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Showing posts from May, 2008

Blog*Spot Connectivity In The UK

A few bloggers in the UK, most using TalkTalk as their ISP, are reporting inability to access any Blog*Spot blogs. For right now, please use a proxy server to access all Blog*Spot blogs. >> (Update 5/29 13:30) : It's possible that TalkTalk caused the problem, which was anticipated . Over the course of the last 7 days, we have been upgrading our network across more than 100 exchanges nationwide in order to provide our customers with a better landline/broadband service. As a consequence, some of you may have experienced intermittent call quality & connectivity issues for which we apologise. >> Top

Custom Domain Publishing, And The 404 Error - Chronic Edition #2

A couple of weeks ago, I published Custom Domain Publishing, And The 404 Error - Chronic Edition . Since that time, I was able to contact Blogger Support more directly than through this blog, and I was able to pass on to them a few egregious cases which included the symptoms described in that post. Several of those cases, they were able to ultimately fix. Many people were happy. Kudos, Blogger. Until today that is; when 2 people, who were earlier using their blogs quite happily, reported to me, within the span of 1 hour, that their blogs were, now, displaying Server Not Found Error 404 Note, please, that the error, previously reported, was not identical. Not Found Error 404 Not Again!! What does this mean? Only Blogger Support can say for sure. If your custom domain published blog is now showing this new symptom, please let us know. Comments will be posted below. Problem Log Date Domain Remarks 5/14 - 5/15 greateststoryt

What Access Do You Have To Your Blog?

Occasionally, you see bloggers becoming confused about what access they have to their blog. I can look at the Edit Posts menu, but there are no posts listed. or I can't access the Template Designer (edit the template, add users to the blog, ...). These are bloggers who are confused over a blog where they are an Administrator, vs a blog where they are an Author. Let's look at my dashboard , and at a pair of blogs which we see there. Here's my dashboard. Among the many entries, you'll see one blog listed where I am an Author, and a second where I am an Administrator. Let's first look at a blog where I am an Author. Let's look at "Edit Posts". I'm an Author in this blog, and I haven't created any posts. There are plenty of posts in the blog, just none that I've created. I have no access to any posts that I haven't created. Let's look at "Settings". I'm an Author in this blog, so all of the Settings that I

Blogger Issuing Diagnostic Codes

In the not so distant past, and not nearly rarely enough, you might be updating, or possibly viewing, your blog, and you'd see a monolithic error message that frequently made many bloggers want to tear their hair out by the roots. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are unable to process your request at this time. Our engineers have been notified of this problem and will work to resolve it. If you've been blogging for any past amount of time, I'm sure that you remember seeing that, more than once. On January 17, 2007, all of that ended . Blogger replaced that single and incredibly annoying message with an almost infinitely large series of error codes. Very simple, that. Each possible failure point in the Blogger codebase was assigned a different bX- code, essentially replacing the old "We apologize for the inconvenience ..." message with individual failure point codes. For all of their simplicity though, many bloggers don't seem to see the forest for

BlogSpot, And The 404 Error

For some time now, blogs published to a custom domain , and previously working, have been (apparently) randomly yielding a new monolithic error when being read. Not Found Error 404 Recently, owners of blogs supposedly not associated with custom domains have complained of this oddity also. Why not at least The blog you were looking for was not found . or maybe even Blog not found Sorry, the blog you were looking for does not exist. However, the name xxxxxxx is available to register! If your BlogSpot blog, not now and never previously part of a custom domain, is showing this symptom, please comment here with the blog name. If you're suffering from this idiosyncrasy, silence won't get the problem fixed. >> (Update 5/28) : Blogger Support has suggested a possible (distant) connection between template corruption and observation of this symptom. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00080 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00080 >> Top

Custom Domains - It's All About The Flexibility

Some bloggers tire of having a blog that's stuck with a BlogSpot URL, and decide to go with a Google Custom Domain . A few bloggers don't understand the concept - or maybe can't see the forest for the trees. Will my blog be less secure, not on BlogSpot? or How will i edit my website? Can I still use blogger to edit my site or will i have to use DreamWeaver, Frontpage, or some other expensive tool? or Can I use labels, (have a private blog, a Layouts template, ...)? A Google Custom Domain affects just one thing - how the blog is addressed - and this only in a positive manner, when you manage the new URL properly . You setup a custom domain using the " Blogger dashboard Publishing " wizard. After you have a working custom domain, you maintain the blog using the same Blogger interface that you've been using all along - the Post Editor , and other Blogger wizards. You gain a new address for the blog - one of your liking (as available), and not confined to &quo

The Blog Content Warning May Not Be Voluntary, In All Cases

The "Content Warning" advisory page , appearing ahead of blogs with questionable content, protects the casual blog surfer from viewing content which may be objectionable to some readers. It's presence on any given blog is supposedly the result of voluntary action by a blog owner, who can set "Adult Content?" to "Yes", at his / her discretion. The presence of the advisory page, supposedly has slight effect upon prospective readers of the blog. Prospective readers must read the notice, and decide whether they wish to view possibly gratuitous content, and that after they click through the notice. The blog, when listed in a search hit list, will show the text of the content warning, in place of the blog description and post extract. Recent claims by some readers make it appear that this setting may be, in some cases, not set voluntarily, and that it has additional consequences. The warning page also seems to interfere with the ownership verification pro

Blogs And The Content Warning

For many years, using "Next Blog" for surfing through the Blogosphere has been a dodgy activity. No matter when you surfed, you were sure to find something pretty nasty , and frequently hazardous to the health of your computer (and maybe to you). In January 2008, that changed . Blogger started scanning blogs for undesirable content, and blocked many nasty blogs from being targeted by "Next Blog" surfing. Besides using automated blog scanning, they also provided a voluntary classification of our blogs.

FTP Publishing, With Attachments

Blogs published using FTP have always provided a challenge for Blogger Support, as well as for their owners . This week, the complaint level, in general, is a bit lower than immediately previous . There is a current, new frustration many bloggers are dealing with, when publishing by FTP - publishing with attachments, such as photos and videos. Your publishing is taking longer than expected. One blogger has done some analysis of the symptoms, and has provided an (apparently necessarily) intricate workaround for the problem . I have figured out that the current failure is *after* the images (& hopefully same for video) are uploaded. The files have been ftp-ed but the names of the files are never added to the blog entry for you. Meanwhile, back at Google, I have word from the guys who make it all work we're certain it's something on our end so we are working to fix it So despite any authoritative forum updates by a Blogger Employee, the problem is known and is being diagnosed

403 Forbidden Woes Continue

During the weekend of May 10 - 11, 2008, many Blogger readers were having trouble viewing our blogs. Instead of seeing The Real Blogger Status (and various other blogs of greater and lesser importance), some unhappy folks were seeing a well known problem 403 Forbidden. Pete Hopkins, the Google Man In The Know , described the cause of the problem - the side effect of a massive Denial Of Service attack against Google, as Blogger is currently experiencing a high level of automated requests. In order to keep Blogger running smoothly for as many people as possible, we are blocking some IPs. and continued with Just because your IP is blocked does not mean that you or your network is making automated requests, you've just gotten caught up in the block. We are working to remove the incorrect blocks as soon as possible. Yet as of this evening, it appears that not everybody is back to normal. It's possible that you, or your readers, who are affected by this problem will be able to get

Blogger Accounts, Inadvertently Created

Occasionally, someone reports an odd problem with a Blogger account, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . I changed the email address on my account, and when I logged in again, it said that I had no blogs. Now, I can't manage my blogs. Help! or I have two blogs, but I can only see one in my dashboard! When I log onto the older one and click on the "dashboard" link, it takes me to my new blog.

More Granular Security For Your Blog

We see the occasional query How do I have a single post, and only let my closest friends view it? or How do I keep people from commenting on some posts? or even How do I make a linklist / poll / whatever visible to a select few? and the answer is - you can't. If your blog is open to everybody, all portions of that blog are open to everybody. Unlike WordPress (which has a few limitations too, just not this one), you can't set permissions in just a portion of that blog . But, you can make portions of another blog visible to a selected audience. Make a separate blog, with permissions that suit your need . Put the restricted content into the second blog. Include or link the second blog to your current blog. Blogs are free. Setup another, with the restrictions that you need. And another, and another. >> Top

Blogger, And Code On Your Computer

Frequently, when Blogger makes a change to their databases (and possibly to your blog), the change will require changes to the code that gets run from your computer (or your readers computers). Some of the code run from your computer is in the cache on your computer (and likewise on your readers computers). And remember that the content of the cookies on your computer may affect how the code is used.

Custom Domain Publishing, And The 404 Error - Chronic Edition

On the surface, the old "404 Not Found" would be one problem - simply your computer saying "Hey! I can't access the other computer!". Those of us who work in computer and network troubleshooting know that there are dozens of possible causes for that one symptom. We know, for a certainty, that if we persist in believing that there is one problem causing all of the "404 Not Found" errors, that one problem will never be solved. This symptom will be solved only with detail and determination, and lots of diagnostic work . >> (Update: 5/18) : Blogger Support is now suspecting a link between use of Google Apps, and the 404. If you are having this problem, please help us diagnose the problem. Describe your use of the following Blogger / Google applications / wizards, with any possible details (relevant dates would be useful), in setting up or maintaining your domain: Blogger " Advanced Settings " wizard. Blogger " Buy A Domain For Yo

Blog Posts Star Ratings

A new feature just previously introduced to Draft Blogger, the Blog Posts Star Ratings, which lets your readers rate each post, appears to have been released into Normal Blogger. Not everybody seems thrilled by the new feature, and interestingly, not everybody has it outside of a Blogger In Draft setup. It was apparently released to a portion of the Blogosphere today. If you have this new item on your blog, and wish to remove it, it's a post template item, and you can de select it from the Blog Posts widget in Page Elements . Then, and need I say this for every template related issue, clear cache in your browser . Presumably, Blogger will reverse the change tonight, and by tomorrow it will again be available only in Blogger In Draft . >> (Update 5/8): This feature is now, as before, available only from Blogger In Draft . >> (Update 18:00): Blogger has acknowledged the mistake, in Google Blogger Help: How Do I?: Star Ratings: Blogger Goofed! So we goofed up a bit and a

Custom Domain Publishing, And The 404 Error - May 2008 Edition

The problem of blogs, published to a custom domain, suddenly returning a "404 Not Found" when access is attempted, has been chronic since November 2007. Almost daily, we'd see reports of 2 or 3 such problems. This evening, we saw 4 reports in a space of 1/2 hour. And we continue to see more. The good news is, so far the reported cases all respond favourably to having the blog published back to BlogSpot, then republished to the "www" alias , using "Advanced Settings". In some cases, the victims have reported success after repeating the republishing cycle. >> (Update: 5/18) : Blogger Support is now suspecting a link between use of Google Apps, and the 404. If you are having this problem, please help us diagnose the problem. Describe your use of the following Blogger / Google applications / wizards, with any possible details (relevant dates would be useful), in setting up or maintaining your domain: Blogger " Advanced Settings " wizar

Google Webmaster Tools

As a Google customer, we have access to a very useful set of tools, which help us develop and maintain a healthy relationship between our blogs and the Google search engine spiders. Google Webmaster Tools (now Search Console) provides us with tools to measure our visibility , and it provides us with helpful hints on how to improve our visibility.

Google Custom Domains - The Two Step Domain Referral

Google Custom Domains provide an elegantly simple, yet robust, ability for us to publish our blogs to a Google server, and still address them using a non-BlogSpot URL. By publishing our blogs to a Google server, we can enjoy the versatility of the dynamic HTML used in a Layouts template. By addressing our blogs using a non-BlogSpot URL, we can enjoy the personal identity of having our own domain. And with all of this, our BlogSpot addresses continue to work , letting people and processes like search engine spiders continue to find our blogs in BlogSpot. We enjoy having the group identity of BlogSpot, when convenient.

AOL vs BlogSpot

We have multiple reports in Google Blogger Help that AOL is now filtering incoming email on "*". If someone tries to send the URL of your blog (or their blog), in an email to an AOL customer, that email will be rejected, and the sender gets a return similar to PERM_FAILURE: Gmail tried to deliver your message, but it was rejected by the recipient domain. The error that the other server returned was: 554 554-: (HVU:B1) 554 TRANSACTION FAILED. This is apparently a natural result of the perceived BlogSpot spam blog problem. My suspicion is that AOL will suffer more than Google, by doing this. Blogger blog owners may be caught in the middle, unfortunately.

Future Scheduled Posts Now a Thing Of The Present

Scheduling a post, to publish in the future, is not at all a difficult task. Before you hit the "Publish Post" button, simply select the "Post Options" link just above that button, and change the date and / or time to some time in the future. Then, hit the button. If it takes effect, when you hit the button, instead of getting the Your blog post published successfully! screen, you'll see the "Edit Posts" menu, with your new post listed, but shown with the " scheduled " notation besides the date / time stamp. After the indicated date / time, refresh the "Edit Posts" screen, and you'll see that the post is now published. Or refresh the front page of the blog, and the newest post, just published, should be at the top. With dynamic publishing of the blog, you (or another blog reader) will have to do something in the way of reading the blog, to trigger the publishing. If you're like me, and like to publish posts with a