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Showing posts from July, 2007

Images Uploaded Through The Page Elements GUI Are Distorted

Bloggers are enjoying the ability to upload simple photos, using the Page Elements wizard. The photos uploaded are unclickable, and are automatically sized for positioning in the sidebar, post, or title areas, without any effort required. Unfortunately, for a few days, the automatic sizing mechanism seems to be losing the aspect ration of the photos, so what is displayed is either excessively narrow or wide. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00061 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00061 >> Top

Geolocation: Where Are My Readers Located?

Free visitor meters, like SiteMeter and Statcounter, are great for telling you who looks at your web site. You can find out details like how they get there, how long they look, and many other useful details . One useful detail, not always completely understood, is where your readers are located. The process of determining this is called Geolocation .

Blogger In Draft Is Just That, No More

Recently, Blogger added an exciting feature set to Blogger - Blogger In Draft . New features are tested, by us, on a blog by blog basis, when we intentionally decide that our blog can be safely subjected to the stress of BID. Blogger In Draft provides interesting new components in Blogger, but at a cost. Two costs, actually. Functionality. As each component included in BID is simplified, it will lose features. Stability. Components in BID have been known to damage blogs. I won't apply BID to any of my established blogs. As each new component is added to BID, Blogger will improve functionality and stability, based upon feedback. People testing new Blogger features, released as part of BID, need to be experienced Bloggers, who know how Blogger blogs work, and how to diagnose problems. This qualification probably won't be found with those who write into this forum How do I do this? Anybody reading this is, of course, entitled to ignore my advice, and jump in head first. A

BlogSpot Connectivity Issue In NorthWest Florida

Some Bloggers around Tallahassee FL, have reported inability to access any blogs. Pings return total loss of connectivity; traceroutes appear to show a connectivity loss within Google networks. Here's a typical traceroute log , provided by one Blogger reporting the problem. C:\>tracert Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops: 1 8 ms 7 ms 7 ms 2 8 ms 7 ms * [] 3 8 ms 9 ms * [] 4 9 ms 9 ms * [] 5 10 ms 10 ms * [] 6 10 ms 10 ms * 7 18 ms 15 ms 15 ms 8 15 ms 15 ms 15 ms 9 39 ms 37 ms 37 ms 12.119.21

Removing The "Showing posts with label" / "No posts were found which match your query" Message

I say every chance that I get, that Labels Rock. They are very user friendly, and produce attractive results. In general. There's one feature of labels that not everybody finds attractive, however.

What Is My Blog (Site) Feed?

This is The Real Blogger Status - and you are looking at the blog itself . What you see is a lot easier for you to digest, than for computers to do so. There's another copy of your blog, though, that's designed for computers to digest, so the information can be passed to other places, maybe as part of another web site or blog , or to a reader who is subscribed to your blog, using a newsreader . The other copy is called the site feed . The site feed contains each individual post, rewritten in XML. XML is a structured data language , making it easier for computer programs to read and process the contents. The site feed contains only the posts - nothing from the template. If the nature of your blog requires access to a gadget in the sidebar, your readers will need to visit the blog directly.

Publishing Updates To Your Blog

There are millions of websites out there on the Web, and not all of them are updated regularly. Anybody who uses the web, with any regularity, has dozens of favourite websites, and checks each one periodically for updates. And anyone who uses the web, with any intensity, knows the frustration of either checking one website repeatedly and seeing the same material, or checking one website one day and seeing some information several days old, that you would have benefited from, if you had seen the information sooner. So what to do? Originally, folks who ran websites that really wanted visitors would get an email address from each visitor. Periodically, or when they had written a particularly interesting article, they would email to all of their registered visitors Check out the website, read this article. But the problem with most "Hey check out my website" email was myriad. Many folks wouldn't give an email address, for fear of spam. Some email systems would treat the email

Posts not posting promptly

Various Bloggers report that their new posts, being Published, do not actually show up in the blog promptly. The usual advice to clear or refresh cache doesn't seem to be consistently useful, though that's still a good place to start. Also, please note whether the missing posts show up in the post editor menu. >> (Update 8/15): One Blogger reports relief from this problem by forcing a republish of the blog . This was achieved by changing to a different template, and then changing again, to return to the original template. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00059 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00059 >> Top

Three Column Templates - And Other Third Party Products

Since migrating to New Blogger, various Bloggers have been lamenting the lack of 3 column templates . Many efforts - such as long threads in some forums - have sprung up, discussing the oversight. Eventually, hacked versions, of the standard Blogger templates, were made available by various template providers. The hacked templates, nice though they are, have several shortcomings. You can't load them using the "Pick New Template" wizard in Templates. When you do load them, you may lose your custom widgets. Blogger doesn't support them. Since Blogger doesn't support the third party products, when Blogger makes changes, it's doubtful that they test any changes against blogs that use them. And the Bloggers using them will occasionally experience problems. In one case, the problem was related to the server hosting the blog components; the template in question was apparently a victim of its popularity, which caused the creators bandwidth limits to be exceeded. T


A side effect of, or peer to, the correction of the bX-mzm63b error maybe? Invalid Post template. Your post template contains invalid html. This typically means <script> tags. You can get rid of this error by either removing the post template altogether or by editing it on Settings->Formatting-. If you actually have code in there that you prefer to keep, copy what's there to Notepad, then remove it for now, and see if the problem ceases. Once Blogger figures out what's actually wrong, and fixes the problem, you can restore what you copied. >> Forum thread links: bX-t0ou3g >> Top

Problems With FTP Publishing To Network Solutions Servers

Publishing Blogger blogs to FTP servers is, surely, a constant challenge . Talking responsibility for communications with dozens of different servers, none of which you control, must be a constant headache. Today we appear to have a consistent report of trouble - Network Solutions FTP servers. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00058 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00058 >> Top

Removing A Page Element

Sometimes, when you work on a blog, you have page elements that need to be removed. All page elements can be removed - but some can't be removed immediately. Some take just a little bit of template tweaking. Let's remove a standard header for instance. First, if you care about what you're doing, backup the template . If you were lucky, you could just remove the Header page element. You can't this time, though. There's no "Remove Page Element" button. So, go to Edit HTML. Find the section of code <div id='header-wrapper'> <b:section class='header' id='header' maxwidgets='1' showaddelement='no'> <b:widget id='Header1' locked='true' title='The Real Blogger Status Beta (Header)' type='Header'/> </b:section> </div> and change "locked='true'" to "locked='false'". <div id='header-wrapper'> <

People Losing Adminstrator Status On Their Blogs

On June 12, Blogger finally gave us the ability to transfer blog ownership. With that ability came the ability to remove ourselves from ownership, if and only if there was a second blog administrator . Unfortunately, the display, and the change option, is confusing. People are removing themselves (or a friend), from administrator status, when they think that they are making themselves (a friend) an administrator. If you're looking at the blog permissions display, and you see a clickable link besides your name saying "admin", wouldn't you think Heck yeah, I'm an admin! If the link says " admin ", that means that you are currently an admin ; clicking there makes you a guest . You click on the link, and now, you're a guest , with no warning. If you just clicked on your own entry, you are out and can't get back. What's needed is a popup that says Blog member xxxxxxx is currently an administrator. Do you want xxxxxxx to be a guest? Yes / No

You Are Mortal, But Your Blog Is Forever

Many Bloggers are considering the pros and cons of the Blogger eternal blog policy Blogger accounts and Blog*Spot addresses do not expire. If you setup a Custom Domain, things are a bit more complicated. If you don't pay the periodic DNS hosting, or the name registration, fees, the domain will expire, and eventually go out of service. Google for "Black Viper", if you want an example of what the readers go through, when that happens. Your blog will continue on BlogSpot, but won't be accessible. Both "" and "" will be forwarded to "". With no DNS entry to forward "" to "", all 4 aliases ("", "", "", and ""), will be discontinued. You'll need to have your blog switched back to publishing to BlogSpot , when D


You'll see this error when trying to upload pictures. Currently, over 100 threads discussing the problem. This one appears to have started over a month ago, on May 30. Blogger is aware of the problem, but apparently has no solution yet. Blogger Employee has started asking for diagnostic data . >> Forum thread links: bX-7mplh0 >> Top

Don't Advertise Your Blog Improperly

If we use each Google Blogger Help forum for its specifically intended purpose , each forum will be more effective. When people have individual problems, those problems will be easier to find and to solve. And when there are widespread problems (like the WildFires from the past weekend ), those problems will be easier to identify, and to show to Blogger Support for resolution. You can have any content in your blog that isn't against the Blogger TOS . But advertise your blog in a forum where advertising is welcomed, not in the Google Blogger Help forums. If you advertise your blog using gibberish, posted as technical advice, you'll be seen as a spammer too. Helpers here have no patience for gibberish, or similar trollish activity. The Google Blogger Help forums are for asking for help with technical blog problems, and for providing genuinely useful advice to others who report problems. They aren't for advertising your blogs, worthy though they may be of promotion. Shar

Oh No! I Just Reverted My Template!!

What do I do now? All my work on the blog!!?? I've written a few times about template conversion, and migration between Classic and Layouts , and migration between Layouts and Classic too. Reverting is easy, but I'd never tried reverting from Layouts to Classic , and back again. So can you go back and forth, without losing template content? When you revert, you get a popup advice If you revert to your Classic template, you will still be able to recover your current design. It's not lying to you. The path back isn't obvious, but you can get back. Until you elect to publish the blog by FTP or SFTP , that is. Here's my test blog, , which has lots of odd and complex objects arranged in it. I just reverted it to use a Classic template, as a test. When I view my blog, it indeed has a Classic template. So you go back to the Dashboard, click on the Template link. From the "Edit HTML" tab, you may have to

Adding A Google Map To Your Blog

Want to direct folks to your house (place of business, party location, whatever, ....)? What's better than a live map, starting from where the reader is located? You can link your blog to a map of anywhere that Google maps - which is probably the entire globe by now. And each reader gets his own personal map, relative to his needs. Load any Google Map . In the upper right corner of the map, you'll see "Link to this page". That link will contain the link to the map as displayed, as in: <a href=",+94553"> Link to this page </a> Start from my church web page , for example, and click on Here Is A Google Map With Our Location Then, look for Link to this page But wait. There's more. Look below the " Link to this page " link, and you'll see a choice of 3 views. Map Satellite Hybrid Instead of showing folks a spot on the map, show them what the house looks like, from the air.


Labels are one of the more useful new features in Layouts Blogger. Availability of all Labels features can be a motivating factor, in migrating a blog from a Classic (HTML) template, to a Layout / Designer template. Here's my latest Label - WildFires . This shows you the latest major Blogger problems. We currently have 0 wildfires active .

Entering The Title (Or Link) In A Post Isn't Easy

Recently, you may have started, in Post Editor, to create or edit a post, and found that entering the title to the post wasn't obviously possible. You go to click in the Title box, to put the cursor in there and start typing, but the cursor isn't clickable when positioned there. This has also been observed as a problem in the Link box, though that is used so rarely that reports of this problem will be rare. Instead of positioning the mouse pointer in the vertical center of the Title (or Link) box, as is normal, you have to move the pointer upwards very carefully. With the pointer positioned just below the top edge of the box, the pointer will turn into the standard insert icon, and you can click in the box, and start typing. This has been observed in both Firefox and Internet Explorer. You won't solve (workaround) this by changing to another browser, or by clearing cache and cookies . It's the weekend, and this is a fairly simple and non-intrusive workaround (unlike

Draft Blogger - The Next Frontier

Development of Blogger One Button Publishing, aka Blogger Blogs, never ends. And, having declared New Blogger (2007) stable, Blogger continues to move forward with the addition of new products. But new products are nothing without new names. Having used the term "Beta" already, to designate the pre-release version of New Blogger 2007, the next term is "Draft". Draft Blogger will contain pre-release features of New Blogger , for test. To use Draft Blogger, you start from the Draft Blogger Dashboard . Having a separate dashboard requires bloggers to have to work to access products that some bloggers may not be ready for - or may not be ready for them. If you decide that you are ready to always use Draft Blogger products, you can select "Make Draft Blogger my default", and your normal login will redirect to Draft Blogger. Note links in the navbar will still give you Production (Orange) Blogger, even if you have the Draft Blogger dashboard active. How wel

PKBlogs - Not The Only Solution

PKBlogs goes down periodically. It looks like they're down right now. I use PKBlogs so I can package the URL of my target with my advice, as in 2007/03/connectivity-problems-with-blogspot.html Clicking on that URL takes you directly to my blog (when PKBlogs is up). Other than that, you can use any other proxy server, to access any blog or web site, anonymously and safely . Google for "free proxy server" , and pick one. You'll have to type the URL of the target (your blog) each time unfortunately.


As of right now, 9 threads in Google Blogger Help forums, apparently all started today. As WildFires go, this isn't a big one, but it's got growing potential (not a big one in the beginning !). This is surely the problem of the week, and might be for next week too. Blogger Employee advises I believe that message means that you've got some invalid HTML in your post template. You can reach your post template on the Settings | Formatting tab. It's quite simple. Go to the Settings - Formatting wizard. The bottom most window on the page, "Post Template", will contain funky code. Copy and paste the code in the window, if you wish, so you can restore it later. Clear what's in the window, and Save Settings. Go to the Settings - Basic wizard, and look under Global Settings. If the transliteration button is enabled, disable it and Save Settings. >> (Update 7/6 8:00): Now 21 threads in the forum. >> (Update 7/6 14:00): Blogger Employee advises us W

Allow Or Prevent Your Readers From Knowing Your Visitors

For some Bloggers, knowing who's reading the blog is as important as writing it in the first place. And some want to let everybody else know (or prevent everybody from knowing) who's reading the blog. The choice of allowing (or not) the readers to see who else is reading the blog can be as natural as writing it too. Both SiteMeter and StatCounter provide this selection, with a varying amount of effort required to select what you want. With SiteMeter, select "manager" at the top. From the manager menu, select "privacy level". You'll have 3 privacy levels, and you can choose any that fits your needs. With StatCounter, go into Configure, then Install Code. You'll have to go through the Install Code sequence, make the appropriate changes, then retrieve the new code and install it on your blog.

Unmoderated Comments With JavaScript References

We have seen reports from several Bloggers that anonymous posters are making unmoderated comments to their blogs, containing a JavaScript reference, which redirects the reader to another web site. Right now, the reference, and the redirection, appears to be used for pumping up the reputation in individual quotes in , but it doesn't require a lot of imagination to see how versatile this vulnerability could be in the long run. Start by immediately moderating all blog comments , until this vulnerability is fixed. >> Blogger Employee says I pass it along (again) and we'll see if we can do anything about this. >> (Update 7/6 10:00): Blogger Employee says We made some changes to address the vulnerability issue (yesterday) so this should no longer be a problem. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00055 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00055 >> Top

Blogger Limits: Label Field Length

As I wrote so long ago, Labels are probably the most significant feature of (New aka Beta) Blogger . But everything good has its limits. If you use Labels enthusiastically, as I have, you will discover them (they will find you) periodically. You have too many labels, or the total length of your labels is too great. You are limited to a total of 200 characters, in the Labels string, for any post. I believe that this includes all commas and spaces between labels. Look at my example. Labels for this post : Label1, Label2, Label3, Label4, Label5, Label6, Label7, Label8, Label9, Label10, Label11, Label12, Label13, Label14, Label15, Label16, Label17, Label18, Label19, Label20, Label21, Label22, Label23, Label24, Label25, Label26, Label27, Label28, Label29, Label30, Label31, Label32, Label33, Label34, Label35, Label36, Label37, Label38, Label39, Label40, Label41, Label42, Label43, Label44, Label45, Label46, Label47, Label48, Label49, Label50, Label51, Label52, Label53, Label54, Label55, Lab

Transitioning Ownership Of Your Blog

Years ago, when blogging was just being started, a blog would be purely personal, and purely ephemeral. You start a blog, it's yours, and who cares if you stop publishing? Today, that's not the case at all. Google for "BlackViper", if you want an example of what can happen. I started a blog for my church, Martinez United Methodist Church , 2 years ago. As blogs go, it's kind of small, but so is the church. But, as Jesus said in Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. So I continue to develop this blog, and the church members seem to appreciate it. But I occasionally wonder What will happen after I'm gone? Well, for one thing, if someone else in the church isn't a blog administrator, or doesn't have access to the blog administrative account, nothing. And I'm sure that I don't maintain the only blog in the Blogosphere where this is (should be) a concern. From reading the Blogger H

FTP Publishing: No Error, But Posts Don't Publish

Various Bloggers are seeing problems with publishing by FTP to external web servers . In some cases, no error but the post doesn't show up in the blog. In other cases, the FTPConnectionClosedException: Connection closed message . Let's try and look for a pattern. What's the BlogSpot URL (if that option was provided when you setup your FTP publishing)? What's the IP address or URL of the web server? Who's the server provided by? >> (Update 7/3): This problem is noted in several forum threads as being apparently resolved. No official notice by Blogger though. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00054 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00054 >> Top

FTPConnectionClosedException: Connection closed

Various Bloggers are seeing problems with publishing by FTP to external web servers . In some cases, the above error message, in other cases, no error but the post doesn't show up in the blog . Let's try and look for a pattern. What's the BlogSpot URL (if that option was provided when you setup your FTP publishing)? What's the IP address or URL of the web server? Who's the server provided by? (Update 2008/09/22): We have 3 different possible causes for this symptom, being reported this month . (Update 2008/07/03): This problem is noted in several forum threads as being apparently resolved. No official notice by Blogger though. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00054 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00054 >> Top

Blog Posts: Every Blogger Is Unique

Every person who maintains a Blogger blog (or other web site) has his or her own idea about what features she or he wants to present on his or her blog / web site. Under Classic Blogger, this need was provided only by editing the blog template. With a Layouts template, besides letting us add and move template objects all over the screen, Blogger also provided us the ability to make common changes in what information we want to see included with every blog post, without even opening the "Edit HTML" Template wizard.

The Archives Tower Of Babel Continues #2

Last week, I reported of my personal experience with the Blogger Tower Of Babel aka Archives language problem. That was a one day experience. Today, we see numerous folks reporting that their Archives are now showing in Albanian . Interestingly, some state that changing the Language setting under Publishing corrects the immediate symptom. So now we have to ask why language settings are changing? And was the previous problem actually fixed, or is this another symptom of that problem? >> Forum thread links: bX-*00038 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00038 >> Top