Thursday, July 08, 2010

Diagnosing Problems With Your Blogger / BlogSpot Connectivity

One of the most frustrating problems reported occasionally in in BHF: Something Is Broken comes in very terse langauge.
I can't access my blog.
or slightly longer
I can't access any blogs
.or possibly
I can't access Blogger.
In situations where the blog owner, and / or any number of blog readers, are cooperative, and able to take a few minutes to perform some simple tests, we can conduct a Affinity based analysis - or possibly an Affinity / Differential Analysis.

In cases where the blog URL is stated, and we can access the blog, we may resort to a canonical diagnostic procedure.

We can do the canonical diagnostics, before starting a more comprehensive diagnosis.
Here are 8 replicas of the same article, which provide a test set for you to use.

Can you read all 8? Please be specific - which ones can you, and which can't you, read?
If you can open either of the latter two, read them carefully.

The test set is not frivolous, redundant, or trivial.
From observing the responses seen occasionally, it appears that the 8 tests identified above, are seen as frivolous, redundant, or trivial. This, however, is not the case.

All tests complement each other - and none are redundant. If executed in precise sequence, when a problem is observed, they can help to focus on many known or suspected connectivity problems.

All tests differ from each other - and none are frivolous or trivial. If executed consistently, the 8+ tests can provide a standard test set, and allow for easy comparison with other tests by other people. This is how we look for patterns.

By understanding the principles of causality and epidemiology, we know that when we see a possible connectivity problem reported at low volume, it's likely that the problem is at least partially caused by the individual computer or Internet connection. We can sometimes persuade the blog owner to do some more research.

When the problem is reported at high volume, this test set, provided consistently, helps us see a non imaginary relationship between the many reports - and productively forward an urgent problem report to Blogger Engineering. We can sometimes persuade Blogger Engineering to look at the problem.

The first task is to identify the nature of the problem.
Identifying the problem is where the 8+ link test comes into play. If you post a forum question - and the 8+ link test is suggested in a reply - take a couple minutes, click on the 8+ links, and note which ones lead (or do not lead) to properly provided advice. Read the advice. And finally, reply and tell us the results.

So, what is special and unique about the 8+ links? Let's look, briefly.
  • "" is a Blogger blog, published to "" only.
  • "" is a Blogger blog, published to "" only - and accessed through the CC alias override, in countries where CC aliasing is in effect.
  • "" is the UK alias of "". If the problem is identified for a specific country, "" may be changed to the CC alias that's relevant.
  • "" is the France alias of "". If the problem is identified for a specific country, "fr" may be changed to the CC alias that's relevant, to a nearby country.
  • "" is a Blogger blog, published to a Google Custom Domain.
  • "" is the custom domain alias for "".
  • "" is the old Blogger Support forum.
  • "" is the current Blogger Support forum.

Each link is an alias of my first diagnostic article.
Each of the 8 linked articles contains a (replicated, as much as possible) alias of my first diagnostic procedure, Help! My Blog Is Gone! That name identifies one frequently seen complaint, in BHF: Something Is Broken.

The set of the links provides an affinity / differential test.
That set of 8+ links (plus any which I may add, according to your individual complaint) comprises one simple affinity test. And any collection of multiple 8+ link observations, taken over a period of time by one person - or taken by multiple people - constitutes an affinity / differential test.

Adding in 4 aliases of the specific blog mentioned by the owner - or readers - allows an affinity comparison between the different aliases of my blog(s), and the aliases of the problem blog. And multiple affinity sets allow an affinity differential comparison.

And a properly assembled affinity differential set can make a difference between Blogger Engineering diagnosing and fixing a problem this week - and sometime next month.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Mike said...

I can read all items on your 7+ list except item #6 which throws up 404. That’s an error.

The requested URL was not found on this server. That’s all we know.