Friday, December 01, 2006

Blogger Blogs And Permissions

With Blogger Blogs, not everybody can do everything with every blog. Blogger doesn't provide anything as simple (or as obnoxious) as Simple File Sharing under Windows XP. They don't call it Simple Blog Access, but the choices that they do provide aren't a lot more granular.

Except for Authors, who have access only to their own posts, all access is against the entire blog. If you truly have a need to have different levels of access for different portions of your blog, consider splitting the blog into two or more different blogs, each with the components with differing access needs.

You setup blog membership and permissions from the Settings - Permissions wizard. It's a pretty simple wizard. You will need a current and operational email address (and not to an address that requires sender verification either) for each prospective member.
  • Administrative access is at blog level. Anybody with access to any part of a blog has equal access to the entire blog. You have to be able to equally trust all administrators.
  • Any blog can have multiple administrators, and multiple authors. There is a limit of 100 members, for any blog.
  • Only administrators can change blog settings. All administrators can change all settings - there is no granularity here.
  • Only administrators and members can post articles, using post editor, to a blog. All authors can post, with moderation only after posting. You can, at your discretion, let people post to the blog using email, and under your account.
  • Any administrator can edit any post at will. Authors can edit only their own posts.
  • There are levels of ability to post comments to a blog.
  • There are levels of ability to read a blog. This is why we now authenticate using a Google account
    • By default, you have a Public blog.
      • Everybody.
    • If you wish, you can have a Private blog.
      • Everybody invited, as a reader.
      • Blog members ("Authors").
      Note that with a private blog, you won't have any feeds available. Feeds are available only with public blogs, and unrestricted access.
    • If you make the blog Private, and don't invite any Authors or Readers, you'll have a Closed blog. That's your right.

If you want anything better, you'll have to get an alternate solution. If you want to block comments by IP address (a vague solution with limited success), you'll need a third party commenting service, like Haloscan.

When you look at the Settings - Permissions screen, at the list of Blog Members, you'll note two possibilities.
  • If the blog has only one administrator, you'll see "admin" beside that member. This account is the blog owner.
  • If the blog has more than one administrator, beside each member, you'll see either "admin" or "author", accompanied by a clickable link "revoke admin privileges" or "grant admin privileges".
  • If you change or delete either one of two Administrators, the "revoke admin privileges" link for the other Administrator will be gone. You will always have at least one Administrator. If you remove any account(s) from administrator status, make sure that the remaining account(s) are capable of providing administrative service, to fulfill your standard of convenience.


Making an additional administrator for the blog is simply part of transferring the blog to another administrator. Making an additional author (member) is a smaller part still.
  1. Add a second account, as a blog member.
  2. From the second account, accept membership by clicking on the link in the incoming email, and authenticating, using any new or existing Google account.
  3. Refresh the membership list display.
  4. Make the new member an administrator, by clicking on the "grant admin privileges" link.


OK, so how does all this work? Let's look at my Private (Right, Chuck - Empty is a better term) - OK, Chuck's Empty Blog. What members can we have?


1 Author (Administrator), and 1 Reader.



1 of each - Administrator, Guest, Reader.



2 Administrators, 1 Reader. Note that both administrators have clickable links, to be changed or deleted.



Not a private blog now. 2 Administrators.



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10 comments:

redsock said...

If I add an author/member, my profile (name, avatar, etc.) disappears from the top of my blog, and the names of the members are there instead.

Is there a way to keep the profile there -- as though I am the sole author -- yet still give others access?

Thanks.

Chuck said...

If you add members to the blog, it becomes a team blog. For a team blog, the "About Me" section is replaced by "Contributors".

You can always write your own "About Me" section, using either plain text, HTML, or whatever pleases you. With a Layouts page element, this shouldn't be at all difficult.

redsock said...

Can the list of team members be moved to the bottom of my column of links, etc.?

Chuck said...

The list of team members is simply another sidebar widget. Go to Template - Page Elements, and you can move that widget, and the others, to other locations on the page.

stevecrye said...

Chuck, thanks for taking the time to produce this nice howto page.

I've been a fan of Google for many years, but lots of friends hate it. They won't sign up for gamila ccounts, and, unless you know a workaround, therefore can't be readers or team members of a private blogger blog.

I tested by sending an invite to my Yahoo account. This is what I received:

The Blogger user >bloguser< has invited you to read the private blog: >the blog<.

To view this blog, visit:
>snip<

You'll need to sign in with a Google Account to confirm the invitation. If you don't have a Google Account yet, we'll show you how to get one in minutes, or you can view the blog as a guest for up to 30 days.
>blog name< blog was created using Blogger, a free service for easily communicating and sharing ideas on the web. To learn more about Blogger and starting your own free blog visit http://www.blogger.com.

Why is google so insular? This is a total show-stopper for my team. The most critical member will never use gmail.

I'll probably have to create an account for him to use. >sigh<

Steve

Chuck said...

Steve,

A Google account is not the same as a GMail account. A Google account is simply the email address of any email service that you (or your friends) use. Read that article with care, please.

Robyn said...

Is there a way in blogger to log the changes made by various administrators? In other words, if a change is made, is there a way to go into a log to see which administrator made the change?

Chuck said...

if a change is made, is there a way to go into a log to see which administrator made the change?

A change log is a key component in any properly designed Content Management System. Unfortunately, Blogger is not a CMS - it's a blogging platform.

Mrs. Trish said...

I have added 4 of my friends as authors/contributors. They are all following me and yet every time they try to comment on a post it tells them they must be a contributor. I resent them the link as authors but they are already listed. Why can they not comment? After a day it worked for one of them but not the others.

I have the privacy set to blog posts/comments: members only
blog readers: everyone

Chuck Croll said...

Trish,

If this is a private blog, you'll not want "Members only" for "Who can comment?".

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/10/private-blogs-and-commenting-policy.html

If this is a public blog, make sure that they accept membership, per the invitation.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2011/09/blog-membership-invitation-is-temporary.html