Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Blogger Magic: The Mysterious Vanishing Profile Gadget

The XML based Layout template has been a Blogger feature for almost 4 years now - and occasionally we get a strange problem report in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
My Profile gadget disappeared from my blog. I went to "Page Elements" to add it back, and the error says that it's already added, even though it isn't.
Where did the Profile gadget go?

This is a very simple trick. For any new blog, when we add a default Profile gadget, the gadget is titled "About Me", and the gadget contains a snippet of the Blogger Profile. If we add authors to a blog, it becomes a team blog, and "About Me" becomes an inaccurate description. For a team blog, "About Me" is displayed as "Contributors" - and simply contains a list of the members (administrators and authors) for the blog, with each list entry linked to the member Blogger Profile page.

This trick really is magic.
  • Start with a single administrator / owner - the gadget is titled "About Me".
  • Add an author / member - the gadget is titled "Contributors.
  • Remove all excess authors / administrators - the gadget is titled "About Me" again.
  • Setup a custom Profile gadget, and call it what you wish.
Now, you see it. Now, you don't.

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