Saturday, December 31, 2011

Disabled Blogger / GMail / Google Accounts, When Reenabled, Leave Deleted Blogs

We've been advising people about the complications involved in recovering disabled GMail / Google accounts, for a few months. Recently, we've been seeing a new complication, in this scenario.
I tried logging in to GMail, and it says that my account has been disabled. So I tried verifying by sending codes to my mobile phone - I managed to log in, and it now redirects into my dashboard. Unfortunately, it now tells me
The blog has been removed.
So, I have my Blogger / GMail account back - but no blog!
Apparently, there is a delay, between reinstatement of the Blogger / GMail account, and recovery of any owned blog(s), deleted when the account is disabled.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To "pagesinxt.com" / "ripway.com"

In spite of my recently published caution against gratuitous additions of third party blog accessories, we're seeing a small yet steady stream of reports about mysterious blog hijackings, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
When I view my blog, it shows up for a few seconds - and then forwards to this weird website, that I've never heard of.
Not everybody is aware of the dangers of adding non Google developed code, to their blogs.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mail-To-Blogger, And Problems From Mobile Blog Posting Volumes

Mobile blogging is becoming more and more popular - and it's creating an interesting challenge. Many blog owners, freed from the daily use of the home computer, are publishing multiple smaller posts, throughout the day - instead of a few larger posts, at the end of the day. Also, they are using mobile computers, and emailing or messaging the posts using Mail-To-Blogger, rather than composing the posts using the GUI Post Editor.

Lately, we're seeing more and more problem reports,in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
Why are my posts not publishing?
Many of the people reporting problems are mobile bloggers, not understanding about the unavoidable limitations.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Switching Back To The Classic Blogger GUI, And "400 Bad Request"

Those Blogger blog owners who continue to use an older browser, and who have decided to check out the New Blogger GUI (2011), may be familiar with the ominous advice
Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems.

If you are having problems, try Google Chrome.
Some of you have opted to check out the New GUI, even when faced with the warning - and have been faced with a cold reality.
I mistakenly clicked on the "Try the updated Blogger interface" link and now I just have a blank screen because my computer is outdated.

Having seen a steady flood of the latter complaint, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, Blogger recently released a non GUI Recovery process.
www.blogger.com/opt-in-new-ui.g?useNewUi=false

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Publishing Your Blogger Blog Post To FaceBook Fails

During the past weekend, we started seeing a number of reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners who participate in FaceBook, and who can't publish their blog posts to their FaceBook Wall. The problem appears to be common to both publishing using the "Share to FaceBook" button in the blog post (within Blogger), as well as the Wall posting wizard (within FaceBook).

Monday, December 26, 2011

Your Blogger Account: Privacy Vs Account Recovery

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see questions about publishing a blog, anonymously.
How do I publish a blog, without having my identity revealed?
One of the best techniques for keeping yourself anonymous is to use different Blogger / Google accounts, for different blogs. But, there's a downside to that technique.
I can't regain access to my blog, because I don't remember the email address!
Sometimes, it's a bit more embarrassing.
I can't regain access to my blog, because I don't remember the GMail address!
And here, we see blog owners who took the need for secrecy a bit far.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Getting Traffic To Your Blog Involves Getting The Blog Properly Indexed

We continue to see evidence of frustration about getting a blog indexed, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I can find the blog using the URL - but my visitor log shows nobody is reading the blog!
and
My blog was #1 for my title, in Google, 3 months ago! Last month, it dropped out of sight!! Why does Google let people hack their results???
People who report these problems do not understand that getting traffic to the blog involves more than simply getting the blog indexed, using the Author, Title, or URL of the blog.

Getting Traffc To Your Blog Involves Getting The Blog Properly Indexed

This post has been renamed, as Getting Traffic To Your Blog Involves Getting The Blog Properly Indexed.

Friday, December 23, 2011

The New GUI Does Not Support PodCasting

As the New Blogger GUI (2011 Improvements) continues to gain support, there are still features missing, being identified occasionally. One interesting group of blog owners, who seem to feel overlooked, includes people who publish podcasts - and who use the Link field in their posts.
How do I link my PodCasts, using the New GUI?
This setting is not apparent, in the New GUI menus and wizards.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

You Are An Adult (You Must Be An Adult, To Own A Blogger Blog) - Let Blogger Treat You As An Adult

Many Blogger blog owners overlook the details, in the legal requirements for blog ownership and maintenance. Confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken is seen periodically.
I faked my birthdate when I setup my first blog - and Blogger just cancelled my blog!
and
My 10 year old child created a blog, which is full of happy memories - and the blog was just deleted!!
and
Blogger will not tell me the email address, so I can login to my blog!!!
None of these people understand that Blogger is not being capricious or petty, in denying them their rights to access / own / maintain their blog.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Renaming Your Blog, And Using A Sitemap

For a Blogger blog which needs a sitemap for indexing, changing the URL requires creating a new sitemap.

For a blog newly published to a different URL - either a non BlogSpot URL, using custom domain publishing, or simply a different BlogSpot URL - the first few days under the new URL are critical to the success of the blog. Some blog owners find, to their horror, that their blog suddenly has no page rank, and has dropped out of visibility in the search engine results.
I bought a domain from Google, and my blog is now invisible. Obviously, this is another swindle by Google, stealing my money!
These blog owners have not done any research, about the custom domain migration process, or about any issues related to renaming the blog. The successful migration process starts with getting the blog, under its new URL, indexed by the search engines.

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.

The Stats "All Time" Display, And The 2010 Numbers

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see a curious question.
My blog Stats display is missing a complete year.
The problem is actually right there, in front of all of us - if we look.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Abuse Reporting - Personal Vs Private Information

One interesting example of the lack of precision in abuse reporting involves the nature of private information
When will Google do something about this blog that is publishing private information about me? They have my home address, my Social Security Number, my telephone number, for everyone to see!
This person does not appear to understand the difference between personal, and private, information.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Abuse Reporting - Precision Is Required

Every day, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we see the complaint
I've been reporting this abuse to Google for a week, and I have yet to see a reply - or a result. What is up with that?
This is possibly somebody who does not know what abuse category to use - or who maybe can't find the right category.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Blogger Magic - Reporting Abusive Blogs Or People

The Internet Is a wonderful thing - it has brought many people, from many lands, together, ignoring geographic and political limitations. Unfortunately, "many people, from many lands" is not always a good thing. In any group of people, there will be people who do not know or understand each other - and there will be conflict.

Blogger / Google has given us tools to report a problem, when we experience conflict - and when that conflict involves someone else, misusing a Blogger blog. These tools were developed on an "as needed" basis - so don't expect them to be well defined, and well instructed, in every problem which you may have. And, you have to use these tools correctly - they are not magic.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Owners Of Blogs, With Images In The Header, Report Changes In Header Appearance

During the past few days, we're seeing a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from owners of blogs that use an image in the header, instead of or in addition to, plain text, claiming changes in the appearance of the header. The exact problem report varies - that the image has been resized, has shifted in position, has become pixelated, or has simply disappeared.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Automatic Sharing Of Blogger Posts, To Google+

Today, we see, in Blogger Buzz: Connect to Google+, a long awaited announcement, from Blogger.
Starting today, if you have linked your blog to your Google+ account you will be presented with a prefilled Google+ share box immediately after publishing a post. The share box will contain a +snippet of your post that you can share with your circles on Google+.

So, this is my test of the new feature.

The New GUI (2011) Is Now The Current GUI

When the New Blogger GUI (2011) was first introduced, it was optional. New Blogger blog owners, and other Blogger account holders, would get the (currently available) Classic GUI by default, with the offer
Try the updated Blogger interface
at the top of the dashboard. When in the "updated Blogger interface", we would see the reassuring link to
Switch back
at the top of the blog list or dashboard.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Comment Notification Option Is Subject To The Realities Of Authentication, And Cookie Filtering

Some blog guests cannot understand why they can't get notifications, when someone leaves a comment after them, attached to a post comment form.
Why don't I see the option to "Email follow-up comments to xxxxxxx@yyyyy.zzz"?
or maybe
I selected the option to "Email follow-up comments to xxxxxxx@yyyyy.zzz", but I don't get any reply notifications. Why am I being mistreated by Blogger?
These people do not realise that comment follow-up notifications are subject to the same problems as the embedded comment form.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Attention Blogger Blog Owners - Nobody Searches For Your Blog By URL

One confusion, which we see in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken regularly, concerns blog owners and their understanding about search engine functionality.
I can't find my blog!
This is frequently more completely expressed as
I can't find my blog, listed in a Search Engine Results Page, when I search by URL (blog title, some other obscure detail ...)!
Equally as mystifying are people who report
I typed in the name of some obscure porn concept, and found my blog listed. Why is my blog listed with porn?

This problem is partially caused by some browser producers, who confuse us by combining the browser address and search windows. There are other reasons for the confusion, too.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Our Reading Lists, Hijacked By Spammers, Who Have Conned The Owners Of Blogs That We Follow

I've been writing about spammer activities, and about various blog hijacks, for some time. There's a special, rather devious blog hijack, involving spammer activity, that we've been aware of, for some time. In Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, we occasionally see the query
How do I get rid of spam, in my Reading List? I did not Follow this blog!
Nobody will, intentionally, Follow a blog full of spam. In some cases, though, people Follow blogs that are published by naive blog owners, who have been conned by the spammers, into working for them.

Why Can't Blogger Just Tell Me The Email Address, When I Ask For It?

We see the pain, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, of blog owners who do not understand the need for keeping the name of their Blogger account a secret.
I forgot the email address that I was using. Why can't Blogger just tell me the address??
and some ask
How did this unknown person "xxxxx xxxxx" get control of my blog?
Years ago, the local police would have to convince home owners
Please, stop leaving a spare key under a rock, near the door!
Both many blog owners (today) - like some home owners (years ago) - had the same basic problem - naivete.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Account Recovery, Authentication, Contact, Privacy, And URL Availability Are Related Issues

Every day, we get various impassioned pleas from blog owners (active, former, and would be), in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, requesting assistance.
How do I get access to my blog, that I published 10 years ago?
and
How do I keep my blog from being visible in Google?
and
How do I contact the owner of a blog that was published 10 years ago (and never updated)?
All of these are valid concerns - and answering one question sometimes involves referring to various other concerns.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blogger Magic - Custom Domain Publishing And Search Engine Reputation

There's a lot of confusion seen in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, about our blogs, and how they are treated by the search engines, after being published to a custom domain URL.
Does the Page Rank transfer to the new domain?
and
Is the blog automatically indexed after the change?
and
Will my readers be able to find my blog after the change?
Each of those questions has a simple answer - but each simple answer leads to interesting detail.

Saturday, December 03, 2011

June 2012 Graduates Should Start Planning Now, For Post Graduation Activities

The discussion about Blogger account and blog access recovery, and authentication requirements, never ends. It is not at all a simple issue. Occasionally, we see the extreme cases, and the frustration.
I made two blogs for school in im pretty sure 2009, so three years later I am no longer at that school, and it was registered with that school email, therefore I have no access to this email anymore, and the email account has most likely been deleted. I really need to delete these blogs because there are photos of people on there and they dont want them there.

My personal opinion is that the solution is obvious - if you cannot maintain either primary access (account name and password) or secondary access (access to a working email account) to your Blogger account, you should not publish a Blogger blog. My opinion is not always well received, in Blogger Help forum - some people have criticised me for my apparent lack of compassion, for the improvident blog owners.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

External Links On Pages Gadget Point To Home Page Of Blog

Today, we're getting a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners who setup blog clusters, with the cluster members linked using tabs in the Pages gadget - who suddenly found their clusters unlinked.
The different page tabs on my blog redirect to my same blog!

Blog Owners With Old Browsers May Want To Avoid Trying The New GUI

In general, it's good to be adventurous - but not always. Sometimes, listening to our friends, to be adventurous, gets us into trouble. We're being urged to "Try the updated Blogger interface", by our "friends" - aka Blogger - in our Classic GUI dashboard. Blog owners who are still using an older browser, that's admittedly unsupported by Blogger, may find themselves with a problem, when they "Try the updated Blogger interface".