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Showing posts from October, 2007

The DNS Host Is Crucial For A Custom Domain

When you setup your Google Custom Domain, the instruction for the DNS addressing setup is rather basic.Add one or more "A" and / or "CNAME" records. Point "www.mydomain.com", and / or "mydomain.com", to "ghs.google.com", or to a series of Google servers.
Unfortunately, all DNS hosts don't provide multiple "A" referrals / "CNAME" referral to "ghs.google.com"; some only allow for a conventional "A" referral to a single, fixed IP address.

These instructions are most often seen when you purchase the domain directly from a third party registrar, and your registrar sets up the domain itself - since when you use "Buy a domain", all of this detail is done for you.

Background Images In Your Blog

Background images make the blog so much more colourful than plain old solid colour backgrounds. A background imageIs not clickable.Can be seen where no foreground content is present.

Look at using a background image under the text title, for instance. Note that this is the opposite from replacing the text in the title with a picture. If you put a picture in the title, no background will be visible, unless you intentionally make the picture too small for the title space, or use a transparent .gif file for an image.

Google Custom Domain - Case Study #1

If you're going to setup a Google Custom Domain, you have to start with DNS properly setup. In most cases, you will want the "www" alias, as well as the rest of the domain, to refer to Google. This requires you to properly use the setup procedures provided by your DNS Host, as a complement to the facilities provided by Google.

NOTE: This case study shows how a Custom Domain was setup, in the early days. A much more comprehensive tutorial can be found in Your Blog, Custom Domains, And Righteous Solutions. You may examine the illustrations below, for background, but the correct configuration is described in the latter article.

This case study uses my church website, martinezumc.org, with DNS service provided by GoDaddy. So, I logged in to the GoDaddy control panel, and followed the Google GoDaddy instructions (instructions for other hosting services are also in that document). Steps 1 - 4 were on target. So, I document below Steps 5 - 7 of the instructions, which beca…

Examining The Structure Of A Blog

Any time you examine a blog - either yours or a friends or strangers - you look at the content, and maybe the template. The content is obvious - you read what the blog has to say. Then you look at the template, and at the accessories and decorations.

How about the links? Any blog of any size has links - usually within the blog, and outside the blog. Maybe links to other blogs produced by the same person, to the close friends of that person, and to acquaintances and strangers.OMG, Chuck, that could take days. I don't have time for that nonsense.

But that nonsense can be a key to finding a contact to a friend or stranger, or a problem in your own blog. And maybe you do have time, if you automate your research.

IT-Mate provides a free useful product - vURL Desktop Edition - that walks through any blog or website, extracts each link, and presents you with an alphabetised and normalised list of all links found. You can look at the list presented to you, and find other links within …

The AFF Splog Farm #3

The Blogosphere currently has a real problem - active hacking, and obnoxious unwanted commercial "adult" content, is in 1 out of every 3 blogs being published. Do some "Next Blog" surfing, and see what I mean.

I wrote, originally, about this problem a little over a month ago. I published an update last Friday, indicating that the problem isn't going away, and Blogger hasn't done anything to solve it.

Yesterday, the problem changed direction.

This is what we had a month ago (and last week). That's a dead web site.

http://aff-friend-finderwvghpcb.blogspot.com/

Note the blog name, in the URL.
aff-friend-finderwvghpcb
aff-friend-finder <== Name
wvghpcb <== Suffix

Possibly to make their blog setup faster or more scalable, the sploggers stopped using dictionary words in the blog names.

Here's a (slightly altered) entry taken from the Recently Updated Blogs list, during the morning of 10/15/2007. That's not the actual URL, as I do not link to sites se…

This Looks Dangerous #3

This is a welcome improvement from the old ability to remove our own administrative ability, without knowing. Let's see if it works.


See an improvement? "grant admin privileges" is way more obvious than "admin".



So click on the link, and get a warning. So, we'll select "Grant Admin Privileges".



Now, we have 2 administrators. Click on the link again.



And now, the second and the key warning. Here, I hope that the default selection is "Cancel". Having observed the warning, we'll select "Revoke Admin Privileges".



And now, we have one administrator again.


A welcome improvement here, folks.

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The AFF Splog Farm #2

The Blogosphere currently has a real problem - active hacking, and obnoxious unwanted commercial "adult" content, is in 1 out of every 3 blogs being published. Do some "Next Blog" surfing, and see what I mean.

A little over 1 month ago, I went Next Blog surfing, and today, I repeated my experience. And the figures haven't changed. Today, I surfed through 20 blogs, 2 of them were financial scams, and 6 were obnoxious "adult" content. I should add, "adult" content of low quality. Total crap.

And of the "adult" content, one variant seen frequently has been found to contain active hacking attempts.

Until Blogger fixes the problem, I will encourage all concerned Bloggers to remove the Navbar from your blogs. And let Blogger know that you're concerned about the problem - use both the Blogger Contact Form, and the Blogger Wishlist.

>> Forum thread links: bX-*00065

>> Copy this tag: bX-*00065

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Print Your Blog To Paper

It's a very good idea to backup your blog, periodically.

Making a mirror copy of the blog, on a local computer that you control, is a good idea for many reasons.

You also might like to make a printed copy of the blog. If you would simply like to print off your blog to paper, to save the text of the posts, here is code that will let you extract a selection of updates.

Mysterious Blank Spaces In Blog Posts

Various bloggers are complaining of mysterious blank spaces in the middle of their blog posts. The common factor noted, so far, is that the blogs affected are using a Rounders template.

The blank spaces appear to be the result of AdSense or Google Ads content, which some bloggers aren't even aware of.
<div style="float: right;"><script type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="http://pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/show_ads.js"
type="text/javascript">
</script><iframe name="google_ads_frame" src="http://
pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/ads?
client=undefined ... "
marginwidth="0" marginheight="0" vspace="0" hspace="0"
allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="" scrolling="no"
width=""></iframe>
</div>

Note the " ... " above, that represents a large amount of detail re…

Blogging And Your Gmail Account

With New Blogger, Google lets you use your Google account to access your blog, and your friends blogs. They do this for your convenience.

Not everybody wants convenience. Some folks see using their email account for Blogging as an invasion of privacy. Others are afraid of losing their email account, and losing Blogger access at the same time.

The good news is that Google accounts are free, and you can set up another, or as many as you like. And, you can use either an existing or new email address, GMail or other, as you like.Go to your GMail main window.In the lower left of the window, find "Invite a friend".Enter your email address (yes, the address displayed).When you get the invitation from yourself, open and accept it.Choose any new Google address that pleases you (and that's available).Log out of your current GMail account, and into your new account.Transfer your blogs to your new Google account.

If you're going to use one GMail account for your email, and anot…

Your Email Address Is Private To You

One of the long awaited features in New Blogger (2006) was the ability to restrict access to your blog.

Designating your blog as private, to be read by authorised parties only, was a much requested feature.

Blogger uses your Google account to identify you, and verify that you are authorised to view any blog (including yours). And that causes occasional concern - fortunately unnecessary, in this case.

Seeing your Google account, which coincidentally may be the same as your email address, as you peruse your blog, is a bit scary.

Editing A Layouts Template

A Layouts template, the template in a New Blogger blog, when published to Blog*Spot (or to a Google Custom Domain) is written in XML, not HTML. A lot of HTML based tweaks won't work in New Blogger.

If you force HTML into your template, you may end up with one of the new, cryptic error codesbX-lgwejThis says that your post template contains invalid HTML.

Are you seeing this error? If so, don't despair.Revert the template back to Classic, so your readers can access the blog.Build a test version of the blog, and work on a New Blogger template, while your readers are accessing the production blog.Take your HTML based template tweaks, that made your Classic blogs unique, and add them as HTML / JavaScript page elements. Test everything, carefully, in all available browsers.When you have a New Blogger template for your blog, looking as you like it, Save the template to a known location.Migrate your production blog to a New Blogger template again.Restore the saved template, developed…

New Blogger Limits - Labels

As I wrote so long ago, Labels are one of the most significant features of New (pka Beta) Blogger.

But everything good has its limits. If you use Labels enthusiastically, as I have, you will discover them (they will find you) periodically.

Dragonflies

Along with Labels, the Layouts template editing ability is probably the neatest feature in New Blogger. The GUI Page Layout editor is totally kewl.

Not too many folks realise though that you can edit page elements from other than Page Layout editor mode. When we're logged in as an administrator, we can make changes to the individual page elements, just as we can edit posts. Similar to the "Edit Posts" pencil at the bottom of each post, you'll find the QuickEdit widget at the bottom right of every page element.

And here's some confusion.
How in the world do I get rid of the cute little dragonflies that seem to be a part of the template that I have?? I do not know enough about the HTML to find them or what they might be called.
Well, I've been studying the HTML / XML, but I don't know the name myself. It does sort of look like a dragonfly, though. It's just another thing that got put, into Blogger Beta, without a name. Another violation of one of m…

Custom Domains - An Improvement?

One of the most well known, and resented, shortcomings of the Google Custom Domain product has always been the inability to have your blog respond to both "www.yourdomain.com" and "yourdomain.com", simultaneously.

Bloggers have been requesting, and waiting for, this shortcoming to be corrected constantly, since January 2007, when Custom Domains was released.

Today, I idly went to check the Settings for one of my blogs, that's published to a Custom Domain. What did I happen to spot?



Surprise!!!


Now to find a way to test it, and hopefully make it work??!!

Obviously, we need to start with both "martinezumc.org" and "www.martinezumc.org" hosted by Google.


C:\>ping www.martinezumc.org

Pinging ghs.l.google.com [64.233.179.121] with 32 bytes of data:

Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=247
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=73ms TTL=247
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=75ms TTL=247
Reply from 64.233.179.121: bytes=32 time=72ms …

Tables Are Very Sensitive To Gratuitous Line Breaks

A table is a great way to organise content in your blog. With related data positioned above or next to each other, and still allowed to flow from line to line, as a display coded in HTML is designed to do, you can show the various relationships easier. But use tables carefully - they are syntactically sensitive.

The problem is easy to show, by example.

Here's a very simple table - 1 row, 2 cells.


Make this line
Appear above this lineAnd make this line
Appear just above this line
<span style="text-align:center;"><table align="center" border=1><tr><td><table align="center" border=1 cellpadding="20"><tr><td>Make this line<br>Appear above this line</td></tr></table></td><tr><td>And make this line<br>Appear just above this line</td></tr></table></td></tr></table></span>

Add gratuitous line breaks, which makes it easier to…

Make A Private Blog - With A Public Entrance

One of the features requested by many, provided finally with New Blogger 2007, was the ability to restrict readership to a blog.

Not only do you need membership to post in a given blog, you need membership to read some blogs. This is an excellent improvement in blogs, where the prospective readers know how to contact the owner.

What if you wish to read a given blog, and you don't know how to contact the owner? You're out of luck, if you don't feel like doing some detective work to identify a contact point.

Maybe not, if the blog owner has some foresight.