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Showing posts from October, 2015

EU Cookie Compliance, October 2015

We've had the Google CookieChoices banner in our blogs - thanks to the European Union cookie privacy issue - since April 2015.

Not all blog owners - even those in Europe, where its presence may be required by law - appreciate what Google provided for us. The banner clutters up many templates, making our blogs more busy looking. In some cases, it may hide - or be hidden by - important blog components.

There are several ways of customising the banner, to make it more acceptable - that are not too difficult to use.

Several Ways To Add HTML Accessories To Your Blog

If you have a malicious or misbehaving gadget in your blog, one of the easiest blog cleanups is removal of a malicious HTML gadget.

Unfortunately, this does not work, for every gadget on every blog. Depending upon how a gadget is installed, malicious code may, or may not, be visible - and if visible, may, or may not, be easily removable.

Google BlogSearch - 2015

Long ago, Google provided Google BlogSearch, as one a way of surfing the blogosphere.

One of the challenges of using BlogSearch was that we were never sure what we were surfing. Some people wanted to see only "blogspot.com" published Blogger blogs - and other people wanted to see all Blogger blogs, including those not published to "blogspot.com".

Some ingenious blog owners published "Blogger blogs" of doubtful integrity, simply using the URL of "blogspot.com" - and people accepted such blogs as righteous, simply because Blog Search would list them in a search page.

Adding AddThis Social Media Buttons To The Blog

A few folks have asked me about my social media toolbar, that I added a couple months ago.

It took very little work, to develop and install this gadget.

I just went to the AddThis website, registered, selected the options, and got the code. Then, I added one more HTML gadget, to my blogs.

Make Multiple FeedBurner Feeds, For Multiple Uses

Sometimes, blog owners need complicated and conflicting feed setups, for multiple uses.

One blog owner asksI want a email blog posts feed, using snippets of the posts, so my email subscribers will click on the snippets and read the blog itself. I would prefer that newsfeed readers have the option to read the entire post, in their readers.At first glance, this is an impossible request. FeedBurner can't do two things, with one feed.

Fortunately, FeedBurner, like most Google services, is free - and there's no limit to the number of feeds that you can make.

The Blogger Followers Gadget Is Broken

Blog owners ask about Followers activity, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.I can't Follow my Followers!They appear to be referring to the Followers gadget, which is currently useless for surfing.

With Anonymity, You May Not Get Easy Recovery

We see the potential for self induced stress, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, every week.How do I publish a blog, without identifying myself?Then laterI forgot my account name / password, and I am not getting any email from "Forgot?"!These are two hypothetical problem reports, that are all too real, for many blog owners.

Blogger Magic - The Pages Gadget, As A Linkbar

Not every blog owner understands how to install a horizontal linkbar, in a blog. We see the occasional query, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.Why do I have a linklist, below the blog title?This blog owner could be making any of several innocent mistakes.

A link bar - or tabs row - is a key component in indexing important blog sections - yet few blog owners understand how it works.

You Cannot Reply To Comments, From Your Inbox

Some blog owners keep reporting problems with comment replies never posting to their blog - or being received by the comment publisher - in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.When I reply to blog comments through GMail, the reply doesn't show up on my blog.orMy readers never get my replies, to their comments!This blog owner is trying to use a feature that should exist - but simply is not available.

Owner Activity Does Not Determine URL Availability

One interesting question, that we see from time to time in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, is about owner activity and "dormant" blogs.

Many people would like to publish to an inactive Blogger address - but Blogger supports the current owner right to anonymity and privacy - and to keep their blog, until they want to give it up. One of the challenges, in this case, may be identifying dormant blogs.

Deleted Pages Are Not Recoverable, Like Posts

Blog owners occasionally delete blog content, and later change their mind.How do I recover a post, after I deleted it from my blog?Sometimes, knowing the URL - or at least the title - of a post, we can retrieve the post from the Blogger database. In other cases, it may be possible to retrieve post content from a cached newsfeed.

Some blog owners like to construct a blog using static pages - and this presents a bit more of a challenge, when a static page is deleted.

Check Your Post Editor "Sticky" Options Settings

People ask, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about problems with post formatting.
Why don't all of my posts allow comments?or
Why are my posts a mess of code, in one huge paragraph?Both of these problems can involve post editor Options settings - and in many cases, Options settings from a previous post.

Static Pages Are Not Searchable, By Default

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, we see a blog owner who wishes to use static pages for blog content - and wants the blog visible, in search hit lists.I set up search gadgets for my blog - but have noticed that the search only seems to work with posts. How do I make my pages searchable?The blog owner does not understand the original reason for having static pages.

Many blog owners use static pages for content viewable by visitors - but intentionally not indexed, by search engines.

Do You Have A Problem Or Suggestion? Tell Blogger!

Every day, we see a complaint, problem report, or suggestion about making Blogger better, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

If you want direct communication (one way) with the Blogger Developers, Blogger Support has suggested that we use "Report a problem".

Blogger Magic - Make A New Static Page

In order to make the Pages gadget "Pages to show" useful, you need to add one or more static pages.

Without entries under "Pages to show", you've nothing to do but add dynamic pages, using "Add external link". There is one way to access Page Editor - though several ways to access Post Editor.

You use the Page Editor, to publish static pages - which then are listed under "Pages to show", in "Configure Page List".

Blogger Accounts, And Google Multi-Account Login

One of the most intriguing subjects, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, is about account access - and the dashboard menu.My menu only gives me Posts, and Settings! How do I manage my blog?This blog member (owner?) may be simply logged in to the wrong Google account.

SSL Access Is Not A Reality, For All Blogs

Some blog owners are not going to be able to provide SSL access to their blogs - even with SSL enabled.

Blog owners who prefer to use the "www" alias of "blogspot.com" - and who have chosen to enable SSL access for their blogs - report "Invalid Certificate" errors, when trying to access. And other blog owners report problems, when they have photos, hosted by Google and Picasa, using "http:".

When You Import, Avoid "Automatically publish ..."

Every month in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, we see another blog owner, trying to import and publish.Why is it taking so dang long? I started yesterday - it's just spinning, and getting nowhere!This blog owner is not having a good time, importing posts.

Publish Back To BlogSpot, Before The Domain Expires

Occasionally, we see the questionMy domain is expiring soon. Will the blog be visible, after the domain expires?And this answer is not so obvious. If the blog remains "published" to the domain, the blog will redirect to a dead domain. Your readers may see a screen full of ads - or they may seeSite not found.What they see will depend upon ISP / registrar policy.

A Custom Domain Published Blog Is Bound By TOS

Some blog owners like Blogger One Button Publishing - but they don't like the restrictions.

Possibly observing the chaotic freedom of WordPress self hosted blogs, they wonder if custom domain publishing provides the same freedom.If I pay for my domain, can I host porn with ads?
Unfortunately, custom domain publishing, unlike WordPress self hosted blogs, still uses the Blogger dashboard - and still publishes content which is accessible using "blogspot.com".

"Read More" In Dynamic Template Magazine View

Some blog owners, who publish their blogs using a dynamic template, prefer the "Magazine" view.

A few owners observe that there's a problem with the "Read More" function, in the "Magazine" post summary display.How do I let my readers know that there's more to read? There's no caption to indicate "Read more ..."!This is an odd omission, too.

With Dynamic Templates involving 7 different views, though, it's not difficult to imagine 1 or 2 details dropping through the cracks - and we are here.

How To Activate AdSense, On Your Blog

This question comes up, almost daily, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger - and continues into AdSense Help Forum: Blogger / YouTubeHow do I activate AdSense, on my blog? The activation process does not require a lot of additional work, by the blog owner - but it does require a mature, well written blog - and some patience. And you do need to understand the rules of AdSense accounts.

OpenID Commenting, With Blogger / Google Accounts

Blog guests and owners who wish to use OpenID, for posting comments, may need to logout from Blogger, before commenting.

It appears that when commenting, someone logged in to Blogger or Google will use the Blogger / Google account for authentication, automatically - instead of an OpenID account - even when preferring to use OpenID, and the blog permits use of OpenID.

Publishing A Static Website, As A Blogger Blog

Some blog owners use Blogger, as a lightweight website platform.

A normal Blogger blog consists of posts, which are published as dynamic pages. Static pages, used in a normal blog, are extra content - that's typically hidden from direct view, and intentionally not indexed by the search engines.

A website, on the other hand, will typically use static pages as content. Static pages, by default, are not used as blog content.