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Showing posts from October, 2008

Adding Your Blog To Your Domain

Many people set up a Google Custom Domain so they can have a Blogger blog, published to a non-BlogSpot URL. A domain - whether based on an existing Google Custom Domain, or on any non-Google domain - can include more than just one blog or web site. If you have another blog, you can add that to your domain, with very little trouble. This is how you develop a cluster of blogs . Let's look at this blog, " " in a pair of abridged Dig logs . First, "". ;; QUESTION SECTION: ; IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: 3600 IN CNAME 40227 IN CNAME 300 IN A And the "www" alias, "". ;; QUESTION SECTION: ; IN A ;; ANSWER SECTION: 3600 IN CNAME 40218 IN CNAME ghs.l.googl

Making A Website From Your Blog

Traditionally, setting up a web site is a lot of work. You have to setup the infrastructure of the website , and you have to provide content for your readers to view . Setting up a blog is a lot easier, but a blog gives you the structure of an online journal, and will include details which may distract your readers. Sometimes, you want to take a Blogger blog, and setup a web site. A blog is a web site with a dynamic home page ("main page"). Make the home page static, and you have a web site.

MMS Mobile Blogging - Permament Delivery Failure - Need To Register

Several bloggers are reporting inability to use MMS Mobile Blogging. Reminiscent of the T-Mobile MMS outage of a couple weeks ago, except not confined to T-Mobile. This one is possibly Blackberries in A T & T / Verizon . Now when I try to post I get a "permanent delivery failure" saying I need to register by sending an email or MMS. If you're suffering from this problem (or trying to help someone else, who is), provide some diagnostics, as you are able, please. Geographic location. Make / model of mobile device. Name of carrier / ISP. Observed error message. >> Top

Blog*Spot Connectivity In Canada

Several bloggers in Canada are reporting inability to access blogs, from either Toronto or Ontario. The outage apparently affects custom domain published blogs, as well as Blog*Spot published ones . The outage is stated to have been observed at least a day ago. Since the outage appears to affect both Blog*Spot and custom domain published blogs, it's not as likely to be DNS related - either an intentional DNS block, or a DNS server corruption / outage. One Blogger was kind enough to provide a traceroute log , showing no basic connectivity issue. Tracing route to [] over a maximum of 30 hops: 1 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 2 2 ms 1 ms 1 ms 3 <1 ms <1 ms <1 ms 4 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms 5 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms [] 6 1 ms 1 ms 1 ms [] 7 1 ms

Comment Disposal, With Pop-up Window Selected

Several bloggers have reported inability to remove comments from their blogs, apparently when comments are enabled with "Pop-up window" selected, because they will lack a trash can - which is normally provided for each comment. The alternate selections, "Full page" and "Embedded below post", do not appear to be affected by this problem. If you use the "Edit Posts" menu , you'll have a list of all posts with comments. If you click on the appropriate "comment" link, you'll be temporarily put into single post mode, with the comments displayed below the post - and there will be a trash can available for each comment. If you find this inconvenient, you can permanently change the Comment Form Placement option, to show comments either as "Full page" or "Embedded below post". (Update 10/28 12:00): Blogger Support is aware of the problem. We'll keep working on this one. ... I'll check into this ASAP. >&

Request took too long

Recently, a few bloggers are reporting an interesting pop up advice from Blogger, generally seen within post editor or possibly the dashboard. Request took too long. Your request took too long to complete. This is typically just a temporary error due to high network traffic or heavy usage of Blogger. This is reminiscent of the long ago seen Could Not Connect To Blogger.Com . I suggested a list of useful diagnostic details in Could Not Connect To Blogger.Com - Help Diagnose This Problem . You may also want to read Roberto's Report: Request Took Too Long? . >> Top

Strange Behaviour By Post Editor #3

By the standards of many bloggers, I don't write a lot of posts. What I do is write, then re write the same post, repeatedly. Last month, I (and a few others like me) discovered a very odd and unfortunate behaviour in post editor - repeated loss of post updates , for posts updated repeatedly. Yesterday, I worked a lot on my article about the Blogging Infrastructure . I even linked it, both ways, with my Beginning Blogging post, and I believe a bit more. And this evening, I had in mind still more updates. But I got an unpleasant surprise, as I prepared to update the article. I know I updated this post, and there should be more detail here! OK, maybe I made a mistake, so I guess I'll update it now. Whoa! Here we see even less than above! So, it looks like we are seeing a repeat of last months episode . For this post, I'm going to try and finish to some degree. No repeated postings here. >> Forum thread links: bX-*00083 >> Copy this tag: bX-*00083 >>

Blogging - The Infrastructure

Setting up a web site is a lot of work. Besides the detail work, which I described in my article Blogging , which discusses the issues of content, structure, and attractiveness, a web site has to have an infrastructure. Server Space. Identity / Structure. Procedures and Utilities. With a web site based on a Blogger blog, all of these are provided for you, and for no direct financial charge. Along with what's provided for you comes what you don't get to choose. Two items that you don't get to choose are directory structure and post URLs . You organise your blog logically, by label and by title, which lets your and your readers access the content in ways relevant to you. How the content is stored is up to Blogger - this is something that you don't have to worry about (which is good), and you can't control (which is occasionally not good). You cannot prove blog or domain ownership by uploading a file to the root folder of the blog; you use meta tags for provin

Blogger / Blog*Spot Connectivity In Turkey

Several bloggers in Turkey are reporting inability to access Blogger, and / or Blog*Spot blogs. No details have been provided by any reporting. For right now, please use a proxy server to access all Blog*Spot blogs. Blogger Support is aware of the problem , and is working on it. We are looking into the matter, and working to ensure that the service is restored as soon as possible. (Update 10/26 21:00): It looks like we have a situation reminiscent of the recent outages in India and Thailand. A government initiated blockage, compounded by the local ISPs . By the order of local court, Turkish blogger users can not login or even display their blog sites.Some of blog users had broadcast those games freely in their blog sites. Digiturk went to court to fix this problem. Court decides to close those illegal broadcasts. >> Top

Diagnosing Problems With Custom Domains: Dig

Whenever I answer a problem report in an open forum, in my email, or just in general life, which involves a blog published to a Google Custom Domain, I always start my research with a Dig log. Dig is a very commonly used tool for querying DNS configuration data . Since many custom domain problems involve DNS setup, Dig is my first diagnostic tool. Dig can be run locally (from your computer), or online (from a Dig server). Since Dig accesses online data, I find it reasonable to run it from online servers. For detailed analysis, I use the Kloth.Net Dig utility , which lets you select specific record types to dig for, and lets you specify a DNS server to Dig into .

Custom Domain Publishing - Moving Back To BlogSpot

When you setup a custom domain properly, and publish a blog to a non-BlogSpot URL, the BlogSpot URL remains active . With the BlogSpot address active, you can move forward to the new address, without worrying about loss of readership, or search engines indexing problems. Both the old (BlogSpot) and new (custom domain) addresses will work, for eternity. This feature, in my opinion, is one of the ideas which exemplifies the reputation of Google, for innovative design. If you decide to move back, and publish to BlogSpot, this may not be such an easy task.

Embedded Comment Form Problem?

Recently, a few complaints have been seen about inability to leave comments on blogs, possibly in blogs using the newly provided Comment Form Placement, "Embedded below post". Having seen the announcement yesterday , I too, eagerly enabled the option in this blog. This post is the first which I have created, since doing so. So, let's see what happens now. I have gotten several comments today, to several of my earlier posts, which were written before enabling the option. If you wish to make a comment regarding this issue, and can't do so here, please do so using my general post, Leave Comments Here . But having eyeballed this post, and a couple earlier ones, I see the embedded comment form on all posts, when you are in post view ( not main page view ). In blogs which use a separate comment page ("Full page") or possibly a pop-up page ("Pop-up window"), you'll see the link caption at the bottom "Post a Comment", which will have a U

Following - The Implications #2

Last month, I predicted the emergence of the rule about Following and your reputation in the community You are judged by what blogs you follow. In musing about the vulnerability of Following to spamming, I realised a corollary to that rule You are judged by who Follows your blog. Let's look at some simple cases that expand upon the first rule. You are judged by what blogs you follow. If you Follow a splog, (using presumption of innocence before guilt) you're maybe simply being mislead. If you follow only one splog, you need to remove that Following. Otherwise, people who might Follow your blog will be creating a link to a Profile (yours) that links to a splog. If you Follow just 2 splogs, you're possibly a splogger yourself. People who Follow your blog risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so they too would need to remove any Following to your blog. If you Own just 1 splog, you are a splogger. Period. People who Follow your blog risk being tagged as in Rule 1, so they too wo

Strange Behaviour By GUI Template Wizards

Several bloggers are reporting inability to change the blog template, using the GUI Fonts and Colors, and Page Elements, wizards. The screen space which should contain the visual information - a view of the main page (for Fonts and Colors), or a block view of the gadgets (for Page Elements) - is replaced by a copy of the Blogger sign in screen. The frame below then contains the Blogger Sign in page: To access your blog, sign in with your Google Account and then the actual sign in fields/sign in button Alternately, the screen contents are normal, but no controls work, or page elements can't be moved around. When I go to my Add and Arrange Page Elements page all I see is a google sign in page. This is when I am using IE. When I use Firefox I can see the Layout screen with all of the information but I can't make any editing changes. If you are one of the victims of this mystery, help diagnose the scope of the problem. From the dashboard entry for your blog, you have 4 links wh

Layout: Add A Gadget

Recently, we see concerned bloggers asking about their inability to add page elements to their blog . Besides several key settings in the template , there's a naming problem, which surfaces occasionally. When I go to layout, and then to Page Elements, I'm given the option to "add a gadget" but not to "add a page element." The Add a Page Element button has never been displayed since I started the blog, so it's not something I broke myself. Oh no!! How do I add a page element!!?? What everybody may not realise is that what Blogger used to call "widgets" are now called "gadgets", and adding a "widget" (weird term) / "page element" (boring term) is now called adding a "gadget" (descriptive term). What we used to call the " Page Elements " wizard may be found as the "Layout" link in the dashboard. If you publish the blog using a dynamic template, layout customisations may not be

T-Mobile MMS Mobile Blogging - Carrier Not Supported

Currently, a few bloggers are reporting inability to post to their blogs by T-Mobile MMS Mobile, getting the advice that their carrier is not supported by Blogger. Your carrier is not supported by Blogger Mobile. Please try using Mail-to-Blogger or visit for more information. If you're suffering from this symptom, please report your details in an active BHG forum thread. Explicitly state, in your problem report, the name of your carrier (T-Mobile or otherwise). And provide the make and model of your PDA / phone, and your geographical location. And tell us how long you had been using MMS Mobile with no problem. And are you able or unable to send pictures or text? (Update 10/20 23:30): It appears that Blogger fixed the problem, though in silence yet again . (Update 10/20 14:00): Blogger is looking into the problem now , and is involving T-Mobile Support. >> Top

Comment Moderation In Blogger Blogs

Comment moderation, with native Blogger blogs (published to BlogSpot or externally) is pretty simple, with very few choices and no options. You can, if you choose, moderate before the comment is published . You can do similarly, later (after the comment is published). In either case, you can either allow the comment to be published (or remain), or choose to not publish (or delete) the comment. Optionally, moderate before the comment is published. Publish the comment. Don't publish the comment. Moderate after (if) the comment is published. Delete the comment. Don't delete the comment. Pretty limited options? Admittedly so, but still they are a more realistic solution than trying to block commenters or visitors .

Custom Domains And URL Forwarding - Still A Bad Idea

Setting up a Google Custom Domain, which gives us the ability to publish our Blogger blog to a non BlogSpot URL, is a reasonably simple process. That simple process, though, depends upon several not so simple factors. Our understanding of how rigidly simple the DNS setup is. Our acceptance of how rigidly simple the DNS setup is. Our use of a registrar that provides us the DNS setup that is required . Custom Domain setup is simple - but allows for no deviations.

Another blog is already hosted at this address - October, 2008

Ever since Google Custom Domains were configured using Google Apps , allowing a combination of custom domain blogs and non custom domain services in a given domain, bloggers everywhere have gotten used to the imminent appearance of the monolithic error message Another blog is already hosted at this address. during the custom domain setup process. Initially, the problem was reset by Blogger Support, when requested by a form entry submitted by the blog owner. Later, we developed a blogger accessible reset procedure using Pages, a service controlled within Google Apps. It appears now that the latter solution is no longer usable. Custom Domains generated recently from the " Buy A Domain For Your Blog " wizard continue to have access to Google Apps, but the Pages app is no longer available. The alternative apps, Start Page and Sites, may or may not have the same effect as Pages, when used in a reset process for the mentioned symptom . Some people have stated that they got acc

Custom Domain Publishing, And Google Apps - October, 2008

When you setup a Google Custom Domain, either using the " Buy A Domain For Your Blog " wizard, or using Google Apps manually , you'll get a complement of 4 DNS records defining the domain. 3 "A" records will define the primary domain ("root") by IP address, and one "CNAME" record will define the "www" alias by server name (""). This has been the standard since Google Apps started being used to setup the DNS for custom domains. Here's the setup for my latest custom domain, "", as of 12 October, 2008. 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN CNAME Recently, some bloggers have been seeing unstable DNS performance. One blogger, of unknown background, has "authoritatively" stated that is gone forever. Removing that A recor

Help Your Readers Search Your Blogs

Sometimes, your readers will benefit from more than a navbar based, direct blog search, of a single blog. As I discussed some time ago, if you have a single blog, and want to provide a very simple search, you can do that using a Blogger dynamic search in an HTML / JavaScript gadget . You can provide a gadget to do a direct blog search, in addition to the search gadget in the Navbar - or (if you block the Navbar), you can do this instead of the search gadget in the Navbar. But what if you have multiple blogs, maybe in a custom domain cluster, that you want your reader to search in combination? Or maybe you would like refinements to your search? That's when you use the Google Custom Search Engine.

Phishing Attempt In Google Blogger Help Today

In the early morning (PDT) today, Blogger Help Group: Publishing Trouble was host to a brief and rather lame phishing attempt . A one hour posting flood, encompassing several dozen posts, were made by a hacker, representing himself as a Blogger Employee. Go To This Link And Sign In With your Blogger Account And Your Blog Will Instantly Unlocked. Blogger Team. (The complete URL of the phishing web site has been masked for your protection). How lame is this? As lame as this attempt looks, folks, expect another, which will be harder to detect. Hackers are very patient, and very persistent. Don't be fooled - the blogs that you may save will be yours ! Learn from this attempt!! Never provide your Blogger credentials, except to a Blogger ("") web site. Never click on a link to a non-Blogger URL, inside Blogger Help Group, expecting Blogger services. Get a Site Verification tool , from a reputable security vendor

Your Blog, Permissions, and Token Based Access

Those of us who carefully control access to our blogs - whether granting read access to only certain friends, or providing author or alternate administrator status to our most trusted friends - use the Settings - Permissions wizard to grant and monitor the access. Not everybody knows how our friends are granted access though, and that may be part of a major flaw in controlling access. Take a look at the email, that your friends get, when you grant access to one of your blogs. In it, you'll find a message with a clickable link (details masked here, to protect the innocent) The Blogger user xxxxxxxxx has invited you to read the private blog: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx. To view this blog, visit: You'll need to sign in with a Google Account to confirm the invitation. If you don't have a Google Account yet, we'll show you how to get one in minutes, or you can view the blog as a guest for up to 30

AOL Journals Migration - Private Journals

The migration from AOL Journals to Blogger blogs has now begun . But, we still expect challenges. One of the first challenges to show up is with Private Journals. To use the import tool, you'll have to make the journal public. After the import is done, and you have a working blog, you can make it private (select friends can read it) , or you can make it closed (nobody but you can read it) . If you have a private journal, and it has comments that were made while it was private, you might want to hold off on making the journal public . Bear in mind you decide to make your Journal public, all comments added while it is private will be deleted. Comments posted to a private Journal are written with the expectation of privacy. I'd be surprised of Blogger leaves this as an open issue, but let's wait until they can acknowledge the situation. You have until 10/31 (and possibly later). >> Top

AOL Journals - The Migration Has Begun

Earlier today, Blogger Employee Gatsby announced the start of the migration process , from AOL Journals to Blogger Blogs. The first thing to do is check out our migration guide, which should walk you through all of the steps you need to take. Now, we see the first announced successful migration , including pictures. Finally got it to transfer..I went to my Hometown Journal, copied the exact Url from the page onto paper..then went to IE and deleted all cookies. Then signed back on to the Email that gave the link to start transfer, signed in, continued to next page, typed in exact url and bingo..finally transferred, even the pictures came though. Yes, Virginia, there is hope. >> Top

Creating A Horizontal Index For Your Blog

Most of us, when we setup a blog, we just write the posts, and maybe add an Archives Index gadget in the sidebar. If we want to get fancy, we can use labels, and have a Labels Index in the sidebar. You may want to make your blog look like a web site , with the new Blogger static pages editor , and an index at the top of the blog. That's not a difficult thing to do, it just takes ingenuity. Note as in many of my posts, all example code here is presented with lots of gratuitous line breaks .

Following - A Focused Replacement For "Next Blog"?

Recently, Blogger launched Following , which looks to me like an eventual replacement for the "Next Blog" link. By Following the right blogs - those with some Followers, and that are owned by bloggers who are Following other blogs - you immediately become part of a global network of bloggers and blogs. By Following the blogs that interest you, you focus your surfing on your interests, and do the same for those who surf to your blogs. If you Follow the right blogs, you help attract traffic, through the backlinks to your profile, and there to your blogs. And as you see your Followers and blog traffic increase, you will be encouraged to publish more posts, which will encourage still more traffic to your blog. This provides the same effect as traffic from the "Next Blog" link, except it will be from bloggers who share your interests, as you Follow blogs that interest you. Traffic from bloggers who share your interests (and are interested in the content of your blog

Following - A Spam Free Community?

If you randomly look at Blogger blogs, you'll see all types of blogs, none of which are 100% like any other blogs. The content, the layout, and the features all distinguish each individual blog from each other blog, even among individual blogs produced by the same author. One feature that is common on many (though not all) Blogger blogs is the Navbar. I've been writing about the Navbar, and the "Next Blog" link on it, for several years. Its original purpose - Providing random traffic to our blogs , and encouraging publishing by us. Its problems - How spammers have misused the "Next Blog" link . Its removal - How we can get rid of the "Next Blog" link , if we feel the need. Its future - How we can encourage Blogger to make it more useful to us, the blogging community, and less useful to the spammers. Its improvements - How Blogger did finally react , and appears to have a long term goal of making the "Next Blog" link less (though

Following - Visit The Blogs That You Follow, From Your Browser, Occasionally

I'm a great believer in cyberspace, and it's use in everyday life. I browse, I chat in online forums, and I chat using Instant Messengers (3 of those). I couldn't do without cyberspace, ever. But sometimes, I like to go places physically, maybe to a restaurant, so I can taste some of the food that I read about during my online activities. And so it is with Following, which is a sort of cyber-cyberspace community. You can setup relationships with other folks blogs, and theirs with yours (backlinked through your profile), and you can view their blogs using Google Reader. But I like to use my browser occasionally, to view a blog as it's designed to be viewed - through a browser, not through a newsfeed reader.

AOL Journals Shutting Down Oct. 31, 2008

On Sept 30, 2008, Kelly Wilson of AOL announced to AOL Journals Users - United States We're sorry to inform you that on Oct. 31, 2008, AOL® Journals will be shut down permanently. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Blogger has now created an automated tool for importing from AOL Journals to Blogger. The tool, described in Blogger Help: Importing your blog from AOL Journals to Blogger , sounds fairly intuitive and linear. To help with any possible problems, they have also created a Google Group: Blogger-Help-AOL Import . A bit of bother will be experienced by those with private journals . You'll have to make the journal public, before you can start the migration. And as AOL Journals works right now, taking a journal from private to public will cause deletion of comments made while it was private. This is a matter that bears correction. Note: Do you already have a Blogger blog? If you do, just transfer your Journal and make a new blog, then merge

Custom Domain Blogs - October 1, 2008

Like many Blogger blogs that publish to a Google Custom Domain , all blogs in Nitecruzr Dot Net were off the network last night. The good news is that Blogger Employee Dana, proactively, published an announcement at 23:46 September 30 . Some users are seeing their custom domain blogs forwarding to We are aware of this problem and are working to resolve this issue immediately. This is a major improvement from malfunctions of this magnitude, and as the problem apparently started around 23:00, this is particularly significant. The following morning, during the process of re establishing all aliases in the domain, I encountered a couple of old (yes) friends (not) Another blog is already hosted at this address and 404 Server Not Found Some custom domain blogs came back with no problems - others didn't. If you have a blog that didn't, you'll likely see one of the above symptoms. If you see Another blog is already hosted at this address then recycle the domain set