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...

Monday, September 30, 2013

Diagnose Problems Using Differential Testing

Sometimes, you may find yourself reporting a problem, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken - and observe that nobody else has the same problem.

If there's any normal problem activity in the forum, you might find yourself waiting - in vain - for an immediate answer to your problem report. While you wait for advice, why not do some basic analysis of your problem?

A differential test set of your problem, based on some reasonably basic details, can help you see where many problems may originate.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Clear Or Reset The Post Template Wizard

Many problems with post features or layout can be resolved by refreshing or resetting the post template, using the Template Editor.

Not all post display problems are caused by unwise use of the Template Editor - some problems may be part of the individual posts. The dashboard Post Template wizard, in Settings - Posts and comments, lets you add a template to the posts - in addition to the "post template".

The "Post Template" added content then appears as part of each new post, in the post editor window.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Team Blogs, And Confusion About Blogs Locked After Detected Account Hacking

We've been discussing deleted blogs, resulting from Blogger accounts locked after suspicious account activity is detected, for some time.

Recently, we've seen a variant on the account lock / deleted blogs problem.
I made one of my friends an admin for my blog. When Blogger deleted His Blogger account and his blogs, they deleted my blog also.
Here, we see the possibility of detected hacking, affecting other members in a team blog ownership.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Search Engines, And Private Blogs

Not every blog owner realises the relationships between private blogs, and search engine indexing.

Some blog owners think that private blogs can't be indexed, by the search engine robots. Given the way private blogs work, search engine access is not directly restricted - even though indexing activity is impeded.

Monday, September 23, 2013

BlogLovin, And Blogs Publishing Feeds Through FeedBurner

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about BlogLovin, and their inability to accept feeds from Blogger blogs.
My feed on Bloglovin is not updating correctly, so I emailed BlogLovin Support. They responded, and said it was because my RSS feed isn't working correctly.

When diagnosed, we frequently see a working posts feed, redirected through FeedBurner.

It appears that BlogLovin is not able to properly accept some (or all) FeedBurner redirected feeds. The most obvious solution here would be to setup BlogLovin properly, to use a non redirected feed, so they get the native Blogger posts feed.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Choosing A Name For Your Blog - Rules Are Simple

The first task in starting a new blog involves taking an available blog name (aka "URL").

The rules for picking a blog name are reasonably simple.
  1. Pick a blog name.
  2. If "Create a blog" gives you that name, it's yours. Continue with #4.
  3. If "Create a blog" shows "Sorry!", pick another name, and continue with #2.
  4. Setup your new blog.

Some folks need even simpler rules.
  1. If "Create a blog" gives you the name of your choice, it's yours.
  2. If "Create a blog" does not give you that name, you have to pick another.

Which ever rules you wish to go by, the "Create a blog" wizard has the final say.

Account / Blog Recovery May Involve Your Friends

Recovering ownership of a Blogger account or blog may be a frustrating process.

Recovering control of a long forgotten account or blog starts with having a token sent to the recovery email address. If you don't have access to the recovery email account, you may be able to use the Google Account recovery wizard - if you can at least provide the email address that you used long ago, and a few personal details.

But what if you don't remember the email address - or even the URL? Blogger won't just tell you what the address was - and they don't know who you are, so would do they know the URL of your blog?.

In the latter case, you may have to involve your friends - and some detective work.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Diagnosing The Mysterious bX Codes

One of the most misunderstood features of Blogger blogs is the mysterious bX codes.

Every day, we see the frustration
It says there's something wrong and I should give this "error code" so Blogger can fix it. What should I do? Where can I send the "error code"?

Friday, September 13, 2013

Making Blogger Run Properly, On Our Computers

One of the biggest problems with Blogger, right now, is how we allow Blogger to run, on our computers.

We protect our computers from threats - known and unknown - using layered security. Right now, some of us are protecting ourselves too carefully - and we are seeing the results, with problems in Blogger.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Click On The "X" (If You Can Find It - And If You Mean To Do It)

The custom domain publishing form, in the dashboard Publishing wizard, causes confusion.

Occasionally, we see evidence of the confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.
I need to cancel my domain - but Blogger won't let me!
or
I clicked on my dashboard, and now my blog isn't published to my domain!
These blog owners, and more, are perplexed by the Publishing overlay form, displayed for a blog published to a custom domain.

The custom domain overlay, in the dashboard Basic - Publishing wizard, is very elegant. The overlay design is similar to forms used by Blogger and Google+, to display photos.

The "overlay" form is appropriately designed, for its use. The form follows the function - and reflects the status of the blog. For all that, it's diabolically subtle.

Confusion About Your Blog Feed, Not Updating Properly In Gadgets On Other People's Blogs

One of the stranger confusions, seen occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, refers to the posts feed, from our blog, displayed on other people's blogs.
I just published a new blog post - but it does not show up on my friends blogs. Is there a problem, with my feed?

When we investigate, the blog feed shows no problem. We display the feed in the browser, and compare with the blog main page - and everything on the main page is in the feed. It just does not show up on our friends feed gadgets.

So, what's the problem here? Were we imagining a problem? No, it's not imagination.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Confusion From The Message "You have logged out from another location."

This month, we have a small flood of reports, from blog owners who are seeing the latest monolithic error.
You have logged out from another location. Do you want to log in again?

This error has actually been reported previously - but in smaller volume - for some time. It appears to be similar in nature to a previously reported problem, "Conflicting Edits".

The problem appears to possibly affect anybody who has logged in to Blogger - and it appears to be persistent, and has inspired imaginative measures, from some blog owners.

Automatic Sharing Of New Posts, To Google+, Is Here

Almost 3 years ago, Blogger introduced easy sharing of new Blogger posts, to Google+.

This week, they took the next step. For those blogs associated with a Google+ page or profile, you can share new posts, Publicly, automatically.
Starting today you can automatically share your blog posts publicly to Google+ — as soon as you publish them, with no additional clicks.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Preventing FeedBurner Email Distribution Delay

One very useful FeedBurner service is the Email Distribution feature.

Email Distribution is virtually a turnkey subscription management. Email Distribution has one limitation, which not everybody understands, however.

FeedBurner delivers any new posts once daily, based on a chosen distribution time. Depending upon what distribution time you choose, for any FeedBurner Feed, you can have anywhere from 0 hours, to 24 hours - of delay, between publishing a post, and having that post distributed by email.