Friday, March 31, 2006

Either The Post, Or The Sidebar, Ends Up At The Bottom Of The Page

My Blog Is Missing! Oh no! Generally, this refers to a deleted or hijacked / stolen blog.

Other times, part of the blog is there, and the other part is not. This may be similar to the corrupted template problem, except part of the blog is clearly there, and looks just fine. WTF?

In the latter case, neither the content nor the sidebar is actually missing. One or the other has simply slipped to the bottom of the page. Of course, it never occurs to somebody to scroll to the bottom in search of the missing content or sidebar. Why should it? It's called a sidebar because it's a BAR (column) that sits at the top of the page, beSIDE the column with the content (Posts). DOHH.


(Update 2009/11): This month, people using the "Jump Break" feature in the new post editor are seeing a dropped posts or sidebar section. If you're trying that feature, aka "Read More", in your blog, that's probably why you're here now.

Drop Back And Kick

Sometimes, you have to drop back and kick.

If you're reading this, please look in the sidebar for additional articles. If you can't find the bloody sidebar, which is why I'm doing this in the first place, please look at the very end of the page. Scroll all the way down. It's there, really!

If you'd get Firefox, you wouldn't have problems like the sidebar issue. I'll still have to struggle with them, but you won't have to see them.

I'll fix this real soon - I hope! Wish me luck!!

Update, 3/31 12:30: This is now fixed.

Twas an interesting bit of code causing the problem, and I have no idea how long it's been a problem.

Let's see what happens if we put the code in here:

Powered By Blogger


Get Firefox!

So all it was, was 2 little buttons. The first, Powered By Blogger, has been in there for a while, I have no idea how long. The second, I just added today, right after I added the Firefox link above. I think I will leave all of this, as a reminder to everybody to periodically check your blog, no matter what minor changes you may have made recently.

Who knows when I changed something that just upset the balance a little bit? Anybody out there can tell me how long my sidebar been appearing at the bottom of the page (and just in IE V6.x too)? And removing the buttons from the sidebar (moved to the bottom of the page) was the required solution.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Asking For Help

There are several ways to instinctively ask for help, in an online forum like Blogger Help Forum, don't allow the helpers to help you as effectively as they should.

Let's see if we can identify some problem areas.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Musings About Blogger - And Retail Department Stores

When I was young - back in the middle of the past century - I lived with my parents in rural Virginia. There were no real suburban areas then - just little towns with a an A&P or Piggly Wiggly for foods, Ben Franklin for toys and miscellaneous stuff, and Western Auto for auto parts and hardware. Sam Walton was just a kid then too, I guess.

Anyway, the nearest town was the nascent metropolis of Richmond. It had a real urban downtown - with a Miller & Rhoads, and a Thalheimers (both chains now owned, I think, by Macys or Saks). And in the suburbs, a K-Mart.

Now getting to Richmond was a couple hours of boredom on the country roads, and 2 hours in the car with my parents was like 6 hours nowadays - the car didn't have a radio, or air conditioning. But 1/2 hour outside the Richmond city limits was the K-Mart, and we would stop there first.

After 2 hours in the car, K-Mart was always our favourite stop. But, we were always picky about actually buying anything there. For quality clothes, and for toys when we could afford them, Mom preferred M&R. Why? Because in those days, the generally accepted truth was

K-Mart sells second quality merchandise - generally defective or surplus stock, bought cheap from M&R etc.

K-Mart was cheap, and convenient, but try returning something that didn't fit - or didn't work. For quality, we always went to M&R. Even though downtown was another 1/2 hour, parking was a pain, and the stores were dark and cavernous, and stank of perfume. So K-Mart was my favourite.

So what's all this to do with Blogger? Just this.

Blogger is the K-Mart of web services. Before Martha Stewart.

Blogger is big - I think at least 4,500 servers (my guess). One button publishing is convenient, you have to admit. And they are free. But try getting service, when you have a problem.

And one day, you too will have a problem. Bet on it.

  1. There is no contact for Blogger - just a Help Database, and a Help Form.
  2. You fill in the form, and dispatch it. Shortly thereafter, you get an email from Blogger, saying how sorry they don't have time to respond to you personally, and bidding you check:

    1. Blogger Knowledge database.
    2. Blogger Help database.
    3. Google Blogger Help forum.

  3. You then have the option (not always offered) of replying to the email, stating that no solution was found from any of the above references.
  4. And now you wait. If you like, you can join the crowd at Google Blogger Help forum, and ask, as they do:

    What can I do now? My blog is broken (I can't publish) (My friends can't view anything)...


And there you wait. Maybe one day, Pete will show up, respond to a few folks there, telling them to send in a problem report, and reminding them that he doesn't speak for Blogger - he's just a user like us.. And you wait some more.

One day, folks will start reporting that things are working. And eventually, your blog will work too. And one day, you MAY see an entry in Blogger Status.

NOTE: Both Blogger and K-Mart continue to grow, in spite of their (lack of) customer service. And in spite of the ways that they treat their employees.

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Why Do I Do This?

I had a friend ask me that question, recently. Wanting to know why I try to help other Bloggers deal with the vagaries of Blogger.

Why do you do this?

The implied second question (neither spoken nor written, and it didn't need to be so either) was

This isn't your problem.

I had not a clue what to say. At the time, anyway. But as I reflected upon the question, many replies occurred to me.

  • I wasn't affected by the "403 Forbidden" errors Monday, March 06, 2006.
  • I wasn't affected by the "403 Forbidden" errors Wednesday, March 08, 2006.
  • But I WAS affected two days later. My blog was unviewable for 4 DAYS.

    • Friday, 3/10, I started my day. I had some spare time mid morning, and I added a couple paragraphs to one of my posts.
    • I Published my updated post. And immediately discovered that I was now one of the lost. My updated post was not to be found. Just what I had been reading about for several days, but spared until that moment.

      403 Forbidden

    • I found my way to Blogger Help (not with ease, which is why I started this blog), and filled in the form.
    • I got my botmail, and replied.
    • And I made my way to Blogger Help, and Blogger Forum, and joined the masses there.
    • I got back nothing from repeated problem reports to Blogger Support, but botmail, until 3/13.
    • My first post in this blog, 403 Forbidden - Day 4, is from 3/14.
    • That problem wasn't really fixed til 3/15.


So, why do I do this? Because this IS my problem. If not today, maybe tomorrow. My blog is still hurting.

So, I will continue to ask questions of Blogger. Like, when will they communicate with the folks who provide their salary?

And, I'll offer obvious advice to fellow Bloggers.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Blog Not Found

Looks like this is the problem of the week. Pete acknowledged this last weekend. Now we have other examples, in varying flavours.


  • Diagnose the problem. Is anybody else able to see the blog? Many of the problems are seen only by the OP; others will post after with "I can see your blog fine". If so, clear cache and cookies, and restart the browser.

  • If the blog is missing, and nobody can see it, is it a new blog? Are you maybe publishing thru Blogger to an offsite (non-Blogger) service? Log in directly to the Blogger dashboard, and see if the missing posts are in Draft form. If that's true, Blogger may have labeled your blog as a spam blog, which causes offsite published blogs to end up as Draft. If your posts are ending up as Draft, you'll not see them online.

  • If the blog is missing from the Dashboard, see My blog disappeared from my account!.

  • If the blog is visible from the dashboard, did you actually post anything? Did you Publish? If you have no posts, or if the posts were intentionally saved as Draft, the blog won't be Published. Not Published = not visible online.

  • If the blog is not new, and is not offsite, try republishing again.

  • If none of the above help, then report the problem.



These are the exact and precise titles of various online discussions (with ellipses used where necessary). With apologies to those who, in frustration or under stress, typed thread titles that are less than perfect, and cannot be changed, I present them as typed.

  1. Where is my blog??? CLOSED - Caused by Coding Problems *

  2. My blos URL does not work OPEN 3/27 (4)

  3. Help! My blog is missed! OPEN 3/27 *** CLOSED 3/30

  4. Page Cannot Be Found CLOSED per Recommended Resolution.

  5. Server not found OPEN 3/27 ** (3)

  6. Blogger shuts down public library blog... OPEN 3/26 **

  7. my blog is gone OPEN 3/27 *** (1)

  8. Blogger down? CLOSED - Resolution Unknown

  9. another missing blog [#437545] OPEN 3/28 *** (1)

  10. Disappeared Blog – Please Help OPEN 3/28 (1) CLOSED 3/31

  11. Missing BLOG OPEN 3/29 (4)

  12. Added Adsense To An Old Blog... OPEN 3/29 (1)

  13. My Blog Disappeared OPEN 3/29 (3)

  14. Blog Not opening OPEN 3/29 ** (3) CLOSED 3/30

  15. I can't view my blog OPEN 3/29 (2)

  16. Blog not found OPEN 3/30 (1)

  17. agenda_x.blogspot.com has disappeared! OPEN 3/30 (3)

  18. Blog disappeared! OPEN 3/30 (1)



NOTE: For "(n)" values, see Triage below.

* NOTE: Apparent coding problems - blog is visible, with contents, though not properly.

** NOTE: These cases do NOT appear to respond to clearing of cache and cookies.

*** NOTE: Recommended by Pete for attention by Blogger Support.

Recommended Resolution (see NOTE above):
Triage Key

(1) 404 Not Found
(2) Blog opens, but with errors
(3) Stated as cannot open in Dashboard / cannot post (we can't verify this obviously).
(4) No problem observed in either Firefox or Internet Explorer.


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Backup Your Blog

If you spend any time developing your blog, you'll probably not going to enjoy recreating it again. Occasionally though, mistakes happen.

  • Maybe you hit the "Delete This Blog" button, and realised it just a microsecond AFTER you hit the Yes button. Too late. Now you have to wait for Blogger to restore it, and hope that it doesn't get taken by the spammers in the meantime.

  • Maybe you just tweaked the template a little too much, and can't get it right again.

  • Maybe you're plagued by the problem of the week, Blog Corruption / Hijacking.

  • Maybe you would like to carry your computer around, and show others your blog (or look at it yourself), even if you're not online.



If you can, by a miracle, get Blogger to restore your blog, or if you're one of the lucky ones reading this who doesn't have a problem, take a couple hours and Backup Your Blog. One solution for this need is HTTrack, which is a free and very easy product to use. Note this caution when using HTTrack. And note this additional advice - backup your template, separately.

  • Get HTTrack (free).

  • Install it. You will want to close all open applications, and prepare to reboot afterwards.

  • Run it. The first time, you will have to identify your blog by URL and by Title, and identify the HTTrack Mirror Base Path. The mirroring itself is easy.

  • Setup a shortcut to the mirrored code. Now you can view your blog locally, whether or not your computer is online.

  • Whenever you make changes, rerun HTTrack. Changed blogs remirror quickly.


Organise Your Mirrors Properly - Setup A Significant Base Path
When you setup a mirror using HTTrack, you don't get a complicated applet to change all the many options. There are a lot of options that you can change, to tweak your mirroring, later - HTTrack is very configurable. There is, however, one important setting, that you input on the first screen.

There are 3 settings that you will see on the first screen, when you start HTTrack.

  1. Project Name.

  2. Project Category.

  3. Base Path.


Project name should be pretty obvious, or easily guessed. Project category is something that you can change, to suit your needs. Base path is something that you can change, at any time, too.

The URL for your blog you will input on the second screen. HTTrack allows you to mirror multiple blogs in one Project. If your Blog is named "myvacation2006.blogspot.com", you'll input "http://myvacation2006.blogspot.com" into the URL List. Simply hit the "Add URL..." button on the second screen, and input each URL, as you need. Then hit the Next button, twice, and watch it mirror.

But, before you hit Next from the first screen, setup the Base Path properly. My professional recommendation is to separate your operating system, (non operating system) program libraries, and data into 3 separate partitions. I have, as an example:

  • C:\Windows for the operating system.

  • D:\Program Files for the non operating system program libraries.

  • E:\Web Site Mirrors for my HTTrack web site mirror databases.


You might have everything on C:, which is not my preference, but default system installation will do this to you. Then you'll have:

  • C:\Windows for the operating system.

  • C:\Program Files for the non operating system program libraries.

  • C:\Web Site Mirrors for my HTTrack web site mirror databases.



When you install HTTrack, the default will be for Base Path to be equal to the folder containing the HTTrack program components. If you install HTTrack into "C:\Program Files\HTTrack", that will be the default for Base Path too. I DO NOT recommend this. Please change Base Path, when you run HTTrack for the first time, to something like "C:\Web Site Mirrors". You will thank me, in the long run.

If you have the latter setup, and you mirror 3 blogs - Blog1, Blog2, and Blog3, you'll mirror them into "C:\Web Site Mirrors\Blog1", "C:\Web Site Mirrors\Blog2", and "C:\Web Site Mirrors\Blog3". The name "Blog1" for the Project and for the folder go hand in hand. If you rename the Project to "My Main Blog", the mirror folder will be automatically renamed to "C:\Web Site Mirrors\My Main Blog". Similarly, if you go into Windows Explorer, and rename "Blog1" to "My Vacation Blog", the entry in the pulldown list for Project Name will become "My Vacation Blog".

Always organise your data libraries. If you really use your computer, your data libraries will become many times larger than your operating system, or your applications. Data library organisation is therefore more important.

If you care for your blogs, as I do for mine, you'll take extreme care in organising the mirrors that you setup. You will thank me, in the long run, if you can do this.

Make it easy on yourself - setup shortcuts to the mirrors. If my Project Name is "The Real Blogger Status", and my Base Path is "C:\Web Site Mirrors", I could create a shortcut of "C:\Web Site Mirrors\The Real Blogger Status\index.html", and copy the shortcut to a folder on my desktop or Start menu. I do this for each mirror I create. Try it, it makes checking and using your mirror so much easier.

NOTE: Here's a word of caution. Don't just save one copy of your important blogs. If you're reading in the forums about problems accessing blogs, you go run HTTrack, and your blog is afflicted like the others, HTTrack may have the same problem accessing your blog. HTTrack will copy the same problems into your blog mirror that everybody else is experiencing. You will have no blog mirror either, when it's done.

If there are ongoing problems, make multiple mirrors of your blogs. I have one main backup job - "Main Backup", which backsup (among others) PChuck's Network and The Real Blogger Status, together. I have "Main Backup - A", "Main Backup - B", and "Main Backup - C", each a copy of each other. Today I run the first, tomorrow the second, the following day the third, and the day after that, I run the first again. This was called, in olden IT days, a "grandfather - father - son" backup strategy.

A backup takes maybe 5 - 10 minutes, and can be run while I am busy elsewhere. It occupies (for me) maybe 15 - 20 MB of disk space.

After you run an HTTrack job, check the error log. Look for any line besides "link added" or "link updated", and make sure that it doesn't indicate a problem with the mirror that you just created. Test what you just created. With a GFS backup set, if you find that today's mirror is corrupt, because of problems with Blogspot, you can fall back on yesterday's mirror. In extreme cases, the day before that.

How important is another 20MB of disk space to you? When I make significant changes to my blogs, I can even run an extra mirror. The peace of mind provided, to me, is significant.

Quicker Alternatives

Maybe you would simply like to print off your blog to paper, to save a visual copy of the blog. And you can Export / Import the comments and posts, to / from files locally stored on your computer or network.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Deleted Blogs Can Be Restored

If you haven't backed up your blog, locally, on your computer, you may be able to have it restored by Blogger. To what state, will it be restored, is something you will find out. Blogger prefers that you fill out the standard Blogger Support form, of course.

You may also find success by posting at Google Blogger Help, as Deletion of my blog, No Response from Blogger shows. Here we see an example of personal attention by Pete Hopkins, who doesn't speak for Blogger, but still provides assistance, in odd cases.

Official assistance, according to Pete, will be provided under the bloggeremployee nym.

But don't be mislead. Getting a deleted blog back won't be easy. Be aware of the proper recovery procedure.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Current Issues

I'm going to keep this index complete - and timely, the best I can. Achieving both goals won't be easy, so please forgive me - and let me know - when I err. I trust it will stay relevant, as it's pretty hard to identify truly closed issues.

This blog won't go away. Not right now, anyway. I certainly won't delete it!

External Publishing Problems?

There seem to be a few issues with publishing blogs externally. When publishing, the Bloggers state that they are getting "Get Error: 001 Broken Pipe" or "001 Broken Pipe".

  1. FTP Broken Pipe (Blogger's port range) OPEN 3/5

  2. Broken Pipe 001 OPEN 3/23

  3. Can't publish posts OPEN 3/23

  4. Can't publish new blog entry OPEN 3/31

  5. Unable to post... Same as external problem? OPEN 3/31



If you are getting this error, please add your thread to Blogger Help. And please report the problem to BS - and post the ticket number in your BH thread.

(Update, July 10): In Broken Pipe Issue Try this..., we may have a breakthru. Try publishing an individual post, rather than republishing the whole blog at once.
...the REAL problem is when you "Publish the Entire Blog". I had success publishing the "Index Only" and all the separate Posts individually.


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Thursday, March 23, 2006

I Don't Get It

Here's the scenario as it looks from reading Blogger Help, and Blogger Status, when a typical problem is active.


  • Day 1: You read Blogger Help, and multiple reports about a problem.

  • Day 1: You look at Blogger Status, and it's empty.

  • Day 2: You read Blogger Help, and more reports about the problem.

  • Day 2: You look at Blogger Status, and it's empty.

  • Day 3: You read Blogger Help, and still more reports about the problem.

  • Day 3: You look at Blogger Status, and it's still empty.

  • Day 4: You read Blogger Help, and pretty unhappy campers by now.

  • Day 4: You look at Blogger Status, and it has one brief post.


    • From Pete (or Steve, or Prashant). We're having a problem.

    • Update (time stamped half an hour or so later): Problem fixed.




It's great that they're doing a status page, and that they're time stamping the posts (and the updates). But why do they write each post just 1/2 hour before the problem is solved? What goes on during the other 95 1/2 hours?

I've worked in Tech Support, and I know that you can't report on the status of each problem every hour. But if there's one problem that affects a bunch of Bloggers, why not a daily report.

Just 5 minutes every couple days extra effort, by one Blogger paid staff technician, who knows what's going on, would so help so many Bloggers. We understand (yes, some of us do) that there will always be problems. The problem here is not the problems, it's the silence.

If we knew that a problem is known, and that they're working on it, for 3 days, that would be 3 days less endless email, and 3 days less clueless Blogger Help posts. And 3 days less ulcers.

Whassup guys?

Does anybody speak for Blogger?


Update (June 9)
: It appears Blogger Support is trying to change. Let's encourage this improvement.

Image Uploading #3

Image uploading appears to still be problematic. No update on Blogger Status as of 3/23 8:00 PST.

If you'll look at my previous post Image Upload Again, at the comment from CD, she's actually had personal email from Blogger Support asking for details about her problem. I don't know why Blogger Status isn't updated to indicate that they are actually looking into the problem.

Again, if you are experiencing problems, maybe you should Report Your Problems?? The squeaky hinge gets the oil.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Bad Filer Again

Graham now states that the bad filer, implicated in so many of the most recent problems, is now not a part of the Blogger server infrastructure.

Let us pray that our problems are now solved. Note he recommends, as I do:

  • Clear the browser cache.

  • Refresh the browser.



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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

It's Called Blogger Support - Not Blogger Mindreaders

Here's an interesting thread in Google Blogger Help. (Paraphrased to protect the guilty).

  • Blogger 1: My Blog isn't working.
  • Blogger 2: My Blog isn't working.
  • Blogger 3: My Blog isn't working. What could the problem be?

The one noticeable item there? No mention of having reported the problem to Blogger Support.

I've said over and over - don't expect a personal response from them, except in rare cases. But you still should let them know when there's a problem. But when you report your problem, don't waste time looking for an email address.

I've seen this before in the forums. Somebody reads the discussions, and figures
No sense in reporting this problem, everybody else has it.

Well, consider this:

  • Problems that aren't reported don't get worked on.
  • Problems that affect more people get worked on by the more experienced staff. If you know about the problem, and don't report it, it won't rise in the queue as much as it could. So if it isn't seen immediately, it's your fault.
  • Computers are unique. Maybe your problem report will provide the necessary clue, and help the problem get solved.


And next, report the problem, following current Blogger Support problem reporting needs.

  1. Look on the Blogger Status page. If you don't see an acknowledgement of the problem, annotated with
    We're working on this problem - please be patient and do not send any more trouble reports!

    then report the problem. Let the Blogger Support trouble reporting database deal with the duplicate requests, following current Blogger Support problem reporting needs.
  2. Fill in the Blogger Help form, as possible. Make sure that your email address is correct!
  3. Wait for the botmail.
  4. Note the Subject in the botmail. Here's an example, which I filed.

    Re: [#391824] Need Status Of Problems


    • The ticket number, in my example, is 391824. NOTE: The availability of a number is not certain.
    • The ticket description, in my example, is Need Status Of Problems.

  5. Reply to the botmail. Explain that there is no solution to your problem offered in either:

    1. Blogger Knowledge database.
    2. Blogger Help database.
    3. Google Blogger Help forum.

  6. When you write a problem complaint in Blogger Help or in Blogger Forum, include the ticket number (if available), and the description.


Maybe the next person to report their problem, from reading your complaint in Blogger Help or Blogger Forum, can include your ticket number and description in their problem report. That might light a tiny fire in the BS staff. Might.

But without a ticket, no fire at all. They aren't mind readers, after all.

Now, before you continue, take a look at the Blogger Support form. See the selections that you have an opportunity to fill in?
  1. Email address
  2. What are you having trouble with?
  3. Which blog does this affect?
  4. Enter a brief but descriptive summary:
  5. Finally, tell us all about it:

When you fill out the form, all of those entries go into a database, your problem ticket is generated, and your ticket number is assigned.

If you follow the advice of some folks, and send email directly to supportATbloggerDOTcom, your problem report is now a bit of email. You have no ticket number yet. The email must be entered into the database by a paid Blogger staff person, who has no understanding of your problem.
  • The contents of your email become item #5.
  • Your email address (what you sent from) MIGHT become item #1.
  • All of the other fields have to be guessed at by some low level clerk who does nothing but read the email that has no ticket number in it, and copy the body of each email into just another form that goes into the ticketing database.
    • Item #1 MIGHT be taken as the email address for the clerk (ticketing systems are designed by people, and sometimes the person filling out a form becomes the contact).
    • Item #2 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #3 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #4 has to be guessed at by the clerk.
    • Item #5 has to be copied from your email body.
  • This is NOT the favourite task of any help desk person. Generally the lowest ranking personnel get this duty, and they do this when they are not otherwise occupied.
  • Do you want YOUR problem report filled out by the most junior member of Blogger Support, when they are finally available (the coffeepot is full, and the copier has paper)?
Do yourself a favour, and fill in the Blogger Support form, and get your ticket directly entered into the database, with your details (Items # 1 - 5). Wait for the botmail. Now, if you wish to email BS with more detail, or to gripe at them in general, you have a ticket number, and your details are already in the database, under your ticket number.

Start with a ticket, and with a ticket number (if available).


(Edit 11/3): Note that the Blogger Help procedure is dynamic, and Blogger Support tunes it periodically. Right now, you can start with the Contact Us page, which has specific selections which refer to common problem types. Some of those selections will lead to the above described form, others to various help articles of varying relevance.

Some selections will lead to instructions that direct you to post in Blogger Help Group: Publishing Trouble, or Blogger Help Group: Something Is Broken, for group assistance. When you post there, try and provide some detail about your problem, and be patient. Many problems affect a lot of Bloggers concurrently.


(Edit 9/27): Having said all of that, I will state, for the record, that all of us would feel far encouraged to report the problems, if Blogger Support would provide more feedback when they fix the problems.


(Edit 9/24): Having gotten this far in my advice, please if any of my advice ever helps you, please read and observe How Peer Help Works. Become part of The Solution.

OK, What's The URL To Contact Blogger?
Here is the situation as of 15 March 2008. Blogger is starting to use the Google Blogger Help Forums for more direct support of some issues; some of the selections enumerated below may or may not exist, as the migration to the Google Blogger Help forums continues.

Start from Blogger Contact:
http://www.blogger.com/problem.g. If necessary, you'll have a link there http://www.blogger.com/problem.g?skiplogin=yes, to use if you can't login. You currently have 4 choices, on the next page.

As you navigate through the complaint tree, try and make the appropriate choice which helps Blogger to help you better. Remember that Blogger is not legally obligated to support you in any way; many of these selections are simply available so they can protect themselves from any claims of wrong doing. The more specific that you can be, relevant to your claim, the more likely you can persuade Blogger to act on your behalf. You want Blogger Support on your side, so be objective, in your complaints here, and in Google Blogger Help.


  1. Get detailed instructions on ...

  2. Report a bug or problem.

    1. Select "Report a bug". If your problem is listed, select that. If not, then "I found a bug".

    2. That gives you a small, fixed list. Select one. Any one, preferably one that describes your problem.

    3. Read the next page of troubleshooting. Keep an open mind - maybe the answer is there.

    4. If you do not see an answer in the troubleshooting list, look at the very bottom of the troubleshooting detail page. In blue highlighting, you should see
      Not what you're looking for? Choose another option on the left, or visit our Blogger Help Group. To report a bug, click here

    5. And click on "click here".

    6. If you are asked to login, there should be a link for "Skip Login". Click there if necessary.

    7. Now, you have the old familiar contact form, which may or may not be still hosted at http://help.blogger.com/?page=troubleshooter.cs
      &problem=&contact_type=other&Submit=Submit
      .

    8. The form will require an email address. If the problem is that you have forgotten the email address for your Google account, indicate that in the "Tell us about it" window. Enter a current and valid email address, in the "Email address" window. Make sure that it's one that can receive incoming email, without requiring verification or whitelisting.

    9. Don't forget to to reply to the botmail, if any comes your way.
      • If you reported from the link without login, you may not get botmail.
      • If you used the link that requires login, and you didn't get botmail, check your profile (make sure that you have the right email address), and / or try another problem category.


  3. Report a Terms of Service Violation
    Here you will have 8 choices.

    1. Defamation/Libel/Slander (Learn more.)

    2. Copyright Infringement (DMCA Violation).

    3. Spam (Learn more.)

    4. Hate or violence

    5. Impersonation

    6. Illegal/Other

    7. I need to contact another user

    8. Someone is posting my private information

    Make the appropriate selection, according to how you are being wronged, and what damages you can objectively state.

  4. Suggest a feature.
    This will lead to the Blogger WishList.


I will try to update this section, as procedures change.

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450 #6

Not resolved. CD posted a new picture, but on her secondary blog, and using Flick'r. And her post includes yet another 450, from attempting to post to her primary blog.

Troubleshooting Your Blog, and the 450

I'll be blunt here. Blogspot / Blogger hosts millions of blogs, and has millions of worldwide customers. You send in a complaint to Blogger Support, about your blog, and it goes into a long queue. And if it's just YOUR problem with YOUR blog, that's where it will likely stay. Problems affecting multiple blogs, and problems affecting multiple Bloggers, or customers, get higher priority. That's common sense.

So, if YOU notice a problem with YOUR blog, it's up to YOU to troubleshoot. Now, I'm a desktop support technician, and I preach diagnostic procedure. Constantly.

Note: This article started out when the 450 error became a problem, and it's now a part of my general tutorial on troubleshooting Blogger problems.

If you're having a problem, don't just drop it on Blogger Support. Involve Blogger Forum and Google Blogger Help, too. Update all 3 groups, regularly, when suggestions are made by any others. Be patient and persistent.

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Image Upload Again

The on again off again image loading is off again.

See any acknowledgment on the Blogger Status page? Not as of 3/21 10:40 PST.

Image Uploading No Longer Working?
image upload using OPERA

Monday, March 20, 2006

450 - Resolved?

So late yesterday, I noted that my friend CameraDawktor was able to update her blog Trouble Always Has a Door, with pictures and everything. Which makes it apparent that the current state of emergency has been resolved, for right now anyway.

Dare we to hope that things will go smoothly for a while? Only time will tell.

NOTE: Just because the underlying problem has been fixed (we hope), there are still corrupted blogs out there. Blogger Support won't fix those, we the owners of the blogs must do that. If your blog continues to load badly:

  1. Republish the Entire Blog.

  2. Refresh your Blogger client setup.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

450 #5

OK, I know that you're tired of reading this, and I am no less tired of typing the same shite over and over. But I can tell you again that publishing does work. And now I can show you.

I tried publishing my friend's blog, 4 times with no success, at 22:15 PST. Then she IMed me at 22:30 to tell me that she had just published, and on her first try yet. And here is her blog, that you may examine in its completeness.

Note the time stamp on my post, this afternoon just before I noted Graham's status post. And since noting THAT post, both I and the owner of the test blog have been trying to repeat my success. And have now succeeded.

We will probably leave her blog as is until this is resolved. I think I have convinced her to put all updated thoughts on her new blog.

450 #4

If you're getting a 450 when trying to publish to your blog, retrying repeatedly does eventually work. Really.

But it's not reliable.

I just got my friend on IM, and she tried. And got more errors. And I tried for her. And got more errors. I tried 12 times or so (and didn't count). And still more errors.

But this was after I posted 3 or 4 notes in Blogger Help and Blogger Forum advising folks that it does work - really. And I'll bet some of them are blessing me, for telling them to retry. And others are cursing me.

But I know that it does work. Just be patient, and persistent.

450 #3

Well.

I looked at the previously experienced 450 errors.

  1. 450

    450 Write error: No space left on device
    001 java.net.SocketException: Connection resetblog/20/43/11/troublealwayshasadoor/archives / 2006_03_01_troublealwayshasadoorarchive.html

  2. 450 #2

    450 Write error: No space left on deviceblog/20/43/11/troublealwayshasadoor/atom.xml


and I noticed that though they were the same error number, they were against different objects.

So I tried republishing. And got the first error again. The fourth time, I got the second error again.

And the fifth time, it published.

So don't give up. It may take a while, but eventually you get results.

This is still not ideal, but it is almost acceptable. Now, if I had a Captcha to deal with, I wouldn't be quite so objective.

450 #2

WRONG. Blogger still doesn't have a clue.

For publishing problems, simply wait a few minutes and republish, and that should take care of it.

I just sent an IM to my friend, when I noted the new post. They're working on the problem!

Then I tried republishing, per the advice.

450 Write error: No space left on deviceblog/20/43/11
/troublealwayshasadoor/atom.xml

This is really, really frustrating.

Cookies - Not Always Too Tasty

All too frequently, you read complaints
I sign in from the Navbar link, but it pops up my dashboard for the wrong account.

or
Help! I started my browser, but it says I'm logged in. I can't get to the page layout editor.

or
I checked "Remember Me". It still makes me login, each time. Why??

or even
Help! My blogs are missing from my dashboard!!


And even after clearing cache and restarting, the problem remains.

But besides what's stored in cache, you have another factor affecting what you see in your browser.

Cookies.


The cookies contain settings, used by the many web pages that you've loaded onto your computer, that affect how those pages get displayed. The cache contains the actual page contents, as temporary files. Cache and Cookies complement each other, but don't confuse them - they are not the same.

The problem is that many security experts believe that cookies are a major security threat. Many well trusted security malware detector programs, like Ad-Aware, detect and flag cookies when they find them on your computer. Both Firefox and Internet Explorer, if configured aggressively, may block cookies from some websites. If you configured your browser to allow cookies from "www.blogger.com", you could have a problem from "www2.blogger.com", the domain housing New Blogger.

If you're blocking cookies from "www2.blogger.com", you could find yourself making any of the above complaints. This problem could come and go, if you login targeting alternating login addresses.

You can get various cookie management programs, specific by browser. Short of that, you'll end up clearing your cookies, when you have problems.
  • Shutdown and restart your browser.
  • From your browser, delete all Blogger cookies, and clear your Cache. How to do this will vary by browser.
    • For Firefox, you can delete just Blogger cookies. In the Firefox Control Panel (Tools - Options), under Privacy - Cookies, select View Cookies. Find and delete the cookies for Blogger. Then, under Cache, select Clear Cache Now. Note that under Firefox V2, Cache is part of Private Data.
    • For Internet Explorer, you'll have to delete all cookies (sorry). In the Internet Explorer Control Panel (Tools - Internet Options), select Delete Cookies, then Delete Files.
  • Shutdown and restart your browser.

After you clear cookies, you'll find the various websites asking you a few questions, and showing you a few empty settings. So prepare to spend a bit more time setting things up again.

If you have a lot of websites, that you use frequently, and you clear all cookies, you may decide that this is a pain in the butt. Sorry. Maybe cookies aren't so tasteless after all - maybe, it's better to enable cookies properly.

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450

This problem is not going away, and it doesn't appear to be server specific either.

I can reproduce it at will too. I can post to this blog. On another blog, where I have administrative access, and COULD post, I get a 450 when posting.

When I try to mirror my "test" blog (it's not really a test blog, and my friend doesn't think so either), using HTTrack, I end up with the same problem that's being seen online.

  1. The sidebar is truncated halfway thru its content.

  2. Posts are missing from the display.

  3. Looking at the download log, I see numerous entries

    Warning: file not stored in cache due to bogus state (incomplete type)

    which I'm pretty sure correspond to the missing posts (#2).


I can go into the Dashboard for my friend's blog, and I can see all of the posts there. Including the ones omitted in #2 above.

I just created a new post, and when I tried to publish it, it came back with the dreaded

450 Write error: No space left on device
001 java.net.SocketException: Connection
resetblog/20/43/11/troublealwayshasadoor/archives
/2006_03_01_troublealwayshasadoor_archive.html

BUT - I can publish THIS at will.

Here's an interesting question, that came up during the writing of this article. Why am I involved here? My blog is fine.

I see Blogger really is working on the problem. Finally.

But it would be good if they had posted that yesterday, before this got started. I can't stop now, and I won't.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

Warning: DO NOT Delete Your Blog

If you create a blog, and work on it, eventually it will rise in value. It may even get a Google Page Rank of some decent value.

So let's say you manage to make something of your blog, then tire of it. The normal thing would be to delete it. Delete it - it's gone - move on to something new.

Simple, right?

Wrong.

As RedRyder52 at Blogger Forum points out, you'll just be creating an opportunity for yet another spammer to move in, and to capitalise on your success.

And here's another experience. AS had his blog deleted (not by her), and before she could reregister the name, it was stolen by a bad guy. Fortunately, with some hard work, patience, and persistence, her experience had a happy ending.

If you decide to switch to external publishing, so you can use your own domain, you'll be doing the same. You'll give up your blogspot.com address, if you don't plan for the move to your new address.

The bad guys are out there, with automated tools. They can tell when a previously existing blog, particularly one with any value, doesn't exist any more. Within seconds of its deletion, they may be able to register it in their name, and put up a small post or two pointing your former or wanta be customers to their website. The value of your blog becomes theirs, simply because you did not want it.

So when you tire of your blog, if you have ANY compassion for the folks who might do a search on any keywords that are included in the blog right now, don't delete it. If you do, the spammer will love you, but the folks who search for help and get the spammers page, based upon YOUR hard work and success, won't.

Also, some folks have a saying "The Internet is forever", and that saying surely applies here. Some search engines may reference the cached copy (from the last time they scanned your blog) for a long time, if you just delete your blog. Don't delete your blog, unless you can plan the deletion process, properly.

If you're going to switch to external publishing, Please! Do your readers (and yourself) a huge favour, and plan the move carefully!!

Here's another caution. Mistakes happen. If you made a mistake, and deleted your blog, plan the recovery properly.

Change Your Blogger Server

If you're a Blogger Unpaid Staff Member, like me, you just posted to your blog (and with no errors), and you're getting any of the several afflictions that so many are complaining of, when trying to access your blog:

  • A blank screen.

  • The blog will load as HTML, or look like garbage.

  • Only part of the blog will load. Any or all of the following may apply:

    • Posts will be missing from the body.

    • Part or all of the sidebar will be blank.

    • The footer will be missing.


  • Maybe your blog WILL load, but it will take like 5 minutes each time you open a new post. Obviously, your visitors won't stand for THAT, which is why your visit count is way down.



Or maybe you're trying to Create or Edit a post, and having no luck.

  • Maybe the Post Editor won't load properly. Or it loads so slowly, that you start to type into the post window before it finishes loading, then when it refreshes as it loads, what you just typed in gets erased.

  • Maybe you're missing key pieces of the post window - like some of the buttons, or the Compose / Edit Html tabs.



Or you're simply editing an individual post, or trying to Republish Index Only, or Republish Entire Blog, and getting fatal errors.

  • One currently commonly seen error:

    This server is currently experiencing a problem. An engineer has been notified and will investigate.

    Status code: 1-500-(whatever)

  • A second commonly seen error:

    450 Write error: No space left on device 001 java.net.SocketException



If you've been experiencing any of the above problems, first delete your cookies. Next, clear your cache. Note that this is not a cureall for all of your problems. See my article Blogspot and Server Access for discussion.

The cookies contain settings, used by the many web pages that you've loaded onto your computer, that control how those pages get displayed. The cache contains the actual page contents, as temporary files. Cache and Cookies complement each other, but don't confuse them - they are not the same.

So, to get your browser to access a different Blogger server, you will need to clear the Blogger ServerID cookie, or all cookies. This will vary, according to the browser, and what cookie management product you use.

If you're feeling truly adventurous, and you're using Firefox, check the value of cookie Blogger - ServerID, BEFORE you delete your Blogger cookies. See what it is now, and what it becomes. Make sure that you do get a new server.

If you're using Internet Explorer, I have no advice for you, except Use Firefox.


NOTE: I wish I could say, with authority, that changing your server will solve all of your ills, or at least fix any Blogger problems. But it won't.

What I know, from experience, is that you, personally, access one of thousands of individual Blogger servers, when using Blogspot or Blogger. Many times, when you get a message about
...an engineer has been notified...

or the like, the specific server that you access is down. This does not mean that Blogger is down, nor does it mean that you will be inconvenienced forever. Eventually, the engineer will reset the server that affects you, and you will be back in business. Unfortunately, that will probably be a matter of hours, or maybe days.

If you do not wish to wait for hours or days, you can access Blogger / Blogspot by using another server. This is not convenient; it is a pain in the ass to have to do this. But in my personal opinion, it beats waiting for an engineer.

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Filer Replaced?

So Blogger has replaced (finally!) the filer that was giving so much trouble. Can we now hope that things will smooth out?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The filer that we have been having trouble with in the last few days failed again. Those blogs that are stored on the bad filer are temporarily not available for publishing and viewing. We are working on replacing the filer and restoring access to the blogs affected.

Update (10:40 am, March 17): The filer has been restored. All affected blogs are available for publishing and reading.

Posted by Pal at 21:14 PST


I'm not too optimistic. Look at Blogger Help in Google Groups:
Problems continue
450 Write Error
Getting an error
... and many others.

Let's see if I can post this. If so, it's only after I applied my previously published workaround for many Blogger intermittent problems:
Blogger And Server Access

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Thoughts About 403 Forbidden

So back to my immediately previous reason for publishing this blog.

One of my friends emailed me today, and he appeared to take the "403 Forbidden" message personally.

Chuck, if you don't want me viewing your blog, just let me know.

Or why am I getting illegal access?

In a later IM, I confirmed that what he saw as "illegal access" was actually our dear friend from the weekend, "403 Forbidden".

But that got me thinking. This was one friend, and HE was able to email me, and help me set the matter straight with HIM. But what of the hundreds of strangers who got this message? Will they ever try again? Possibly not, based upon this one thought on Blogger Forum.

My visit statistics, as measure by SiteMeter, are about back to normal. Except, 20 - 25% of my current statistics include THIS BLOG, which I added yesterday. Discounting this blog, which did not exist before last weekend (and which I started as a result of last weekend), my numbers are down 25% - 50%. I don't think that I am alone in this feeling of despair.

More tomorrow. I need to sleep on this.

An Improvement In Reporting

So our latest Blogger Status post contains a bit more detail:

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Currently photo uploading is not working for FTP users. We are aware of the problem and should have a fix within a few hours. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Update (4:10pm) : This has been fixed. Thank you for your patience.

Posted by Steve at 15:38 PST


It would be nice if they would actually describe which error, that we are seeing, should be fixed, when they work on any one problem. Else we just have to sit here complaining endlessly.

I personally did not experience any problem with FTP (I don't do that). But I did see a commonly reported problem when trying to publish upates. I can't describe the problem, hopefully, cause when I was seeing it, I couldn't publish changes to THIS blog. I'm hoping that what I'm typing now can be published. Of course, one never knows WRT Blogger. 8-(

Anyway, I see that I can, once again, post. So back to the purpose for THIS post. As we can see, Steve posted a final status, and, in bold, the TIME when the problem was resolved. This is a big improvement from the previous post.

Maintenance To Filers

This one appears to have been posted ahead of time somewhat.

Unfortunately, we have to do some maintenance on one of our filers today from 9 am to 9:40 am PST. Some blogs will be inaccessible while this is going on. Everyone is able to publish, however, regardless of whether or not the blog is down for maintenance.

We apologize to those blog owners who are affected by this.

Update: This maintenance is now complete.

Posted by Prashant at 08:54 PST


There are still folks caught unawares.

ARRRGGGHHH!!! Blogger down...AGAIN!

Of course, you can't access Blogger Status when the beast is down, can you?

This is the third outtage greater than 30 minutes this week for me; anyone else?

Posted on: Today 8:44:28


Odd - Prashant scheduled the work 9:00 - 9:40. He had it done, and the notice updated, at 8:54. Faster than the speed of light. 8-0

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Unbelievable!

They updated Blogger Status!

They finally have a new entry Wednesday, March 15, 2006

We’re doing some maintenance on one of our Blog*Spot servers. Some blogs will be inaccessible while this is going on. Everyone is able to publish, however, regardless of whether or not the blog is down for maintenance.

We apologize to those blog owners who are affected by this. This partial outage is necessary to fix some of the transient Blog*Spot problems that have popped up recently.

Update: The maintenance is complete.

Posted by Pete at 12:32 PST

Again, posted after the work was done. Thanks, Pete.

So, the outage 3/10 - 3/13 was a transient Blog*Spot problem. That's real useful.

More Email From Blogger Support!

More from their bot.

Hi there,

Thank you for your honest feedback regarding our status page. We are constantly working on improving Blogger, so we will certainly keep this in mind for the future.

Thanks again for your input, and thanks for using Blogger!

Sincerely,
Blogger Support


I think this one was responding to my earlier:

A lot of people depend upon http://status.blogger.com/ to find out about problems like this. Wouldn't it be a good idea to either update that, or take it offline?

Right now, it shows a status of
Update, 5 minutes later: All fixed! Posted by Pete at 16:46 PST


I wonder if calling the status page "Blogger Status" was entirely a result of the name? The initials BS seem too good to be true.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Replies From Blogger Support

Of my dozens of problems reports, submitted by both email and from the Blogger Help webpage, I received several form notes:

Hi there,

Thanks for notifying us of this problem. We have rebooted the machine that was causing these errors, and you should now be able to both view and publish your blog normally again. If you continue to have trouble, please clear your browser's cache and cookies, then log in to Blogger again. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

Sincerely,
Blogger Support

So what do we have on Blogger Status? As of 12:30 PST, the most current post there is:

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Some users are currently getting “403 Forbidden” errors when viewing their blogs, and “Permission Denied” errors (or variations thereof) when publishing. You may recognize this problem from Monday.

The offending server is being replaced and then shot. We’ll let you know when things are back up. Shouldn’t be too long.

Until then, affected blogs will be unavailable and unpublishtoable.

Update, 5 minutes later: All fixed!

Posted by Pete at 16:46 PST


Note the last 2 lines!

Update, 5 minutes later: All fixed!

Posted by Pete at 16:46 PST


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403 Forbidden - Day 4

See these Blogger Support tickets:
[#415414] Forbidden / Permission Denied
[#416206] 403 Forbidden
[#417267] 403 Forbidden


See these discussions:
Blogger Support Forum
Blogger Support Forum
Blogger Forum
Blogger Support Forum

Current open issues.

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