Saturday, April 25, 2015

Don't Accept Advice Or Code From Hackers

We're lately seeing a few problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, from owners of blogs now locked as malware / spam hosts.
My blog was deleted because it is marked as spam. I never spammed so why my blog has been confirmed as a Spam Host?
This blog owner appears to have simply accepted advice from the wrong person.

Using The Internet Archive (aka "Wayback Machine") we can sometimes find cached copies of blogs, even after deleted as suspected malware / spam hosts. In one case, though, viewing the blog was not possible - even having found a copy of the blog, in cache.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

All Dodgy Links Do Not Stay In Our Stats Logs

Occasionally, we see a complaint about referer spam, from a known spam source, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue - but the spam entry is not in a Stats log.

Some people are recently reporting referer spam source, in Google Analytics, StatCounter, and more.
When I check my Google Analytics, I See traffic on my blog from porn sites!
and
Why do I see Russian spam, in my StatCounter logs?
Why indeed? If referer spam is unique to Stats, because how Stats develops visitor activity counts, why would we see referer spam activity in Analytics, StatCounter, and other visitor logs?

It's normal to ask questions - but when you ask the wrong questions, in the wrong places, you help contribute to your own problems.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Combining A Blogger Blog And A FaceBook Wall

Many people who publish Blogger blogs also publish to FaceBook. Some have their own Wall, others post to friends Walls.

We see occasional questions, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about the desire to combine the two products.
How do I publish posts from my Wall to my blog?
and
How do I link my blog to my Wall?

Like any combination of Blogger and non Blogger content, there are techniques to combine a Blogger blog, and a non Blogger website. Some techniques don't work - and others may work, but won't be good for the blog.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Subscription Options For Private Blogs

Some blog readers wonder about how to follow blogs, recently turned private by their owners. We see some concern, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.
I Follow a blog which was recently made private. Its entry in my dashboard Reading List froze, and I can't get it working by removing and re adding!
This would be reader does not realise the results of making a blog private.

Private blogs do not publish blog feeds. When a blog is made private, the feed stops - and the Reading List and all other feed subscriptions - comments and posts - stop updating.

With no feed published, a blog cannot be added to Reading List - though the members picture icon may remain visible, in the Followers cloud.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Don't Use Drop Down Menus Or Custom Sitemaps

Drop down menus, and sitemaps, are tools used in static websites, to help the readers find various website features.

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, we see a question from blog owners, who are accustomed to publishing static websites.
How do I upload a custom sitemap, for my readers to use?
or
How do I build a drop down, cascaded menu bar, to index the posts?
The answer, for Blogger blogs, is that neither is truly useful.

Cascaded, drop down menus, and custom sitemaps, are excellent accessories, for static websites. Blogger blogs, however, are dynamic - and don't really benefit from either accessory.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Backup The Template, When Making Changes

If you've ever done programming - including updating existing code (generally made by another person, who you grow to hate) - you know of the value of backups.

Any time you improve or repair existing code, there is always the possibility of making mistakes. Code is written by people - and people make mistakes. Sometimes, the mistake may be in the code, as originally created (and used for months, until you touched it). Other times you make one mistake on your own, and the whole thing crashes.

Experienced programmers know that making mistakes is part of programming. When you make a mistake, be prepared to recover from - and learn from - the mistake. This is true, when making template changes, in your blog.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Blogger Does Not Support Self Hosting

We see the occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger, about hosting blog content.
How do I self host my Blogger blog, as I do with my WordPress blog?
This blog owner does not understand that Blogger and Google provide far better hosting of our content, than any of us can individually provide.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"I've Been Hacked" - A Dreaded Cry Of Anguish

As long as computers exist, and people are needed to provide technical advice, the one problem report that many of us fear is anguished, and brief.
I got hacked!
To many of us, this means that we have not been doing our job - because the first job of technical support is, unfortunately, security.

Hillary Clinton got hacked, recently - and she was lucky. The hacker that attacked her was only poking around - and had no actual intent to cause harm. The owner of a successfully hacked Blogger blog may not be so fortunate.

If you act promptly. and plan wisely, you can prevent long term inconvenience.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Label Searches, Using Combinations Of Labels

Blog owners have been asking for the ability to search for posts using label combinations, for a while.

That option was given us, some time ago - with no fanfare. What we now have is called a "Boolean" label search.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Location", Used In Posts, Breaks The Blog Feed

We're seeing a few problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, mentioning problems with the blog feed.
I try to claim my blog in BlogLovin, but they tell me that my feed is invalid!
or
My subscribers stopped getting my posts by email!!
Both BlogLovin, and the FeedBurner "Follow by Email" service, depend upon the blog posts newsfeed.

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Stats "Don't track ..." Setting Is Unique, By Browser

Many people have multiple computers. That detail is becoming more and more normal, in the population in general, each year.

I own 3 computers - actually, 5 (two of them run Windows XP, and are off line). So, I use my 3 computers - 2 Google ChromeBooks, and 1 smart phone (no, not a Nexus), for Blogger and other projects.

Since I don't want Stats pageview counts, for this blog, affected by my browsing this blog, I logged in to Blogger as the owner, using the browser on each of my 3 computers - and selected the "Don't track your own pageviews" option.

The "Don't track ..." option is set, in a cookie. Cookies are unique, to the browser where they are set. On a ChromeBook, with only 1 browser - Chrome - this detail is not so interesting. One computer - 1 browser - 1 user - 1 cookie.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

European Residents And EU Cookie Compliance

Blog owners who live in Europe have a recently added regulation with which you need to comply.

If you publish a blog, and host AdSense ads, you already have part of the requirement - the properly written Cookie Advisory. If you live in Europe, and view this blog, chances are that you have been offered the chance to view the Nitecruzr.Net Privacy Policy, which includes my Cookie Advisory.

If your blog displays the Blogger Navbar, you have a compliant Cookie Advisory Banner which is provided by Blogger, in the navbar. If you have disabled the navbar - or if the blog uses a dynamic template (and has no navbar), you can add a Cookie Advisory Banner as supplied by Google Cookie Choices.