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Showing posts from January, 2009

Moving From FTP Publishing, To Custom Domain Publishing

If you currently have a blog published to a remote server, using FTP, and you want to change the blog to publish to a custom domain hosted on a Google server, moving the blog to a Google server isn't terribly complicated, but it does take a small amount of planning. One of the small details, which may affect your success in the move, involves a possible change in the URL, for the individual posts.

If the blog has a BlogSpot URL of "myblog.blogspot.com", and it's published to "mydomain.com/blog", there's a "301 Redirect" for "myblog.blogspot.com", to "mydomain.com/blog". If you move to publishing to "blog.mydomain.com", "myblog.blogspot.com" will be likewise redirected to "blog.mydomain.com".

From the quick look there, any move from FTP to custom domain publishing should be transparent. And it is, if only the root of the blog / domain is considered.

If you use Permalinks, each post has its own U…

Swapping URLs Between Two Blogs

Sometimes, you have 2 blogs - and you decide that maybe the content of one blog would really be better under the URL of the other blog.

Content might include any or all of comments, posts, reader population, structure. That's not so important - if you swap properly.

Maybe you want to keep both blogs, so deleting one would be stupid. The good news is that swapping the two is not all that difficult.

Major Paranoia By Google Search Engine

Today marked yet another milestone in the ability of Google to make a mistake, admit to the mistake, and fix the mistake on the same day (and on a weekend morning even).


Seen all over the web.




Affecting my blog, "networking.nitecruzr.net" (among millions of others).




Even, affecting WikiPedia.



Supposedly, identified and fixed less than an hour after discovered. Apparently, this resolution is in the magnitude of the bx-sp4hmm error of 28 February 2007.

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Internet Explorer Version 6 and the Content Warning Interstitial Screen

This month, we have yet another episode in the saga of bloggers and the interstitial warning screens. This episode appears to involve bloggers with blogs issuing a Content Warning (whether voluntary or involuntary), and having readers using Internet Explorer Version 6.


This is what some bloggers see, when viewing their blogs, sometimes after Accepting the Content Warning interstitial advice, other times this is shown immediately.




Interestingly enough, the blog source (somewhat munged in this example) looks normal.



Some bloggers have implied that their blog is under Content Warning, but they don't see the interstitial. If the interstitial advice has to be accepted, for a reader to view the blog, and the interstitial isn't presented for acceptance, the blog won't be seen. D'ohh. That may be part of the problem.

If you're experiencing this frustration, help us out, please. (Can anybody guess what question #1 should be?)??What is the URL of the problem blog?Which brows…

Confusion Over "Show 7 Days" on the Main Page

Occasionally, we see a confused query in Blogger Help GroupOn my blog when I choose I want to see 8 days in the main page, it shows posts from today (January 29, 2009) to December 22, 2008.

Is this "8" days for you?orWhy can't I ever predict how many posts I'll see in 5 days?and what we have here are bloggers who don't understand what "Show 7 Days" really means.

If we select "Show 7 Posts on the main page", we get a maximum of 7 posts displayed in main page view. Many bloggers figure that "Show 7 Days on the main page", similarly, means show all of the posts in the most recent 7 days span of time. Blogger, however, doesn't see it that way.

If you set "Show" to "7 days", you could get anywhere from 7, to any number, of posts. If you posted once / day for 6 days, and 5 times on the 7th day, you'll end up with 11 posts. If that 7 days is from 6 days in a consecutive stretch, plus one day a month ago (with no…

Another blog is already hosted at this address - January 2009

Recently, a variant on the well known custom domain setup problem, "Another blog is already hosted at this address" has been seen in newly setup custom domains.

A (excerpted) Dig extract, for the domain in question shows no problem. Maybe, the standard Asymmetrical DNS Configuration (aka Google Apps configuration).

mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.32.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.34.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.36.21
mydomain.com. 1800 IN A 216.239.38.21
www.mydomain.com. 1800 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
---
ghs.google.com. 465476 IN CNAME ghs.l.google.com.
ghs.l.google.com. 300 IN A 74.125.43.121

alternately, the standard Symmetrical DNS Configuration

mydomain.com. 1800 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
www.mydomain.com. 1800 IN CNAME ghs.google.com.
---
ghs.google.com. 465476 IN CNAME ghs.l.google.com.
ghs.l.google.com. 300…

Your Registrar Has Their Job, You Have Your Job

When you setup your Google Custom Domain, you enjoy the personal satisfaction of having your own non BlogSpot URL.

You publish your blog to a non-Blog*Spot URL on a Google server, and your BlogSpot addresses still works. This setup lets people and processes like search engine spiders continue to find your blog in BlogSpot, while you enjoy your non BlogSpot URL.

You define your domain, and how the content is hosted, using a series of "A" and "CNAME" referrals, pointing to Google. Before you can do that, your registrar has to define how the domain is hosted, using a series of "NS", SOA, and related records.

The latter task lets your registrar maintain your domain, and hundreds of others - with each domain sharing their servers, reliably.

Search Engines, Backlinks, and Latency

Besides knowing your visitors, an important part of maintaining your blog includes knowing how your visitors found your blog. And that involves monitoring the inlinks to your blog. Inlinks can be either dynamic (search engine result page hits), or static (bookmarks, blogrolls, feeds, linklists, and text based links in other peoples blogs and web sites).

Dynamic inlinks are important, because that's how people find our blogs initially (though after the random access from "Next Blog", which now is irrelevant to posting volume). Static inlinks, on the other hand, are truly exciting. Each static inlink represents a real person out there in The Web, who thought enough of our contribution (at some time) that they will say to their readersHey! Here's a blog like mine, with more content that you may want to read!

When you see static inlinks, you know that your blog is truly a part of the Web, not just the Internet (and no, the two aren't the same!).

To help us recognis…

Blame It On The Fuzz

Every day in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the demurrals.Having read the definition of a spam blog, I fail quite to see how my blog can fall into this category.andMy blog is not spam! It is nowhere near spam!!andWHy is spam blog xxxxxxx still online?all reports, such as these, are coming from people who don't know about fuzzy logic.

You spend a lot of time publishing, and publicising, your blog. You want a blog that's interesting, innovative, up to date, and / or useful - and you want readers who appreciate your effort.

403 Forbidden - January 2009

And as another issue for starting the New Year right, we have a return of yet another old friendWe're sorry...

... but your query looks similar to automated requests from a computer virus or spyware application. To protect our users, we can't process your request right now.

One post in the Blogger Help Group: Something Is Broken forum, "Blogger/Google aware of 403 errors" was kind enough to provide a link to the Blogger Known Issues Hot List, where unfortunately, this issue is not seen. Yet there are half a dozen threads, and a dozen or so individual complaints, in the forum.

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Setting Up A Favicon For Your Blog

Once you get a well known blog established, one often overlooked, yet simple task is adding a favicon for the blog.
Design a logo that's recognisable in a 16 px x 16px size image.Create two logo files, one a .ico, the other a .png. You can use IrfanView, or another free graphics tool, to do this. For discussion about the two files, see WikiPedia: Favicon.Upload the logo files to an image hosting server. You may find the free hosting service offered by IconJ to be useful.Add the favicon definition into the blog HTML. Your blog has a default favicon (the white on orange "B"), and you'll have to override that..

A T & T DNS Hosting Validating "A" / "CNAME" Target Using Ping?

In an extremely odd case this week, we have one blogger who is setting up a custom domain, and upon entering what should be a valid CNAME, is advisedThe CNAME entry that you are trying to use failed because it is does not have a valid A record. In other words when you try to ping ghs.google.com it does not directly return any pings or an IP address. It will when it has been translated or resolved from the actual name ghs.l.google.com. The name ghs.l.google.com returns pings and has a valid A record. You may want to try to use this name instead.
From reading this report, it appears that the A T & T DNS Hosting Setup wizard is attempting to validate DNS setup based upon ping response. This is an incorrect screening technique.False Negatives. Many DNS servers won't reply to pings.Ping traffic has low priority in some networks.Other networks may deliberately block or drop ping traffic, as it's used in some hacking attempts.False Positives. The vast majority of hosts on the Int…

Bloggers Posting Comments To Their Own Blogs See "Your request could not be completed."

Of about half the comments that folks provide to this blog, the contents of the comment being posted warrants an immediate response from me. So I'm quite used to the procedure of comment moderation - having selected the Publish link in my email, then opened the specific post, and composed a response on the fly. And for the past week or so, several times / day, I will seeYour request could not be completed.upon hitting the "Post Comment" button. Retrying the "Post Comment" button generally gets the comment posted, though it's still annoying.

The text "Your request could not be completed." is a well known phrase, some time ago (though to have been) replaced by the endless series of bX- code errors. This month, it looks like the well known monolithic error is back again.

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The MTU Setting Problem - Why Is It So Obscure?

The Maximum Transmission Unit, aka MTU, is a critical setting on your computer.

The MTU setting controls the size of the messages
that it passes to other computers. When you surf the Internet, your computer is in communication with hundreds of other computers, each with their own possibility to contribute to packet loss. Packet loss is caused partly because of an optimistic MTU setting on your computer, and partly because of constantly varying paths between the computers, resulting from packet switching.

Blogger Help Group Won't Always Have All Of The Answers

Blogger Help Group is the forum where bloggers help each other - and Blogger Support has even recognised that, with various links to Blogger Help from their Blogger Help database, and their Blogger Known Issues blog. Sometimes, though, the questions exceed the experience level in Blogger Help. Occasionally we see the irritated queryI posted this question last week, and I haven't gotten an answer. What's up with that?orAre you folks deaf? Why isn't anybody answering my question???as if all knowledge is here, and everybody is always present to answer any possible question.

Everybody doesn't know the answer to every question - that's why there is more than one helper posting occasionally. Maybe the questions which you are asking haven't been asked yet. Maybe one of the helpers knows the answers, if you are able to ask the questions objectively.

And while you're pondering the reason for the lack of response to your question, consider how unique your problem…

EasyHitCounters Appears Out Of Action

During several past weeks, we've seen quite a few reports of bloggers, who are using visitor meters from EasyHitCounters, stating that their counters are not working.

I'd advise anybody who isn't getting results, or any support, from EasyHitCounters, to try using a mature and responsive product like SiteMeter or StatCounter.

In order to accurately meter visitor activity on your blog, you need a service that can accurately and reliably provide statistics, over long periods of time. Moving to another service won't help you to develop your blog, as well as you can with statistics gathered over long periods of time. One general problem with third party products is unreliability, and it appears that EasyHitCounters falls into that category right now.

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Externally Published Blogs, and the Redirect Interstitial Warning

A couple months ago, I noted that blogs published by FTP were showing, in some cases, a new (and not popular) accessory - the redirect warning.
You're about to be redirected

The blog that used to be here is now at http://xxxxxxxx.com/.
Do you wish to be redirected?

This month, we have numerous reports of blogs published using both custom domains and FTP are showing this warning, when you load them using the blogspot URL.


This is reasonable for FTP Publishing, not so for custom domain publishing.


Blogger needs to be more selective when showing this warning.
You expect to see this for blogs published by FTP. FTP Publishing is to an external server that could easily contain malicious content placed there directly, without being published through Blogger.You do not expect to see this, nor do you want to see this, for blogs published to custom domains. Content published to custom domains is hosted on Google servers, published through Blogger, and only from Blogger blogs.

(Update 2009/04/04):…

Protect Your Readers - Install Third Party Code, On Your Blog, Selectively

Recently, we've seen a few reports of blogs which contain malware, or links to malware.

Unlike the Adult Friend Finder splogs, and similar blogs, the blogs recently identified are generally privately published, and contain genuinely intended material. The owners have added code, provided by third parties, that contain the malicious code or links to other web sites which contain the malicious code.

Blogger Does Not Provide Email Or Phone Based Support

Every day in Blogger Help Group, we see one or two anguished criesWhat is the email address for Blogger? I need to make my complaint in person.orWhy can't I talk to a real support person, and not to a forum?and the answer is simple.

Blogger does not provide email / phone based, one on one support. Period. You can't just talk to a person.

FTP Publishing - What's In A Name?

Recently, many bloggers attempting to publish their blogs externally, using FTP, have posted a noticeable volume of reports about a chronic and unresolved problemConnectException: Connection timed out.

This symptom has been seen in the past, and for a long while, and is very likely the result of dozens of actual problems. The current volume of reports, vastly surpassing the chronic past level, suggests a new, recently created problem. Various workarounds for this latest problem have been published by several optimistic bloggers.I fixed mine and post a blog about it.andInstead of entering your domain name, enter the IP address, then try to publish.and evenUsing ftp.mydomain.com did work (instead of the usual ftp.myhost.com)

These reports, and others like them, would lead us to believe that the current problem revolves around the FTP setting "FTP Server" - and changing the value of that setting seems to have a restorative effect, for some bloggers. The setting in question can,…

Removing Your Blog From The Search Engines Cache

When you were young, did you ever play with a dandelion?

I have - they are (in some places) easy to find, and free fun to be had (don't let your parents see you though). Did you ever blow on one, watch the pieces fly thru the air, then run around and try to pick the pieces up? That's your blog, all over the net.

The only way to kill dandelions is while they are young, yellow, and solid.

When dandelions get old, white, and airy, just touching one will make it blow into pieces. The pieces go everywhere, and next year, you'll have more dandelions everywhere. That's when your parents will have to deal with the problem.

FTP Publishing - January 2009

During the past week, we have had two incidents (maybe one incident, incompletely resolved) of a well known (and extremely unwanted) errorConnectException: Connection timed out.commonly seen by bloggers who are trying to publish their blogs to external servers, using FTP. The problem was reported as fixed, originally, on December 26. It popped up again, on December 28, and that occurrence was reported as fixed on December 31.

From reading several threads in the forums, it appears that the problem was not fixed. Several reports are by bloggers who complainChanged the domain settings (according to another forum thread) and removed ftp just keeping domainname.com. That fix worked but as of today the problem is back. This is starting to get really frustrating.andworking for me on the one of two ftp blogs that was broken before. Now the other one, that was ok before, is broken.and other, more optimistic observationsI fixed mine and post a blog about it.andInstead of entering your domain …