Monday, December 19, 2011

Private Blog Owners Need To Use Google+, To Distribute Blog Updates

Recently, we've seen a few questions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about email distribution of blog posts, from private blogs.
I previously used a Google Group, to send an email to more than 102 people. This is now no longer working - my Google Group is not notified of a new post, automatically. Any idea what could have changed or be going wrong?
Here, we see signs of the use of Google+ becoming more necessary.

Some months ago, Blogger, responding to a security vulnerability in BlogSend, changed the email address used by BlogSend. This required many owners of private blogs, using Google Groups to distribute BlogSend based email updates, to add "noreply@blogger.com" as a Group member. This requires the use of the Groups administrative control, to add a new member without consent.

The ability to add a new member, without consent (without requiring return confirmation from the new member), carried with it a warning, to Groups administrators.
If you misuse this option, your use of it may be revoked.
This ability, when provided, was an excellent tool for spammers, to maintain a spam victim mailing list.

Recently, and possibly involving the misuse of "noreply@blogger.com" as Groups members, the option to add Groups members without consent was removed from the Groups "invite members" wizard. Now, any new Groups memberships require return consent from the new member.

This change leaves owners of private Groups unable to add "noreply@blogger.com" as a Group member - which leaves Groups unusable for distribution of private blog content. Private blog owners now have only one option - Use Google+, and properly restricted Circles, to selectively distribute blog post updates.

Note that owners of publicly accessible blogs can use Google+ also, in addition to the also popular option to use FeedBurner Email Distribution. Or, if you want to continue using Groups for distribution, set "Who can post messages?" to "Anyone can post", in the "Group settings" Access tab.

Google+ will also be useful as a replacement for Private blogs, where membership has grown past the 99 member limit. This will, unfortunately, require that each member setup a Google+ account - and become less anonymous. One feature of Google+, which not every blog owner or member appreciates, is the reduction in anonymity. Google+ accounts are based on our actual biological identity, by Google policy. Not everybody wants to be identifiable.

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4 comments:

Chris Swenson said...

I disagree that there's only one option - Feedburner works very well, and it has an email option, along with a form to post in your blog. Further, there is a new widget that allows subscriptions via email, and it uses Feedburner in the back-end.

Chuck Croll said...

Chris,

"blog.cswenson.com" is not a private blog. Private blogs do not publish feeds, and cannot use FeedBurner for distribution. Your blog has a feed, and is public.

Chookyblue...... said...

i'm unsure from this post but how do you get the comments and posts emailed to a group in a private blog?? Most importantly the comments.

Chuck Croll said...

Chooky,

If you set your Group so "Anyone can post", then "noreply@blogger.com" can post - and your comments and posts will email to your group just fine. But that would leave your private blog with an exposed groups distribution list. If Anyone can post, then your Group will not be so private, will it?