Saturday, August 02, 2008

Blogger, Internet Explorer, and SiteMeter

Yesterday, as Blogger started to deal with the massive false positive spam blog problem and the forums started to calm down, another problem became visible. Dozens of bloggers reported an inability of their blogs to load, under Internet Explorer. Several of my blogs, including this one, were apparently affected.As the blog loaded, and toward the end, I would get a loud popup error
Internet Explorer cannot display the web page. Operation aborted.
and frequently the well known full page display
The page cannot be displayed

The page you are looking for is currently unavailable. The Web site might be experiencing technical difficulties, or you may need to adjust your browser settings.


The common factor in the problem reported involved the presence of SiteMeter code, on the blogs reported. All of my blogs, listed above, have that code too.

Given the choice of having a blog accessible only under Firefox (and trackable), or having a blog accessible under both Firefox and Internet Explorer (and not trackable), I chose the latter and removed my SiteMeter code. This was not a difficult task, I just cut the code from the widgets in the footer of each blog. And I saved the removed code, which was a good thing.

I simply edited the page element in the footer, at the bottom of the blog. Wherever your SiteMeter widget is, if you put the code into a page element, you can do the same.
<!-- Site Meter --> <script src="http://s17.sitemeter.com/js/counter.js?site=s17nitecruzr" type="text/javascript"></script>
<noscript><a href="http://s17.sitemeter.com/stats.asp?site=s17nitecruzr" target="_top">
<img border="0" alt="Site Meter" src="http://s17.sitemeter.com/meter.asp?site=s17nitecruzr"/></a></noscript><!-- Copyright (c)2006 Site Meter -->

and changed that to
<!-- Site Meter --> <!-- Copyright (c)2006 Site Meter -->


In the process of writing a problem report to SiteMeter, I needed an exact copy of the content of the popup error. Attempting to reproduce the error, I went back to my home blog (which I care about least, of the 3 above), and added the code back. Having reloaded the code, I reloaded the blog under Internet Explorer, and noted an oddity - no error popup.

I returned to my SiteMeter Statistics list, and observed that my visit was now visible in the visitor log. An hour later, I am now refreshing the "Who's On Your Site" display, and I see all 3 blogs represented again. Some entries include Internet Explorer, and multiple pages viewed, indicating successful loading of the blog.

> > (Update 8/2 13:00): SiteMeter states that they have resolved the problem.

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4 comments:

Jay KTX said...

I read what you said and followed the link to SiteMeter but I am not a programmer, I am an editor and layout person with a client whose blog is now in it's 3rd week of sign in info being 'disabled' due to a wrong classification as spam (http://johnmichaeltalbot.blogspot.com). I have a backup of the blog and am planning to start a new blog with a similar but not identical name - if Blogger will let me - my question is this: if I import the backup, what do I do with the SiteMeter code that is in it? Will SM automatically update it or will I just wind up with another classification of spam? And I guess another question would be if you think there is any hope we will ever get back our original blog?

Chuck said...

Jay,

I'm not a programmer either (though I was, long ago). The SiteMeter code from your first blog will work fine in the second. I have half a dozen blogs, all with the same code, and SiteMeter works fine for all six.

As far as the spam blog classification, that's another discussion. Spam blog detection, and both false negative and false positive detection, are a continual problem for everybody here.

Sweet Sunehri said...

hi!
i am having this "operation aborted" problem now...i started my blog in september, and have not had a problem until yesterday...what do I do? i am thoroughly confused..if you could help, that would be wonderful
thanks!

Chuck said...

Saniya,

The "operation aborted" problem is caused by scripts that don't run well in the Blogger JavaScript shell.

Without knowing what changes you may have made to your blog, the only thing that I can advise is that you go back over all changes, and remove them one at a time. SiteMeter was one well known problem, but there are numerous other possible causes too.