An Important Update

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Friday, January 16, 2015

Reading List Use Requires Recognition Of The Owner

Last year, we saw a number of reports from Blogger account owners with empty Reading Lists.

When first reported, the common observation mentioned "one entry". Recently, we found out what the one entry was.
All I get is Blogger Buzz - which I could care less about!
The account owner does not know that Blogger Buzz is automatically a part of every Reading List.

The fact that Blogger Buzz is being seen indicates that the personal portion of the Reading List is actually empty. This is similar to problems removing Reading List content, and suggests that the account owner is not being recognised.

There are two possible reasons for a Reading List being completely, constantly, and inappropriately empty.
  • The owner is using the wrong Blogger account.
  • The browser being used is subject to a cookie or script filter.

Wrong Blogger account being used

It's not hard to recognise an empty Reading List (or one with just one entry, which was not requested).

We've been discussing problems resulting from having additional Blogger accounts (intentional or non intentional) for many years. If someone sets up a Reading List for one Blogger account, then uses a different account, there will be no Reading List for the second account.

If the owner then sets up a Reading List for a second (third, ...) account, unless very lucky, there will be tiny differences between the two Reading Lists. If the account owner is just using Blogger to read blogs - and does not own any blogs - it is possible that other accounts could be used. The owner may occasionally notice miniscule differences, but never bother to diagnose the differences.

Cookie / script filter, preventing identification

Whether the account owner is using the intended account, or an additional account - if the account can't be identified, Blogger can't generate a Reading List either.

If the script, which identifies the owner, doesn't run - or if the cookie identifying the owner can't be read - a Reading List can't be generated. Cookies and scripts can be filtered, for various reasons.

Thanks to ever changing security needs, and unannounced updates to many security products, a filter which worked yesterday may not work today. People unaware of security updates won't think to check the update log for any security product - and some may not be aware that they have security products that can cause problems.

The end result

There are several reasons for an unreliable Reading List - but this will generally result in inconsistencies over time, or partial displays. An empty Reading List has definable causes, with predictable results.

If the Blogger account cannot be recognised, Blogger won't show a Reading List - other than the sometimes unwelcome Blogger Buzz entry.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Angelina Lenahan said...

who said: All I get is Blogger Buzz - which I could care less about! great post chuck.

Marilou said...

It was me! Why can't it be fixed, everyone seems to have a lot to say but No fix has been given'

Chuck Croll said...

Marilou,

It can't be fixed, because everybody's computer is setup differently.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2007/04/your-computer-and-blogger.html

Marilou said...

Well I enabled 3rd party cookies filtering and and still no success so I put in the effort, still no satisfactory result! Now what????

Chuck Croll said...

Marilou,

The "cookies" setting in the browser may not be the only filter that you must deal with.

You can have:
- A native browser setting (which you have enabled).
- A browser add-on (ad blocker, cookie filter, etc).
- A security suite, on your computer.
- A box, on your network.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2010/11/blogger-layered-security-and-you.html