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...

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Stats Displays Are Significant, In Their Own Context

Some blog owners want significant details, from Stats.
How do I get all posts listed, with pageview counts?
or
How do I get a specific time period, from last month?
or
How do I filter out the bogus counts?
Not everybody observes that Stats gives us specific details, based upon what's generally useful, or what is possible to keep, easily.

Some details are not provided, because Stats provides details that are significant, in the right context. Other details are not provided, because they are not retained, from day to day (week to week, month to month, or year to year).

Monday, March 30, 2015

Observe The Spirit Of The Law, Not Just The Letter

We see too many problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about inconsistent content penalties.
My blog was deleted - then I got a letter of apology from Blogger. But my blog was deleted, again!
and
My blog does not contain copied content, why was it deleted?
These blog owners, and others, are complying with the letter of the law - as they see important.

Unfortunately, other blog and website owners have rights too - and Blogger will also enforce their rights - now, and in the future. To have a righteous blog, you have to remain innocent of all possible TOS violation categories.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Replace "No Comments" With A More Friendly Caption

Ever since Blogger improved the comment count caption / link, they have gotten criticism.

They just replaced the vague 0 comment count, that was originally part of the link to the comment form, with a more indicative caption "No Comments" (or whatever language equivalent may apply, on your blog). But they cannot please everybody.
People think I don't want comments, what can I do?
I think the old saying
Don't try to please everybody!
applies here, in spades.

So people ask, periodically, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about template customisation.
How do I replace "No Comments" with something more reader friendly?
And the first question needs to be
Are you comfortable with editing the template?
This can be a rather forbidding question, to some blog owners.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Adding An HTML / JavaScript Gadget?

Some blog owners try to add a new gadget to their blog, unsuccessfully.
When I try to add my own gadget to my blog, it won't accept it. It says
We are sorry, this gadget appears to be broken.

This gadget has errors and cannot be used until fixed.
I've seen the gadget used, on other blogs. Why not, on my blog?
There is a small problem in understanding, how to add gadgets.

Blogger lets people add HTML / JavaScript based gadgets, provided by various developers and non Google services - and they let people make their own, XML based gadgets. Some people confuse the two types of gadgets.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Labels Searches, And Case Sensitivity

We see confusion, from time to time, about label searches in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why don't my labels work, consistently?
or
Why don't all of my pages work?
Looking at a blog with the problem, we'll frequently see lack of consistency in label case - some labels appear in lower case ("label"), some in upper case ("LABEL"), some in sentence case ("Label"). This might seem like an insignificant personality issue - but it's not.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Comments Subscription Options For A Blog

We see occasional questions from blog owners, and readers, about options for reading comments, and comment updates, from a given blog.

The most obvious way to read comments - or replies to comments - is to read the individual posts. If a blog that interests you uses Google+ hosted comments, reading either on the post, or in the Google+ stream, may be your choice.

For Blogger hosted comments. both owners and readers have a few more possibilities.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BlogSpot Country Domains Blocked By StumbleUpon

We've seen a few recent reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems getting StumbleUpon to accept Blogger blogs.
Every time I try to put a blog into StumbleUpon, it replies that it does not accept Blogger site submissions.
And the URL, when stated, will be a non "BlogSpot.com" country code alias.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Retrieve The PageID / PostID Of A Deleted Page / Post

I've previously provided instructions for recovering a deleted page (static page) or post (dynamic page).

Retrieval of a deleted page / post involves editing the deleted page / post, using a URL which contains the BlogID, and the PageID / PostID. It's easy enough to get the BlogID - the source listing for any blog page will have multiple places where the BlogID can be found - but where can one find the PageID / PostID?

The PageID / PostID can be found - given a small amount of effort, for any well indexed blog. Any cached copy, of the deleted page or post, will provide the PageID / PostID - once you know what to look for.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Adding Pages To A Dynamic Template

We all know the limitations of the dynamic template - how you can't easily edit dynamic template HTML code, or accessories as freely.

At one time, you could switch back to dynamic view, for the comments and posts - and view the complete blog, using a non dynamic template. That ability was taken away, in early 2014.

That doesn't mean that you have to give up completely, however, on adding pages - though this may not yet provide a solution for a custom home page.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Make The Stats "Don't track ..." Option Work

Some blog owners, having published their blog to their new custom domain, find that the Stats "Don't track my own pageviews" option has now stopped working - and their activity, on their blog, is being counted.

Owners of custom domain published blogs, who consider their own activity to create significant inaccuracy in Stats figures, may not be pleased to discover Stats unable to ignore their activity - even if they did previously select the "Don't track ..." option. Finding it inconvenient to locate the misbehaving filter that prevents the Stats "Don't track" cookie from being installed on their browser, they will complain in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

We now see a possible workaround, for this problem.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

How To Logout From Your Blogger Account

Occasionally, we see confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue?, about a rather obvious process.
How do I logout?
The blog owner, here, is not being completely facetious, or obtuse.

Many applications, on the web and in other scenarios, have a "Logout Complete" display - maybe with a link, to login, again.
You have now logged out of XXXXXXX. Thank you for visiting!


>> Login
And "Login" would be clickable, and would take you back to the Login screen.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Add Your Twitter Feed To Your Blog

Some blog owners, who also have activity in Twitter, would like to display their Twitter feed on their blog.

This is not at all difficult. Twitter will custom build you an HTML gadget, using a wizard in their website.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Disable / Enable The Navbar, On Your Blog

Occasionally, a blog owner wants to login to Blogger from the blog - but there's no link to login.
I can't get to my dashboard! How do I login to Blogger?
The simplest solution is to just use the Blogger login link
https://www.blogger.com
Bookmark that, and you can login any time - using either a Designer / Layout, or a Dynamic, template.

A long term solution would be to have the Navbar enabled, on the blog. All blogs can't use a navbar, however.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Solutions, To The Spam Problem, Start With You

This year, we are finally seeing the beginning of the end, of one problem, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

Spam reports - both righteous and spurious - are steadily slowing down. They are not at zero level yet, but there is a distinct decrease.

Now, we are seeing questions from people who actually can do something, about their personal contributions, to the problem - borderline spam blogs, with blog owners possibly able and willing to clean up their act.
I look in Google Search, for my blog, but it's not listed. Please help me, what is the problem - how can I get my blog listed?
This blog owner has the right attitude - if not the right training.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ridicule By Friends Does Not Justify Blog Removal

We see occasional tales of woe, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
My friends are making fun of me, because my name, when searched in Google, comes up on a non complimentary blog. The owner of the blog has forgotten the password, and can't recover control. How do I convince Blogger to have the offending blog removed?
The answer, here, is not promising.
You can't. No laws have been broken, nor has Google TOS been violated.
That's harsh reality, that is going to happen, a few times.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Your Friends Email, Stolen, Could Endanger Your Blog

One of the hottest US National news stories, this month, is about Hillary Clinton and how she endangered the security of this country by using an insecure email address.

One of her mistakes involved her having a friend who had her email address in his address book, when his email account was hacked. And that is how your friends email accounts can be used, to attack your email account.

Even if your email account is not revealed, openly, a friend - or fellow blog owner - who reveals her / his email address, can have his / her Blogger account, blog, and email account stolen. And with the possibility that you and your friend exchange emails, there is vulnerability to your email account, your Blogger account, and your blog.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

"Similar Posts" Gadgets, And Blog Changes

In some blogs, a popular accessory is a dynamic "similar posts" index, with image captioned links to other posts. Sometimes, the links can rival the usefulness of label lists.

"Similar Posts" is not a Blogger feature - but there are several third party services which provide this feature, generally used in blogs which consistently use photos in the posts. This feature will be more useful, with photo rich blogs - and less useful, with label rich blogs, and blogs which link to other posts in text (like this blog).

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Blogosphere, And The Registrar Zone Editor

Sometimes, we see the frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about custom domain setup.
I try to publish my blog to my domain, and I get
We have not been able to verify your authority to this domain. Error 14.
even when I know I have added the necessary DNS addresses. Why does Blogger ignore my addresses?
When we check, using multiple tools - such as DigWebInterface, or Kloth, or WhoIs, we see no addresses. Even, in some cases, when the blog owner is thoughtful enough to include well displayed copy of the zone editor display.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Anonymity And The Blog Feeds

Some blog owners have found out, to their dismay, that the blog feeds contain details about them, that they supposedly blocked from their blogs.

Blog owners, who are trying to publish blogs anonymously, have to work hard, to stay anonymous.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Comment Moderation Conversations, In GMail

If your blog does not get a lot of comments, you may be unused to receiving multiple comments, for the same post, in one day.

If you do one day get multiple comments, in the same day, for one post, you may not be prepared for the effect of Conversation email formatting, used by GMail. When an email message is received in your Inbox, on the same day as a previous email message with the same Subject line, GMail will display both email messages as one message, in a "Conversation".

This gives you two or more email messages - such as comment moderation (or notification) - displayed under the same GMail index entry. When you click on the index entry, you will see both comment moderation (notification) messages displayed, one after the other, in the "message".

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Google Domains Provides Personal Support

One of the more promising features of Google Domains - besides the ability to access the Google Domains dashboard using a normal Google account - may be a recently discovered option.
I could not make my domain work, so I contacted Google Domains Support. They provided a simple adjustment, that actually worked!
Google Domains Support appears to be available, to anyone who purchases a domain, using Google Domains.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

Defect In The Watermark Template Tabs Section

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we see a report of template inconsistency, in the Tabs Menu.
Most of the tabs links work fine - the pages pop right up. The two tabs on the far right, you can't click them and they don't act as links.
When we check the published blog code, the pages gadget looks normal - the two tabs reported just, mysteriously, refuse to operate.

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Don't Redirect The Post Feed, Redirect The Reference

Occasionally, we see concern, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about continuing to serve the readers of a blog, after renaming or replacing with a new URL.
How do I let my existing subscribers read the feed, with the blog published to a new URL?
This blog owner is planning ahead - which is a good idea whenever renaming a blog.

Friday, March 06, 2015

Use Of "Third Party" Cookies Is Not The Problem

The controversy over "third party" cookies, and filtering, continues daily.

Today, a blog owner suggests that solving the problem of inability to comment, by "requiring" each reader to un filter "third party" cookies, is unacceptable - because each reader has to take action, to solve the problem.

Another blog owner, asking why Blogger won't ignore his pageviews when visiting his blog, takes only a couple hours to read and to diagnose the problem, then dismisses the advice

That didn't really help.

Both blog owners are ignoring the actual problem.

Blogger did not create a requirement called "third party cookies". Blogger, like Google, and like most Internet services, use cookies to retain information, from each of us, as we use Blogger.

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Combining And Managing Multiple EMail Accounts

If you use GMail for your email, you may have seen the opportunities in GMail Settings, which let you manage and use multiple email accounts.

GMail lets you use both GMail, and non GMail, email accounts from one - or from different - GMail desktops. This lets you manage multiple email identities from one single GMail account - and gives you opportunities to cause yourself various problems.

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Provide A Sitemap, To Enable Indexing Of Pages

With (static) pages becoming a popular component in our blogs, we are seeing a few queries about getting pages content indexed.

We see an occasional query, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, which leads to using the new pages sitemap.
How do I get pages indexed?
Aside from the design issue, where not all blog owners should want pages indexed, there should not be an issue here.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Making Threaded Google+ Hosted Comments Work

For many years, threaded comments was a frequently requested Blogger feature.

That option was finally added in 2012. When Blogger added Google+ hosted comments in 2013, threaded Google+ commenting was later added.

Threaded comments, provided as an option in Blogger hosted comments, have significant requirements. Google+ hosted comments have additional requirements - and predictably, threaded comments in Google+ hosted comments have still more requirements.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Panic From AdSense "Policy Breach Notice" EMail

Some blog owners, who use AdSense, received some very disturbing email this weekend.
This morning I received the following email from Google.
Dear Publisher,

We have now verified that we are no longer detecting PII being passed to Google from the account(s) under your control.

Thank you for helping to resolve this matter.

Regards,

The Google Policy Team
What did I do, this time? Is my AdSense account in danger of being terminated?
And the email was labeled "Policy Breach Notice".

Fortunately, this was, apparently, just another episode of Google being Google.