Friday, March 02, 2007

The Navbar and the "Next Blog" Link

If you have (had) children, or know someone who does (did), would you let a 6 year old child wander unsupervised thru the Red Light district of Amsterdam, New York, or San Francisco (as examples)? Probably not.

>> (Note 8/29/2007): There is currently a very real danger, for those who go "Next Blog" surfing.

Then would you let a 6 year old (12 year old even) use a computer, and restrict him (her) to *.blogspot.com?
Sure, why not? I have NetNanny (or another censorship product).

But NetNanny can't block all the blogs with bad content. And any Blogger using the "Next Blog" link on the Navbar is eventually going to land right on a blog that she (he) has no desire to see.
Oh No - another porno blog! My children are viewing this!!


This isn't a simple situation here - there are two problems here.

The first problem is that the "Next Blog" link gets visitors to your blog, and then from your blog to another. It's part of the Blogosphere. As a Blogger, when I have idle time (rarely, but it happens), I too like to "Next Blog" surf. It's hours of entertainment, and sometimes useful links. Millions of blogs, always something different.

But I get a bit pissed off when I "Next Blog" link to a blog where the Navbar has been disabled. And lately, that's about 1 in every 20 or so blogs. Try it yourself and see.

The second problem is, the Navbar is a highly recommended component in Google hosted Blogger blogs. I was officially informed today, 9/4/2007, by Blogger Support
While it's not officially against our TOS, we discourage folks from removing it because we think it's a great feature with more improvements to come.
To disable the "Next Blog" link, you have to disable the Navbar itself. But there are other components in the Navbar that are useful, particularly with New Blogger (Layout template) blogs.

We need a way to disable "Next Blog", without having to do without the Navbar itself.

We need to recommend to Blogger that they
  1. Optionally allow any blog to disable both in and out "Next Blog" links, as a unit. No "Next Blog" outlink = no "Next Blog" inlink.
  2. Enforce the requirement to include the Navbar, with the "Next Blog" outlink working, on all blogs that accept "Next Blog" inlinks.
  3. Eliminate the problem of the massive amounts of blogs dedicated to hacking, porn, and spam, that are so visible in BlogSpot.

Give us the choice to remove the threat presented by "Next Blog", just don't link in to a blog with it disabled. But require the Navbar, and enforce its presence, on blogs accepting inlinks from "Next Blog".

If you like, you can have your own Next Blog link. Forget about the one in the Navbar (when it's there).

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6 comments:

Sandy said...

Chuck, your site is much more useful than the blogger help site. I have posted there several times that my navbar doesn't work after switching to new blogger, but never got an answer. I can no longer click on next blog and go anywhere. I can right click it and "open in new window", but that is just too awkward.

Chuck said...

Sandy,

If your problem started when you switched to New Blogger, then my money is on a cross-frame scripting problem.

Please post back in Something Is Broken, for more advice.

And thanks for the feedback.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I disabled my Blogger navbar for just the reason that you stated above.

My blog is christian oriented, therefore the kids at church are allowed on my blog.

I've gotten nasty confrontations from more than one parent about where their child wound up by clicking the "next' button.

If blogger would give us the option of disableing the next button I would put it back, and I don't care if they don't include me in 'next clicking'.

When you click into a nonNavbar site, click your browser back button...same one click and you're gone!

Chuck said...

Yeah, Bonnie,

I've done the Back Button more than once to get around the No Navbar blogs. That USUALLY works - though I've hit 2 No Navbar blogs, one after the other, more than once.

But that's wrong. If you're going to allow people to surf INTO your blog, you need to let them surf OUT OF your blog.

And it wouldn't be all that complex to have stateful Navbar surfing. If the reader got here using "Next Blog", let him leave the same way. If the reader just started out here, and the blog owner really doesn't want the reader using "Next Blog", disable it then.

Just give us some control, and enforce the Navbar presence.

Sandy said...

Chuck, you are a genius! I changed the settings like you said and now the navbar works. Thank you, Sandy

Chuck said...

That's great news, Sandy! Thanks for the feedback, it may help others, and that's how peer support works!