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Showing posts from January, 2008

Keep Your EMail Address Safe, Yet Be Contactable By Your Blog Readers

Most bloggers benefit from being contactable by their readers. It's not hard to combine a web site link with email.

Send me email.

Hover your mouse over the link above ("Send me email"), and look in the browser status window.
<a href="mailto:someone@example.com?Subject=This%20Is%20A%20Test">Send me email</a>. Yet making your email address freely available in your blog, in an easy to use "mailto:" link, is not a smart thing to do. Spammers still have scraper bots that roam through the Internet, looking for any web site with a visible "mailto:" link, and scraping those links that they might find.

Attach your primary email address to a "mailto:" link, just once, and you won't do it with the next email address that you might setup.

Instead of having a "mailto:" link, put a picture on your blog, with your email address in the picture. Email scraping bots won't be able to scrape from a picture. Your reader…

More Traffic To Our Blogs?

Recently, we see periodic queries about strange visitors to our blogs.
Why does my StatCounter log show odd links into my blog?What is "www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID=", and why do I see traffic from that link?Why am I getting strange traffic to my blog after I publish changes?
All of these questions, until Mid November 2009, were related to the same thing - the "Next Blog" link in the Navbar. Now, all of this is changed.
When you publish to your blog, your blog goes into a huge database, listing blogs just updated. You can see a replica of this database in the Recently Updated Blogs list. The RUB list is huge - it shows a 10 minute slice of Blogger publishing, and at any time, will have from 4,000 - 8,000 entries, with new entries constantly being added (just as old ones drop off the list).

The RUB database is important to the Blogosphere. When anybody clicks on the "Next Blog" link in the Navbar, an entry from that database results in the link …

The Post Editor And Spell Checking

Blogger, and the Post Editor, are wonderful tools in helping us produce a legible and quick document on the Internet.

Blogging is an easy way of reaching out to the world with our messages, and many folks are doing just that; without interference from porn blogs, many messages are being seen again. Yet the post editor presents us with a major challenge.

The post editor is designed to save us from ourselves, and our spelling and syntax mistakes. In whatever language we type, when we make egregious mistakes, the post editor automatically corrects our mistakes. And in some cases, what we type must be used as "commands" to the post editor, or to the browser as it processes the HTML in our blogs.

Custom Domains and Two Level TLDs

Now that the Blogger Custom Domain product is maturing, and the bugs are slowly being worked out, the special needs of people not in the USA are becoming visible. Right now, if you have registered "mydomain.com", and setup a proper "CNAME" referral, you'll probably want to use either "www.mydomain.com" and "mydomain.com", interchangeably. All things being equal, you probably can, though some work may be involved.

But what if you registered "mydomain.co.us", or "mydomain.co.uk"? Could you redirect "www.mydomain.co.us" or "www.mydomain.co.uk" as easily? Recently, Blogger Employee provided good news
We do support 2 level TLDs.
Maybe we should ask what specific TLDs are supported, and under what conditions are they supported.

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Google Certificate Expired

Several bloggers this week have reported seeing this warning.


This symptom may affect authenticated access to Blogger, Google, Picasa, and other services.

In one case (only one case) the blogger in question checked the clock on his computer, and found it to be several months off. In other cases, restarting the browser produced relief, and the symptom didn't return.

It's possible that this originated with the January 2008 Microsoft Security Updates, though we have no verification of that suspicion yet.

No noticeable complaints have been observed elsewhere, outside the Blogger general support community.

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Another Small Step For Blogger

Look in the sidebar to the right. See the new accessories? This morning, I observed activity on both Blogger Support web pages Blogger Status and Known Issues for Blogger, so I added those feeds to the sidebar here.

You are welcome to browse both sites in detail, and see the relative improvement that both show, as of yesterday. Being not born yesterday, I won't predict that we will see a complete immediate improvement in problem reporting.

But this is a start. Let's hope that this continues.

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One Small Step For One Man ...

One giant leap for Blogger kind?

The answer to that question remains to be seen. However, it appears that Blogger is starting to do something about one problem - the frequently reported porn associated with the "Next Blog" link in the Navbar.

Eventually, Blogger will be able to relax its heuristic spam blog detection, which will lighten the load of complaints about falsely detected blogs. With less complaints, Blogger Anti-Spam Team can focus on the real problem.

Not bad for a Friday, especially considering yesterday's Wildfire.

Thanks, Pete.

Of course, we all know that this is just one symptom removed. The real problem remains.
Blogger Support, apparently, being able to block all spam blogs from the "Next Blog" link is a start. It implies that they can identify the unwanted blogs.Individually identified false positives, unfortunately, will never happen. How many non-spam blogs will be blocked from "Next Blog" too? Since the "Next Blog" link…

bX-uxu3fu

This one seems to have started about 15:00 PST today. So far, maybe a dozen threads in Something Is Broken, most threads with multiple posters, much cross-posting.

Several bloggers suggesting the problem is template related. Several error messages noted in various foreign languages.
bX-uxu3fu
Additional information
host: www.xxxxxxx.com
uri: /

This information will help us to track down your specific problem and
fix it! We apologize for the inconvenience.
Exception trace -- Internal only!

java.lang.StringIndexOutOfBoundsException: String index out of range:
-1
..
..
and much more debug information

>> (Update 1/17 18:45): Problem appears resolved.

>> (Update 1/17 17:30) From Blogger Employee:
This error (as well as some others) is coming from a recent change we just released. The errors are transient and we're working on them right now.

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Sploggers And The Shell Game

In every city of any decent size, you'll find con artists who are interested in one thing - your money.

One of the most common short con games, that you'll find on the streets of most cities, is The Shell Game, or an alternative version Three Card Monte.

In both The Shell Game and Three Card Monte, you attempt to track the location of an object, while it's being moved around in front of you. With The Shell Game, a small object - maybe a pea - will be placed under a shell or a bottlecap, and the shell (and 2 other shells without peas) will be shuffled around the playing surface. With Three Card Monte, a playing card of significant identity (for example the Queen of Spades) is shuffled around with 2 other cards.

The object of these games is for you to be able to immediately identify the hidden object, and its position in the group of three, when the shuffling stops.