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, December 31, 2015

Account Recovery And Account Security Is One Issue

We see the frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, almost daily.
My blog has disappeared from my dashboard, and my subscribers are getting spam! How do I get my blog returned to me?
and
I got a new computer, and now I can't access my blog. Who can I call at Google, to get this fixed??
These are two blog owners who have the same problem, but do not understand the connection.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Optimize Post Content, And Encourage Readers

Along with consistently using Jump Break, properly sizing and wording of important post sections can make the blog pages neater, and easier to read.

You see my opening paragraph, above. Sizing and wording of important post sections, such as the opening paragraph, helps make the main page layout more consistent - and gives a slightly more professional look to the blog.

And, a cleaner and more consistent page layout, to complement a carefully structured blog, encourages readers to read more of the blog.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

You Get What You Pay For

Free "Domains" may be worth exactly what you pay.

A "free domains" registrar won't be a charity - nor are registrars, in general, non profit organisations. There will be differences - between a "free domain" - and a properly purchased domain, from a full service, reliable registrar. Features cost money - and even "free domains" have to be paid for.

Google "free domains for blogs", and see what you get. What they offer may not be what you need, for Blogger custom domain publishing.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Don't Use Draft Mode Post Editor, For Long Periods

Too many blog owners continue to trust their efforts to Page / Post Editor, over long periods of time, without backup.

We see the agony, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, too often.
How do I get my post back? I have been working on it for months. I accidentally cleared the screen - and seconds later, the empty post was saved by post editor! Help meeee!!
This blog owner is now in for some bad news.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Don't Be The Registrar, With Your First Custom Domain

Every domain, to be visible to the world - has to be visible to the root name servers.

Your registrar adds your domain to their servers - then sets up a series of linkages, between the root name servers, and their own name servers. Your job, as the domain purchaser, is to connect the registrar name servers, and the Google servers.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Some Blog Owners Should Accept A Content Warning

Not all blog owners are willing to accept their blog being accessed behind a reader applied Content Warning.

We see occasional signs of lack of understanding, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
Why is my blog blocked, by Google? It is a legitimate blog, with a serious subject!!
This blog owner considers the needs of his blog above the general Blogger reader population.

For best results, the desire to display, without the warning, needs to be accompanied by a willingness to remove content, when necessary. Right now, the readers have spoken.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

You Will Not Get Advance Warning Of Classification

We see frequent evidence of confusion, about abuse classification etiquette, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
My blog was deleted, as spam - but I received no notice or warning! How could Blogger do such a thing?
This indignation may be provided, in the hopes that Blogger would relent.
Sorry, here's your blog!
But such reaction is seldom seen - and when seen, is not a result of attitude, but of content.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The Chrome Browser Lacks A Newsfeed Reader

We see occasional evidence of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about reading newsfeed content.
I click on the link at the bottom of the page, and I get a screen full of gibberish.
When we check the problem report, and verify browser involved, it will almost always be for users of the Chrome browser.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Blogger Followers / Google Friend Connect ReWrite

Blogger is rewriting the Followers gadget, and removing some lesser used features.

One of the features seeing some change is Followers Authentication and Profiles. Long ago, I wrote about Community Accounts, and later about Community Profiles - both features letting you (or someone Following you) provide a blog to Follow and / or Follow other blogs.

At the time, Following (aka Google Friend Connect) was part of a complex network of different Followers services - with some Google users, and others non Google users. The ability to use non Google services, to Follow Blogger blogs, made a Blogger blog accessible to more people.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Diagnose FaceBook Gadget Problems

Adding a FaceBook developed gadget is - or should be - just like adding any HTML / JavaScript gadget.

Sometime, though, adding a FaceBook gadget just does not produce hoped for results. We see the problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
The gadget is blank!
or
The gadget does not update anything!
The problems will typically involve gadget code - and the FaceBook Debugger wizard is unlikely to provide any help.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Account / Blog Recovery, And Anonymous Ownership

We see occasional evidence still of confusion about blog ownership, and dashboard access, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I can find my blogs on my profile page, and by Googling them - but I can't update them, post in them or access them in any way - even though the system says I'm logged in.
This blog owner is logged in to the wrong account - but has no way to recover, because the blog is offline.

Friday, December 18, 2015

A New Blog Feature - Featured Posts

Last week, Blogger Engineering announced their latest feature, "Featured Post".
Whether you’d like to re-share that delicious holiday recipe from a few years back, spotlight a can’t-miss promotion you’re running, or just revive something quirky from the archives, the Featured Post gadget is a simple way to show off the content that matters most.

This is a quick and easy way to highlight a specific post in your blog, that will be enjoyable or useful for your readers. I hope to use mine to provide useful advice, as "Read, and Learn" - once the Followers gadget has been updated, and is fully operational.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The Followers / Friend Connect Gadget Works, Again

In a separate project, I was updating this blog - and in previewing my changes, I observed the familiar demur
We're sorry.

This gadget is configured incorrectly. ...
In the sidebar, underneath "Follow Me".

That sight made me wonder if the Followers gadget, when viewed in the live blog, would again work properly - when recently, I had begun wondering if the gadget would ever work, again. And, when I investigated, I found my musings were correct.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Don't Make Your Blog Victim Of Alias Blocking Malware

Country specific domains were launched by Blogger almost 3 years ago.

Even this month, we see people with doubts about their benefits.
Is using a script, to prevent blogger country redirection, a violation of Blogger or Google TOS?
And the proposed script is the same one that is being used by spammers, to abuse the Blogger service.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Many Blogger Email Delivery Problems Are Reported

We have a number of problem reports, from various blog owners and readers, about email from Blogger, posted daily in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

Some email, from different Blogger features and services, simply is not being delivered. The normal advice given is for the person reporting the problem to look in the "Bulk" / "Spam" folders, in the email client.

Not all non delivered email is dropped into "Bulk" / "Spam". Some email is simply "bounced" - ie, returned to the sender. Since most Blogger email is sent from a "no-reply" email address (ie, "no-reply@blogger.com"), bounced email vanishes - and nothing is done to analyse its non delivery.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Windows Live Writer Becomes Open Live Writer

Last week, Blogger turned off their workaround from June 2015, that was allowing Windows Live Writer, and other third party editors and auxiliary Blogger services, to access Blogger.

All week, we saw various reports of problems, reminiscent of the problems that we saw in June 2015, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue. Yesterday, Blogger Engineering provided a status announcement.
We would like to let all users of Windows Live Writer know that Microsoft has made the application open source and it’s now a different application called Open Live Writer (you will need to download it here).

A few months ago, the Windows Live Writer and Blogger integration stopped working for a few days due to improvements in Google’s authentication systems. We agreed to keep the old authentication systems for a few more months but starting December 11th, they will be retired and Windows Live Writer will stop working.
The Open Live Writer team is now working on making OLW use ClientLogin aka OAuth 2.0, to access Blogger.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Traffic Exchanges Are Another Type Of Spam

We've been exploring bogus redirection of reader traffic, for a few years.

Similar to dubious awards and web rings, we have "traffic exchanges". Traffic exchanges are similar to "affiliate marketing", where readers of one blog are randomly shuffled to another blog, then to another - all the while, lighting up ads on each blog.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

A Blog, Not On Your Dashboard, Has Various Causes

We see many complaints, worded in various ways, about "missing" blogs, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
My blog is not on my dashboard!
or
I logged in this morning, and I see
Create your blog now
You are not an author on any blogs yet ...
Help!
There are many reasons for these reports - and not all may be what they seem.

The causes of "missing" blogs vary widely, from blogs deleted by Blogger (or the owner) to blogs owned under another account (the claimant or a third party). Chances for recovery may vary, similarly.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Don't Force Your Readers To Use SSL

Some blog owners are very anxious to have their blogs accessible, using SSL protocol.

We see the occasional impassioned query, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
I added JavaScript code in my blog, to redirect from HTTP to HTTPS, since I want my users to view the blog in HTTPS.

I am concerned about indexing and Webmaster Tools. How do I move from HTTP to HTTPS? I would like my posts to be indexed, using HTTPS.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Large Blogs, Search Engine Indexing, And Stats Logs

We see an occasional question about search indexing, and visitor activity, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I find out what search queries are used, to bring my new readers, to my blog?
This owner is thinking about how to get more traffic - the right way.

You can use the Stats - Traffic sources dashboard page, and examine the top 10 Search Keywords, used to find your blog. Depending upon how large and popular your blog is - and what browser your readers use - you may or may not find out as much as you would think, however.

Monday, December 07, 2015

Blogger Does Not Have A Page / Post Recycle Bin

We see the occasional hopeful yet naive request, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, about a common mistake.
I deleted my post, that I've been working on, for a week. How do I get it back?
Here, the blog owner is asking about a feature that has been requested, several times.

If you delete your blog, you can recover it - within 90 days, using the same Blogger account. There are no "do overs" for a deleted page or post, however.

Sunday, December 06, 2015

Newsreel Gadget Broken

Last week, Google turned off the long deprecated Google Feed API.

Among many Blogger features that were affected, were 4 identified gadgets.
  • Feed
  • Newsreel
  • Slideshow
  • Video Bar
Several days after the API was turned off, Google realised their mistake, and turned it back on again. The Newsreel gadget, unfortunately, remains out of service - and we have seen many reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Chaos Theory, And Blogger / Google Authentication

Every time I carry this computer with me, and login to Blogger or Google from another location - and get the repeated demand that I
Insert my USB key, and touch the button.
I growl just a bit. Then, I consider what using Google 2-Step Verification means, to me.

Many blog owners become unhappy, when they use Blogger.
I tried using Blogger from my friends computer - and I have to tell them when I setup my Blogger account!
or
I need to recover control of my blog - and even though I supplied the right phone, and got the recovery email message, I have to check off which Google services I have used, in the last month!! WTF??
These are simply people who do not use Google 2-Step Verification - and have to prove their identity, in a different way.

Friday, December 04, 2015

DMCA Complaints Can't Have Immediate Action

Some blog owners, filing a complaint against another blog owner, don't understand the delays involved, in a DMCA Violation.
I have just recently filed a DMCA notice on this blog for copyright infringement of my blog. So far nothing has been done except receiving an automatic reply from Google. When will the other blog be taken down?
This blog owner does not understand that not all legal actions can be executed immediately - and some, never.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Image Upload And "sign in to access online storage"

Last month, Blogger launched an improved Page / Post Editor image uploader - Image Drag and Drop.
Today, we are happy to announce that users will be able to drag and drop images directly into posts drafts.

In the past, users had to click on “Insert image” to upload the file from the posts drafts. However, with the new drag and drop feature, users will have an easier way to add pictures into post drafts.
Like many Blogger major improvements, this one comes with challenges.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Broken Feed Gadgets, From Google API Deprecation

Google makes changes to their software environment, constantly.

This week, they deprecated the Google Feed API. Unfortunately, many Blogger gadgets require that feature to display feed content, on our blogs.

This week, numerous reports about broken feeds, in various gadgets, are being seen, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue. The broken feeds are a direct result of the deprecated API.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Editing And Showing Your Google+ Profile

When you have a Google+ profile, and you use it with your Blogger blog, it replaces your Blogger profile - and becomes the public part of your Blogger identity.

Google+ displays your profile more transparently than Blogger displays your Blogger profile. Your Google+ profile is clearly and consistently linked to your Google+ comments and posts, for your readers to view - and it's part of the Google+ desktop, for you to view and to edit. And Google+ lets you display or hide sensitive portions of your profile, with more options than Blogger provides.

As a Blogger blog owner, you can probably find your Google+ profile, as attached to your Blogger dashboard.

All that aside, Google+ is not completely obvious, in letting you view and edit all profile content.

One of the challenges of Google+, and showing and editing your profile, is that Google+ is being updated, right now - and there are now two Google+ desktops.