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...

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Blogger Offers HTTPS For BlogSpot Published Blogs

Today, Blogger / Google made a major announcement which has been coming, for a long time.
Today we're expanding on the HTTPS Everywhere mission and beginning an initial rollout of HTTPS support for Blogspot. HTTPS is a cornerstone of internet security as it provides several important benefits: it makes it harder for bad actors to steal information or track the activities of blog authors and visitors, it helps check that visitors open the correct website and aren’t being redirected to a malicious location, and it helps detect if a bad actor tries to change any data sent from Blogger to a blog visitor.
SSL access to Blogger blogs has been requested, by many blog owners, for years.

The initial offer, which will roll out gradually, will only affect BlogSpot published blogs. It will be voluntary, to give blog owners a chance to upgrade the various accessories and applications.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Street Legal Race Cars, And Similar Web Applications

Almost 2 years ago, motion picture actor Paul Walker and Roger Rojas decided to joyride, take a spin, in suburban Los Angeles California.

What followed was $500,000 + destruction, at speed exceeding twice the posted 45 MPH. Driven in an industrial / office complex, the street legal race car - his buddy Roger at the wheel - left the road, and wrapped itself around a tree.

It takes money to own, and to race, a super car - like a Porsche Carrera GT, that took Paul's life. It takes no money, however, to own a super web application - like a Blogger blog.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Spam Review Is Not By Word Of Honour

Too frequently, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we try to advise blog recovery for a legitimate blog, unrighteously deleted by Blogger.

Occasionally, when advised to
Find a dashboard link labeled "Deleted blogs" / "Locked blogs".
then
Having found the link, you submit a Review request.
The response is
There is no dashboard link, referencing 'deleted blogs / locked blogs'.
There are several causes of this condition - but there is only one real solution. The (would be) owner has to login with the right Blogger account, and find the necessary "Deleted" / "Locked" blogs section, of "My blogs".

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Revenge Porn Now Recognised As Abuse, By Blogger

Recently, Google publicised advice about a new type of abuse that may be reportable, when present in a Blogger blog.
Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women. So going forward, we’ll honor requests from people to remove nude or sexually explicit images shared without their consent from Google Search results. This is a narrow and limited policy, similar to how we treat removal requests for other highly sensitive personal information, such as bank account numbers and signatures, that may surface in our search results.
Supposedly, "revenge porn" mitigation is limited to removal from Google Search. In one forum discussion, however, the new classification appears to have successfully resulted in an offensive blog being removed from Blogger.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

People Who Publish Private Blogs Deserve Privacy

We see an occasional would be blog member, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, bemoaning lack of private blog access.
I used to follow a certain blogger - but found out, recently, that now his blog is blocked & only open to invited readers. I do not know the author and would like an invite.

How do I contact the author?
Lack of access to the fancy clubs and parties, in any city, is a disappointment to many - except the lucky members of the "AAA" list. Private blogs have the same exclusivity. Life is not fair.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Not All Template Designer "Advanced" Wizards Work

An occasional blog owner reports frustration with various "Advanced" Template Designer wizards, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I have entered my new colour palette under "template>advanced>" - and the colours will not show up on the blog.

I even checked that the colour values were right under "Edit HTML".
This blog owner wants different background colours, than are provided as defaults - and does not understand why the wizards, that advise
Template applied.
simply don't work.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The "My blogs" List Is A Jumble

Every week, we get some hopeful blog owner, with more than half a dozen blogs, naively asks, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger
How do I sort the dashboard blog list?
And there is no answer, other than
You can't.
This is one feature that Blogger just won't provide.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Proactive Content Removal Helps Avoid Problems

We occasionally see a confused content thief / spammer, unsure why the blog was deleted.
I removed all of the content that I was told to remove. Why was my blog deleted?
or
Why was my blog restored, then deleted the following week?
Some blog owners do not understand the consequences of repeated review.

The more times your blog is reviewed, the more completely and carefully the content will be examined.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Help Your Readers Index Your Blog By Post Title

The "Blog Archive" gadget is used, by some blog owners, to provide a date sequenced post index.

Some blog owners, with smaller blogs, would like their readers to index their blogs by post title - but without the date being involved. They would like a straight alphabetically ordered list of post titles.

Blogger does not have a "Title Index" gadget. It's not hard to make one, however, for smaller blogs.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

GPT (PTC, PTS, PTV) Is Unwelcome, Click Fraud

Some spammers do not appreciate the subtle details of the Blogger anti-spam policies.
Spam: Spam takes several forms in Blogger, all of which can result in deletion of your account or blog. Some examples include creating blogs designed to drive traffic to your site or to move it up in search listings, posting comments on other people's blogs just to promote your site or product, and scraping existing content from other sources for the primary purpose of generating revenue or other personal gains.
We see an occasional spammer lawyer, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue
I checked the official rules. You can check - Blogger never said PTC is not allowed. I'm just promoting PTC, in my blog.
This is a spammer who has not gotten the word.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Country Code Aliasing Is A Solution - Not A Problem

Blogger recently expanded a key feature in their infrastructure - country code aliasing.

Like all Blogger features, every time they expand the scope of aliasing, they cause problems. Some of the problems that were caused by the recent expansion of country code aliasing - where they added over 2 dozen countries, in one project - are damaging vulnerable Blogger blogs.

Incidental damage to any blogs, however, should not justify stopping - or impeding - the implementation of redirections, on a worldwide basis.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Fix The Dynamic Template Pop Out Sidebar In Place

Not every blog owner, who likes the dynamic templates, likes the docked sidebar - which pops out, only with the cursor properly positioned.
How do I get the sidebar to remain visible? Nobody knows where it is, with it hidden!
This blog owner is ignoring the need to use all horizontal screen space, effectively, when viewing the blog in some dynamic views.

However, if you really want the sidebar to always be visible, it's easy enough to make it do that.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Domain Registrations Require Email Verification

We're seeing a few blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, reporting new custom domains that don't work - or that worked for a while, then stopped working.

Domains purchased through Google Domains, and other registrars, need ownership email verification.

When you buy a domain, you get various email messages - from your registrar, and your bank, for instance. Some, you file without opening.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Don't Confuse "Link List" And "List" Gadgets

One useful alternative to the "Archives" gadget, when you want to help your readers index your blog by Title, is a LinkList.

You can make a LinkList in 5 minutes - and you can add a new entry, when you publish a post, in 10 seconds - and index your blog by Post Title.

Just don't confuse the terms "linklist" and "list", when you add a Title index.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Basics: You Cannot Login To My Domain Account

We see evidence of naivete, about responsibilities of Blogger custom domain publishing, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why does Google not support the blog owners properly, with a telephone number to call, so they can fix domain publishing problems?
Some blog owners don't understand the concept of third party products, and Blogger.

Just as your Blogger (and Google) account is your own property, so is your domain manager account.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Maintain A FeedBurner Subscriber List

We've been using FeedBurner Email Distribution for years, to provide a turnkey email based publication distribution.

With any email distribution system, the most essential function, in list management, is to add and remove subscriber entries. FeedBurner gives you that ability - if you look, carefully.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Basics: You Cannot Login To My Blogger Account

My Blogger account, and my blogs, are my property. Your Blogger account, and blogs, are your property.

This is a concept that not everybody seems to understand. Just as you cannot login to my account, I cannot login to your account - nor can Blogger Support or Google Security login to your account.

If you have a problem with your account, we will do our best to advise you how to resolve your problem - if at all possible. You have to do the work, though.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

EU Cookie Compliance, September 2015

Having spent time during July 2015, setting up the EU Cookie Notice Banner - and more time during August 2015, verifying operation of the banner, some blog owners are curious about banner regulation.
Would the cookie notice have to be visible to the visitor as soon as they click onto the blog?
or
Since I don't live in Europe, should I care about the notice?
Both are valid concerns, from blog owners who don't blindly follow the leader, with no reason.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Spam Classification And Review Accuracy Improves

At any given time, we can see a small sample of the Blogger blog universe, as reported in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

One sample, that we may see, is composed of the blogs which have been deleted / locked, by the Blogger spam classifier - which the owners want restored.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Recovering A Company Blog, Using Company Email

Every week, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we see signs of improperly managed company blogs.
The person who developed our company blog left our employment - and did not give us access to the blog. How do we recover our blog?
If the former employee published the blog from a Blogger account that uses cloud based email, such as GMail, the blog may be legally his property.

A Blogger blog is owned by the person who controls it. If your company uses company owned email, however, you may be able to take control of the Blogger account, and the blog.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The "Follow by Email" Gadget Uses FeedBurner Email

FeedBurner Email Distribution takes any Atom / RSS newsfeed, and sends it out, as email, to all subscribed recipients.

One FeedBurner feed is generated, when you add The "Follow by Email" gadget, to your blog. Like all FeedBurner Email accessories, email is distributed once daily, as selected by the feed owner.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Blog Owners Seeing "Invalid Security Token Error 403"

We are seeing an increasing number of reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems accessing various dashboard features.
Recently I have faced a problem on my blogs dashboard. The problem is
Invalid Security Token Error 403
How do I solve this?
This blog owner faces the latest variant of the long feared monolithic error, "403 Forbidden".

Monday, September 07, 2015

Interstitial Warnings Limit Research Options

Besides the problems discussed, when trying to research ownership or retrieve content from deleted and private blogs, we have problems researching ownership and retrieving content for blogs published behind an interstitial warning.

The interstitial warning is actually one reason why private blogs are so hard to research and to retrieve. Any blog, published behind an interstitial warning, becomes a challenge - both for ownership research, and for content retrieval.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Unique Content Requires More Than Hand Typing

We see discussions, in other forums - between a blog owner and an expert, discussing the necessity for unique content.

When advised that his blog is a problem because it is simply copy and pasted material, the response from some blog owners focuses on the term "copy and paste".
I type everything by hand, word by word! I do not copy, then paste!
But hand typed or not, the text can be easily Googled, and found in larger and better written websites.

Neither AdSense, Blogger, or Google Search care whether you use the keyboard or the mouse, to add content into post editor. You can type an article by hand - or you can highlight, then select "Copy" from the right click context menu, and finally select "Paste" from the right click context menu - and get the same result.

Private Blogs And Profiles Limit Research Options

Too often, we see the report, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I can't login to my Blogger account!
or
My blog was just deleted!!
Neither of these problem reports are unusual - and generally, there are various control and diagnostic options which may be available, to help us recover control of the account or blog in question.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Private / Deleted Blogs Have Limited Recovery

Too often, we see the report, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I can't login to my Blogger account!
or
My blog was just deleted!!
Neither of these problem reports are unusual - and generally, there are various control and diagnostic options which may be available, to help us recover control of the account or blog in question.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Account Security Is Not A Game - It Is Real Life

Google has been playing games with their online products, so much, that some people seem to ignore the seriousness of the issues.

We see the occasional naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I feel like Google has gone over some sort of security event horizon -- trying so hard to evade hackers that too many authentic account holders are getting locked out, irreparably.
This would be blog owner (or possibly, blog thief) feels that she should not be responsible for remembering the necessary details, to login to her Blogger account. Alternately, she should cruise through account recovery, with no challenges.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Blogger Magic - Repositioning Sidebar Gadgets

One of the more challenging limitations of Classic (HTML based) templates involved the template packaging.

Each template provided a combination of background, colours, fonts, and layout. If you wanted any different combination - a different background, for a set of colours and fonts, you would have to compromise on the layout. Or a specific layout meant a compromise on the colours and fonts.

Surely, somebody remembers the "Minima" vs "Minima Black" choice? And settling for the serif fonts, to get the right layout?

With the Layout class templates (XML based), Blogger introduced the "Fonts and Colours" wizard - and a beginning to making the packaging more modular.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

You Can't Change Email Address During Recovery

One intriguing blog theft technique is tried also by people who have recently lost control of their blogs.
I recently changed my email address (and forgot my password). Can Blogger please send a password reset to my new address "xxxxxxx", instead of "yyyyyyy"?
The blog owner is overlooking the obvious - that this is exactly what any blog thief might try, too.

Too many blog thefts start with the owner unwisely advertising the email address.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Where Are The Buttons In My Post Editor Toolbar?

Occasionally, we see signs of confusion, in in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Where are the buttons, in the toolbar?
or
Why don't I have a Colour / Font / Jump Break / Video Upload / whatever selection, in my post editor?
The reason is very subtle - and not easy to spot.

Blogger page / post editor is very elegant, with no feature being colourfully different. Most people compose their posts in Compose mode - and don't use HTML Mode, except for specific needs - or maybe by accident.

And the people who don't use HTML mode, intentionally, can't always spot the difference, in the mode selector buttons.