Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Let Your Readers Decide Which Dynamic View To Use, When Viewing Your Blog

Some time ago, I pointed out that our readers should provide the final voice, in deciding how to view our blogs. Not everybody seems to agree with me.
I have been told by my readers, having viewed my blog, that they have the option to change which dynamic setting - because the drop down menu is accessible to them. I have tried this myself when not logged in, and it completely messes up the view I want. How can I fix this so only I can change the settings?
This blog owner believes that only he knows how his readers should see his blog.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Enabling Blogger For Your Private Domain

With (now another legacy option) Google Apps accounts providing private email addresses, some blog owners used their email addresses improperly.

Ever since Google changed Google Apps so owners of private domains could use their domain email addresses, administered through Google Apps, as Google accounts, Blogger blog owners started consolidating ownership of their Blogger blogs to accounts based on their Google Apps email addresses. Later, we started to get various reports of people unable to administer their blogs, with the blogs now owned by the consolidated Blogger accounts.

In other cases, blog owners were using Blogger accounts which used email addresses provided by their educational institution or employer, who had recently switched to using Google Apps provided email.

Recently, Google added Blogger as a service, controllable from the Google Apps Services wizard. Now, new Google accounts based on Google Apps controlled domains, by default, have the Blogger service disabled - and these Google accounts can't be immediately used for Blogger blog ownership.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Reporting Illegal Activity In Blogger Blogs

Blogger / Google provides two forms, for us to use when reporting unacceptable content, in Blogger blogs.Each form has a different use - and both forms have their stated limits.

Neither form will produce an absolute, nor immediate, result. Google has to consider that either form may be intentionally misused, for various reasons, when evaluating any claim made.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Blogger Accounts, And Domains Based On Google Apps

We've know, for a while, of the downsides of having a Blogger account that's based on an email address that's provided by a Google Apps based domain.

Some people are unknowingly using email that is based on Google Apps administered service - and they are not even the administrators. A few would be blog owners - or members (of a private or team blog) - are using Google Apps administered domains for their email.

The dangers of using this (obscure) option never becomes relevant to them, until they try to join or setup a Blogger blog.
When I click on the invite link, and try to set up a new Google account, I get the message.
Blogger has not been enabled by the administrator of the domain xxxxxxx.edu.
What do I do, now?

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Old "Another blog ..." Problem - The Domain Settings In Google Apps

The use of Google Apps, for resetting the domain settings, frequently requires much repetition - yet seldom produces consistent results. Some blog owners are able to disable a single service to get their domain working, others must recycle the service settings repeatedly - and still others must spend time anxiously recycling one service after another, then looking for more, unnamed services to recycle.

Some blog owners look for shortcuts in the recommended process - such as deleting the Apps account, which simply wastes time. Unfortunately, very few shortcuts, when identified, are consistently effective for other blog owners later. This lack of consistency leads to various comments mentioning lack of useful advice, in the forum discussions.

The Old "Another blog ..." Problem - Will It Ever Be Fixed?

The ability to publish a Blogger blog to a non BlogSpot URL - also known as "Custom Domain Publishing" - has been a Blogger option for over 5 years. We have, similarly, observed the problem which is collectively described as "Another blog ..." for almost that long.

Every week, we see the signs of frustration in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
Why does Blogger never fix the "Another blog" problem?
or
Why can I never get a straight answer here, about my inability to make my custom domain work?
Both of these questions ignore the reality - that "Another blog ..." is actually a symptom, with many different causes.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Team Blog With No Administrators Is Given To The Authors, For Their Control

We have known, for a while, that every Blogger blog has to have at least one administrator.

That rule is enforced by the Permissions wizard, which gives any administrator the choice to demote or remove any administrator, from the Permissions list - but only when there is at least one other administrator in the list.

When the Permissions list is displayed, if there are at least two members with administrative authority, each administrator entry, in the list, has a link to demote or remove that member. If there is only one member with administrative authority, there is no such link - and that member can be neither demoted or removed from the list.

As long as only the Permissions wizard is used, to demote or remove administrators, this article would be meaningless (see the above link). But, there is another way for administrators to be removed - and this occasionally leaves blogs with no administrator.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Claiming A Brand Name Based BlogSpot URL

Periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see a hopeful query.
How do I claim the brand name URL for my clients blog?
Many merchandisers are unaware of the simple Blogger / Google policy
Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire.
Another way of saying that would possibly be first come, first served.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Comments Posted, Using Google / Google+ Profiles, Use "noreply" Email Addresses

Recently, we've noted a number of complaints about Blogger commenting, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken
.My comments all use a "noreply" email address, instead of my actual email address. How do I have people email their replies to my comments?
These are people who have updated their Blogger accounts, to use a Google or Google+ profile. Neither Google or Google+ profiles provide the option to
Show my email address

Sunday, August 05, 2012

If Your Blog Was Deleted, It's Good To Know Why

Of the many problem reports that we see in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, possibly the most ambiguous might be
My blog was deleted. How do I get my blog back?
The confusion, evidenced here, is normal - but overlooking the reason for the deletion can waste time - and delay or prevent getting the blog restored.

Fluctuations In Reader Activity Level Are Normal

One sign of panic, seen regularly in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, comes from people who spend a lot of time viewing their Stats logs.
My pageview counts are always going up and down. Why is Stats so flaky?
It's good to monitor your reader activity - sometimes this will warn you of a major problem in the Internet, or with Blogger. But keep it in perspective.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Blogger Does Not Have An FTP Server

One sign of confusion, seen occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, involves the use of FTP - and options for updating our blogs.
How do I publish my posts using an FTP desktop program?
and
How do I upload a custom home page (sitemap, .htaccess, etc)?
People who are used to publishing a website see these options as a normal feature in any website maintenance process.

Blogger, however, is a blogging platform - and provides none of these options.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Custom Domain Publishing Does Not Use The Post Feed Redirect Setting

One of the benefits of custom domain publishing, for a properly setup domain, is that the BlogSpot URL is automatically redirected to the domain.

Not all blog owners realise that the BlogSpot to domain URL redirect includes the blog feed - once the Transition period ends, and the blog is republished to the domain.

Some blog owners think that the Post Feed Redirect setting needs to be used when re publishing their blog to a custom domain. This is not true, however. Use of the custom domain redirect, plus the post feed redirect, can only result in one of two problems.
  • A feed redirect loop.
  • A feed URL that points to invalid content.
In neither case will any newsfeed client, such as a Dynamic Template, Google Reader, Reading List, or any third party feed service, find a feed that can be used.