Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Use Detective Work To Find A Blog Owner

Many times, you'll see an interesting blog, and want to contact the owner. Or maybe you'll be unable to even see the blog, because it's private. Or maybe a popular blog, that you're used to seeing, has been deleted, or is now private. Or maybe you want to use a given URL, but that URL is already in use. How do you contact the owner then?

In other cases, maybe somebody has left comments on your blog, you want to read his blog, but he's not providing any link. And, his profile doesn't show any published blogs. Can you figure out if he's actually published any?

The most popular means of contact is comments. Commenting is a native feature in Blogger, and there are third party products too. But both the native Blogger comments, and the third party ones, are optional, some blogs don't use either, and sometimes the comments that you leave don't get read, or are ignored.

So, what do you do if comments don't produce results? Or, if you don't have a blog to comment on?

Don't waste time asking Blogger for help. Blogger protects the privacy of bloggers, and they won't provide contact information. If a blog is setup as private, the owner wants people to be able to request access, and he really thinks about what he's doing, he'll make it possible to be contacted. If there's no information in the profile, Blogger won't help you.

But what if the owner didn't make it possible to be contacted, at least by a published email address, or a listed blog? If he's not a complete recluse, chances are that he's left a trail, somewhere, on the web.

For a Blogger Blog, you can start with Google Blog Search. GBS will search for a Blogger Blog, and give you information relevant to Blogger Blogs, that you won't find in a general web search.

Next, go to Google Web Search, and some other web searches (and there are no end to the possibilities here). Plug in the URL of the blog, or the profile of the blogger. See if any posts, or web site entries, show up for that URL, or profile. It's likely that somewhere, one or two posts, or web site entries may be from him, or from third parties who know how to contact him. Maybe he left an email address somewhere.

In some forums, forum members can send private messages to folks who post there. You may not get the email address you want, immediately, but if someone is a forum member, maybe you can send email blindly. If he feels moved to respond, so much the better. And if you become active in a relevant forum where he's a member, maybe you can communicate with him there.

Or, if you find an existing, semi-current, thread where he has already posted, you may be able to weave an answer to one of his posts into that thread, with your own thoughts. Try and make your post as topical as possible, though.

Good old fashioned detective work and diplomacy. It's still applicable. Google may be a friend, but it's not your only friend. Think about it.

And if the owner is willing to give up the URL, have it transferred properly. Please do not have it transferred by deletion.

>> Top

18 comments:

Ron Southern said...

I have done detective work on the web and it is literally work at times, not anything these lazy lugs would wish to do. They want the result, not the instructions on how to labor.

Chuck said...

Rat,

In general, you're right. But some of them may be determined enough, particularly if they want access to a private blog, or they want to take over an "abandoned" URL.

We can but provide them the possibilities. It's up for them to motivate themselves.

Blackwater said...

Well, what I hate is the people who sign up for a blog url, make one post and then vanish.

So far the 2 names I would have been interested in are taken.

The first was back in 2002, one post then nothing.

The second was in 2005, same story.

I have done goggle searches till I am blue in the face. (and no I am not a smurf).

Ken - LVKen7@gmail.com said...

There should be a RULE that the blogger
owner HAS TO PUT HIS EMAIL ADDRESS AT
THE TOP OF THE BLOGGER.

David Pecotic said...

Could you please recommend a few other search engines that might come in handy? I've used the Google Blog Search as well as Googling it. No profile details show up on this blogspot blog:

http://strangepowers.blogspot.com/

Until I looked at it, it had only ever had 7 views since it was set up in 2005! I would like to acquire the URL, but does this mean it is a private blog? I would hate to think that the owner was merely squatting and not actually putting the domain name to good use. Do you think it would be worth my while asking Blogger to contact the owner to see if they are willing to relinquish the domain name? Please excuse my ignorance, I'm still a blog-owining virgin.

Chuck said...

David,

"strangepowers" isn't a private blog. But blogs don't have to be updated at any frequency to be valid in the eyes of Blogger, nor do they have to be so to not be considered "squatting". And Blogger just won't get involved.

If it were possible to get "squatting" blog URLs re issiued, isn't it likely that this one would have already gone to someone else?

Pick another, maybe "strange--powers" (no, "strange-powers" isn't available either).

Chuck said...

No, Ken,

Blogs may be owned anonymously. This is intentional, and isn't likely to ever change.

David Pecotic said...

Thanks for your prompt reply Chuck.

Any chance of advice on search engines to track the owner down? Sounds like you've done some looking already. That would be most helpful. If they aren't using it, it would be reasonable to expect that they have no objection to it being used.

And it is true enough that it may have gone already. And sure I could stick hyphens all over the joint - or I could just pay $10 a month and call it what the hell I like. But my point is that there does not seem to be any policy recognition of the Lockean proviso:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockean_proviso

The internet is no longer a frontier with "land" to spare. It is simply not socially just that in a only because an individual was born earlier than me that they should be at an advantage - unless of course they are actually using.

If it was being used for something, anything, as was intended by the service provided, then I would have no objection to the situation. And if enough people object then things change.

WordPress have similar issues and they are reviewing their current policies about this.

Again, great talking to you.

David.

Chuck said...

David,

Blogger made their decision about URL Permanence purely on a resources availability basis, I suspect. They simply do not wish to get involved, in judging an appealed URL Reissue, knowing that to do so in one case would necessitate them getting involved in a second, and a third, and so forth, ad nauseum.

They simply won't get involved in one case, or in any cases.
"Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire. Therefore, we can't take away somebody's blog address to give to you."

If you can't contact the owner on your own, move on. Pick another URL, and get to work on the content, because that is where you get reputation.

David Pecotic said...

Thanks for another swift reply, Chuck. Although I note that you haven't responded to my request for possibly useful search engines so you are probably very busy.

I take your point. I don't lack material or an audience but I'm trying to get the foundations right. I'm sure an even better name will present itself - the same thing happens in all editing, right?

I don't contend that Blogger haven't this policy in place but I needn't believe it should remain unchanged. As for the rest, we'll have to agree to disagree.

I'll be sure to check out your site again if I end up going with Blogger.

David (No need to reply).

Chuck said...

David,

I didn't see your thread asking for search engines - that is in BHF, right? There are other search engines, besides Google, but I'll leave you to do the research here. And, there are many tools for requesting indexing from the other search engines.

BTW, I now own "strange--powers". You may have it, but if you take it and don't publish enough to suit me, I'll petition Blogger and take it back. Per the landmark "Lockean - Nitecruzr - Pecotic" principle, now in the making. ;-)

Robert said...

Hey, Chuck. I'm curious how I might go about 'adopting' a blog from someone who is willing to give it to me, as you said you would let D. Pecotic with strange--powers. What are the technical details? Thanks.

Chuck said...

Robert,

As I wrote in the last paragraph, if the owner is willing to give up the URL, have it transferred properly. Do you see the clickable caption there?

Srinu said...

i m finding some blog owner but his not have any post on blog how can i find his email address.?

Chuck said...

Srinu,

If the above hints don't help, maybe the blog owner truly doesn't want to be contacted. Find another blog that interests you, this one is closed.

Patricia said...

Hi,
When I try to get into "http://downloadmedicinebooks.blogspot.com" this page, I get the below message. Can anyone help me?

This blog is open to invited readers only
It doesn't look like you have been invited to read this blog. If you
think this is a mistake, you might want to contact the blog author and
request an invitation.

Thanks,
PatrĂ­cia
Email: csouza.patricia@gmail.com

Chuck said...

Patricia,

That's a private blog, and you're not going to get in - sorry. Find another blog to read, where your reading is invited.

Kaushal K. Sharma said...

It helps me to understand the power of Google Search (Information can't be hide from Google).
Cool