Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Blocking The Navbar "Next Blog" Link

The "Next Blog" link on the Navbar makes your blog part of the blogosphere. Someone clicking on "Next Blog" from their blog (or a third party's) randomly lands on your blog. The random nature - never the same blogs twice - makes the "Next Blog" appealing, and provides readers to new blogs.

But the random nature is a double edged sword. You never know where you're going, when you click there. Sometimes, you end up where you don't want to go. If you have a blog targeted to those of impressionable minds (children for instance), you may not want the readers of your blog next blogging from yours.

So you block the Navbar on your blog.

Now, no next blog surfing from your blog (though still possible from others). And now, your blog becomes less of a member of the Blogosphere. You're getting readers (from other Bloggers using "Next Blog" to click to yours), but you're not providing readers to other blogs (from other Bloggers potentially using "Next Blog" to click from yours).

(Note 2007/9/4): I was officially informed today 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.
Follow the above instructions at your own peril, as Blogger controls the TOS and has been known to change it. Their ball, their ball game.

Besides imperiling the future of the Blogosphere in general and your blog in particular, you lose functionality. If you make a lot of formatting changes, or new posts, to your blog, you'll notice the lack of the "Customize" and "New Post" links. And your readers may not care for the lack of the "Search Blog" link either.

But, it's your blog, and your responsibility.

If you have your own LAN, or control your computer, you can prevent use of "Next Blog", without mucking with your blog. As pointed out in Blogger Help: How can I block access to NextBlog on my network?

All you have to do is restrict access to this specific URL:
"http://www.blogger.com/next-blog?navBar=true"


All that you need is a firewall or proxy server that filters by URL. Add that specific string
http://www.blogger.com/next-blog?navBar=true
as not permitted.

You can do this for your entire LAN (by configuring the firewall or proxy server), or for your individual computer (by configuring a filtering proxy client). Result - no "Next Blog" surfing, and safer readers. And no TOS violation.

And in the long term, education of your readers would be a good idea. They need to learn that clicking on "Next Blog" may take them, sometime, where they don't want to go. Everything in the Blogosphere will be distasteful to somebody, though everything cannot be forbidden. Your readers need to know how to deal with the world in general, and the Blogosphere in particular. The Blogosphere is nothing more than a slice of the world.

Do you see the Navbar on this blog? It's here, but may not be completely obvious. If your issue with the Navbar is its appearance, try changing the colour. For a blog with a Layouts template, go to Layout - Page Elements, and click on the "Edit" link for the Navbar page element. You have your choice of Blue, Tan, Black, or Silver. Most likely, one of those selections will blend with some colour used in your blog.

>> Top

28 comments:

Courtney said...

I totally couldn't get this work... I don't seem to have a line that matches what it says there... any more informative info would be great :)

Chuck said...

Courtney,

These instructions are for a blog with a Layouts template. If your blog has a Classical template, they won't apply.

SKaMPEr Prairie Dog said...

Thanks. It was very helpful since I wanted to make a kid friendly blog.

ragamuffinwriter said...

Works great! Thanks.

THE BOSTON BLOGGER said...

I have a older mininal template that I modified heavily.

Blogger actually removed it for me years ago, (due to the lack of PRO-blogger) but when I migrated over to the new blogger several months ago it appeared again.
Are there any other hacks, tips, or tricks to remove it?

Chuck said...

Boston,

What you want to do is upgrade the template, from Classic to Layouts. Simply go to Template - Customize Design. That will give you the option to upgrade to Layouts.

But if you are smart, you will think about the upgrade process, if ever so briefly.

iamwormbuffet said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Joe said...

Until Blogger includes a checkbox option in the blogger Settings menu asking if we would like porn to be directly accessible from our page, it can't be a violation of TOS if we disable the navbar altogether. They would be restricting our rights as bloggers then.

The choice in the matter needs to be two-sided, and I think everybody understands that. Blogger just needs to more clearly define the rules, and make choices available so that we don't have to potentially violate the TOS in order to do so.

thanks!

David Gratke said...

i just did the paste of
#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}

and it removed the navbar. i also see that i can no longer log into my blog on this page. so guess l'll just need to log into the dashboard instead.

small price i guess as i was paging through the 'next blog' button and came across some porn.. not quite what i want for my wealth mgt clients..

Frank Jewett said...

If random content was compelling, random content portals would be bigger than Google and Yahoo! The blogosphere itself does not operate on randomness, hence the presence of blogrolls.

Google needs to drop this silly "feature" before nefarious porn sites (the pop ups and ActiveX are worse than the low budget porn) kill the Blogger platform. Random isn't worth the risk of exposure.

Chuck said...

Frank,

Actually, the Next Blog link has a real function - within Blogger. It's how new blogs get exposure.

The more you post, the more your blog gets "Next Blog" hits. And eventually you get repeat readers.

I go Porn\\\\Next Blog surfing from time to time, and have occasionally come upon blogs that I bookmark, and return to later. Others do the same with my blogs, I suspect.

I have seen "Random Site" links in other social networking products too. Maybe less prominent, but still not exclusively a Blogger phenomenon.

You're right, though - the increasing size of the universe makes it less and less relevant. But never zero relevant.

Frank Jewett said...

Chuck, new blogs should promote themselves and focus on generating content so that they get noticed by search engines and other blogs. Respect is earned and so is internet exposure, in my opinion.

I was building a model to try to convince a friend to use Blogger. She clicked next, found porn, and wanted nothing to do with Blogger. I'd say that is a common reaction. We are judged by our associates and the next button acts like an association. You and I understand what is happening, but the average user doesn't.

I don't expect Blogger to police their system, so they've got to allow an easy opt out on the next button. Beyond that, perhaps since so many of these spam blogs appear to be clones, Blogger could spider themselves and flag cloned blogs for deletion? That would increase the chances of the next button pointing to a unique blog rather than a flood of clones.

Thank you for posting the fix. I wish it wasn't necessary, but I need to protect my visitors from malware and when I see pop ups and activeX warnings, I'm thinking the porn is just the tip of the iceberg. We all have different tastes, but no one likes viruses.

Chuck said...

Frank,

New bloggers have no knowlege how to get visitors to their blogs. The "Porn\\\\Next Blog" link serves to encourage new bloggers to post, in a natural way.

Were it not for the ploggers and sploggers, the "Porn\\\\Next Blog" link would be simply the "Next Blog" link, and all would be well.

The fact that Blogger won't listen to the complaints is the most irritating thing about the whole issue.

BallardFamily said...

Thank you for giving us a way to block this. I was able to get it to go away, however the part that I typed in '#navbar-iframe {height:0px;visibility:hidden;display:none}' now appears. How do I get this to not show up?

Chuck said...

Hey Ballards,

That's interesting. Here's my test.
http://nitecruzrtestnew.blogspot.com/

You can use Firefox, and do a View - Page Source, and see where my tweak is. Compare that with yours.

I can't show you what I found, but you did NOT put the code in the right place. Try again.

If you can't get it, post a thread in How Do I?, and post back here giving me your Author and Topic values, so I know what to look for. I can post HTML in there, that I can't in here.

BallardFamily said...

Ok, got it now. Interestingly, I only had to add the line you provided, once. But now the 'space' that the nave bar took up is gone so the entire blog moved up to occupy that space. Nothing serious, but perhaps I will post to 'how do I' on how to add the space back. Thanks agian.

Mean Old Library Teacher said...

I appreciate this bit of instruction. Since I use my blog with my students, I prefer to limit the chances of getting to inappropriate sites/blogs via my own. (Credibility issue, you know?)

David said...

Nice, thank you. My blog title looks too close to the top of the screen with the posted CSS, so I left out the "height=0px;". This works great in FireFox and IE; haven't tried it with other browsers.

Like others here I have no interest in linking to random content.

Coffey Break said...

I really appreciate your help with blocking the navbar. After receiving a complaint from a church member about the nextblog that came up, I needed to do something! I never even paid attention to it before.

I really don't think many will miss the feature. I go to blogs because there is content I want to read, not to spend my time on random blogs.

Bon Fire said...

Thank you! You have done a great service by offering this info - it saved the day for me, worked perfect and will suit my client well. The whole thing wouldnt have worked with the navbar in place. I embedded into the website I'm building and he can update the blogger page whenever he wants to from blogger. It wouldn't have worked or looked good to have the navbar in place

Thanks again for sharing!

NEW said...

Thank you! I have done.

NRHS Computer Literacy said...

Thanks for posting this fix! I use Blogger as part of my classroom instruction and I've already had issues in the past with third party applications in my classroom "exposing" unintended material to my students. That was a concern with the "next blog" option. Since I am trying to provide a safe and closed environment for students to become respectful and productive bloggers, I certainly didn't need to promote my own so that bar was a constant concern. THANKS for helping me keep my students Internet safer!

GuiGui said...

Thx, it works.

Site-Admin said...

Hi,
I read blogger help and they say
"Unless you publish your blog via FTP, the Navbar cannot be disabled."

So you do not have the right to remove the navbar

Thanks

Chuck said...

The note from Blogger Support on 2007/9/4 should clarify the meaning of "cannot be disabled". If your blog isn't using FTP publishing, you won't have a GUI control to disable the navbar.

But, it is your blog, and if you want to take the risk and code as shown, you can block the navbar.

Site-Admin said...

Thanks Chuck for your reply,
I am not using FTP publishing ,so can I remove the navbar from my blog??!!
If I remove the navbar, blogger will ban or disable my blog??!!

Thanks for your time

Chuck said...

If Blogger is to ban or disable blogs for blocking the navbar, they will be very busy. They'll even take out one of mine.

No, Blogger won't ban or disable blogs. They are still cleaning up the mess from last Friday's mistakes. That was small. This would be way bigger, and messier.

I still don't recommend it, in general. If you feel that you must, though, do it and don't worry.

matte said...

Hi Chuck.
Silly question...
but how do i log in and out of the blog without the navibar??
Thanks a lot!
Ciao,
Matte