An Important Update

Dear Followers Of This Blog ...

If you did not use a Blogger / Google account when you Followed this blog, years ago, you are probably not Following now . During the past...

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Mysterious "Deleted blogs" Dashboard Link

Occasionally, we see signs of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
Where is the "Deleted blogs" link?
How can I recover my blog, if there's no link on the dashboard??
These blog owners don't understand that "Deleted blogs" only appears, when there are deleted blogs that can be recovered.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Unfold Widgets Selectively, Instead Of All At Once

The new Template HTML Editor has been with us for just under 2 weeks.

Not every blog owner sees the new editor as an improvement. Some folks don't understand how to find the code sections, where they need to apply changes - and would probably be happier if "Expand All Widgets" were an option.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recovering And Protecting Your GMail Account

Blogger blog owners may have productive action, when their Blogger accounts are successfully hacked through an attack on their GMail accounts.

GMail account owners can get detailed instructions on recovering a successfully hacked account, and on preventing future hacking attacks from being successful. Some of the instructions are specific to GMail use - but overall, Blogger account owners will benefit from their use.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Problems Being Observed, In Blogs Now Using Google+ Comments

A few blog owners, eagerly opting to use the latest Blogger enhancement, Google+ Comments, are seeing some changes which they did not anticipate.

Even after checking all of the settings, some blogs, with Google+ Comments enabled, may not show the comment form - or may show the form, but comments may not be visible. Besides the visibility of the form, there are other changes which some blog owners don't appreciate.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

URL Availability Competition, During "Buy a Domain", Is Similar To "Create a Blog"

Some Blogger blog owners, trying to setup a new blog, discover the hard way that other people are trying to do the same thing.
When I try to use "Create a blog", I keep seeing
This name is not available.
Blogger is saying it's available - but as I begin to register, it says that it has already received a request for this name.

Other blog owners discover that the competition between Blogger blog owners, when using "Create a blog", also applies to "Buy a domain". And worse yet, "Buy a domain" involves competition with would be website owners outside Blogger / Google.

Blogger And Google+ Continue To Move Ever Closer Together

Today, Blogger announced the most innovative step in integrating Blogger and Google+, since sharing of Blogger posts to Google+.

The December 2011 sharing option lets us publish our blog posts to Google+. Today, Blogger added the ability to do the same - and more - with our blog comments. Like basic Google+ post sharing, Google+ Comments will be shared, and be visible, on a Circle by Circle basis.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dynamic Templates, And Jump Break

We see occasional evidence of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners who are using a dynamic template.

Why does the Jump Break not show up, in the blog display?

Why can't I see the entire post?
Not all blog owners understand the limited options, in the dynamic templates.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blog Owners, Marking Stats Log Entries As Referer Spam, Won't Accomplish Much

We see the occasional optimistic suggestion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from blog owners tired of the referer spam, in their Stats logs.
Why can't we just tell them which Stats entries are spam?
This is, admittedly, such a simple suggestion - it surely must present part of the final solution.

If one considers the purposes behind referer spam, one can see a problem with having individual blog owners designate specific pageview entries, in their Stats logs, as referer spam.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

The Tower Of Babble Comes Down Slowly - One Brick At A Time

I installed the Google auto translator - using a custom front end, which I helped develop - on this blog, 5 years ago.

I installed it originally because of the February 2008 Kaspersky problem with Blogger blogs - and hastily, because of the magnitude of the problem. I knew, at the time, that the Google auto translator was not 100% accurate.

No auto translator will ever be 100% accurate. Every language in the world is always developing, as society and technology develops. There will always be nuances in every language, which are not yet detected by any one person - or by any one computer.

That said, I think that it's obvious to many people, that auto translation is a legitimate feature on the Internet.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blogger Magic - Managing The Pages In Your Blog

Some blog owners are never quite sure how to manage all characteristics of the Pages, in their blog.

From time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see evidence of the confusion.
How do I hide the Home tab?
I can't rename my pages!
Some blog owners may know of one Pages management wizard, but not another. To the untrained eye, it may all seem like one big magic show.

All Template Changes Won't Always Be Visible, When The Blog Is Published

Not all blog owners appreciate the differences between using the various template wizards, and what they will actually see, once the blog is published.

The confusion about the various template wizards, and what is actually seen, expressed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, is numerous.
Why aren't my changes to the template being saved?
This question is expressed in a number of ways - and has a number of causes.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Using "Buy a domain", From Outside The USA

As custom domain publishing becomes more popular with Blogger blog owners, it's inevitable that people outside the USA would start using it, routinely.

Questions about payment options are seen regularly, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How much does a domain cost?
This used to have a simple answer.
$10 US, charged against a major bank issued credit card.

With the internationalisation of Blogger, the answer becomes significantly more complex.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Option To "Expand Widget Templates", In The Template "Edit HTML" Wizard, Is No More

One of the more confusing features of the Blogger Template "Edit HTML" wizard, used to be the option to
Expand Widget Templates

With the new "Edit HTML" wizard, that option is not needed. Given the choice to "Expand Widget Templates", the typical blog owner was frequently caught between a rock, and a hard place, when editing gadgets.
  • Don't use the option - and the gadget code section, which was to be edited, remained concealed.
  • Use the option - and all gadget code sections were expanded, revealing all gadget code.
This frequently left the owner with either no information - or too much information, from which to work. Broken templates, caused by improper template HTML edits, were common.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Blogger Blogs Being Hijacked By The Sociable Gadget

We're seeing a steady stream of reports, from blog owners in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, from Blogger blog owners, reporting the latest hijacking of their blogs.
My blog is being redirected to a search engine display.
My blog has a porn popup attached!
These are all blog owners who have installed the latest hack, willingly distributed by Blogger / Google.

This appears to be yet one more gadget, intentionally installed by many Blogger blog owners, which is now redirecting unwilling viewers. The redirection target is a website which provides commercial advertisements for various Internet services, which creates a variety of symptoms, as reported in the forums.

Consider, Carefully, The Decision To Use A Third Party Commenting System In Your Blog

Not all Blogger blog owners appreciate the features provided, in Blogger native commenting.

Some suggest that third party commenting systems, such as Disqus, provide a superior service. It's possible that, to some, third party commenting systems are more feature rich - but only Blogger native commenting provides one essential feature, in comment moderation.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Blogger Blogs Cannot Be Used As Gateways

We see evidence of confusion, from time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?.
How do I move an established blog to WordPress (or any other platform), while retaining the history, reader interest, search engine reputation?
Some blog owners think blog readers are cattle (to be herded from blog to blog) - or monkeys (to be attracted by shiny things).

We've known for some time, that Blogger blogs cannot be used as gateways, with traffic automatically redirected from one blog to another - or from a blog to a non Google website. Use of traffic redirection scripts is a known cause of blogs classified as malware hosts.

Friday, April 05, 2013

Adding Ownership Verification For Your Custom Domain? Examine The Error Display

Sometimes, you have to step outside the box, to complete a Blogger blog task.

The task of adding domain ownership verification, to a custom domain purchased using "Buy a domain", is one example of stepping outside the box. I advise people that tweaking DNS settings, in general, is a task best undertaken by someone with "Advanced" experience with Blogger custom domain publishing.

Unfortunately, domains purchased using "Buy a domain" are occasionally subject to incomplete setup - and correction of an incomplete setup involves republishing the domain. And republishing the domain requires verification of domain ownership.

Deleted Comments Cannot Be Recovered

Blogger blog owners, who are accustomed to recovering deleted files on a personal computer, will find Blogger Comments to lack useful protection.

If you accidentally delete a file on your personal computer, no worry - just look in the Trash Can, find the file in question, and recover the file. Just do this before you empty the Trash Can.

Comments, published on our blogs, cannot be recovered once deleted.
I deleted a comment - but now realise that I acted in haste. How do I recover the comment that I deleted?
To this person, there is no useful answer.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Forwarding A Domain Requires Experience

I constantly advise Blogger blog owners to avoid forwarding, when setting up custom domain publishing.

In the rare cases where forwarding is actually required, not every blog owner reports success.
My blog now displays a non Google search page!
or worse
My blog now displays
404 Not Found
What did I do wrong??
Depending upon what setup work was done by the blog / domain owner, and what effort is required by the registrar, one may expect to see, quite predictably, either of the above errors.

The Task Of Forwarding A Domain Requires Experience, Persistence, And Research

I constantly advise Blogger blog owners to avoid forwarding, when setting up custom domain publishing.

In the rare cases where forwarding is actually required, not every blog owner reports success.
My blog now displays a non Google search page!
or worse
My blog now displays
404 Not Found
What did I do wrong??
Depending upon what setup work was done by the blog / domain owner, and what effort is required by the registrar, one may expect to see, quite predictably, either of the above errors.