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Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Export / Import Requires Administrative Control Of Both Blogs

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see the naive query
How do I merge my two blogs, using Export / Import?
When given the simple advice
Use the "Export blog" and "Import blog" wizards, both in the dashboard Settings - Other menu.
the immediate response is
I don't have that menu item!
This person has, most likely, lost control of the Blogger account.

In order to avoid encouraging scraping of blog contents, both the Export and Import wizards are only available to blog administrators. Not everybody wishing to use "Export blog" has blog ownership, however.

Too many people, denied immediate recovery of control of their blog, just start another blog.

With a new blog, the first thing needed is the content from the old blog. This is not easily had, however - because both "Export blog" and "Import blog" are part of the Blogger dashboard - and can be accessed only by blog owners.

If anybody could use "Export blog", and export the comments and posts from any blog, "Export blog" would be a very popular wizard - to blog thieves. To encourage Export / Import to be used for legitimate purposes, Blogger made it part of the Blogger dashboard - where it is accessible only to blog administrators.

This does not provide a solution for people who have lost control of their Blogger accounts - and who naively figure to start a new blog, and move the contents of the old blog to the new blog. If you're in this situation, you have only two possibilities.
  1. Recover comments and posts using blog feeds and online cache.
  2. Cluster the new and old blogs - but asymmetrically.
You can link from the new blog back to the old blog, using any combination of imaginative techniques - but without control of the old Blogger account, you're simply not going to be able to link from the old blog to the new blog.

Sorry. Once again, you have to always retain control of your Blogger account.

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