Monday, August 31, 2009

Moving Your Custom Domain To A Different Host? Start With Instructions FromThe New Host

Occasionally, we see queries from bloggers about moving their custom domain published blogs to new hosts.
I bought my domain through Blogger, and now I need to move it to my own hosting. Can someone please advise me. I know that I need to change the name servers somewhere.
Here we have a somewhat vague question, that can have several results. You need to be aware of three essential services, that are involved in any blog or website. Be aware of the differences between Domain Registration, DNS Hosting, and Content Hosting, and decide what, specifically, you need to do.
If the blogger in question needs to move the DNS hosting, the new registrar will take care of moving the master registration to point to their domain servers. The blogger will then have to setup the domain DNS addresses as they are setup for the existing domain, or to an equally righteous configuration. The ability to do this will, as usual, depend upon what choices the new DNS host provides.

There is one item which the domain owner must provide, to the new registrar. The certificate which proves domain ownership, and is essential to a domain transfer, is provided as the Extensible Provisioning Protocol Code. The EPP Code is available through the domain manager provided by the current registrar. For a domain purchased using "Buy A Domain", this is yet another reason why you need your Google Apps desktop activated.

If the blogger is moving hosting of the content itself, and won't be publishing on Google servers any more, the new registrar / content host should take care of the domain transfer, completely. The blogger will now have to figure out how to transfer the web site content, which will likely involve a migration effort, or recoding from scratch. It's possible, but not certain, that the content can be moved by exporting from Blogger, and importing to the new host - if the new host can read .xml Blogger content.

Regardless what exactly the blogger decides to do, the next contact should be with the new registrar. Their support staff should provide setup instructions.

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Friday, August 28, 2009

Using An HTML Template With Layouts Blogger

Up to now, I've written about Blogger blogs, and Classic vs Layouts templates, as if classic and layouts templates are two separate worlds. Classic = HTML = old school. Layouts = XML = new and shiny. Sometimes, you might want to blur the distinction between the two. Maybe you got a shiny HTML design for your blog, or you want to combine your blog with your web site. And, you want to use Layouts accessories, comments, and posts, written in XML.

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds? Use a Layouts Blogger blog, and base the template around HTML code? The answer is, yes. And, it's not all that difficult to do so.

Take it one step at a time, and you can do it.
  1. Start with a clean and new Layouts Minima template.
  2. Remove the XML based body code.
  3. Replace the removed body code with the body code from a well defined HTML template.
  4. Take the XML based Minima Blogger code that defines the sidebars and posts area, and paste it into the middle of the body code, as just installed.
  5. Add any CSS rules required by the body HTML to the template header.
  6. Ensure that all added rules have unique names which will not conflict with existing Blogger Minima code.


And as an overview, that's it. Details follow.

Well defined CSS / HTML is essential.

Raw HTML uses all style information in the HTML code. HTML with CSS uses CSS code defined in the template header, in both external and internal style sheets. CSS for the HTML can use all 3 definition techniques, just as CSS for XML in native Layouts Blogger blogs.

You'll define style rules - just as with any CSS based template, in external style sheets, and inline style sheets. And you'll use these rules in the body HTML, installed below.

You will have to know what style rules are essential in your template, and you will have to take careful precautions, and ensure that the rules are unique, and do not conflict with Blogger code. This has been the number one problem seen in using this technique, to date. Uniquely defined CSS references are essential.

Take a clean and up to date Minima template.

I use a Minima template, because it contains a minimum of decorations and style rules that might conflict with any HTML content. To properly display accessories, comments, posts, and other XML based content, I leave in all external and inline Minima style rules.

It's possible that the new Minima, aka Simple, templates might be better suited for this task. So, there is a possible variation, to be evaluated. Watch this space.

Add any CSS rules which your template requires.

If your HTML templates uses any inline CSS rules, you'll copy them as part of the body code, below. If your template uses an external or internal style sheet, copy the external reference and / or the internal style rules into the header of the new template, just as it is setup in the HTML of the existing template.

All style rule names must be distinct, and must not conflict with style rule names used in Blogger template Minima style rules. Best choice (my recommendation) would be to add a prefix to all style rules which are essential to your layout. Rules like "footer", "header", "main" (for instance), I would code as "nitecruzr_footer", "nitecruzr_header", "nitecruzr_main", etc.

Remove all code between "<body>" ... "</body>".

All containers and objects on the screen, with the exception of the main and sidebar containers (added next), will be HTML based. So, start by removing all body code from the new template.

Install the HTML template code between "<body>" ... "</body>".

The HTML template body code, from the existing template, replaces the body code, in the new template.

Remove all body code between the header and footer sections of the screen.

The header and footer will be HTML, but comments, posts, and sidebars will be XML. A possible enhancement of this procedure, coming next, would be to include the header and footer as XML. Right now, let's leave header and footer objects as HTML, and use them to define the upper and lower border of the contents.

Simply find the header and footer objects in the new template. Remove all code between the two objects.

Paste Main and Sidebar XML code between header and footer code.

In a Layouts Blogger blog, the accessories (in the sidebars), and the comments and posts (in the main container) are written as XML. With all native Blogger CSS rules provided complete and non conflicting, the main and sidebar containers will work as natively installed.

Minima templates use a container named "content wrapper", which contains a cross column wrapper at the top, the posts and sidebar(s), and a break at the bottom. This container is well outlined.

Here, for instance, is the Content wrapper, setup for a standard Minima 3 column template.

<div id='content-wrapper'>

<div id='crosscol-wrapper' style='text-align:center'>
<b:section class='crosscol' id='crosscol' showaddelement='no'/>
</div>

<div id='main1-wrapper'>
<div id='sidebar2-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar2' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Tags' type='Label'/>
</b:section>
</div>
<div id='main2-wrapper'>
<b:section class='main' id='main2' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Blog1' locked='false' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'/>
</b:section>
</div>
</div>

<div id='sidebar1-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar1' preferred='yes'>
<b:widget id='Followers1' locked='false' title='Followers' type='Followers'/>
</b:section>
</div>

<!-- spacer for skins that want sidebar and main to be the same height-->
<div class='clear'> </div>

</div> <!-- end content-wrapper -->


Here, on the other hand, is the Content wrapper from this blog. This is a standard Minima 2 column template.

<div id='content-wrapper'>

<div id='crosscol-wrapper' style='text-align:center'>
<b:section class='crosscol' id='crosscol' showaddelement='no'/>
</div>

<div id='main-wrapper'>
<b:section class='main' id='main' showaddelement='no'>
<b:widget id='Blog1' locked='true' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'/>
</b:section>
</div>

<div id='sidebar-wrapper'>
<b:section class='sidebar' id='sidebar' preferred='yes'>
<b:widget id='Followers1' locked='false' title='Followers' type='Followers'/>
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Tags' type='Label'/>
</b:section>
</div>

<!-- spacer for skins that want sidebar and main to be the same height-->
<div class='clear'> </div>

</div> <!-- end content-wrapper -->


When you insert code, count the <div> ... </div> pairs, with great care. Ensure that each <div> ... </div> is properly matched.

That's it. Really.

It's really simpler than it looks. Try it, and see.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure

A blog, by tradition, is an online journal. We write the posts, and when we enable post titles, we choose the post titles. When we enable post pages and post titles, the URLs of the posts are a function of the dates, and the titles, of the posts.

We can choose the titles of the posts, but the Blogger post editor chooses the URLs. This is a key component in the Blogger Infrastructure. The static page editor ("Edit Pages") uses the same engine as the Post Editor, and Static Pages (aka "Pages") use a similar basic URL structure.

Here's the title of this post
Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure
Here's the URL of this post
blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/08/blogging-directory-and-url-structure.html
  • blogging.nitecruzr.net - The blog URL.
  • 2009 - The year of the post, when originally published.
  • 08 - The month of the post, when originally published.
  • blogging-directory-and-url-structure - The original title, compressed.
Here's the title of one static page in this blog
Leave Comments Here
Here's the URL of the static page
http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/p/leave-comments-here.html
  • p - The static pages tag
  • leave-comments-here - The original title, compressed

When you publish a dynamic or static page, the post or page is given a URL, possibly based upon the title when published. If you later change the title, the URL does not change. If you want to correct the URL to match a changed title, you have to create a new page or post, with the correct title. You can, optionally, redirect one URL to another, within the blog.

Bloggers sometimes like to reuse post titles. If I published a second post in this series, tomorrow, (today being 2009/08/27), I would end up with a possible duplicate URL. Blogger can't let that happen - two posts cannot share the same URL.

Here's the title of tomorrow's hypothetical post
Blogging - The Directory and URL Structure - Part Two

Here's the URL of tomorrow's post
blogging.nitecruzr.net/2009/08/blogging-directory-and-url-structure_28.html
  • blogging.nitecruzr.net - The blog URL.
  • 2009 - The year of the post, when originally published.
  • 08 - The month of the post, when originally published.
  • blogging-directory-and-url-structure - The original title, compressed.
  • _28 - The suffix, to prevent a duplicate URL.

Having published tomorrow's hypothetical post, I end up with two posts with similar URLs. One post (today's original) has a non suffixed URL, the second (tomorrow's duplicate) has a suffixed URL.

Adding to the confusion, if I were to publish a post using the same title - but next month, or next year - I would have 2 posts with different URLs, without suffixing. Since the year and month are part of the URL, any post in a different month has a different URL.

Long ago, "Archiving" was a selectable option, with Blogger blogs.
  • Never.
  • Year.
  • Month.
  • Week
Now, there is no option, and all blogs archive on a monthly basis. It's possible that older blogs, created when this option was available, may archive differently, and have a different duplicate URL filter / suffixing strategy.

If I were to then delete today's original post, I'd end up with tomorrow's duplicate with a suffixed URL, period. Once you delete a post (or a static page), a new post with that same, identical URL can never be re created - so delete duplicate posts (static pages) very carefully.

The post (static page) title table, which controls the suffixing and prevents duplicate (dynamic, or static) page URLs, cannot be manipulated - it is simply there, and we have to live with it.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blogger Accounts, And Blog Membership Invitations

When you accept membership in an existing blog, you are receiving an invitation, from the blog owner, as added to the Permissions list for the blog.

The blog owner uses your known email address when sending you the invitation. You have the opportunity to use an existing Google account - or create a new account - based upon any email address that you have (or may not have). The email address (Google account) that you use, when accepting the invitation, may or may not equal the email address where you received the invitation.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

No, You Can't Access That Private Blog

Your blog is for you to share - at your discretion - with the world, with your friends, or with one special friend.

You make this choice using the Settings - Permissions wizard. If you restrict access to your blog, simply so you can actively meter your readers, you can setup alternate access procedures, and let strangers request access.

If you don't want strangers accessing your blog, and you have planned access restriction properly, you can block public access to your blog. Period.

You Can Have A Custom Domain Without Using The "Buy A Domain" Wizard

Based upon my observations of questions posted in the Blogger Help Forums, maybe 95% of the folks publishing their Blogger blogs to a non BlogSpot URL, as a the Google Custom Domain, use the Blogger "Buy A Domain For Your Blog" wizard. Why not? It's quick, easy, and linear.

Once you choose an available domain, all that you have to do is input payment details ($10 USD for a year). The real work, of setting up the domain in the registrar's DNS servers, is all done for you, by the wizard. Take 10 minutes - and I am conservative here - and you can have a non BlogSpot URL that your readers can use, to view your blog.

But there are times when the "Buy A Domain" wizard won't suffice. Maybe you need a domain in a Top Level Domain group, that's not provided by the wizard. Or maybe you don't like eNom and GoDaddy as registrars - or you already have a registrar for other purposes, and you want to continue to use that registrar. No problem, you can register your domain with any registrar that will provide the right DNS address entries.

But, you will have to do the work yourself, when you setup the DNS addresses, and later when you publish your blog to the domain, using the "Advanced Settings" wizard.

Like all third party products, a third party DNS host / registrar may not offer the same redirect options, and may present a challenge. Please, don't register your domain at Domains-R-Cheap, then post in Blogger Help Forum
I bought my domain from Domains-R-Cheap, and it doesn't work. And I've read all of the instructions here, and they are full of jargon. Somebody please, give me a check list of what I need to do!


If you get a check list, it will probably be very brief.
  1. Transfer your domain to GoDaddy.
  2. Post back here, after step #1 is complete.


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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Blogger Profile Surfing - A Focused Replacement For "Next Blog"

Besides surfing blogs using Following, which will let you identify other bloggers with possibly common interests (hoping that anybody who Follows your blog would be somewhat interested in what also interests you), we have the possibility of surfing blogger profiles using profile keywords.

When you edit your Blogger profile, you can specify keywords which correspond to specific things that interest you. Having done that, those keywords become links, to profiles of other bloggers who have specified those same keywords. Be sure to check the spelling - you'll be able to test it immediately.

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Diagnosing Problems With Blogger Comments

One monolithic complaint, frequently seen in Blogger Help Forum, is
My readers can't comment on my blog.
This complaint, as with many like it, could benefit from some structured diagnostic practice.

Start by observing the complaint level that's currently endemic in the forums. Sometimes, Blogger will cause their own problems (yes, this is known to happen), and you'll see a flood of complaints. Here, it is helpful to be familiar with the normal complaint level.

If you wait a while, say an hour or maybe a day, and don't see an increasing flood of complaints about comments, maybe the problem is with your blog, or with your computer (your readers computers).Whatever you do, be methodical and objective. And when you do make your report in Blogger Help Forum, be a good blogger. Make your problem report complete, concise, and polite.

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Friday, August 21, 2009

Email Isn't Necessary, In Following

When you publish a blog, you want to make it easy for your readers to keep up with your publishings. Some bloggers are confused about why people Follow their blog, and think that their Followers need the same treatment as their readers in general. We see an occasional query in Blogger Help Forum
How do I email my Followers, to let them see my latest post?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The "Magical" Custom Domain Reset Form Has Its Limitations

I'm sure that you know bloggers like my Mom. Mom can blog, but she requires a lot of coaching.

Between the technical skill levels which my mom has, and that of you (or me), come a lot of people. Some bloggers will create beautiful blogs (way better than this one), but publish them to BlogSpot only. Other bloggers will want more, and some will setup a Google custom domain.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Post Editor Problems, In The Singapore Region, Continue

Nearly a month after the problem was first reported, we are still getting reports of the improperly loading post editor sessions from bloggers in Singapore.

This problem, apparently being related to your Internet service, can't be seen by Blogger, or by anybody but you (and your neighbours). If you don't report your problem, don't expect for it to go away. And possibly, you should be reporting the problem to your ISP too. And please, when reporting the problem at this end (either in Blogger Help Forum, or comments here), state explicitly whether you are in Singapore or the vicinity, and whether your ISP is SingNet.

If there is no tab pair for "Compose" / "Edit HTML", check to ensure that Compose mode is enabled for your account.

(Update 2009/09/05): It appears that this problem is still with us.

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Forms Entry In Blogger

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum, we see questions about using a Blogger blog for forms entry.
How do I let my readers submit information, like their email addresses?
Forms entry, which is found in some content management systems, is yet one more feature that isn't offered, with Blogger blogs.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Your Blog, And Download Accelerator Services

As many web sites continually enrich their content, more bandwidth is needed by everybody who surfs the Net. As more bandwidth is needed, every Internet service is in constant competition with every other service, to provide more bandwidth.

Many ISPs, in an effort to wring every MegaByte / second of performance from their network, so they can make their customers happy, provide what they call "Download Accelerator" service.

Download Accelerators use several strategies, depending upon the ISP.
  • Some compress the content, and require you to install an extra network component on your computer, so your computer can expand the content for viewing.
  • Others strip detail from pictures (making a 300K picture into a 30K picture, for instance).
  • And still others cache contents of popular web sites in a special cache on your computer, and on servers in their server farm.


Each of these strategies will have varying effect in your browsing experience. If a download accelerator is an optional feature to your service, you may do well to decide whether your access will be improved.


As of 2010/01/15, we are investigating a possible connection between use of download accelerator add-ons / services with the mysterious "Error 400 Bad Request" symptom.


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Heads Up, Bloggers! Yesterday Was Patch Tuesday!

In the jungle, when the big ape speaks, everybody listens. In the computer jungle, Microsoft is the big ape. Yesterday, the big ape burped.

Yesterday was the second Tuesday of the month, aka "Patch Tuesday". And Microsoft issued a patch array that was described by one Microsoft MVP as "brutal".

If you (or your readers) suddenly start seeing problems using Blogger, or accessing blogs, you might want to carefully consider what changes were recently made to your computer (your readers computers). It's possible that patches being made available this week, in many cases automatically (and without concern by the computer owner), may cause interesting problems.

All problems are not caused by Blogger. Really.

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Confusion About The Designated Reader Limit In Private Blogs

Many bloggers are confused by the limit of up to 100 (actually, up to 99) readers in a blog. Questions like
Is it possible to have more then 100 readers on your blog? - Does that 100 readers include those who subscribe to your RSS feed?
are seen regularly in Blogger Help Forum.

The limit here starts with the limit of up to 100 designated members of a blog. Designated members include
  • Administrators.
  • Authors
  • Readers (for a private blog)


With a public blog, your readers (non designated) are unlimited. There, you can have up to 100 administrators and authors. With a private blog, you have at least 1 administrator (and possibly more administrators and authors), so you can simply have up to 99 designated readers.

Only with a public blog can you have a newsfeed, and Following. Private blogs don't have newsfeeds, so using Following on a private blog is a waste of time. That's true for both Following using Google Friend Connect, and for Following using a FeedBurner Email Subscription.

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Ambiguity In URL Availability

This week, we have various bloggers report that they are initially informed that a given URL is available, but the "Create a blog" wizard later shows that the same URL is not available.
Whenever I try to register, after Blogger suggests "The name xxxxxxx is available to register!", I get the message "Sorry, this blog address is not available".


This seems coincidental, coming after the recent occurrence of people being told that their blogs had been locked for being splogs, then told not when trying to request review.


Now, you see it ("available").



Now, you don't.



And it was this same way yesterday, when I identified this URL.

Are you seeing this confusion?
  • What URL are you trying to use or to register?
  • Was this ever registered to you?
  • Did you ever get a spam warning for this URL?



You use the "Create a blog" wizard, which gives you your new blog if and only if the URL is available. If "Create a blog" (aka "Name your blog") tells you that the URL isn't available, it's not available. The "Create a blog" wizard is the authoritative arbiter here.


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Monday, August 10, 2009

Following Lets Strangers Become Friends, Through Public Blogs

Occasionally, we see signs of confusion shown by people trying to Follow their friends blogs.
I'm trying to Follow my friends blog, but I only see "You have followed this URL, but we couldn't find a feed for it."
or
My friends tell me that my feed isn't updating. I made it private last week.


Both of these statements come from people who aren't aware of the implications of the limitation that private blogs do not have newsfeeds.

A blog that requires an invitation, to be viewed, requires that people become acquainted before the blog can be viewed. If your blog is private, a prospective viewer has to email you and ask for permission, before he can view your blog. Somebody surfing the Following community of one of your designated readers, and happening upon your private blog, simply sees the well known advice
It doesn't look like you have permission to view this blog.


Following lets strangers become acquainted with each other, by surfing to blogs that are publicly visible. Someone happening upon your blog, and seeing
It doesn't look like you have permission to view this blog.
isn't going to stick around, and try to figure out how to contact you. You're not going to get any casual readers, if your blog is private. Of course, you don't really want casual readers, which is what your prospective reader will find out.

And if your friends (folks who you have designated as readers) are looking to Follow your blog from their Reading Lists, have them rethink that idea. Without a newsfeed, they won't be seeing anything in their Reading Lists.

So, if you find it necessary to make your blog private, you should forget about using blog feeds and Following.

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Anonymously Posted Comments Can't Be Deleted

One of the reasons why we identify ourselves, when we post comments on somebody else's blog, is so we can use our own blogs to authenticate or strengthen our comments. A second may be to generate relevant links to our blogs, as part of making our own blogs part of the blogosphere. A third, and possibly overlooked, reason would be to have the option to remove a comment, in the future.

Should we wish to post without authenticating, ie anonymously, the third option isn't available. A comment posted anonymously might be posted by anybody, not just us. Anonymously posted comments can only be deleted by the blog owner. And how many blog owners will be anxious to remove any comment posted anonymously, as requested by any one blogger?
I posted that comment, can you remove it for me? Take my word for it, I posted it!
Yeah right.

If you want the option of changing your mind, post under an authenticated identity.

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Saturday, August 08, 2009

Changing Designated Reader List From "Only people I choose" Doesn't Work

The ability to designate readers for a given blog is a popular setting. Either "Only blog authors", or "Only people I choose" can be used to restrict readership to a limited, more appreciative audience, for any blog that's published to either BlogSpot or to a custom domain.

Some bloggers, recently, are finding difficulty in making their blogs public ("Anybody"), after having had the blog published as "Only people I choose". They can use the Settings - Permissions wizard, and supposedly make the change to "Anybody", but the public still can't view the blog.


The owner of "x-everlastinglove12.blogspot.com" states that the Permissions wizard is set to "Anybody". The URL suggests that we might have a "content warning" interstitial that's applicable here.



If your blog is having this problem, please provide some details, to help Blogger see a possible pattern.
  • What is the URL of the blog?
  • Does the blog have a "content warning" interstitial, either placed by you, or by Blogger?
  • Is or was the blog ever published externally (by FTP), or to a custom domain?
  • What browser and computer operating system did you use to set permissions?
  • Where are you located, and what ISP provides your service?



(Update 8/11): Could this be another appearance of the SingNet / SingTel problem?


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Friday, August 07, 2009

Anonymising Yourself In Spite Of Your Blogs

This week, we have a question asked, in Blogger Help Forum, which has been on my mind, in various formats, for some time
Does anyone know what Google does with it's residual copies of blogs after deletion?


What's in the search engines may stay there forever.

You can't get rid of everything that says something "bad" about you. People have opinions, you will always have some enemies, and your enemies will always have something bad to say about you. Even Mother Teresa probably had somebody who said bad stuff about her.

Look at social scrapbooking, like Yahoo Glue. Something added to a Glue page, true or not, will be indexed by the search engines. Even if a Glue page is scrubbed, the search engine residue from a Glue page will remain for a while. Once again, dandelions is a relevant analogy.

The issue of privacy on the Internet is explored, here and there. Anonymity and privacy, with respect to blogs and search engines, is a complex subject; this series of posts will only scratch the surface.

In Mountain View did Page and Brin
A stately Googleplex decree:
Where blogs, the sacred data, ran
Through servers measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.


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Tuesday, August 04, 2009

With Following, Bloggers Follow Blogs Relevant To Their Interests

This blog is The Real Blogger Status, and it focuses on Blogger blogging. Look at the Following community for this blog, and you'll see all sorts of bloggers, with all sorts of interests - stated explicitly and implicitly. Looking now, I see (for instance) gardening, greeting cards, and rap music. And, I see a few Followers who are Following other blogs about blogging.

The vast majority of the bloggers who Follow this blog do so because they are interested in developing and maintaining their Blogger blogs, and this blog - hopefully - provides them insight. Occasionally, someone interested in Blogger blogging- and Following a blog that's published by someone else who's Following my blog - will surf the Following community of that blog, happen upon this blog, and decide to Follow this blog. Generally, that will be because the new Follower is also interested in Blogger blogging.

In other words, I will gain a Follower who's interested in Blogger blogging, because this blog is also focused on Blogger blogging.

And, it's likely that other Followers will Follow this blog, because of their interest in Blogger blogging. So, it makes sense for me to advertise this blog in places where people interested in Blogger blogging congregate.

I have other blogs, focused on other subjects - cooking, miscellaneous jokes and pranks, and Windows Networking, to name a few - and various Followers to those blogs too. Most Followers to those blogs will have common interests - the Followers to my cooking blog will be interested in cooking. Relatively few who are interested in my cooking will be also interested in gardening, or in rap music.

To get Followers who bring more Followers, because of a common interest in the readership of our various blogs, I need to advertise my blog where it's content is relevant. Not where my need - simply getting more Followers - is relevant.

Were I to be desperate for Followers to my cooking blog, I might go into a forum about Blogger blogging, look for a discussion where everybody says
I'll Follow your blog, if you'll Follow mine.
and add the URL of my blog to the list of hopeful bloggers. And I might gain a few Followers, from those bloggers. Unfortunately, those Followers, who publish blogs of varying interests, will have readers of varying interests. People Following a blog about rap music, and surfing the Following community for that blog, will be less likely to also Follow my blog about my cooking, because they aren't necessarily interested in my cooking.

I will, I suspect, be more likely to get Followers from folks who are interested in cooking, and who Follow other blogs about cooking and happen upon my blog.

And, once again, relevance brings readers.

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FTP Publishing - August 2009

This week, we are seeing the return of the well known FTP Publishing symptom
Publishing your blog is taking longer than expected. To continue waiting for it to finish, click here.


There are several threads in Blogger Help Forum, reporting this problem with various amounts of detail.

If you are suffering from this problem, please provide details of your experience, to help Blogger Support get a start diagnosing the problem.
  • The blog BlogSpot URL (if applicable).
  • The blog domain URL.
  • The name of the server hosting company, or URL of the host server.
  • The Blogger FTP server setting value.
as part of your problem report. If you're able, work with the server support staff, and examine the server activity and firewall logs, and see what is seen from the server perspective too.

(Update 8/4 6:30): One blogger has found a possible workaround by adjusting the value of the "FTP Path" setting, relative to the "Blog URL" setting.
With the trailing slash in the Blog URL an FTP Path in the format web/html/www/ would work.

Without the trailing slash in the Blog URL the FTP Path needed to be in the format www/ to work!


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Monday, August 03, 2009

Blogger Accounts, Email Accounts, And Google Accounts

One of the most common problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum, comes from people who can't sign in to their Blogger accounts, and manage their blogs.

Frequently, this is because some can't remember their account name or password. Sometimes, this is because they have an account name that they can't change, because they don't realise the connection between the email address and the account name. And occasionally, this confusion leads to worse problems, such as inadvertent creation of additional accounts.

A Blogger account is simply a Google account, used to access or to manage blogs. A Blogger account is setup on the fly, when you create a blog, or when you accept membership in someone else's blog (in an ownership transfer, as a new author, or as a designated reader).