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Showing posts from June, 2009

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To ""

This weekend, we have seen several queries from anxious bloggers who report that their blogs are redirecting to mysterious URLs containing the domain "" . My custom domain blog is being redirected to, more specificaly this page Upon research, we've found that the blogs affected were knowingly using a script provided by Blogoholic, and some portion of the script was apparently discontinued. That causes the URL reference (quoted above) to redirect to the Blogoholic web site itself. In cases where the Blogoholic code was installed in a HTML / JavaScript gadget, the cure for the problem is to simply delete the gadget with the bad code. One blogger, howeve

Renaming A Followed Blog

I've said before, repeatedly, that you must rename your blog with great care , if it's mature and / or has any reputation. Don't go changing the blog URL without planning the change, if you hope to keep your readers or search engine reputation. That admonition applies, likewise, to a blog with Followers, since people Follow blogs, not people . If you look at the code behind the "Follow Blog" link in the navbar, you'll see a reference to the " blogID ", not the URL . Conversely, when you subscribe to a blog feed, as when you become a Follower of a blog, you subscribe to the URL. If you look at your Reading List, Google Reader Subscription List, or any other newsfeed client, you'll see blog feeds which are based upon the blog URL . With a new blog name comes a new blog URL, and a new feed URL. Your Followers won't have the updated blog feed in their Reading List, or anywhere else that matters - unless you advise them to change their su

You Are Responsible For Maintaining Account Access

Almost every Internet service, that requires us to identify ourselves, provides a backup identification option. Every properly planned Internet service provides a way to access their services, should we forget our account name and / or password. Some services provide backdoor access in such easy fashion, that some people don't bother about using front door access. Some Blogger blog owners use backdoor access to Blogger, routinely. This is a problem, in several ways.

Custom Domain Problems - June 2009 #2

This weekend, as the custom domain problems initially observed June 16 continue to be reported, we see now a new symptom. Observed by the administrator of an affected blog, in the Settings - Publishing wizard, will be the warning The DNS record for your domain is not set up correctly yet. If you just purchased this domain the set up process may take up to a day. In several cases, this is reportedly observed for blogs with righteous DNS addresses . Why? Here we have one example, "". First, we see an extracted Dig log . 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN A 3600 IN CNAME Next, an excerpted HTTP trace . Sending request: GET / HTTP/1.1 Host: User-Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows NT 5.1; en-US; rv: Gecko/2009060215 Firefox/3.0.11 Connection: close • Finding host IP address... • Host IP add

Custom Domain Publishing And The Broken BlogSpot Redirect

This weekend, as the broken BlogSpot to custom domain redirect problem stretches into its 4th through 5th days, we see a diverse crowd of bloggers complaining about the problem. Some bloggers have been following this problem since Wednesday, others just discovered it today. One group of complainants which always intrigues me is the ones with the biggest and most popular blogs. What? Blogger can't do this to me, and get away with it! I'll move my 10,000 visitor / day blog to WordPress!! as if the daily visitor count makes them more important. Everybody who is hurting, because of this snafu, is hurting because of links that continue to refer to the BlogSpot URL. The BlogSpot URL is the primary blog address until you publish the blog to a custom domain, and only until then. When you publish the blog to a custom domain, it becomes a secondary blog address . It's a secondary blog address which should diminish in importance, steadily, as your the custom domain address bec

Blogger Accounts, And Non Existent Email Addresses

Most web services, when you setup a new account, require you to provide an existing email address, for backdoor access. After you finish providing all of your personal details, and hit "Create my account" or whatever, you'll then see Check your email now, and reply to the message from us, so we can activate your account! You open your email, reply to the message or click on a link in the email, and you then see Congratulations, and welcome to our service! By verifying your email address, you're ensuring that, one day when you forget your password, you simply click on a link "I forgot my password!", and they email you a hint, or maybe let you reset the password from a link in the email. Since you verified the email address originally, you know that you will be getting the "forgot password" email in your inbox.

A Reminder To All Bloggers With Computers That Run Microsoft Windows

Many times in the Blogger Help Forum , we see bloggers angrily complaining Why does Blogger not work now? It worked yesterday! What did Blogger break today? and sometimes, we will see a trend of multiple bloggers complaining of the same problem. Generally, and given enough bloggers with the same complaint, Blogger Support will investigate, tweak some code, and things will get back to normal. The latter scenario doesn't happen immediately, though, nor does it happen consistently.

Deleted Blogs Can't Be Added To Google Webmaster Tools

Occasionally, we see confusion in Blogger Help Forum , expressed by bloggers who may have deleted a blog , then noted that the blog was still indexed by Google . Upon learning that Google Webmaster Tools lets us manage the search engine relationships for our blogs, the next question is something like How do I verify my blog in Google Webmaster Tools? I deleted it, and can't edit the template! Hoping that you still control the Blogger account that deleted the blog, you start by undeleting the blog . With the blog back on the dashboard, you can resume verifying ownership, in Google Webmaster Tools . >> Top

Custom Domain Problems - June 2009

This evening, we have several reports of numerous suddenly broken custom domains. The BlogSpot URL, normally redirected to the "www" alias of the domain, is now directed to an "off site redirect" warning . The domain root, and the "www" alias, may or may not be working as usual. With some versions of Internet Explorer or Safari browsers, which are known to have problems displaying interstitial warnings , you may see simply ... cannot display the web page. or a similar notice, instead of the "off site redirect" warning. Here's an example - "", now published to "". The DNS addresses are righteous . 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN A 1800 IN CNAME Righteous DNS or not, Houston, there is a problem! An HTTP trace shows one problem. First, "

Manual Access To Key Blog Maintenance Wizards

With a blog that uses a Layouts template, the key blog maintenance wizards, like "Create Post". "Edit HTML". "Edit Post". "Page Elements". "Pick New Template". and others are all related. The blog template contains meta code that makes some of these wizards work. If we mess up the template, some of these wizards may not work anymore. Then, we say simply that we have a "corrupted template" . What now? Can we recover from a "corrupted template"?

FTP Publishing and the Security Challenge

FTP Publishing, as a way of letting us publish blogs to non BlogSpot URLs, presents many challenges - both to us, and to Blogger. I've written, repeatedly, about the stability and the support, issues. There's a third issue - security - which has several interesting details. One of the reasons why FTP Publishing is a major challenge for everybody is that there are 3 parties involved in the process - you (the bloggers), Blogger (Blogger Support), and your host server (the host server support staff). Each of the 3 parties has to protect itself, because each of the 3 parties is at risk from the FTP publishing process. You connect your computer to Blogger , and the Blogger FTP publishing server ("publisher"). And you connect your computer to the remote host. That's two sets of computers that you don't own, or control. And that's two sets of risks. Blogger connects its computers to yours (permits you to connect to theirs), and they connect their computer (

Arranging Pictures In Your Posts

We see a lot of questions in Blogger Help Forum , about getting the pictures, in our posts, located and sequenced properly. How do I get my pictures into the middle of the posts? Why aren't my pictures clickable, to show the full size content? Why do I always have to move the pictures from the top, into the text? If I'm setting up a new post, and I have a lot of pictures, the easiest way by far is to organise everything locally, on my computer, before doing anything in the Blogger post editor. Sequence the posts first, in my photo album software, locally on my computer. Write text to go with the pictures, locally, on my computer. Sequence the picture uploads. Upload the pictures, in the right sequence. Add text, and formatting, around the pictures. Steps 3 and 4 have to be done as one effort, and carefully. You can only upload up to 5 pictures at a time. Each set of 5 pictures is located in front of all previously uploaded pictures (and, of course, all previously placed text).

Internet Explorer and "Operation Aborted" - June 2009 #2

The ongoing problem with Internet Explorer issuing "Operation Aborted" when loading various blogs continues to be reported. Some bloggers report having observed a difference between being logged in to Blogger, and not. The reports do not verify specifically whether administrative status over the blog in question is the problem, though. I have setup a FeedDigest feed which aggregates comments from the following RBS posts: (This post) Internet Explorer and "Operation Aborted" - June 2009 #2 Internet Explorer and "Operation Aborted" - June 2009 Internet Explorer and "Operation Aborted" - May 2009 Nitecruzr Dot Net - Following / Friend Connect Gadgets Temporarily Removed Internet Explorer: "Operation Aborted" If you have recently seen, or are seeing, this symptom - either in a blog which you control, or a blog which someone else controls - help us to help you, and provide your observations. What browser version (the complete version numbe

Publish an HTML Based Feed

Occasionally, you may want to include your blog in an external web site. There are many ways to do this , depending upon how much work you are willing to do, and what you want the web site to look like when you're done. One of the easiest ways to do this, in my experience, is to include the feed from your blog, in the web site. Unfortunately, not all web servers can handle newsfeeds, directly. When you're faced with this limitation, just publish your blog feed through FeedBurner . In FeedBurner, select "Publicize", then "BuzzBoost". The BuzzBoost option will let you publish your feed as HTML code, and give you a few useful options to let you show your feed in ways that your readers will appreciate. Just add the HTML provided by FeedBurner to a post, or the template, on your web site. >> Top

Custom Domain vs FTP Publishing - June 2009

Last month, we saw two steps in the beginning of the migration from FTP Publishing to Custom Domain Publishing, as a standard for non BlogSpot publishing of Blogger blogs. A visible change was provided by Rick Klau, new Blogger Product Manager, with Blogger Buzz: FTP vs. Custom Domains . A second, less visible change was made to the new blog setup process. Before last month, the "Name your blog" screen, where you selected the name of the BlogSpot blog which you wished associated with your blog, had an alternate link at the bottom, "Advanced Settings". If you were to click on the "Advanced Settings" link, you'd be taken directly into the FTP Publishing setup process, without choosing a BlogSpot name. The "Advanced Settings" link is now located on a screen reached from the "Continue" link on "Name your blog", and the link now takes you into the Custom Domain "Advanced Settings" publishing setup screen. This c

There Are No Elephants In My Back Yard

I'm scared of elephants, if they're allowed to run wild. What time is it, when an elephant sits on the hood of your car? OK, Chuck, I'll bite - What time is it? Time to get a new car. LOL. Many years ago, when I moved to California, and having heard of the possible damage to your car (probably, an uninsured expense too) should an elephant sit on it, I put up a sign in my back yard. No Elephants Permitted Here! And, apparently the sign served its purpose - I haven't seen a single elephant in my back yard - or sitting on my car - since I moved here. An unlikely tale, you probably say. More crudely, you'd ask me What have you been drinking today, Chuck? So, what's the point of this narrative? Just this, that most bloggers may not waste time in putting up signs to keep elephants away - but they have other, stranger superstitions . My favourite examples of the latter would be advice from some bloggers about how to avoid the mysterious bX codes , the equal

No, You Can't Have That URL

Every day in Blogger Help Group, we see the naive yet plaintive queries I want to setup a new blog. The perfect address for my new blog would be But today I found this message at that address: Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs. Who do I speak to at Blogger, to get that address released to me? or There are a lot of blogspot names that are taken and never used with no way to contact the owner of the blog to see if they're willing to part with the name. Any suggestions? or Is there any way to obtain a blogspot name that is currently being used by someone but has been inactive?

Internet Explorer and "Operation Aborted" - June 2009

Bloggers have been reporting the monolithic error " Operation Aborted " for many months, at a slow but steady rate. Last month, the problem was reported in much greater intensity . Previously, the cause of the problem, when known, was third party scripts that didn't operate properly inside an HTML / JavaScript shell . One instance, not the sole cause but the one most observed, was bad code in the SiteMeter visitor counter, later solved by SiteMeter. Last month, many bloggers found that removing the Blogger Followers / Google Friend Connect gadgets, and changing the comment form from "Embedded below post" to "Full page" or "Popup", provided relief to their affected blogs. Two weeks after the latest problem was reported, though, this problem continues. And some bloggers are recently reporting that their blogs have this problem, and it's not apparently solved by removing the Blogger Followers / Google Friend Connect gadgets, or by changi

There Are No Deleted URLs Available For Re-Use

Periodically, we see the plaintive query I would like create my blog as, but I can't because it says "This address is not available". When I search for this address, I see Sorry, the blog at has been removed. This address is not available for new blogs. or possibly more monolithic The blog you were looking for was not found. What do I do now? Just as with an "abandoned" URL , you don't have a lot of choices here. Contact the owner directly, have him recreate the blog ( as a stub ), then transfer the blog to you, properly . Find another, more available, URL. When the blog was deleted, either by Blogger or by the owner, the URL was locked to the owner. If it was deleted by Blogger , the owner is entitled to an appeal. If it was deleted by the owner , the owner is entitled to change his / her mind. If it's not available today, it won't be available tomorrow. Pick a URL that's available, now - and get to

Some Bloggers Seeing "Blogger Unavailable" When Maintaining Specific Blogs

Some bloggers are reporting lately that when they try to access, post to, or maintain their blogs, they see Blogger Unavailable The message appears to be specific to individual blogs, and to be independent of browser, computer, and network being used. One blogger reported this problem with his blog, "", and specifically not with his other blogs. I can't see or post to my blog: I can see and post to my other blogs. I've cleared my cache, tried to log on from other other computers, run all the security programs again. The problem is, apparently, in the blog. I got this picture after weeks of waiting. This one comes from trying to publish a comment to " ". Other blogs get this when editing a post, or changing the template. See various comments below. Obviously, the problem is with the individual blogs, as I am getting comments here from folks who see the problem, in th

Coding Error In Blog Feed Causing Problems For Bloggers Using Microsoft Outlook on Local Area Networks

Some bloggers who subscribe to various blog feeds using Microsoft Outlook, and similar desktop client newsfeed readers, report problems with computers that are based on Local Area Networks and use local named resources. A coding error in the blog feed tracker, in the post footer, causes the URL, which should point to the Internet server "", to be interpreted as a request for local resource "//". The snippet of code, which should be provided as <div class="blogger-post-footer"><div></div><img width='1' height='1' src=' http: //'/></div> instead is provided as <div class="blogger-post-footer"><div></div><img width='1' height='1' src='//

Why The Need For Third Party Cookies In Blogger?

Not all bloggers understand the authentication and cookie issues which are involved, as we update and view our Blogger blogs. Occasionally we see perplexed queries I wish blogger didn't insist on the requirement of third-party cookies in order to comment. or Why do I have to login each time I access my account? Many bloggers aren't aware of the various different domains used by Blogger / Google. Two of the key domains, in this case, are "", and "" . The first is where we login, and the second is where many of our blogs are published. And now, "" becomes a third key domain , with the new Google "One account" login being involved. With a blog published to a custom domain (not to BlogSpot), we have more possibilities.