Saturday, November 07, 2009

I Can't See My Blog - What Should I Do?

This is a very difficult question to answer, because of its almost infinite complexity.
  • There are several different causes.
  • There are more symptoms than the number of causes.
  • There are still more ways that bloggers might report the symptoms that they see.
  • The reports, and the symptoms, will vary in both accuracy, detail, and relevance.
  • Different problems can be fixed only by people with different roles, relevant to the blog.
    • Some problems can be fixed only by the blogger (blog owner).
    • Others can be fixed by the owners of the client computers or their network service providers.
    • Still others can only be fixed by Blogger Support or third party server owners.
  • The epidemiology of the problems will produce different observations.
    • A few problems are occasionally observed by Blogger / Google staff.
    • Some problems will be observed by the blogger.
    • Others may be observed by the bloggers friends / blog readers.
    • A very few problems will be observed by everybody.

The term "blogger" can itself cause confusion - some bloggers might be the owners of the blogs, and others might be the viewers - and this, too, needs to be clarified.

And let's also note the difference between "Blogger" and "BlogSpot".
  • The former is where you maintain your Blogger blog.
  • The latter is the native domain where you, by default, publish your Blogger blog.
  • If you're not publishing externally - either to a custom domain (on a Google server) or by FTP (to a third party server of your choice) - you'll be publishing to BlogSpot.
  • Many times, your specific problem might affect your access to one domain, but not the other.
I'm going to describe the complexity of this problem, enumerating by problem cause, to start.
  1. Blocked By ISP
  2. Blocked By Network, or Local, Problem
  3. Custom Domain Problem
  4. Corrupted Content
  5. Deleted Blog
  6. Hijacked Blog
  7. Login Problem
  8. Lost Position In Search Engine Result Pages
  9. Temporary / Transient Problems
  10. Last Resorts
Blocked By ISP

Some ISPs, possibly motivated by political pressure, are blocking blog traffic, from time to time. You may see a variant of the well known

404 Server Not Found

or just as likely, a completely white screen, with no error.

You can frequently get around this problem, by using a proxy server. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that other readers of the blog will know to do that. If your blog has significant reader population in the geographic regions affected, you're going to lose readership.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/use-a-proxy-server

This problem can only be fixed (worked around) by the blog readers, or the owners of the networks used by the blog readers.


Blocked By Network, or Local, Setting or Security Problem

There are settings and programs on your computer, and on your network, that will affect your ability (or your readers abilities) to access your blog, and other blogs. Any of these individual items, or combinations of these items, can be relevant.

* The DNS setting
http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/how-to-identify-a-dns-problem-on-your-computer
* The MTU setting
http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/how-to-check-the-mtu-setting-on-your-computer
* Local network or security problems
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/12/securing-your-browser-and-painting.html

Any of the above can cause the white screen as well. Both DNS and MTU are settings on your computer, or on your network. If there is a problem, the problem starts at the blogger computer, or with the Internet Service Provider. As in the above scenario, you may be able to use a proxy server.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/use-a-proxy-server


Sometimes, Blogger Support will take responsibility for resolving the problem, but individual bloggers have to let them know that there is a problem. If you are having a problem, and you don't report it, then it's partially your fault if the problem isn't fixed.


This problem can likely be fixed by the blog readers, or the owners of the networks used by the blog readers, although occasionally Blogger Support will become involved to advise the network owners.


Custom Domain Problem

Setting up a blog, published to a Google Custom Domain, demands precise attention to detail and procedure. Sometimes, corruption in the Google server database will result in a well known error (which comes in several interesting flavours).

404 Not Found

This problem you won't get around by using a proxy server, or by making any local or ISP changes. You (the blog owner), or Blogger Support, will have to fix the problem. Frequently, this will involve multiple procedures.

* Post a question here.
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/ask?hl=en
* Republishing the blog back to BlogSpot, then repeating back to the custom domain.
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2007/11/custom-domain-publishing-and-404-error.html
* Recycling the domain settings using Google Apps.
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2007/06/another-blog-is-already-hosted-at-this.html


Corrupted Content

Part of the blog is gone. Maybe the header is there, but no post. Or the posts are there, but the sidebar is blank. Oh no! What do I do now? Well, in this scenario, you may be looking at another case of the old dropped post / sidebar. If it's not a simple case of the posts or the sidebar having dropped down the page, you may have a corrupt template, and reloading the template may resolve the problem.

Here, too, you may see the well known error

404 Not Found

This problem must be fixed by the blog owner. Nobody else - neither Blogger Support, nor the blog readers - can fix corrupted content.


Deleted Blog

You made a mistake, and deleted your own blog, or maybe you or another administrator removed you from the permissions list. DOHH. Mistakes happen. Or the blog may have been removed by Blogger - for just cause - whether falsely or genuinely. Or, did you delete the blog intentionally, without considering the possible consequences?


Hijacked Blog

The bad guys may have hijacked another blog. What you're looking at may or may not contain your content. You may or may not be able to access the dashboard, or the post editor, to correct the problem.


Login Problem

You're logged in with the wrong account, or not properly logged in. Or maybe you tried to change the account name, and simply setup a new account without realising it. Check and make sure that you don't have another account, that the blog is registered to. Find out what Blogger accounts are associated with your email address.

* Blogger Help: My blog disappeared from my account! What do I do?.
http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=41973
* Blogger Help: I can't log in. What should I do?.
http://help.blogger.com/bin/answer.py?answer=41971
* Blogger Help Group: Welcome to Login Issues!.
http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help-loginissues/tree/browse_frm/thread/b188e22f091f0c62/18df9b57c7ccab41?rnum=1&_done=%2Fgroup%2Fblogger-help-loginissues%2Fbrowse_frm%2Fthread%2Fb188e22f091f0c62%2F%3F#doc_18df9b57c7ccab41
* Google Accounts: Google Accounts Help
https://www.google.com/support/accounts/
* The Real Blogger Status: Schizophrenia When Logging In To Blogger
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2007/02/schizophrenia-when-logging-in-to.html

If you're certain that you made the right choice, but you got the wrong results, clear cache and cookies, and try again.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/08/bypass-or-clear-your-local-cache.html


Remember that part of the Blogger security strategy involves keeping the identity of the owner, of any blog, confidential. You don't want Blogger telling anybody who you are, so don't expect to email Blogger

I forgot the account (I changed my email address). What's my account?

and get a useful reply. You will have to do some work, and authenticate yourself, somehow.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/12/your-blog-is-forever.html


Lost Position In Search Engine Result Pages

There are many reasons why you won't be able to find your blog listed, in Google Search. Some start with your needing to publicise the blog properly.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/how-to-get-traffic-and-repeated-readers-for-your-blog

But even when you do spend days publicising your blog, maybe somebody else spent more days, and his blog replaced yours in your desired search list position. Now, you're just going to have to work harder.

http://groups.google.com/group/blogger-help/web/blogging-is-all-about-patience


Temporary / Transient Problems

Right now, bloggers are reporting problems with their blogs, with the well known

Operation Aborted

Blogger Support has to fix the problems causing this symptom. While we await action by Blogger Support, we may have to help ourselves, using various workarounds.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/05/internet-explorer-and-operation-aborted.html

Other problems, too many (and too transient) to explicitly enumerate here, will come up from time to time.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/search/label/Current%20Problems?max-results=100


Last Resorts

If none of the above problem descriptions helps you decide how to attack your problem, and the blog really isn't accessible, act immediately.

* Put a stub blog in place, if you can do so.
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2006/06/stub-post.html
* Report the problem.
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger/ask?hl=en
* And join the crowd, at Google Blogger Help.
http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/blogger?hl=en

5 comments:

Roberto said...

Great post, Chuck! Everything in one basket(place).

shelly said...

My blog disappeared from my account。I able to sign in to your Blogger account but can't see your blog on your dashboard,I have only one Google Accounts.I did not deleted my blog.but my blog disappeared from my accout.
Now my blog can not see.but google cached can see my blog
google cached url:http://74.125.153.132/search?q=cache:7wJyeTxQzmUJ:girlmeet.blogspot.com/+girlmeet.blogspot.com&cd=1&hl=zh-CN&ct=clnk

My blog url : http://girlmeet.blogspot.com

HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Chuck said...

Shelly,

We need to discuss your problem in detail. Have you posted in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, or in Nitecruzr Dot Net - Blogging? Peer support is what you need.

bogorgrungesociety said...

Help Me. I can't find my blog on my dashboard.

I have gmail with address jejaringsosial@gmail.com , then create a blogspot by name; http://bogorgrungesociety.blogspot.com. and I shared these emails with a friend of mine who called bonny, and managing joint blog. but unbeknownst to me, he took over ownership of the email, and delete my control on our blog, and then replace it with a new gmail which he created bgs.revival@gmail.com. and I can 't open it again : ( "My blog disappeared from my account!"

Chuck said...

I can't find my blog on my dashboard.

This would be a great question to be asked in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, so we can explore the details, and diagnose the problem.