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Control The Email Settings, Relevant To Your Blog

Some blog owners don't always think about the various email settings, which are part of their Blogger blogs, and the possible effects to their email - or somebody else's email.

There are several settings, where a blog owner may enter an email address.

  • Email posts to
  • Comment Moderation.
  • Comment Notification Email.

These settings don't require acceptance by the recipient, making for some interesting possibilities for causing problems in other people's email, as well as one's own email.

There are several Blogger dashboard settings - related to post publication and to various commenting activities - with differing effect to one's own, or somebody else's, email.

The dashboard settings can only be changed by a blog administrator / owner. Neither addition or removal of email are accomplished by adding or removing an administrator or blog member.

One email related feature does not appear to have settings.

  • Settings - "Email" - "Email posts to" - aka "BlogSend" - generates a minimally formatted text copy of each post, when published, to up to 10 email addresses.
  • "Contact Me" is a Blogger supplied contact form. It appears to have no settings that can be changed.
  • Settings - "Posts and comments" - "Comment Moderation" generates a minimally formatted copy of each incoming comment, before the comment is published - and allows moderation of the comment, while reading the email message - when the recipient has the proper authority.
  • Settings - "Email" - "Comment Notification Email" generates a minimally formatted copy of each incoming comment, before the comment is published or rejected.

Since none of these settings require acceptance by the recipient, there are various possibilities for causing interesting email delivery.

Unlike various subscription services which use email, such as a FeedBurner Email Subscription service, an email address added to any of these three settings requires no formal acceptance. If a blog administrator should add an email address, whether their own (primary or additional personal email address), a willing friend or relative, or an unknown victim's address, there is no initial email sent to the recipient.

You (or somebody else) has added this email address as a recipient of "Email posts to" / "Comment Moderation" / "Comment Notification Email". Do you approve of this additional traffic source to your email service?

Or a similarly worded notification / approval. Given a clueless or malicious blog owner, it's possible that one (or all) of these settings could be used to harass an unwitting third party, or to (unwittingly) confuse oneself.

The "Email posts to" feature, also known as "BlogSend", generates a minimally formatted text copy of each post, when published, to up to 10 email addresses. This setting has been used, in the past, to provide distribution of newly published posts for private blogs, as well as a simple distribution for posts from public blogs.

Since it's limited to 10 entries, BlogSend does not provide a suitable service for any blog with a reader population of any appreciable size. For a blog owner with any technical experience, FeedBurner Email Distribution is a much better solution for post distribution - when the blog in question is publicly accessible.

For distribution of a private blog to more than 10 readers, one may use Google+.

The Blogger supplied "Contact Form" appears to pick up the email address of the owner - or possibly administrators - when the gadget is added to the blog. There does not appear to be any setting that can be used to change email destination.

If the blog undergoes ownership changes, it may be necessary to delete and re add the "Contact Form" gadget, using the dashboard Layout page, and the "Add a Gadget" tab "More Gadgets". The "Configure Contact Form Widget" wizard has only 2 settings.

  1. The "Show Contact Form" selection.
  2. The form title.

The form can be deleted and re added, in 5 minutes.

The "Comment Moderation" and "Comment Notification Email" settings, used together, can generate interesting duplication of email to one's own (or somebody else's) email service. If these settings are made without thinking, some interesting confusion can result. Email addresses can be added to each of these settings without consideration of the relationship or level of authority enjoyed by the owner of the email address, relative to the blog in question.

Comment Moderation Email is presumed to generally be a function performed by blog administrators - but email resulting from this setting will be sent to anybody addressed. A blog administrator / member - or other non administrator of the blog or an unwitting stranger - will receive email suggesting several options,

  • Publish
  • Delete
  • Mark as spam
  • Moderate comments for this blog.

If the recipient is not an actual blog administrator, the links in the email provide confusion, and no result.

Comment Notification Email might be generally addressed to blog members - but is not necessarily limited. Since notification of comments is sent separately from moderation, recipients of a notification can become confused when they fail to find the comment, mentioned in the notification, present on the blog.

A blog administrator, using either an email moderation message - or using the blog Comments wizard, may or may not decide to Publish - or to designate a comment as Spam - regardless of a notification message having been delivered to each designated recipient.

Comment notification email may look similar to comment moderation email, less the comment processing options - possibly causing more confusion. A blog owner, adding his own email address to both comment moderation and comment notification, may see the combination as unknown duplication. And blog owners may confuse the proper use of comment moderation and comment notification email.

A blog owner, transferring ownership of a given blog, may overlook updating of the email settings. A new blog owner, receiving a blog being transferred, may likewise overlook these settings, and may lack the associated email, until the omission is corrected.

Either the previous owner, or the new owner, may be confused temporarily - and may wonder why they are still getting email / not getting email, until they examine and correct the setting in question. Alternately, if someone's email address was added maliciously, by a blog owner intending to harass somebody, one can see interesting possibility for conflict.

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