Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New Blogger GUI 2011 Progress: It's Now A Production Blogger Option

Last month, Blogger released the initial access to their new (2011) GUI, as a part of Draft Blogger. Today, it was released as an option in Production Blogger.
As you may have heard, things are starting to look a little different across many Google products—and today, Blogger is the next product to get a makeover.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Blogger Magic - Identifying The Blog

Identifying Blogger blogs, as with identifying people, is an exercise in futility - or at least, complexity. As a person, you are addressed in number of ways, which will be contextually significant. Depending upon how / where you live, you may have:
  1. First name.
  2. Last name.
  3. Nickname (one, or many).
  4. Government identifier ("Social Security Number", and others).
  5. Home address.
  6. Business address.
  7. "Phone" number. How many phones do you have?
  8. Email address. How many email addresses do you have?
  9. SMS address (which may or may not be same as one or more "phone" numbers).
  10. Website address. How many websites do you publish?
  11. I'm not going to take all day writing this - give me a break!

Your blog has a number of ways of addressing it, too - and it may be to your benefit to consider each identifier, canonically.

Blogger / Google Practices Due Diligence

The practice of "Due Diligence" is a responsible precaution, taken by all businesses that have any future as businesses. Blogger / Google, being a business, subscribes to this practice. This affects their involvement with us, their "customers", in various ways - though not all "customers" understand the implications. Some blog owners find out about the limitations unwillingly, in discussions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

New Blogger GUI 2011 Pain: Post Editor And Labels

As people are starting to use the New GUI (2011), we're seeing questions about apparent restrictions on labels, in the new post editor.
Why can't I use an apostrophe in my labels?
and
Why can't I have a label "Red & Blue" any more?
Not all blog owners appreciate the special nature of certain characters, in HTML. Nevertheless, we are all affected by how these special characters are treated.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Recovering Your GMail Based Blogger Account Information

We've been seeing too many complaints from blog owners who never bothered to remember their Blogger account name or password, and who now cannot login to Blogger.
Help me! My email address changed last month, and now I can't sign in to my blog!
Everybody makes mistakes - but not all mistakes are equal in consequence.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blogger Sucks - I'm Moving My Blog To A Different Platform

We see this complaint, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, almost daily.
I hate the comment filters - I'm moving my blog to WordPress!
or
WordPress gives you SEO tools, why are there no SEO tools for Blogger?
or
I can't stand Blogger requiring that I enable third party cookies to not count my pageviews - I'm setting up a Tumblr blog!!
or
How dare Blogger tell me that I can't publish my entire blog on the main page! I'm setting up my blog on my ISP's blogging service, where there no limits!!!

Blogger Browser Support Policy, And Ongoing Browser Development

Last month, Blogger announced their new browser support policy.
Starting next month Blogger.com will only support modern browsers.
While seemingly dismissive and rude, this change will ultimately lead to a more stable Blogger experience for all of us.

How You Login To Following Affects Your Ability To Follow Blogs

Following, now using Google Friend Connect, gives its members several options - and some of these options may cause confusion. You can login to Following using any account, hosted on any of six different Internet services, and Follow using any of seven different Following profiles. Many Blogger blog owners and guests assume that any blog that they Follow will be visible in their Reading List - and this won't always be the case.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stats Not Displaying Pages / Posts Counts, For The "Now" Date Range

This week, we're seeing a number of problem reports, from anxious blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, who can't see the Stats detail upon which they depend.
My Stats display does not include individual posts counts!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Conflicting Edits And Login Loops - Two Symptoms Of The Same Problem

We've been seeing various reports of anguish and frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I can not access my blogs settings, I get the following error.
Conflicting edit

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.
and
I can't comment on anybody's blog! I get in an endless loop to sign in!

Both the "Conflicting Edits", and the "Login Loop", symptoms have been reported for some time. It's possible that both of these symptoms are simply different faces of the same problem.

New Blogger GUI 2011 Improvement: Pages Editor

We've been using the static Pages editor for over a year. When the Pages editor was first released, we saw a few questions, which indicated a shortsided design for the Pages index gadget.
How do I link a page to my other blog?
and
How do I index a label search, in the Pages gadget?
These were just two typical questions.

Up until this month, the only possible answer, to either query, was to suggest that the blog owner replace the Pages gadget with a linklist. This is simpler than it appears - but still, not all blog owners wanted to take the effort. We've been asking Blogger to make this easier, for a while.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The New Blogger Browser Support Policy, And Ongoing Problems With Blogger

This month, the new Blogger browser support policy goes into effect.
Starting next month Blogger.com will only support modern browsers.
This week, we're seeing new reports of problems with posting comments. It's possible that these newly reported problems, as well as other problems reported with Following, and with Stats, are partially caused by lack of support for older browsers.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Know What Browser Version You Are Using

Last month, Blogger Support announced a dramatic change in their browser support policy.
Starting next month Blogger.com will only support modern browsers.
It is now more important than ever, to be aware of the browser version that you are using.

Attention Blogger Blog Owners - You Are Responsible For Retaining Access To Your Blogger Account

Nowadays, even if you're going to the corner store for a six pack, you'll lock up your house before you leave. Generally, you do the same at night, before going to bed. Security is a way of life, with the world as it is now.

What happens if you go to the store, leaving the house unlocked because somebody else is in there, and neglect to take your key? The last person in the house is responsible for locking up, before leaving. If you get home, discover the house locked, and realise then that you have no key to get inside, what do you do?
  • Do you call the police, and demand that they send an officer over, to help you break in?
  • Do you call the home owners association, or maybe the landlord, and request key service?
  • If the home owners association, or the landlord, can't be reached, do you complain if they can't provide a 24 hour emergency number, to service you when you are locked out?

Blogger Maintenance Scheduled For Wednesday (8/10) At 17:00 PST

This week, we have been notified by Blogger Support that Blogger is going to attempt capacity expansion, later today.
Blogger will go into read-only mode Wednesday (8/10) 5:00PM PST for about an hour as we work to expand capacity for our users.

We pray that lessons learned from the previous attempt of May 11 were not wasted.



(Update 18:30): Blogger appears to be up. If you can't login, clear cache, cookies and sessions, restart the browser, and try again.

>> Top

Bloggers Unable To Comment On Blogs, Told That They Do Not Have Access To The Page

Several weeks ago, we observed that some blog guests and owners were reporting problems posting comments to blogs with embedded comment forms.
I can't comment on anybody's blog! I get in an endless loop to sign in!
Today, we're getting reports of a new problem.
I try to post a comment. When I click "Post" it tells me
Your account does not have access to view this page.
It appears that Blogger is trying to refine the comment authentication problem, by providing warning of the problem. In the attempt, they may be causing more confusion. It's also possible that this new symptom may be a side effect of the new Blogger browser support policy.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Blog Owners Discovering Dangers Of Passively Moderating Comments

Some blog owners are learning about the reality of comment moderation - or lack of moderation - when comment feeds are being published.

Today, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see a blog owner getting bad news.
I deleted a comment, but in the 'Recent Comments' gadget, it's still there! Help me!!
This blog owner is about to learn about the "Recent Comments" gadget, in an unpleasant way.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Some Blog Owners Seeing bX-1tj3ze When Loading The Dashboard

We've seen a few reports today, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners who can't login, or load their dashboard.
What does bX-1tj3ze mean?

Show A Label Feed On Your Home Page

Not every blog owner wants to display current posts on their blog Home page.
How do I display just a Welcome message, on my Home page?
Some owners are satisfied with displaying a fixed welcome message - and let the readers click on links in the menu bar, or a menu gadget in the sidebar, to see the posts.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Blogger Magic - An SEO Kit Does Not Come In A Box

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see the curious and naive query
How do I SEO my blog?
or odder still
What SEO kit can I get, for my Blogger blog?
These people seem to think that
  1. SEO is a magical or mystical process that you do to your blog.
  2. SEO works the same, for all Blogger blogs.
  3. You can buy a thing called an "SEO Kit", for your blog.
Anybody who really believes that you can buy an "Acme SEO Kit" for your blog, read no further. Anybody who truly understands why you publish a blog, read on.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Blogger Will Not Provide, To The Blog Owner, Email Addresses Of Commenters Or Readers

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see a hopeful and naive query
How do I get the email addresses of people who comment, on my blog?
or alternately
How do I keep my email address secret, when I post comments, surf Blogger blogs, join a blog?

The promise to keep our email addresses secret is a part of the strategy employed by Blogger, in keeping our blogs secure, and under our control.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Third Party Blog Feed Gadgets Stopped Working

Recently, we're seeing a number of problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about various gadgets that display content from the blog and comments feeds.
My Recent Posts (Recent Comments, Popular Posts) gadgets aren't displaying!
From the reports, this appears to be happening with gadgets installed using "Add a Gadget", from the "Featured" list.

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?

Monday, August 01, 2011

How To Add A Jump Break To Your Blog

Last week, I explored the issues involved in sizing a jump break properly.

Feedback from that article suggests that, besides some uncertainty about how large a jump break section should be, some people are still uncertain how to add a jump break, in the first place.

Jump break sections, unlike some other "read more" solutions, can be uniquely located and sized in each post - as long as the blog will not be using a dynamic view. This lets you size the Jump Break individually, per post.