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Showing posts from November, 2013

Stats Referer Spam Moderation Is Collaborative

Some blog owners just do not understand the realities of referer spam moderation.How can I set my dashboard, to not track pageviews from referring sites like "vampirestat . com"?Not everybody understands that Stats was not designed for catering to individual preferences, in deciding what statistics should be displayed.

Stats spam moderation was not designed to allow for individuals to decide on what figures to display - or ignore. Like Blogger Comment moderation, Stats is collaborative, fuzzy, and heuristic.

Collaborative systems work best when everybody is subject to the same restrictions. Blogger / Google can best fight referer spam by monitoring all activity, against all blogs, uniformly.

A Custom Domain Published Blog Has A New URL

We see occasional signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, about custom domain publishing.Can I publish to a custom domain - and still use the Blogger dashboard?andCan I publish to a custom domain - and keep my comments and posts?andCan I publish to a custom domain - and avoid TOS restrictions?Some blog owners seem to see custom domain publishing as more than it actually is.

Is A Sitemap Useful, For A Blogger Blog?

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see evidence of confusion and doubt.Do I really need a sitemap, for my blog?This question, when asked, may help us to design our blogs better.

WikiPedia defines a sitemap asa list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or usersClassically, a sitemap is a visual index, to help the people viewing a static website, to easily identify and access a specific article in the website.

Confusion About Visibility Of Comments, With Blogs Using Google+ Comments

Along with confusion about ownership of comments, published using Google+ Comments, we see similar confusion about visibility of comments, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I shared the URL of my post in Google+ - and now I see my Google+ post, displayed as a comment, on my blog!andMy comments are showing up in other people's profiles, in Google+!!andI'm getting notifications, in Google+ - but the comments don't display, on the blog!!Not all blog owners understand the relationship between Google+ comments, published to a Blogger blog - and posts, in Google+.

Your Google Apps Account, And The New Administrative Google Login

In some cases, the earlier provided procedure, for accessing the limited access domain administrator account, may not work, for your Google Apps domain.

If you have trouble with providing both the account name and password, you will need to reset the password using the Google administrative reset. Instead of the wizard at "accounts.google.com", you will need the administrative reset wizard, at "https://admin.google.com".

A Google Apps administrative account reset uses the same set of initial displays, as the previously discussed limited access account reset - and it offers the same opportunities for confusion. Be prepared to add the appropriate Google account (whether GMail, or non GMail based) to the login menu, as necessary.

"go.blogger.com" / MMS / SMS Blogging Is Deprecated

We're seeing a few queries recently, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about a little used option in mobile blog publishing.Is "go.blogger.com" down? I'm trying to claim a mobile token, but having no success.This blog owner, like a few others, is trying to use a dying Blogger feature.

"go.blogger.com", and MMS / SMS, was the Blogger solution for blog publishing using "mobile" phones, provided several years ago.

SMS is a protocol used for sending text messages between computers, that was used on "mobile" phones, before most "mobile phones" became just pocket sized computers using "cellular" (3g, 4g, etc) networking.

Market Your Blog, To Those Who Are Interested

We see many questions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about blog content, and (lack of) appreciation by the readers.

Occasionally, people become concerned about activity of the people reading their blogs - why they get so many new visitors (but nobody returns later, to read more), or why the main page is so well read (but nobody reads the archived posts).

In other cases, they wonder why the blog was deleted - even though it had the required warning protecting it - or maybe why the content warning is there. And sometimes, they may wonder why so many people read the blog, but nobody comments on the posts.

Diagnose Problems Using Affinity Testing

When you go to the doctor to report a health problem, you'll likely tell himDoctor, I have a pain.and he will likely ask youWhere does it hurt?If you tell himMy stomach hurts.he will probably askWhen does it hurt?andHow long has it been hurting?None of these are formalities or mere protocol, they are systematic problem identification procedures. We diagnose problems with Blogger, using similar techniques.

Confusion About Ownership Of Comments, With Blogs Using Google+ Comments

We're seeing a few problem reports, about ownership of comments, published against blogs using Google+ Comments, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.Why can't I delete comments?orWhy can't I reply to comments?orWhy don't I get notifications of comments, posted against my blog?These blog owners do not understand who owns the comments, when they are posted against their blogs.

With Blogger Comments, the comments are jointly owned by the blog owner and the comment publisher. With Google+ Comments, on the other hand, the comment publisher has sole ownership of a comment published - even if that comment references your blog. This ownership policy does not please all blog owners.

The TextList Gadget Now Lacks A URL Option

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about broken TextList gadgets.I cannot add a URL, linking to the Title of my posts, using the "Configure TextList" wizard. The 'Add URL' option is missing from the "Configure TextList" wizard.Similar to the shared design between the "HTML" and "Text" gadgets, it appears that the "LinkList" and "TextList" gadgets shared features.

Blogger Templates Cannot Be Easily Validated, Using Public Diagnostic Tools

We see panic, exhibited by many blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I used the W3 Template Validator, and got hundreds of errors! Is my blog broken?This blog owner, like many others, does not understand the differences between W3 Standard HTML / XHTML, and Blogger HTML / XML.

The unpleasant truth is that, ever since Blogger released the Layout class templates, in 2007, Blogger has been providing templates that can't be successfully validated using HTML / XHTML standards. Blogger has a lot of features that don't validate, according to public standards.

All Mobile Computers Are Not Created Equal

We've seen a few questions about comments, supposedly published - but vanishing, when using a mobile computer, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

This symptom, as reported, reminds us of the long ago reports of "vanishing comments" - but using desktop computers.At least one of the folks who isn't able to comment said she was attempting to do so from her mobile phone. Is Blogger now losing comments from mobile devices?The answer here is not quite so ominous, though the situation is still frustrating - to both the blog owner, and the various visitors.

One Spurious Technique For Publishing Your Blog Anonymously

Some blog owners wish to publish their blog anonymously.

One of the most obvious ways to achieve anonymity - and one of the least useful - is to not publish your name, in your blog posts.Edit the "Blog Posts" gadget, in the dashboard Layout wizard, and de select "Posted By".This solution will immediately remove your name from any posts published by you - as long as a dynamic template is not involved.

The dynamic templates, as with the blog posts newsfeed, do not reference the "Blog Posts" selections. This will be a problem, for achieving anonymity.

Your Google Apps Account, And The New Google Login

In the not so distant past, explaining how to login to Google Apps was a painfully tedious process.

If I wanted to login to the Google Apps account for this domain, "nitecruzr.net", I would construct a URL in the browser address window (or use a bookmark) https://www.google.com/a/nitecruzr.net/ServiceLoginThe URL for your domain would be different - and explaining the difference was frequently a nuisance, in the login sequence instructions.

When explaining how to login to a recently created limited access Apps account, I would focus on the account reset process. For this domain, "nitecruzr.net", I would access the account reset wizard as http://google.com/a/cpanel/nitecruzr.net/ResetAdminPassword or possibly http://google.com/a/nitecruzr.net/ResetAdminPassword Again, your URLs would differ. Maintaining separate bookmarks, for each different domain, was a time sink.

With the new Google Apps integrated account login, all of that has changed.

Comment Notification Email, And Spam Classification

Comment moderation, and comment notification, have long been optional features of Blogger Commenting.

The sequence of comment moderation email, and comment notification email, was simple.If comment moderation was selected, moderation email was sent to all blog administrators. Any one administrator could then select to Publish, or to Reject, a given comment.If comment moderation was not selected, each comment was simply Published, immediately.If comment notification was selected, notification email was sent to all recipient email addresses, when any comment was published.All blog administrators could Delete any comment, after it was published, at their discretion.
When the new comment moderation system was provided, in 2010, comment moderation changed. As the comment filters became trained, some comments were automatically rejected - and sent to the Spam queue - and that is where the current problem starts.

Google+ Comments, And The Display Order Option

Blog owners have been asking for this option, for years.How do I setup comments, so the latest comment displays at the top?For a long time, the answer has always been "You can't.". This response does not satisfy anybody.

This option is finally here. With Google+ Comments, your readers can choose either "Top comments" (default), or "Newest first". The latter choice shows the latest comments at the top of the comments display.

If you are able and willing to use Google+ Comments for your blog, you can now provide this option, to your readers. This is in my opinion, the first unique and useful feature offered by Google+ Comments.

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Updating A Text Gadget, On Your Blog? Be Careful!

The schizophrenic nature of the HTML / Text gadget continues to confuse some blog owners.

Recently, we're seeing claims about broken Text gadgets, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I hit the Save button, and nothing happens! Why is my Text gadget not working??Too many blog owners are causing their own problem, because of confusion about the caption in the gadget update wizard.

The header of the HTML / Text wizard is the only visible difference, between the "HTML" and "Text" gadgets.

You'll see "Configure HTML/JavaScript" (for an HTML gadget) or "Configure Text" (for a Text gadget), as the gadget header. The rest of the gadget will be the same, for both gadgets - and this is why some gadgets, being updated, appear to be broken.

Is A Custom Domain URL More Valuable Than A BlogSpot URL?

We see the question, about relative value of a custom domain, periodically in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.Does a custom URL actually have value, over a normal BlogSpot URL?Some people wonder if a custom URL isn't similar to a custom ("vanity") license plate, for your car.

Personally, I can think of a few reasons why a custom domain might be more valuable, for your Blogger blog.Some people believe that having your own domain makes your blog more individual and interesting - and they may be more likely to visit your blog when presented to them, in a search list.It may be easier for you to get the relevant domain of your choice, than the relevant BlogSpot subdomain.A properly chosen domain URL may be easier for people to remember, than a BlogSpot URL.A domain is yours, to control - better than sharing the "blogspot.com" with millions of other blogs.

Blog Owners Report "isExperimental: Required field must not be blank" When Using Blogger

We're seeing a number of blog owners, reporting a new problem with their Blogger dashboards, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.I am seeing an new error in the Live Preview section of the Template Designer.The following errors were found:
isExperimental: Required field must not be blank
Upon examination of the URL window in the browser, the source of the problem is seen. draft.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx#templatehtml
It appears that we are seeing one more reason why routine use of Draft Blogger is not a good idea.