Sunday, July 29, 2012

Mail-To-Blogger - July 2012

We have seen a significant number of reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, again mentioning inability to post to our blogs using EMail / Phone / SMS. The problem appears to have started several days ago - but was quiet for a while, and has been rather noticeable today.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Your Blogger Blog, And The Wave Of Spam Behind You

The sport of ocean surfing has been described as something like "constantly falling down an ever advancing wall of water", while trying to stay upright and ahead of the wall of water (aka the "wave"). Publishing a Blogger blog, and dealing with the spam, is similar to surfing.

I am frequently advising people, who complain about the constant waves of spurious spam classifications, blog clones (aka "content thieves"), and referer spam, to keep looking ahead - and keep publishing their blogs. Like ocean surfing, you want to keep looking ahead and remain standing - don't fall down, and let the wave behind wash over you. The latter leads to drowning.

Friday, July 27, 2012

You Cannot Buy A Domain From Blogger

One of the odder examples of naivete, seen occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, involves the custom domain purchase.
How do I buy a domain from Blogger?
or alternately
How do I have Google host my domain?
The immediate answer, properly stated, is simple.
You cannot buy a domain from Blogger. Neither Blogger, nor Google, is a registrar.
The full answer, however, is a bit more complex.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Custom Redirects Let You Modify Pages Or Posts, And Publish Different URLs

We've been asking for the ability to have post URLs that differ from the post titles, for some time. Now, we have the Custom Permalinks feature, available in the New Blogger GUI Posts Editor, for new posts.

Some people would like to use custom permalinks for existing posts - and for pages. We can do that, too - but not by using Custom Permalinks. Custom Permalinks only works for new posts - and not for pages.

Custom Permalinks Let You Create New Posts, And Publish Different URLs

We've been asking for the ability to have post URLs that differ from the post titles, for some time. Up to now, we had a workaround, to do this.
  • Publish a post, with a title worded to give the desired URL.
  • Edit the previously published post, and change the title.
That was a clumsy procedure - and it had side effects.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To "kunoichi . info"

In the latest round of blog hijacks, from misbehaving or miswritten accessory gadgets, we have reports this month in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken about blogs redirecting to "kunoichi . info".
My Blogger site, xxxxxxx . blogspot . com, with over 8 years of blog posts archived, has been redirected without my permission, to "kunoichi . info". I see my blog for a few seconds before it goes to the new site.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Having A Blogger Blog Removed Or Restored, After Death Of The Blog Owner - The Next Chapter

The question of disposition of blogs, left behind by deceased blog owners, comes up in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, from time to time.

As Blogger blogs - and similar Google products - become mature, and as more people who publish Blogger blogs become susceptible to old age and death, this problem will become more critical. As recently as 2010, in order to assume control (or request deletion) of such a blog, Blogger required only a faxed copy of the death certificate.

We are now seeing that the death certificate is only one part of a formal procedure, which Blogger / Google now uses, in the dual role of
  • Compassion, in allowing a friend or loved one to appropriately assume control of blogs left behind.
  • Due Diligence, in preventing fraudulent claims by people who have no legal or moral right to assume control of blogs.
Both roles are righteous, and are needed to help Google reduce hijacking of active Blogger blogs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Third Party Templates, And The New Blogger GUI

The New Blogger Interface has been available outside Draft Blogger for almost a year - and continues to provide traffic to Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, with new problems, every month. One subject of problems appears to involve the Template "Edit HTML" wizard, and various bX errors issued when attempting to save changes made to the HTML code.

The bX errors are very mysterious - and to those of us outside Blogger Engineering - almost monolithic. Recently, we've noted one possible affinity in the errors, involving blogs using templates developed outside Blogger / Google.
I got a custom template for my blog, from TheCutestBlogonTheBlock. I followed all the directions to add the template to my blog, and copied everything correctly - but I keep getting a message that says
Sorry, we are unable to complete your request
advising me that I need to contact Blogger Support.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Blogs, Written In Non Roman Character Languages, Have Trouble With Publishing Static Pages

We're seeing a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from owners of blogs which publish in languages that don't use Roman characters, about problems publishing static pages in their blogs. Supposedly, with the affected blogs containing multiple static pages, the pages are all being published with the same URL.

Blog Owners Reporting The New Blogger GUI Display Is Garbled

We have recently seen a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, concerning the New GUI display, which is broken for some blog owners.
When I login to Blogger, the interface doesn't display properly. Everything is shifted and some buttons appear to be missing.
The reporting volume, mentioning this symptom, is low - but it's not random, or zero.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Legacy Accounts Are No Longer Supported - The Final Chapter

Today, I was advising the latest legacy Blogger account holdout.
I got the email that says
You are receiving this message because your email address is associated with an unmigrated legacy Blogger account. As we announced in April of last year, legacy accounts will no longer be accessible after May 30th, 2012 unless they are updated to the Google Account system. Any blog content associated with this account will also be unmodifiable after that date.
Upon reporting this latest support need to Blogger, I was advised of the sad reality, by a Blogger Engineer.
Legacy support has been deprecated.
We have seen this coming, for a long time - and it has finally arrived.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Custom Domain Publishing, And "403 Forbidden"

Next to its immediate cousin error
Another blog is already hosted at this address
I don't know of too many more frustrating Blogger error states than seeing
403 Forbidden
Most cases of "403 Forbidden", seen and discussed recently in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, have geographical affinity - and are typically transient - and apply to blogs published to "blogspot.com".

Some cases of "403 Forbidden" however, will involve custom domain publishing, where the blog owner should - but most likely will not - see
Another blog is already hosted at this address
When publishing the blog to the domain.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Template For Virginia USA, #5

For a few years, I have been making jokes about some Blogger blog owners, and their (perceived) need to keep a Classic (HTML based) template, on their blogs. Some blog owners continue to ask naive questions in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How do I let my readers view 'Older Posts'?
or
How do I add a Pages menu?
or
How do I use Following, with the "Follow" link recently removed from the navbar?
Recently, in musing about some of the recent Blogger policy changes, such as the end to the Blogger FTP Publishing option, a formalised browser support policy, and the end of pre-Google (aka "legacy") Blogger accounts, I realised that one of the next changes, logically, would be a phasing out of support for HTML based templates. I think that this idea is probably long over due.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Blog Control And URL Availability Hacking - Four Sides Of The Same Story

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see various queries about our blogs, and how to gain or regain control.
  • How do I get a blog, which is attacking me (impersonating me, insulting me, publishing my secrets), removed from Blogger?
  • How do I claim a dormant URL?
  • How do I recover control of my blog?
  • My blog is now under somebody else's control! How do I get my blog back?
In some cases, all of these queries are simply one more attempt to gain control of a blog, or a URL. As we gain experience in reading between the lines in Blogger Help Forum, and as Blogger Support gains experience in researching blog histories, we can start to see patterns, and signs of multiple attempts to assume control of the blog - or the URL - in question.

Monday, July 02, 2012

eNom: Fix Your DNS Servers!

For over 2 months, we've been seeing reports from blog owners who published their blogs to custom domains, with domain DNS hosted by eNom, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I bought my domain name through Blogger,last week. It is being hosted by eNom. Ever since I bought it some of my followers, and sometimes myself, can't access my site. There is either a DNS search or a "Ooops, Google Chrome can't find..."

I tried contacting eNom, and they said they can see my site and that all of my settings are correct. They say it must be Google's problem.
The keyword here is "sometimes".
Ever since I bought it some of my followers, and sometimes myself, can't access my site.

Before Changing Your Custom Domain Published Blog, To Another Custom Domain, Do Some Research

As custom domain publishing becomes simply one more feature to add to your Blogger blog, some blog owners decide that the domain that they are using, right now, is not to their liking.

Fortunately, with a Blogger blog, the process of changing your domain to another is not complicated - hoping that you have the right tools, and make the right decisions.
  • Buy (as required), and setup, a new domain URL.
  • Publish the blog back to BlogSpot.
  • Publish the blog to the new domain.
All that being possible, there is a fourth step which many blog owners manage to overlook - until long after they have completed the third.