An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cleanup Labels In Posts Published During The Week Of 2011/05/11

Now that the chaos of May 11, and the maintenance release rollback, is becoming a distant memory for many (but not all) blog owners, we have a few blog owners, reporting in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, noticing artifacts of that week.
My blog has labels with some weird signs in front of them, with no posts - how do I get rid of these labels?

The problem is that you won't find these odd labels indexed in "Edit Posts" - so how do you remove them?

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Recent Change To The Post Template Disables Inline Comment Forms

We have a small flood of reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from owners of blogs that use the inline ("Embedded below post") comment form, that their comment form is not visible.
The comments section of some of my blogs do not show up. When I change the comments settings to "Pop-up window", it works - but when it is "Embedded below post" it doesn't work!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Layered Security And Following

The Following gadget problem of May 26 is slowly becoming a memory for many blog owners, but not for everybody. We still see the odd problem report in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, mentioning inability to view Followers.
I though Following was fixed. Why can I still not see my Followers?

Clearing Cookies, Selectively

Many Blogger problems that originate from conditions that we, the owners and users of our computers can control, start with clearing private browser data.
Clear cache, cookies, and authenticated sessions - then restart the browser.
There are known problems, though, with thoughtlessly clearing private data. Sometimes, it would be better to clear only the specific data that might be causing the problem - or alternately, logout then login, to correct some problems.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Followers Intermittently Visible, In A Variety Of Symptoms

We're seeing a flood of reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about inability to view Followers. This blog appears to be part of the problem, as reported, from time to time.

The main symptom is reported by people who see a large blank space, where the Followers gadget contents should display, on any blog affected.

The symptoms appear to be intermittent, and varied.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Blog Owners Unable To Login To Blogger

Besides the previously reported problem of blog owners unable to login to Blogger using the "" redirection, we're seeing a flood of reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from people who can't login using the "Sign In" link in the navbar - or who can't login to moderate comments, to post comments, or to Follow a blog.
I cannot log in to Blogger, at all. After I try to log in, the screen just tells me to log in again.
I clicked Sign In, filled out my account name and password, hit enter, and it just asked me again for my account name and password.

Some folks try using a different browser. Depending upon their specific basic problems, a different browser may work - for a while.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Blog Owners Unable To Login To Blogger, Using ""

This week, many unhappy blog owners report inability to login to Blogger, and access their dashboards. In some cases, they are seeing the well known "404 Not Found" error. For a few folks, this error comes from an odd habit - which used to be supported by Blogger - but no more.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Owners Of Private Blogs Report The "About Me" Gadget Has Been Replaced By The "Contributors" Gadget

As I've mentioned before, generally in consumer related issues, a "2 for 1" offer is something that you enjoy,
The "2 for 1" offer is not always the case, for Blogger blogs.

This week, we have owners of private blogs, who report that their blogs, which previously displayed the "About Me" gadget, now show a "Contributors" gadget. The issue of the "About Me" gadget being replaced by the "Contributors" gadget is not arbitrary though.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Blog Owners Report Inability To Logout From Blogger

We've been looking at problems with logging in to Blogger, as reported in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, for some time.

In 2010, we explored a problem with the "Remember Me" option. In 2011, we had a new twist on the login problems - inability to logout from Blogger.
I cannot sign out of my Blogger account, to access a different Blogger in account. Blogger keeps returning me to the same account.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Blog Owners Seeing "Conflicting Edits" Error

One mysterious monolithic error message, reported by Blogger blog owners for some time, is the mysterious "Conflicting Edits" error.

Conflicting edits

There was more than one attempt to edit this resource at the same time. This may have been because you double clicked on a link or a button or because someone else is also editing this blog or post.

Please hit the back button on your browser and try again. If the problem persists, please contact the Blogger Help Group. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Friday, May 13, 2011

OK, It's Back

After several long days, it looks like Blogger has indeed restored their service.
We’re nearly back to normal — you can publish again, and in the coming hours posts and comments that were temporarily removed should be restored.
As indicated, some comments and posts are still being restored.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

When You Setup Commenting On Your Blog, Enter Email Addresses Properly

We've known for a while the frustration (and conversely, the mystery) caused by incorrectly entering your email address for your Blogger account. There are other ways to cause frustration (and mystery) also, when incorrectly entering an email address.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Getting Ready to Rename / Redesign Your Blog? Pick The Available URL, First

Renaming a blog - republishing it to a new URL - is simple enough. Pick an available URL. We all know how to identify an available URL - pick it now. Once you know that it's available, you have it - and it's not available, any more.

What if your renaming project also involves restyling the blog?

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Company Blogs, Like Other Corporate Assets, Must Be Properly Managed

One subject which generates some frustration, as reported in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, concerns blog ownership - and specifically, "How do I take over ownership of a blog which I need to control?".

In some cases, this is because the blog was owned by someone who just died, or maybe somebody optimistically chose the wrong "friend" to co-administer a blog. As Blogger blogs become a more common website platform for small businesses, we are seeing a third scenario
How do I get control of the blog about my business? The employee who setup the blog has left the company.

Like similar issues about blog ownership, this is not as simple as it may appear.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Can The Followers Gadget Link My Blog To Spammers, And To Their Blogs?

The hugely popular Blogger / Google accessory, Following, has been with us for almost 3 years. Thanks to ongoing activity by hackers, porn merchants, and spammers, unfortunately, some folks still have misgivings as to whether they should blindly publicise (and backlink) strangers (and their blogs), when they Follow our blogs.
Does the Followers gadget, on my blog, subject my blog to possible classification as a spam blog, should a spammer decide to Follow my blog?
This is a perfectly understandable fear, considering the pain suffered by so many, when asking for their blog to be restored from spurious spam classification, in a discussion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Fortunately, this fear, though understandable, is spurious. Google provides the Following gadget, with our Followers isolated from our blogs, by using JavaScript. Take a look at the source code for the Followers gadget, some time. You will not see a list of HTML based links, to your Followers. What you will see is JavaScript code.

Long known as a problem for our blogs and websites, when we use JavaScript code to connect our blogs - because the search engine spiders cannot follow JavaScript based links - the use of JavaScript, in the Followers gadget, ensures that no porn or spam scanning spider will jump from our blogs to any Follower. Specifically, this protects our blogs from automated attack by a malicious Follower with hacking, porn, or spam connections.

Rest assured, having the Followers gadget on your blog does not present an automated threat to the future of your blog.

All that said, you will still do well to manually scan for, and block, any Follower with dodgy links in her / his profile. Just don't worry about automated threats - and don't remove the Followers gadget because of unfounded fear.

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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Blog Owners Report Disabled Blogger / GMail / Google Accounts - May 2011

This week, we're seeing another round of GMail accounts being disabled, again (in some cases) with mysterious mention of "unusual activity on your account". Besides the GMail / Google account being disabled, the predictable loss of AdSense, Blogger, Picasa, and other services is reported. This is similar to an earlier experience from February 2011.

Recreating Vs Restoring A Blogger / Google Account

People make mistakes - and that bare fact is the basis for so many interesting problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

If you made a mistake and deleted your Blogger account, maybe you're just now noticing that the blogs owned by the account have disappeared, also.

Blog has been removed

Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs.
Now, what to do?

Monday, May 02, 2011

DMCA Violation Vs "Report Abuse" - Does One Duplicate The Other?

Some blog owners are confused about the function of the "DMCA Violation" complaint vs the "Report Abuse" form - and some blog owners use one complaint process when the other would be more appropriate.

The Abuse Reporting process is for multiple offended parties to collaboratively complain about a given blog, using any of several different categories.
  • Defamation/Libel/Slander.
  • Copyright/Piracy issues.
  • Spam.
  • Nudity.
  • Hate or violence.
  • Impersonation.
  • Someone is posting my private information.
  • I think someone else is using my account.
The "Report Abuse" wizard can be accessed from the navbar link, or directly. There are many categories for reporting a problem, and no specific details are required. This makes "Report Abuse" easy to use. To prevent abusive use of "Report Abuse", it's collaborative - many "votes" (in any one category) are required to be placed against a problem blog, before automated action takes place.

The "DMCA Violation" form is for one specific party to individually complain about a given blog, and make a specific complaint. This form has specific requirements, and a very serious caution against misuse.
IMPORTANT: Misrepresentations made in your notice regarding whether material or activity is infringing may expose you to liability for damages (including costs and attorneys' fees). Courts have found that you must consider copyright defenses, limitations or exceptions before sending a notice. In one case involving online content, a company paid more than $100,000 in costs and attorneys fees after targeting content protected by the U.S. fair use doctrine. Accordingly, if you are not sure whether material available online infringes your copyright, we suggest that you first contact an attorney.

The immediate and long term effect of a successfully placed complaint also varies, between the two processes.

An abuse report requires multiple people placing a report against the same blog. Given enough "votes" against a specific blog, a targeted blog can be locked or deleted within hours.

If an abuse report is falsely placed, the effects can be easily reversed. For a spam host accusation, if the target blog is locked or deleted, the owner can appeal the classification. Given a blog that does not obviously host spam, the blog can be restored to operating status within hours of the appeal being placed.

A DMCA Violation report is much more formal. Besides the serious caution, the "Report alleged copyright infringement: Blogger" form has specific details which must be provided, and which can be verified by Google Legal. The DMCA Complaint procedure includes time for the owner of the targeted blog to respond, before action can be taken. However, once action is taken, much more effort is required by the owner to recover an offending blog.

If you have a complaint against a Blogger blog, you have avenues to take, to seek relief. And if you are the owner of an offending blog, you have avenues to take, to protect yourself. Know the differences between the two procedures.

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