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Showing posts from October, 2010

Stats And Session Cookies

The discussion about Stats, and the non persistent setting for "Don't track your own pageviews", has been a topic of discussion for some time now. I publicised the problem of people who filter third party cookies, stating that this is the primary cause of the non persistent Stats setting. Some people, hearing my advice, were able to benefit from it, and responded positively.

But not everybody who understood my advice found it to help them. Many people stated explicitly, that allowing third party cookies did not make their Stats setting for "Don't track your own pageviews" to be persistent. I recently realised that there is yet another level of detail, resulting from one more security strategy, affecting this persistence issue.

Some blog owners, mindful of the dangers of third party cookies, have resorted to compromise. They allow third party cookies, but set cookies to expire when the browser is closed, a setting called "Session Cookies". A…

Sudden and Total Loss Of Followed Blogs

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the panic.OMG, all of the blogs - hundreds of them - that I was Following just disappeared!Sometimes, this points to a major problem with Following - and combining a low background noise level in the forum, and understanding of epidemiological trends in the forums, we may unearth a new problem. Frequently, though, this does not point to any catastrophe at all.

Blog*Spot Connectivity In Nepal

A few bloggers in Nepal are reporting inability to access Blog*Spot blogs.

We have a problem rollup in Blogger Help Forum, where the problem is being explored.

If you are affected by this outage, please confirm your location, the name of your ISP, and the scope of the outage. If you're able to provide details about your outage, you can help Blogger Engineers to focus on the problem - and not on speculations.

The New "Next Blog" Link Is Lame Because (Insert Complaint Here)

The new Next Blog link has been out for almost a full year, and we still see daily complaints.When I press "Next Blog", I get only religious blogs (My name is Jude).orWhen I use "Next Blog", I only get blogs in Spanish (I only speak English).or"Next Blog" is boring now - it only gives me "crafts" blogs by American housewives (I hate crafts blogs).These are all complaints by people who want to randomly surf blogs, but don't care for truly random results.

If you can't accept random surfing results, try less random surfing techniques.Blogger Profile surfing.Following surfing.Google Blog Search (Advanced Mode) surfing.Focus your activity just slightly, and see if you don't get better results.

If you start your "Next Blog" surfing from your blog, and don't like the results, put more content into your blog. The more focused your blog content is, the more obvious your abilities and interests will be to "Next Blog" t…

Aliasing Of Non Root Custom Domain URLs Ended

Since the beginning of the Google Custom Domain option, the ability to publish a blog to "www.mydomain.com", and optionally have Blogger associate "mydomain.com" with "www.mydomain.com", has been an assumed feature in custom domain publishing.

Similarly, the ability to publish to "blog.mydomain.com", and optionally have "www.blog.mydomain.com" as an association, was an assumed, if slightly less popular option.

Conditionally Displaying Template Objects

Some time ago, I wrote how to make a static home page, where the key element was an HTML gadget, tweaked to display only with the home page of the blog.

That's a useful tweak - and it's a tweak that can be used in various other conditional displays also.

If you know a little template XML code, you can construct alternate conditional statements, and have template objects display in any of several other specific conditions.

Logging In To Blogger With Your Google Account

Recently, we're seeing various problem reports, in BHF: How Do I?, from confused bloggers unable to login to Blogger using a non GMail email account.
I created a Blogger account with a non GMail email address, and can no longer access it without a GMail account! How do I login now?as if using a non GMail email address as a Blogger account name is no longer an option.

Please Blogger, Restore My Deleted Post! - Part 2

In December of last year, Blogger announced their ability to restore individual posts, when erroneously deleted by the owner, or abused by AutoSave.

Last week, Blogger informed us that this service can no longer be offered.


"This action cannot be undone". That's your last chance, now.



If your post is cached - either as newsfeed or search engine content - you may be able to un delete it. If you have a private blog, this won't be possible.

Now, it's still more to your advantage to disable AutoSave.

Death, spam, taxes, and Blogger service changes.

Blogger Accounts, And Non GMail Email Addresses Based Upon Google Apps

One of the saddest problem reports, seen in BHF: Something Is Broken, starts withHelp me! My email address changed last month, and now I can't sign in to my blog!Those of us who help blog owners, regularly, with this problem report know to read the fine print.
Help Me! I never bothered to remember my password - I used the Forgot Password wizard to reset my password every time I wanted to sign in to my Blogger account. My email address changed last month, I can't get the email from the Forgot Password wizard, and now I can't sign in to my blog!

Comments Published Using The Name/URL Option Are Anonymous Comments

Blogger allows for several levels of authentication - including no authentication - to allow blog owners to select what degree of anonymity they are willing to permit, in the comments published to their blogs. In Settings - Comments - "Who Can Comment?", we have several selectable authentication levels.Anyone - includes Anonymous UsersRegistered Users - includes OpenIDUsers with Google AccountsOnly members of this blogPeople posting comments, without providing any authentication (when allowed) are considered Anonymous commenters.

To provide convenience, and encourage some amount of sharing, Blogger provides a selection in the "Comments as:" list, to let anonymous commenters provide a link to any one of their blogs. The "Name/URL" selection lets anonymous commenters setup a temporary profile ("Edit profile") for the comment being published, without coding HTML.

Some bloggers think that the "Name/URL" selection provides some degree of …

Blogger Limits: Picture Storage - Part 2

Several years ago, we explored the base limits of Picasa storage. The referential Blogger Help: What are the limits on my Blogger account? tells usNumber of Pictures: Up to 1 GB of total storage, shared with Picasa WebthenSize of Pictures: If you are posting pictures through Blogger Mobile there is a limit of 250K per picture.
Even then, we were told of a known problem with Picasa when additional storage is paid for, with a clumsy workaround being recommended.Users who have paid for additional storage space on Picasa Web Albums may not be able to use their additional storage space from within Blogger.
This month, in BHF: Something Is Broken, we are additionally advisedSometimes after you add additional storage, it doesn't immediately take effect for Blogger. One way to ensure that you're able to use your new space is to log in and out of your Picasa Web Albums account after you add more storage.
You can use the Google "Basic storage usage" monitor, to monitor storag…

Your Custom Domain, And Your Google Apps Account

Spam - unwanted advertising - is everywhere, and we can't get away from it.

Whether we read an advertising funded paper based tabloid (some time ago, called a "newspaper"), watch an advertising funded electronically broadcast audio / video entertainment service (some time ago, called "television"), or even pay bills using an advertising funded public bill delivery service (some time ago, called "postal mail" delivery), we are rudely subjected to endless onslaughts of unwanted and annoying advertisements.

Accepting Membership In Somebody's Blog

When somebody invites you to be a member of a blog
To read a private blog.To become an author.To become an administrator, or maybe the new owner of the blog. You get a token in your email, attached to a membership invitation. When you exercise the token, by clicking on the link in the email, you connect the blog with your Blogger account. What you do, when you exercise the token, affects both your immediate and future access to the blog in question - and you need to understand the details.

Blogger Accounts, And Non GMail Email Addresses

It's as easy to setup a Blogger account based on a non GMail email account, as it is to setup a Blogger account based on a GMail / Google account.

We see the confusion, from time to time.I have to reset my password, each time I login to Blogger!This blog owner may not completely understand the relationship of his (non Google) email account to his Blogger account - and the difference between that account, and a Blogger / GMail / Google account.

If you setup a Blogger account that's based upon a GMail email address, you have to prove ownership of the GMail address. The GMail address is also a Google account - and you prove ownership of a Blogger / GMail / Google account, by providing the correct password for the account.

A Blogger / Google account, that's based on a non GMail email address, is different from a Blogger / GMail / Google account - when the account is not based on a Google Apps provided email domain.

Be Careful When Republishing Blog Contents

One of the features of blogs, which a lot of blog owners seem to take for granted, is the maintaining of the posts and structure of the blog.

With a static website, you design the URL structure, and you publish the pages in the website to the URLs as you wish. If you link the various pages to each other, this requires that you keep a glossary, of the URL of each page.

The larger your website gets, the more painful a task this becomes. Make a mistake with one URL, and you have a broken link. Search engines don't like broken links - so if you want your website to be featured in search result pages, you want to minimize broken links.

Improving The Designer Template GUI Advanced Menu

One of the kewler features of the Blogger templates is the GUI wizards that let you change settings, like fonts and colors for the various text elements in the template.

Of course Blogger programmers have one idea what settings are useful - and we may have other ideas.

When the Layout templates were provided in 2007, it didn't take too long to discover the fonts and colors possibilities there, and then to discover the limitations. So I found how we could enhance the GUI Fonts And Colors menus. And this evening, I decided to see how a Designer template could be enhanced, similarly.

Use Affinity Testing To Identify Problems

When you go to the doctor to report a health problem, you'll likely tell her (him)Doctor, I have a pain.and he (she) will likely ask youWhere does it hurt?If you tell herMy stomach hurts.he will probably askWhen does it hurt?andHow long has it been hurting?None of these are formalities or mere protocol, they are systematic problem identification procedures.

If you write in BHF: Something Is Broken and reportMy readers can't access my blog.or maybeI can't access Blogger!you'll likely get similar questions.

Use Of A Missing Files Host For FTP Migration

For a blog with any history, one of the most cherished features of your blog might be your search engine reputation - the ability of prospective readers to find your blog. Whenever people change blog URLs, that's one of the most anxiously asked questions in BHF: How Do I?. People preparing to move their blog from externally hosted (FTP based) publishing ask this question, too.

To satisfy your personal needs for your individual blogs, Blogger offers you three choices when migrating, from externally hosted publishing to Google hosted publishing.To Blog*Spot.To a Google custom domain URL, different from the current domain.To a Google custom domain URL, the same domain host as the current domain.

Which Queue Is Your Comment In?

The new Blogger commenting system has been out for several weeks now, and as some blog owners are becoming accustomed to it, it appears that others are occasionally confused. We see recent reports in BHF: Something Is BrokenI am moderating comments, yet I find some comments being published without my input. andI deleted the comments, and now I can't get them back! andAll of the comments to my blog are going straight to Spam. These reports may be from folks who are not observing what queue they are looking at, or what the buttons do, in the Comments wizard.

The Comments wizard has been moved from a small link in the Post Editor display, to a dashboard page. We now have "Edit Posts", "Comments", "Settings", "Design", "Monetize", and "Stats" - in that order, for the dashboard pages.

Under the Comments page, we have 3 tabs - "Published", "Awaiting Moderation", and "Spam". Each tab has its own uni…

A Post Editor For Virginia USA

Recently, we have been reading comments from a few blog owners, who do not appreciate the latest version of the Post Editor, Some blog owners are so unhappy that they want Blogger to retain the old Post Editor, so they can avoid the changes indefinitely.

At first glance, this may seem like a reasonable idea - why not keep the old version indefinitely, to accommodate those who cannot move forward?. Unfortunately, that strategy is not really practical. As Blogger releases new features to Blogger, having two versions of Post Editor will require some features that have to be developed in two aliases, each alias being compatible with a different version of post editor.

Eventually, the next new version of post editor will be developed. Maintaining two old versions of post editor, or abruptly discontinuing the oldest version, would be an immediate necessity then. Neither strategy will really serve the folks who, right now, see the need to keep using the old version.

The answer here, fol…

FTP Publishing Is Over

Occasionally, it appears as if not all blog owners have gotten the message, just yet. For the record, here's my statement.


FTP Publishing ended, in March 2010.


If you have a blog that is hosted externally, that you used to publish using FTP Publishing, your only option is to migrate to BlogSpot, or to Custom Domain Publishing.

If you're interested in the search engine reputation, which is the product of most well maintained blogs with any history, you'll want to carefully consider the several options for migration.

If you own a domain, and you have DNS control, then you can publish any Blogger blog to a non Blogger / Google URL, using custom domain publishing.

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Testing For A Problem With Cookies Filtering On Your Computer

Blogger has recently provided several optional blog features which are requested in Blogger hosted scripts, and exercised in BlogSpot or non Google hosted scripts - and has caused problems seen by people who who are trying to protect their computers.

Blogger options like Stats "Don't track your own pageviews", and the Inline Comment form, both of which run as scripts in "blogspot.com" or a non Google domain (depending upon how the blog is published), are going to depend upon cookies which transport the option setting from the Blogger Settings script (hosted in "blogger.com") to the blog script (hosted in "blogspot.com" or wherever).

The confusion starts with the cookie / script filters present on many computers - but it may not end there. Recent discussions in BHF: Something Is Broken make it appear that there may be problems with the Blogger hosted scripts in general. These problems may not be entirely solved by adjusting cookie / script…

Embedding A Video In Your Post

One fun and sometimes practical accessory to add to your blog is a video. When added properly, you get a picture, that your readers can click on, and watch a movie, right in front of their eyes. This is called "streaming video", where the video content is downloaded from the distant server while you watch.

Here's a demonstration video that I have used in another post.


This is one example of why I prefer to live in California.



»www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCoxOReXlHI


<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/YCoxOReXlHI?fs=1&hl=en_US"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/YCoxOReXlHI?fs=1&hl=en_US" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" …

Spam Classification Isn't Going To Be 100% Fair

Every week, we see the complaints from blog owners, whose blogs have been unfairly accused of hosting hacking, porn, or spam content.This is so unfair! My blog was just getting started, and now it's been deleted!orHow can my blog be spam? This other blog is worse!These are just a couple examples of how capricious fuzzy spam classification can be.