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 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.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Make A Background Image From A Favourite Photo

People like to customise their blogs - and some want to use a favourite photo - not one of the stock Blogger background images.

The problem, too frequently, involves file size.
I found a background image I really like (or at least I think it would work OK) - but when I resized it to the upload specs detailed in customizing your template, it said the file was too big!
Blogger limits background images, as supported by the Template Designer, to 300K.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Making Mail-to-Blogger "email address" Changes

Occasionally, we see real confusion, involving the email address.
I can login to Blogger - but I can only change my email address, or remove myself from the blog.
This is a blog owner who is logged in as a blog author, who now sees just two dashboard menu pages.
  • Posts
  • Settings

In many cases, this will be a blog owner who is trying to recover access to the blog, having forgotten the account name - or who is inadvertently using a second Blogger account. Running afoul of the Blogger / Google blind login, the would be owner has just managed to login - but sees a very empty dashboard.

And, the confusion may not end there.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Login Properly, To Avoid Many Dashboard Problems

Many problems with the Blogger dashboard are caused by the account / profile in use.

If the wrong account or profile is in use, the simplest solution - in many cases - is simply to logout from Blogger / Google, then login using the correct Blogger / Google account. This is less disruptive then advice to "clear cache, cookies, and sessions, then restart the browser" - when the latter sequence can be avoided.

A simpler solution is to use the Google "One account" login menu properly, so you will not need to logout.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Setting Up Mail-to-Blogger For Your Blog

Setting up the ability to post to your blog, using email, is quite simple.

In Blogger - you just have one essential setting - the password. You setup the password as the "secretWords", in the dashboard page at Settings - "Mobile and email".

You can use any "secretWords" that you like - though if you have any concern about keeping spam out of the blog, you really should make the "secretWords" hard to guess.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Diverse And Large Blogs Require More Effort

An interesting attitude is seen, from some owners of large and unfocused blogs.
It's normal, with so many articles in a blog, to have some reports (DMCA / TOS complaints).
It's normal, yes. That does not make it acceptable - or beneficial. If you want to publish a large blog - and make lots of money - you have to focus or limit your efforts.

You need to spend as much time - if not more time - reviewing content for legality, than owners of comparable, smaller blogs. You can't take time away from reviewing, to create and publish more content - then justify your failure to stay within the limits, by implying that it's normal to have posts that push the limits.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

You May Not Get A Notice, When Content Is Removed

Every day, blog owners report that their blogs (or posts) were deleted by Blogger.

Most blog owners have some idea why a blog (post) is deleted - but not all. Some even insist that they received no notice from Blogger - the blog (post) just vanished.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Only You Can Use The Quick Edit Links, On Your Blog

People worry about the Quick Edit icons - sometimes, needlessly.
I was logged out - but I can still see the edit tools!
or
My visitor logs show people clicking on the "rearrange" links!!
Fortunately, no matter what can be seen - or may be clicked - only administrators will get any result.

I use the "rearrange" links for many blogs, frequently. The links are unbelievably useful, when instructing a blog owner how to remove a misbehaving gadget on her / his blog.

Some blog owners wonder if I should be providing a Quick Edit link, in an open forum topic. So, I'll provide a challenge, for you unbelievers.