials were very basic and not what I was looking for. I tried searching the WordPress.com site and still did not pull up anything particularly useful. Finally I went back to Google again and searched for (using good searching techniques instead of winging it) “embed a pdf in WordPress.com blog” and was taken to this site which directed me to Scribd. Scribd is easy to use thus far and seems easy to navigate. I’m sure there are more elegant ways to embed pdfs but I don’t want to switch to WordPress.org just yet, though it’s tempting to be able to tinker with the coding.
My trials in embedding my schedule into my blog helped to remind me part of why I’m so excited about ALA this weekend, I want to learn new things and, after finding difficulties in the existing search field help others navigate them by drawing on my own experiences. I’m sure to veteran bloggers this seems like a laughably easy problem, but it still took nearly 20 minutes of searching to accomplish something simple. I need to constantly remind myself of how much I know and how difficult things can be the first time. I will be sure to remember this feeling when I’m helping users navigate the e-linker or the course reserves page next quarter. See you in Anaheim!