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...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Blogger, Windows LiveWriter, And Similar Products

This week, we have a multitude of complaints about Windows LiveWriter, and similar third party editors, unable to login to Blogger.

Blog owners who use LiveWriter, and similar third party products, to compose and publish posts, have reported authentication problems.
I have used Windows Live Writer, to publish to my blog, for years. I now cannot publish, and the message I get is that the ID and password are not correct.

Many products besides WLW are disabled.
One blog owner observed that Windows LiveWriter was not the only offline editor affected, by a recent change.
The problem is not with Microsoft is with ALL external soft. Do not work with Zoundry Raven, BlogJet, Post2Blog, PowerBlog Personal Client, W.Bloggar, Windows Live Writer, etc.

Blogger explained the problem.
After some research, Blogger Support issued an explanation.
It looks like this error is a result of an authentication problem between Google and Live Writer. A long time ago, we announced we were deprecating our old authentication system and we encouraged developers to move to the new one (OAuth 2.0). It seems that Live Writer is still using our old system, which is causing the issue. We are currently looking into it, but we suggest that users also reach out to Microsoft to report the issue.
So, now we wait.

Most blog owners know the reality of the latter advice.
Microsoft is even less responsive than Google, when product modifications are needed.
One blog owner did contact Microsoft, to no avail.

We have a simple workaround.
The current workaround, used by various blog owners, is to compose using LiveWriter, and publish using Blogger.
  1. Compose and format a post, using LiveWriter.
  2. Copy the composed post, from LiveWriter, as HTML.
  3. Make a new post, using Blogger.
  4. Paste the new post, into Blogger Post Editor, in HTML Mode.
  5. Publish the new post, from Blogger Post Editor.

The workaround is not perfect.
The workaround has disadvantages.
  • Photos added, when composing in LiveWriter, won't be transferred to Blogger Post Editor. You'll need to upload photos using "Insert image", in Post Editor -then compose and format text around the photos.

We have a second, slightly more complicated workaround.
If you really want to use LiveWriter to compose the posts, and have lots of photos, we have a second workaround, slightly more complicated.
  1. Enable Mail-to-Blogger, selecting "Save emails as draft post".
  2. Compose posts with photos, in LiveWriter.
  3. Copy and paste a semi completed post, into your email client.
  4. Email the post, to Blogger, using Mail-to-Blogger. Mail-to-Blogger will add the photos for you, in Blogger.
  5. Use Blogger Post Editor, in HTML mode. Copy and paste back into LiveWriter. Now, the LiveWriter editor has the photos, under the Blogger URLs.
  6. Make the final picture and text format changes.
  7. Copy, and paste back to Blogger Post Editor, in HTML mode.
  8. Preview, then Publish the new post.
When you figure this out - and if you have posts with lots of photos - it will save you having to use Blogger Post Editor "Insert Image", repeatedly. That should make the complexity worth the time.

We were warned of the change - though maybe not as effectively as one would wish. Maybe the latter workaround will take some of the sting away.
(Update 6/1 21:00): We're seeing reports that the problem with Live Writer is resolved - and people are reporting ability to publish posts with photos. Now, various third party products remain out of service - some may not be upgradable, because they have been abandoned by the publisher.

Dude, hit me with a comment!

Vivere il Medioevo said...

Hi, also Artisteer doesn't work anymore. Not log in with blogger blog, how can I do? I use Artesteer and google for work.
I'm and italian girl, excuse me for english :(

Marie Bulatao said...

Will this issue get fixed soon? I use Windows Live Writer and as an offline editor, it has been very helfput o me

Chuck Croll said...

Marie,

This is a Google product. I will believe, for sure, that it will be fixed 10 minutes after I see that it has been fixed.

That said, it has the attention of both Google and Microsoft. That gives it more chance than many outages, that I could mention. Such as the latest snafu, the Followers gadget community content displays.

http://blogging.nitecruzr.net/2015/05/followers-gadget-opens-followers-inside.html

Rachael said...

I followed your directions for the 2nd more complicated WLW workaround. My issue though is when I copy the HTML code from the Blogger draft post and paste that back into WLW I can't see my pictures to do final edits. I just see the full HTML code for my draft post. How can I see the photos back in WLW so I can make final edits? I assume once I make final edits I copy and email to Blogger again and hopefully open the draft and quickly post it, right?

Carol said...

For the second work around step 3 are you pasting the html to blogger or a copy of the actual post?

Chuck Croll said...

Carol,

Most email clients only accept Rich Text (if that much), no HTML code. So W2S3 is pretty much got to be the actual post, that you hopefully don't spend a lot of time formatting.

Rachael,

W2S7 involves a direct HTML copy from LW to Blogger post editor. And yes, that does prevent seeing the photos. If you email the LW formatted post in S7:
1. Unless your email client supports better than Rich Text, you'll lose formatting.
2. If you email the same post twice, once in S4, again in S7, you'll end up with duplicate posts (unpublished) but you will have to allow for the duplications.

You can try email in S7, it sounds like a possible variation - but be careful.

Vivere il Medioevo (Chiara Corti) said...

Hi, Artisteer doesn't publish directly the template on the blog, why? I click "on" for less sure security settingsw, but doesnt' work. Help me!

Chuck Croll said...

Hi Vivere,

Thanks for the observation!

As I recall, the "Less secure app" option was developed, on the fly, between Blogger and Microsoft. If the "client" (Artisteer, WLW, whatever) does not support LSA, you're not going to be able to use it with any success.

We may be looking at yet another upgrade required.

Koentji HD said...

no luck too.. now i can't post article from live writer to my blog. i think it can solved with to turn on less secure app.. but it not fix the issue.