Wednesday, April 09, 2014

DMCA Complaints Require Precise Examples

Occasionally we see confusion and impatience, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about previously submitted DMCA complaints.
I have repeatedly submitted a complaint about "offendingblog.blogspot.com" - and nothing is done! How long must I wait, for results??
We should start by noting that Google staff attention cannot ever be promised immediately - but if a valid complaint is submitted, repeatedly, with no results, maybe the problem is in the presentation of the complaint.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Tweak The Post Template, When Necessary - And Only, When Necessary

Occasionally, we see the query, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?
How do I change these captions? / Add this feature? / Remove specific components of this feature?
Conversely, we see in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken
Why does this new Blogger feature not work in my blog?
These questions, in many cases, may be related. We can see the connection, when we look closer at how the changes are applied.

Many changes to our blogs, that are part of the comments / posts / post header / footer, are made in the post template. The post template is an unobtrusive section in the blog template, that lets us change the blog template as we wish - while allowing Blogger to update the comments and posts code, as they add new features, or update existing features.

Blogger provides the "Configure Blog Posts" wizard, and lets us change specific features in the post template. The options in "Configure Blog Posts" do not satisfy everybody - and here is where many problems start.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Internet Explorer Updates, And Use Of "Compatibility View" Settings - April 2014

For several weeks, we've seen a steady stream of problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, about the latest monolithic error in Blogger history.

bx-hg9hg2


From several conversations with Blogger Support, it now appears that this latest error code (and a few similar ones) is related to Internet Explorer, and the use of Compatibility View. Apparently, Blogger Engineering has finally updated Blogger so it is compatible with Internet Explorer V11 - and having done so, has made it incompatible with V11 using Compatibility View.

Friday, April 04, 2014

Dynamic Templates, And Problems Editing The Layout Pages Gadget

Ever since the new Pages wizards have been in use, we've been seeing reports from blog owners, who have problems with adding, deleting, and re sequencing links on the dynamic template menu bars.

Most blog owners have gotten used to the idea of maintaining dynamic pages ("link pages", formerly known as "web address"), using the Layout Pages gadget - separately from maintaining static pages (formerly known as "blank pages"), using the dashboard Pages wizard.

Even understanding the changes, some blog owners, who publish blogs that use dynamic templates, cannot add or delete dynamic pages - or cannot resequence the various page links.

Some owners claim to have links on the menu bar that they can't delete. Others have added, deleted, or resequenced links - but have found their changes to be lost, when viewing the blog, after saving the changes.

Loss Of Ability To Let The Reader Choose A Dynamic View Or Non Dynamic View, When Viewing The Blog

When the Blogger dynamic templates were first introduced, back in 2011, they provided choices.

Besides letting the reader choose, on the fly, which dynamic view to use, it was possible to let the reader choose whether to view the blog using a dynamic view - or a non dynamic view.

When dynamic templates were first introduced, they offered a dynamic view of the blog posts - and little else. Popular features like static pages were added later, and in pieces.

As the various pieces of the dynamic views became better defined, the need to switch between dynamic and non dynamic views became less essential - and eventually, some choices were eliminated.

Thursday, April 03, 2014

The New Google Login, And Using Public / Shared Computers

I've written a few times about protecting your Blogger / Google account, when you use public / shared computers.

Generally, any concern about use of public / shared computers discusses cookies, which are simply invisible traces that you might leave behind when using any computer. If you only use your own computer - and never share your computer - this issue is probably of no concern to you.

If you use a computer that someone else, who you know, also uses, cookies are a small concern. If you use a computer that other people, who you don't know, also use - as in a public computer in a coffee shop or library - this should be a larger concern.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Help Me! I Can't Access My Blogger Account To Publish My Blog!

Every week, we see the anguished cry of blog owners, who don't have access to maintain, or publish to, their blogs.
Help me! My email address changed last month, my phone number changed last week, and now I can't sign in to my blog!
But, if you look at the fine print, you see the full story
Help Me! I never bothered to remember my password - I used the Forgot Password wizard to reset my password every time I wanted to sign in to my Blogger account. My email address changed last month, my phone number changed last week, I can't get the email from the Forgot Password wizard, or the new Blogger Account / Blog Recovery wizard - and now I can't sign in to my blog!

As I have repeatedly advised folks, and previously pointed out in 2010, Blogger lets us maintain our blogs anonymously, and promises anonymous access and ownership for eternity. There is no magic token attached to our blogs, that let us conveniently email Blogger and ask for a second (or a third) back door access to our accounts.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Blogger Magic - The "Robots.txt" File

Some new blog owners spend time examining the various settings provided by Blogger, in the dashboard.

Some dashboard settings inspire questions, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?. As helpers there, we know from experience that some questions, asked and answered there, will lead to later questions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken.

The "Robots.Txt" file is one feature which inspires these types of questions.
I was updating my settings on Blogger, and I discovered some settings that I didn't understand. What do I add for "Custom robot text" and "Custom robot header tag"?
When I was young, my mother used to provide advice "That is a well enough!" - as the proper answer, to this question, is to "Leave well enough alone!".

Friday, March 21, 2014

Getting Out Of Draft Blogger

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I?, we see a plaintive query
How do I remove my blog from using Draft Blogger?

Some blog owners use Draft Blogger because of a specific problem - then discover later, that use of Draft Blogger, in general, is not a good idea.

Generally, one simply logs out of Blogger, then logs into Blogger using the normal Blogger login. Sometimes, though, simply logging out of Draft Blogger won't return the browser to normal.

In the latter case, one must first clear the Draft Blogger Redirect, using the Blogger: Edit User Settings wizard - where we see the key setting
Use Blogger Draft
De select that option, then clear cache, cookies, and sessions, and restart the browser, to remove all residual components of Draft Blogger.

Finally, log into Blogger, using a normal Blogger login. And, be sure to login properly.

>> Top

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Confusion Over New Posts, To Blogs, Automatically Generating Redundant Initial Comments

We're seeing some confusion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken, mentioning mysterious comments, published against new blog posts.
Each time I publish a new post, there is one comment immediately published against the post, which is just a repeat of the post!

Recently, Blogger took us closer towards automatically connecting our new blog posts and our Google+ streams. All blogs, currently connected to a Google+ profile, were recently tweaked, to automatically share each new post to Google+ - unless the option is de selected.

This has caused confusion from some blog owners, who are currently using Google+ Comments, on their blogs. Look at the dashboard Google+ settings.
  • Automatically share after posting
  • Use Google+ Comments on this blog

It's simple, and obvious.
  1. With the first option selected, a new blog post generates a new Google+ post.
  2. With the second option selected, the new Google+ post, which mentions the new blog post, is then published as a comment to the new blog post.
  3. Some blog owners will see duplicate posts, in their Google+ stream. One post from Step #1, another from Step #2.
This is monolithically logical, yet a bit annoying.

(Update 3/20): Blogger Support has informed us that it is working as intended.

>> Top