Surfing the web, with all of the potential dangers in surfing to any web site known and unknown, is an adventure. Some of us use Firefox with NoScript, which improves the odds in our favour ever so slightly, and helps us to enjoy the adventure. NoScript epitomises the Unix security principle "Deny by default, Permit by exception", and explicitly requires you to designate each newly surfed web site as trusted. If you're a Firefox / NoScript user, you may have recently noted a new feature in NoScript - "Clickjack Alerts" - which accentuates the adventure occasionally.
Some folks may have even seen a Clickjack Alert pop up when logging in to Blogger. Obviously, this doesn't provide us with a feeling of ease as we login. So, the questionShould I keep the "lock item" box checked, as NoScript recommends?is to be expected.
I think the decision to leave locked, or to unlock, any script that we use often should be made on two bases.Convenience.Security.
Blogger is a one button blog / web site publishing system. It has no sophisticated Content Management capabilities.It's limited to 100 blog members / readers, and the member list is maintained using the Permissions wizard.It provides no activity log, showing maintenance or updates. This may present a challenge, in a team blog with multiple administrators.It provides no archiving of multiple historical versions of a given post.It provides no backup and restore capabilities, beyond the known manual processes.It provides no ability to transfer ownership of multiple blogs between one account and another, besides one blog at a time.It has no ability to allow multiple authors to work, simultaneously, on one post without the possibility of the work done by one overlaying another.It provides no ability for team members to use page / post editor for page / post development - and allow an administrator to oversee and moderate before a page / post is published. Limited pre publication mod…
Blogger, being a web based platform, is very sensitive to changes and problems which originate in the browser - both your browser (as you produce your blog), and your readers browser (as he / she reads your blog). With any major change in any popular browser, comes yet another need for Blogger to recertify and update their code base.
This month, Microsoft released Internet Explorer Version 8. Like each newly released version of Internet Explorer, it's going to create new needs for the Blogger crew to update their code.
And it will create additional need for us to test more thoroughly - both a general test of our blog right now, and additional testing of any future changes - with IE V8, as well as with previous versions. And when you find a problem, diagnose it properly.
We've been discussing the status of the Profile View counter for several weeks now. Recently, we've been seeing queries in Blogger Help Group about the counter, that make it look like the blogs have equal or lesser status than the profile, to some bloggers.My profile views are not updating. Can I add a SiteMeter counter to my blogger profile even if I don't own a blog?and here we have to note that you can't add a SiteMeter, or any other visitor counter, to your profile, period. You add a counter to your blog. If you don't have a blog, you set one up.
With Social Networking platforms, like FaceBook, MySpace, and Orkut, you start with a profile, and add accessories like blogs to the profile. Your profile is what people view first, when they follow the link on your friends page. Your blog, if you have one, is an accessory to your profile.
I read this frequently in the Blogger Help Group forumsAll that I read about redirecting the custom domain seems backwards - from my BlogSpot address to a personal URL. That's too complicated, I can't do that!
Is it possible to just redirect traffic from my personal URL to Blogspot?and some helpers come back with Yeah, it's so much simpler. Why should you do it any differently?and they are right, it is far simpler to just redirect the custom domain URL to the BlogSpot URL. But it won't get you the same results.
A standard custom domain is comparatively complex.Setup an "A" / "CNAME" referral, from the domain to Google.Publish the blog to the domain URL.Setup a "301 Moved Permanently" redirect, from the BlogSpot URL to the domain URL.Re publish the blog to the domain URL.Setup a Google redirect, from the Google server to the blog, published to the domain.
Look how simple it is to just redirect the domain URL to the BlogSpot URL.Setup fo…
A couple weeks ago, I reported an increasingly common complaint among bloggersMy profile view counter is stuck. It's been stuck for some time now. When is Blogger going to fix this?and recently, my standard reply, which I copy and paste into my post, became It's not broken, it's frozen. Blogger made a performance related compromise, and now provides "estimated" hit counts. Get a real visitor counter (free) and install it on your blog(s). You'll get more accurate and detailed information.
Unfortunately, that reply fails to satisfy all bloggers complaining about the frozen counter. Maybe, that's because they don't understand the issues.
One blogger even gave a business case for using the actual profile view counterI have Statcounter, and I DO understand that the profile counter is just how often someone looks at my profile. That's precisely what interests me: whether someone cares a bit more for the blog that they'll spend another second look…
This morning, we note that Blogger has added 2 new servers in their FTP Publishing array.If you are using Blogger to publish to your own website and your host blocks by IP, you will need to allow through the IPs of the new Blogger publishers. The IPs are:
Personally, I don't care for indented paragraphs - though I know some who like this.
I think that justifying all lines in my posts, straight to the left margin, makes for a cleaner look. And, I separate each paragraph with hard line breaks, not "<p> ... </p>", which makes typing my posts faster - though that does complicate things a bit, by requiring that I use the "Convert line breaks" setting.
Not everybody agrees with my viewpoint, which is normal for the blogosphere. Some folks like indented paragraphs. And from them, we see the occasional queryI put blank spaces at the front of my paragraphs, and that looks fine in Preview mode. But the published blog shows no indents. Why?And the immediate answer isPreview mode, and the published blog, will always differ.
We're seeing a few reports this weekend about blogs freezing when loading, with the mysterious address "http://0.0.0.0/" (and the precise text in this address varies from report to report), showing in the browser status bar.
Some bloggers have discovered that this is caused by the presence of the Widgeo counter being installed. Remove Widgeo, and the problem goes away. Find another visitor counter, that's more reliable.
Blogger, for all of their imagination and wisdom (and collectively, they have a lot of both) can never hope to keep up with the collective and individual desire and imagination of all of their customers (aka "bloggers"). Nor should they hope to do so. The strength of Blogger / Google lies in their vast customer base, which is practically infinite in diversity.
One of the key screens in the Blogger Help database has always (in my mind) been the Blogger WishList form. Until this week, anyway. Yesterday, I was somewhat dismayed to learn that the Blogger Wishlist form is no more. In its place, a list of tips, with one suggestionHave a great idea or suggestion? Let us know! We enthusiastically read and tally all your suggestions.and the link "Let us know!" leads straight to the Blogger Help Group.
Several bloggers have reported problems with Blogger blogs, and comments with formatted text, like bold type, or italic type, and / or embedded links. It's not easy to describe, maybe seeing the problem will be easier.
And voila, there we see the problem. Here's what I typed, and formatted.Here is a line of italicised text, followed by 2 hard line breaks.
Today, and based upon observed threads in Blogger Help Group, and comments to the earlier post, it appears that the problem was not fixed, for all bloggers.
If you're experiencing a problem with publishing your blog, please provide details about your problem. And please, especially, when you report your problem, state whether you observed this problem yesterday also, and specifically state whether the symptoms of your problem are the same as reported yesterday. Nobody will be served by us reporting that yesterdays problem was not fixed, if your symptoms do not reflect the same problem as was fixed yesterday. If we have a new problem, that has to be diagnosed and treated as a new problem.
When making your problem report, as always, please provide details.The blog BlogSpot URL (if applicable).The blog domain URL…
The helpers in Blogger Help Group advise bloggers about a variety of problemsMy archives are only visible below my posts. Help!orInternet Explorer won't load my blog - it aborts before the blog finishes.orI can't see all of the posts in my blog. Where did my posts go?
If you are suffering from this problem, please provide diagnostic informationThe blog BlogSpot URL (if applicable).The blog domain URL.The name of the server hosting company.The Blogger FTP server setting value.as part of your problem report, in BHG: Publishing Trouble.
For months, we notice one odd forum topic, coming up, seemingly, every week.I know that I can turn off the astrological references (by not including my date of birth) but I find it very irritating that it is the default for everyone here.orFor those of us born between November 30 and December 17, the sun actually passes through Ophiuchus, and while much astrology doesn't acknowledge this fact, those of us born under the sign are acutely aware of the differences.orI was born on Nov. 22 1972, i.e. on the cusp - between two sun signs, so I would like for the astrological sign in my profile to show two sun signs.
For the latter two complaints, there's still no solution. You can't pick your astrological sign, it's a function of the birthday information. But now, you can at least disable yours from showing, even if you enter your birthday information.
And, if you're accustomed to seeing yours, and you're distraught that it's missing, now you know why.
Some bloggers are confused about the relationship between blogs and Blogger accounts, and think that you need a separate account for each blog. This leads to questions likeI have 2 blogs, and whenever I am logged in to one, I can't edit the other.orI can only see one blog at a time, in my dashboard.
Fortunately, in both cases, it's no great task to simply transfer one of the blogs to the account that owns the other blog. Subject to the Blogger limit of 100 blogs / account, you may keep all of your blogs under one account, or under a dozen accounts, at your pleasure.
If having multiple blogs under one account makes you worry about mixing blogs that shouldn't be seen together, by their all having a common "About Us" / "Profile" gadget on the blogs, make a custom Profile gadget for the blogs that are sensitive to you.
Many bloggers are totally unaware of how many different domains make up the Blogger and Google address space.
Daily, we see passionate yet vague problem reportsMy Followers gadget doesn't show any pictures.The links in my Navbar don't do anything when you click on them.I can't publish a post - the buttons don't work (aren't there in the toolbar).The feed gadgets on my blog don't update.Each of these complaints, phrased as they are, result in part from bloggers who don't understand how many addresses (domains) Blogger and Google use, in providing us the ability to publish and maintain our blogs, and in providing our readers with the ability to view and to enjoy our blogs.
In January of this year, I noted that a number of externally published blogs, some externally hosted, others not, were subjected to an "Offsite Redirect" interstitial warning. For blogs published using FTP, to an external server, this is a righteous condition.
Even if blog content is produced from Blogger and published to an external server, and the content is monitored by Google and scrutinised for undesirable content (hacking, porn and / or spam), that does not guarantee that the content of an FTP published blog will all come from the Blogger server. Any server that you FTP content to, from Blogger, you can as easily FTP to from a non Blogger source, and can add non Blogger content. Some non Blogger content could possibly contain hacking, porn, and / or spam.
Spammers have used Blogger this way, in the past. Start with a BlogSpot URL, redirect it using external hosting, add spam directly to the external host. In that case, an "Offsite Content" interstitial w…
For various reasons, some bloggers want to have a BlogSpot URL that points directly to a web site not hosted by Google, with content not produced by Blogger. This is generically called a "gateway" blog. They explicitly want a BlogSpot URL, pointing to offsite content.
Many bloggers wanting to do this don't know how to do this, nor are they aware of the consequences of doing this.
Every week, at least one BHG forum thread, in which I provide advice about a custom domain setup, includes the questionWhy are custom domains so complicated?And the short answer isThey are not at all complicated; they are elegantly simple - when you understand their simplicity, and follow the instructions.
The long answer, which justifies the simplicity, is not so simple.
When you Follow a blog, you add the feed from that blog to your Google Reader account, which is linked to your dashboard and Blogger account, and you add a link and an icon, from your account to the Followers gadget on the blog. That's simple enough, if you are logged in.
Since Following doesn't require you to actually login now, it has no way of retrieving a name or picture. If you are not logged in to Blogger, you can just hit the "Follow" button now, and it will setup the Following for you. You login later, or never, as you wish.
You end up with a shadow icon, plus a fantom Followers name, a couple dozen random letters and numbers. When you do login, it would pull up the fantom names / blogs that you have setup, and let you associate any that you wish with that account. You can change the name to anything that you like, after you connect the fantom name to an actual Google account.
Some people may never bother to login and connect their Followed blogs with their…
Not all bloggers, who monitor blog activity, want the trouble of installing a visitor counter. Some folks rely upon the "Profile Views" counter in the Blogger account profile.
This week, many anxious bloggers report that their counters are not operating.My blog Profile View counter is BROKEN and has been stuck for at least 5 days if not more - I have Statcounter and I know that it is way off!
(Update 4/10 14:00): Blogger has provided an updateBasically, having completely accurate counts caused a lot of problems for profile pages that experienced high traffic - at several times in the past few months this has led to difficulties and slowness for the entire service. These problems were amplified even more by a number of users who abused the count by running automated scripts trying to bump up their counts.
Because of this, we've switched to using an estimated count of profile views; while it's less accurate we believe that keeping the service running and responsive has t…
Do you see the Followers gadget in the sidebar here?
See the "Sign in" link at the top of the gadget (if you're not signed in to Following), or the "Invite your friends" link at the bottom of the gadget (if you are signed in to Following)? Move your mouse over either link, and watch the browser status bar (generally, the lower left of the browser window border).