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Showing posts from 2013

Disable The "Mention people in your posts with Google+" Popup In Post Editor

We're seeing a new sense of frustration, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . How do I prevent the constant offer to Mention people in your posts with Google+? in Post Editor? This is a new Blogger / Google+ feature. Like many Google+ features, this one can be refused. Many blog owners, seeing this offer, refuse it - and are never bothered by it, again. Their refusal is retained, by Blogger, in a Blogger cookie. If you refuse the offer properly, Blogger Post Editor will remember your refusal, and not bother you again - if your browser / computer does not unwisely block cookies and scripts.

Adding Author Identification, To Post On FaceBook

Similar to the Google Authorship feature , FaceBook provides an author identification feature. FaceBook uses " Open Graph " code to accomplish what Google provides, with simple back and forward links. The required FaceBook OG code is added to the blog template, as metadata. To add open graph FaceBook authorship identification to this blog, I added the necessary code to the blog template. You can do the same, with your blog.

Improvements To The Blogger Spam Classification And Review Processes

Too many Blogger blog owners ask what is allowed, when they publish a Blogger blog. Asking what is allowed is a waste of time . We have explained, repeatedly, that whitelisting of blogs is not possible . It would be better to ask what is required, when requesting advice or assistance, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . Since the purpose of publishing a Blogger blog is to have content for people to read, what is required is unique content , that is composed to satisfy the targeted reader population .

Some GoDaddy Hosted Custom Domains Are Showing Connectivity Errors

This weekend, a few owners of blogs published to custom domains are reporting problems viewing their blogs. We are seeing various reports, such as unhappily reporting CANNOT VIEW MY BLOG! If we view the blog ourselves - or maybe if the blog owner uses one or more proxy servers to view the blog, the blog will be seen with no problem. Apparently the blog is actually online, regardless of the original observation. Now what? In many cases, the blog in question uses GoDaddy hosted DNS, and a specific set of GoDaddy servers, to provide domain addresses to the blog readers.

Internet Explorer Updates, And Use Of "Compatibility View" Settings

In 2011, Blogger announced their new browser support policy . Starting next month will only support modern browsers. This change, while seemingly dismissive and terse, appears to be necessary . With some browsers, however, a two version (the newest version, plus the version in use right now) support policy will cause problems. Support for Internet Explorer updates will provide a challenge, for several reasons. Each new version of Internet Explorer includes many changes, which makes the new version extremely incompatible with previous versions. With the scope of the version changes being so broad, it takes Blogger Engineering longer to update Blogger code, to support the new versions. The longer it takes Blogger Engineering to update Blogger to support each new IE version, the more blog owners are likely to accept the new version onto their computers - and to find that they now can’t use Blogger, because it’s not supported. This month, Blogger Engineering, in addition

Use Two Browsers, With Multiple Accounts Involved

Google has been providing single login access, to (almost all) Google services, for many years. Properly maintained, we can have one Google account, which lets us access all services, using one login. The single login approach is a convenience, when all of the services, which we use, are part of the same Google account. The single login approach becomes a challenge, when some of the services, which we use, are part of different Google accounts . As owners of Blogger blogs, there are some scenarios, where we have to deal with two different Google accounts simultaneously. Accessing non Blogger applications, like Google Apps . Recovering account / blog control . Transferring control of a blog . When we have to deal with two Google accounts, simultaneously, the single login approach becomes a problem.

Use Search Console To Target Your Audience

People who publish blogs which are relevant to a specific country may be able to focus search engine attention, for their blog - and better target readers in the country in question. Google Webmaster Tools provides the "Geographical target" setting, which lets a blog owner select a single country. The setting increases search engine attention, for their blog, in the country selected.

What Are The Differences Between Pages And Posts?

Occasionally, we see a naive question, which requests a value comparison between pages (static pages), and posts (dynamic pages). What are the advantages of using a page, instead of a post? That question, worded in that vague way, cannot be answered. The various differences between pages and posts can provide advantages, or disadvantages . To evaluate a page or a post as an advantage, one must know the specific needs of the blog in question.

Blogger Blog Content Needs To Be Unique

I've been studying spam, in Blogger blogs, for over 5 years . This year, we've seen improvement in the automated spam classification process, implied by a noticeable reduction in spam review requests overall - and in a reduction of false positive classifications . During the past few months, blogs requested for review are 2 or 3 times more likely to be confirmed as legitimate spam blogs (true positives), compared to this time last year.

Account / Blog Recovery, With Team Blogs

We've known for a while, about account recovery for team blogs . We've sent login instructions for the blog at to you and the other blog authors. Apparently, team ownership recovery has its limits. I used "Forgot?", and got the advice Your blog has too many authors to email them all. Please enter your email address into the form below to look up your account information. The blog has too many contributors. Since some of these contributors' accounts are no longer active, there's no way for me to easily identify the account which has now has the administrator rights.

Problems Adding / Editing The HTML And Text Gadgets

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , mentioning problems adding or updating the HTML and Text gadgets. The most common symptom, when reported, is very simple. When I try to update the gadget, all that I see is javascript:void(0); In this case, we have to first explain that " javascript:void(0); " is not the problem - it's simply a symptom of the problem . Once we explore the problem itself, we see various possible causes. The base cause for problems with the HTML / Text gadget is simple - the script which processes gadget updates provides no diagnostics when detecting errors.

Blogs Publishing Large NewsFeeds Can Cause Problems

We're seeing a few reports, which involve blogs with published newsfeeds with large volume, producing intriguing varieties of symptoms, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . My Followers are not getting email updates! and My blog does not update, on my Followers blogs! and My blog can't be viewed! All that I see is the gears turning!!! All of these blog owners are publishing blogs which produce feeds, which are too large. In general, a newsfeed can be any size necessary. There are two secondary details, however, which can make a Blogger blog, publishing a large newsfeed, problematic.

Various Problems With Blog Owners Using Internet Explorer V11

We're seeing a few browser related problems, possibly related to a recent update of Microsoft Windows and Internet Explorer, reported in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I can't see my dashboard! and I can't upload pictures - all that I get is a blank box! and I am receiving messages, when I log in, that my Internet Explorer is not compatible with Blogger. Too many blog owners use Internet Explorer for using Blogger - and automatically accept updates, applied by Windows Update. Right now, Blogger Engineering is in the process of updating Blogger to work with Internet Explorer V11. This is not a minor task - with all of the many Blogger features required by the various blog owners and readers, all of which must be checked for compatibility with each new browser version .

Stats Referer Spam Moderation Is Collaborative

Some blog owners just do not understand the realities of referer spam moderation. How can I set my dashboard, to not track pageviews from referring sites like "vampirestat . com"? Not everybody understands that Stats was not designed for catering to individual preferences, in deciding what statistics should be displayed. Stats spam moderation was not designed to allow for individuals to decide on what figures to display - or ignore. Like Blogger Comment moderation , Stats is collaborative, fuzzy, and heuristic. Collaborative systems work best when everybody is subject to the same restrictions. Blogger / Google can best fight referer spam by monitoring all activity, against all blogs, uniformly.

A Custom Domain Published Blog Has A New URL

We see occasional signs of naivete, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , about custom domain publishing. Can I publish to a custom domain - and still use the Blogger dashboard? and Can I publish to a custom domain - and keep my comments and posts? and Can I publish to a custom domain - and avoid TOS restrictions? Some blog owners seem to see custom domain publishing as more than it actually is.

Is A Sitemap Useful, For A Blogger Blog?

Occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , we see evidence of confusion and doubt. Do I really need a sitemap, for my blog? This question, when asked, may help us to design our blogs better. WikiPedia defines a sitemap as a list of pages of a web site accessible to crawlers or users Classically, a sitemap is a visual index, to help the people viewing a static website, to easily identify and access a specific article in the website.

Confusion About Visibility Of Comments, With Blogs Using Google+ Comments

Along with confusion about ownership of comments , published using Google+ Comments, we see similar confusion about visibility of comments, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I shared the URL of my post in Google+ - and now I see my Google+ post, displayed as a comment, on my blog! and My comments are showing up in other people's profiles, in Google+!! and I'm getting notifications, in Google+ - but the comments don't display, on the blog!! Not all blog owners understand the relationship between Google+ comments, published to a Blogger blog - and posts, in Google+.

Your Google Apps Account, And The New Administrative Google Login

In some cases, the earlier provided procedure , for accessing the limited access domain administrator account, may not work, for your Google Apps domain. If you have trouble with providing both the account name and password, you will need to reset the password using the Google administrative reset. Instead of the wizard at " ", you will need the administrative reset wizard, at " ". A Google Apps administrative account reset uses the same set of initial displays, as the previously discussed limited access account reset - and it offers the same opportunities for confusion . Be prepared to add the appropriate Google account (whether GMail, or non GMail based) to the login menu, as necessary.

"" / MMS / SMS Blogging Is Deprecated

We're seeing a few queries recently, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about a little used option in mobile blog publishing. Is "" down? I'm trying to claim a mobile token, but having no success. This blog owner, like a few others, is trying to use a dying Blogger feature. "", and MMS / SMS , was the Blogger solution for blog publishing using "mobile" phones, provided several years ago. SMS is a protocol used for sending text messages between computers, that was used on "mobile" phones, before most "mobile phones" became just pocket sized computers using "cellular" (3g, 4g, etc) networking.

Market Your Blog, To Those Who Are Interested

We see many questions in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about blog content, and (lack of) appreciation by the readers. Occasionally, people become concerned about activity of the people reading their blogs - why they get so many new visitors (but nobody returns later, to read more), or why the main page is so well read (but nobody reads the archived posts). In other cases, they wonder why the blog was deleted - even though it had the required warning protecting it - or maybe why the content warning is there . And sometimes, they may wonder why so many people read the blog, but nobody comments on the posts.

Diagnose Problems Using Affinity Testing

When you go to the doctor to report a health problem, you'll likely tell him Doctor, I have a pain. and he will likely ask you Where does it hurt? If you tell him My stomach hurts. he will probably ask When does it hurt? and How long has it been hurting? None of these are formalities or mere protocol, they are systematic problem identification procedures. We diagnose problems with Blogger, using similar techniques.

Confusion About Ownership Of Comments, With Blogs Using Google+ Comments

We're seeing a few problem reports, about ownership of comments, published against blogs using Google+ Comments, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . Why can't I delete comments? or Why can't I reply to comments? or Why don't I get notifications of comments, posted against my blog? These blog owners do not understand who owns the comments, when they are posted against their blogs. With Blogger Comments, the comments are jointly owned by the blog owner and the comment publisher. With Google+ Comments, on the other hand, the comment publisher has sole ownership of a comment published - even if that comment references your blog. This ownership policy does not please all blog owners.

The TextList Gadget Now Lacks A URL Option

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about broken TextList gadgets. I cannot add a URL, linking to the Title of my posts, using the "Configure TextList" wizard. The 'Add URL' option is missing from the "Configure TextList" wizard. Similar to the shared design between the "HTML" and "Text" gadgets , it appears that the "LinkList" and "TextList" gadgets shared features.

Blogger Templates Cannot Be Easily Validated, Using Public Diagnostic Tools

We see panic, exhibited by many blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I used the W3 Template Validator, and got hundreds of errors! Is my blog broken? This blog owner, like many others, does not understand the differences between W3 Standard HTML / XHTML, and Blogger HTML / XML. The unpleasant truth is that, ever since Blogger released the Layout class templates , in 2007, Blogger has been providing templates that can't be successfully validated using HTML / XHTML standards. Blogger has a lot of features that don't validate, according to public standards.

All Mobile Computers Are Not Created Equal

We've seen a few questions about comments, supposedly published - but vanishing, when using a mobile computer, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . This symptom, as reported, reminds us of the long ago reports of "vanishing comments" - but using desktop computers . At least one of the folks who isn't able to comment said she was attempting to do so from her mobile phone. Is Blogger now losing comments from mobile devices? The answer here is not quite so ominous, though the situation is still frustrating - to both the blog owner, and the various visitors.

One Spurious Technique For Publishing Your Blog Anonymously

Some blog owners wish to publish their blog anonymously. One of the most obvious ways to achieve anonymity - and one of the least useful - is to not publish your name, in your blog posts. Edit the "Blog Posts" gadget, in the dashboard Layout wizard, and de select "Posted By". This solution will immediately remove your name from any posts published by you - as long as a dynamic template is not involved. The dynamic templates, as with the blog posts newsfeed, do not reference the "Blog Posts" selections. This will be a problem, for achieving anonymity.

Your Google Apps Account, And The New Google Login

In the not so distant past, explaining how to login to Google Apps was a painfully tedious process. If I wanted to login to the Google Apps account for this domain, "", I would construct a URL in the browser address window (or use a bookmark) The URL for your domain would be different - and explaining the difference was frequently a nuisance, in the login sequence instructions. When explaining how to login to a recently created limited access Apps account , I would focus on the account reset process . For this domain, "", I would access the account reset wizard as or possibly Again, your URLs would differ. Maintaining separate bookmarks, for each different domain, was a time sink. With the new Google Apps integrated account login, all of that has changed.

Comment Notification Email, And Spam Classification

Comment moderation, and comment notification, have long been optional features of Blogger Commenting. The sequence of comment moderation email, and comment notification email, was simple. If comment moderation was selected, moderation email was sent to all blog administrators. Any one administrator could then select to Publish, or to Reject, a given comment. If comment moderation was not selected, each comment was simply Published, immediately. If comment notification was selected, notification email was sent to all recipient email addresses, when any comment was published. All blog administrators could Delete any comment, after it was published, at their discretion. When the new comment moderation system was provided, in 2010, comment moderation changed. As the comment filters became trained, some comments were automatically rejected - and sent to the Spam queue - and that is where the current problem starts.

Google+ Comments, And The Display Order Option

Blog owners have been asking for this option, for years. How do I setup comments, so the latest comment displays at the top? For a long time, the answer has always been "You can't.". This response does not satisfy anybody. This option is finally here. With Google+ Comments, your readers can choose either "Top comments" (default), or "Newest first". The latter choice shows the latest comments at the top of the comments display. If you are able and willing to use Google+ Comments for your blog, you can now provide this option, to your readers. This is in my opinion, the first unique and useful feature offered by Google+ Comments. >> Top

Updating A Text Gadget, On Your Blog? Be Careful!

The schizophrenic nature of the HTML / Text gadget continues to confuse some blog owners. Recently, we're seeing claims about broken Text gadgets , in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I hit the Save button, and nothing happens! Why is my Text gadget not working?? Too many blog owners are causing their own problem, because of confusion about the caption in the gadget update wizard . The header of the HTML / Text wizard is the only visible difference, between the "HTML" and "Text" gadgets. You'll see "Configure HTML/JavaScript" (for an HTML gadget) or "Configure Text" (for a Text gadget), as the gadget header. The rest of the gadget will be the same, for both gadgets - and this is why some gadgets, being updated, appear to be broken.

Is A Custom Domain URL More Valuable Than BlogSpot?

We see the question, about relative value of a custom domain, periodically in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? . Does a custom URL actually have value, over a BlogSpot URL? Some people wonder if a custom URL isn't similar to a custom ("vanity") license plate, for your car. Personally, I can think of a few reasons why a custom domain might be more valuable, for your Blogger blog. Some people believe that having your own domain makes your blog more individual and interesting - and they may be more likely to visit your blog when presented to them, in a search list. It may be easier for you to get the relevant domain of your choice, than the relevant BlogSpot subdomain. A properly chosen domain URL may be easier for people to remember, than a BlogSpot URL. A domain is yours, to control - better than sharing the "" with millions of other blogs.

Blog Owners Report "isExperimental: Required field must not be blank" When Using Blogger

We're seeing a number of blog owners, reporting a new problem with their Blogger dashboards, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I am seeing an new error in the Live Preview section of the Template Designer. The following errors were found: isExperimental : Required field must not be blank Upon examination of the URL window in the browser, the source of the problem is seen. /blogger.g?blogID=xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx#templatehtml It appears that we are seeing one more reason why routine use of Draft Blogger is not a good idea.

Over The Top, Or Underneath?

People in Western nations have been arguing this topic , for years. Should the roll be hung, with the paper falling over the top, or underneath? Both choices have their logical reasoning. When this question is politely debated, the discussion goes on endlessly - and when the question is freely debated, the discussion generally degenerates into ad hominem insults and name calling. It's likely that this question will never be answered, authoritatively. Blogger has a similar question, resembling the toilet roll controversy. Should new list items be added over the top (as the top entry), or underneath (as the bottom entry)? Until this month, the only option, provided by Blogger, was "over the top".

New Custom Domains Purchased From A Registrar, And Lacking The Transition Period For New Domains

We've known about the Transition period , which has applied to domains purchased through Blogger , for a few years. Under Transition, domains purchased using "Buy a Domain" were only partially published, immediately after the domain purchase - with the publishing process completed, several days later. The Transition period allowed for the domain, newly setup by "Buy a Domain", to become fully visible on the Internet , before blogs subject to Transition were re published.

Blog Owners Reporting Custom Domain Setup Showing "This operation failed."

This week, we're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken from blog owners, trying to publish their blogs to custom domains. I'm trying to use the Publishing wizard - and I'm seeing a new error. This operation failed. Try again later. If the problem persist, please file a post on the help forum. What has Blogger changed, recently?

YouTube Hosted Videos, And Mobile Computers

We see occasional reports from owners of blogs with lots of video content. My readers can't view the YouTube videos in my blog, on their cell phones or iPads. YouTube video content, as uploaded through the Blogger Post Editor, uses Adobe Flash embedded code. The native browser, on Apple based mobile computers, doesn't support Flash content. Many non Apple mobile computers may be similarly limited. Before Flash became a part of the Adobe Products multimedia suite, some security experts believed it to cause security vulnerabilities. Some owners of desktop and laptop computers have blocked Flash in their browsers also.

The Google+ "Auto Enhance" Photos Feature Is Causing Problems For Some Blog Owners

We're seeing a few questions about photo quality, from blog owners using Picasa photo hosting. Why do my photos look brighter? and Why has the background colours on my pictures changed? The recently added Google+ "Auto Enhance" and "Auto Awesome" features do not appear to be painless, for some blog owners. If you have a Google+ account, check out the Settings - Photos section. You'll find two recent additions. Auto Enhance Automatically enhance new photos Learn more Auto Awesome Create awesome new images from photos in your library Learn more Interestingly, these settings appear to be enabled automatically for some blogs, without warning to the owners - including a few blogs that are not associated with a Google+ profile.

Why Do We Need Four DNS Servers?

Occasionally, we see a perplexed blog owner asking a popular question about custom domain setup. Does my domain really need four servers? Some even seem to think that newer domains, with less readers, can get by with less - even one - servers. Won't one server do - at least, for newer blogs? Theoretically, yes. But not one server is going to be 100% reliable, or last forever. Every computer ever made, like every human born, will die, one day. Your blog (and your domain) depends upon DNS, to resolve its address . Address resolution is an essential part of helping your computer (your readers computers) connect with the computer where your blog is stored.

The Text Gadget Is Broken

For over a week, we've had anxious blog owners unable to create or update the Text gadgets on their blogs. The "Save" button is not working, on my Text gadget! or maybe I see Javascript void(0) when hitting Save! Blogger actually fixed this problem, earlier this month - and it broke again, shortly afterwards. Not everybody understands that seeing "javascript:void(0);" is a symptom of the problem - not the problem itself. This problem, fortunately, has a reasonably effective workaround.

Export / Import Requires Administrative Control Of Both Blogs

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , we see the naive query How do I merge my two blogs, using Export / Import? When given the simple advice Use the "Export blog" and "Import blog" wizards, both in the dashboard Settings - Other menu. the immediate response is I don't have that menu item! This person has, most likely, lost control of the Blogger account. In order to avoid encouraging scraping of blog contents, both the Export and Import wizards are only available to blog administrators. Not everybody wishing to use "Export blog" has blog ownership, however.

Team Blog Ownership, And Abuse Classification

We see some people, posting in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , who have problems with blogs under team ownership, and abuse classification. My blog was deleted as spam but I don't spam! BTW, one of the other administrators of my blog recently had his Google account blocked. We've observed, a few times, that team blog relationships create interesting complications, with various Blogger issues - and this appears to represent yet one more complication.

Publish New Posts Sooner, And Edit After You Publish, To Avoid AutoSave

Many blog owners spend hours - or days - composing a new post. Occasionally, we see the complaint in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken I had been working on my post, for days. Just as I accidentally erased everything, AutoSave kicked in, and saved my empty post. Now, I have to spend days rewriting! Given the right reflexes, and presence of mind, recovery is simple. Most browsers provide an "Undo" command, which will back out the erasure of the contents - as long as you react properly. Just hit "Undo" - and you're back in business. If using "Undo" is a problem for you, avoid AutoSave . As soon as you have a basic post written, publish the basic post. Then, edit what you just published.

Diagnose Problems Using Differential Testing

Sometimes, you may find yourself reporting a problem, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken - and observe that nobody else has the same problem. If there's any normal problem activity in the forum, you might find yourself waiting - in vain - for an immediate answer to your problem report. While you wait for advice, why not do some basic analysis of your problem? A differential test set of your problem, based on some reasonably basic details, can help you see where many problems may originate.

Clear Or Reset The Post Template Wizard

Many problems with post features or layout can be resolved by refreshing or resetting the post template , using the Template Editor . Not all post display problems are caused by unwise use of the Template Editor - some problems may be part of the individual posts. The dashboard Post Template wizard , in Settings - Posts and comments, lets you add a template to the posts - in addition to the "post template". The "Post Template" added content then appears as part of each new post, in the post editor window.

Team Blogs, And Confusion About Blogs Locked After Detected Account Hacking

We've been discussing deleted blogs, resulting from Blogger accounts locked after suspicious account activity is detected , for some time. Recently, we've seen a variant on the account lock / deleted blogs problem. I made one of my friends an admin for my blog. When Blogger deleted His Blogger account and his blogs, they deleted my blog also. Here, we see the possibility of detected hacking, affecting other members in a team blog ownership.

Search Engines, And Private Blogs

Not every blog owner realises the relationships between private blogs, and search engine indexing. Some blog owners think that private blogs can't be indexed, by the search engine robots. Given the way private blogs work, search engine access is not directly restricted - even though indexing activity is impeded.

BlogLovin, And Blogs Publishing Feeds Through FeedBurner

We're seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about BlogLovin, and their inability to accept feeds from Blogger blogs. My feed on Bloglovin is not updating correctly, so I emailed BlogLovin Support. They responded, and said it was because my RSS feed isn't working correctly. When diagnosed, we frequently see a working posts feed, redirected through FeedBurner. It appears that BlogLovin is not able to properly accept some (or all) FeedBurner redirected feeds. The most obvious solution here would be to setup BlogLovin properly, to use a non redirected feed , so they get the native Blogger posts feed.

Choosing A Name For Your Blog - Rules Are Simple

The first task in starting a new blog involves taking an available blog name (aka "URL"). The rules for picking a blog name are reasonably simple. Pick a blog name. If "Create a blog" gives you that name, it's yours . Continue with #4. If "Create a blog" shows "Sorry!", pick another name, and continue with #2. Setup your new blog. Some folks need even simpler rules. If "Create a blog" gives you the name of your choice, it's yours. If "Create a blog" does not give you that name, you have to pick another. Which ever rules you wish to go by, the "Create a blog" wizard has the final say .

Account / Blog Recovery May Involve Your Friends

Recovering ownership of a Blogger account or blog may be a frustrating process. Recovering control of a long forgotten account or blog starts with having a token sent to the recovery email address. If you don't have access to the recovery email account, you may be able to use the Google Account recovery wizard - if you can at least provide the email address that you used long ago, and a few personal details. But what if you don't remember the email address - or even the URL? Blogger won't just tell you what the address was - and they don't know who you are, so would do they know the URL of your blog?. In the latter case, you may have to involve your friends - and some detective work.

Click On The "X" (If You Can Find It - And If You Mean To Do It)

The custom domain publishing form, in the dashboard Publishing wizard, causes confusion. Occasionally, we see evidence of the confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken . I need to cancel my domain - but Blogger won't let me! or I clicked on my dashboard, and now my blog isn't published to my domain! These blog owners, and more, are perplexed by the Publishing overlay form, displayed for a blog published to a custom domain. The custom domain overlay, in the dashboard Basic - Publishing wizard, is very elegant. The overlay design is similar to forms used by Blogger and Google+, to display photos. The "overlay" form is appropriately designed, for its use. The form follows the function - and reflects the status of the blog. For all that, it's diabolically subtle.

Confusion About Your Blog Feed, Not Updating Properly In Gadgets On Other People's Blogs

One of the stranger confusions, seen occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , refers to the posts feed, from our blog, displayed on other people's blogs. I just published a new blog post - but it does not show up on my friends blogs. Is there a problem, with my feed? When we investigate, the blog feed shows no problem. We display the feed in the browser, and compare with the blog main page - and everything on the main page is in the feed. It just does not show up on our friends feed gadgets. So, what's the problem here? Were we imagining a problem? No, it's not imagination.

Confusion From The Message "You have logged out from another location."

This month, we have a small flood of reports, from blog owners who are seeing the latest monolithic error. You have logged out from another location. Do you want to log in again? This error has actually been reported previously - but in smaller volume - for some time. It appears to be similar in nature to a previously reported problem, " Conflicting Edits ". The problem appears to possibly affect anybody who has logged in to Blogger - and it appears to be persistent, and has inspired imaginative measures, from some blog owners.

Automatic Sharing Of New Posts, To Google+, Is Here

Almost 3 years ago, Blogger introduced easy sharing of new Blogger posts , to Google+. This week, they took the next step. For those blogs associated with a Google+ page or profile, you can share new posts, Publicly, automatically . Starting today you can automatically share your blog posts publicly to Google+ — as soon as you publish them, with no additional clicks.

Preventing FeedBurner Email Distribution Delay

One very useful FeedBurner service is the Email Distribution feature. Email Distribution is virtually a turnkey subscription management . Email Distribution has one limitation, which not everybody understands, however. FeedBurner delivers any new posts once daily, based on a chosen distribution time. Depending upon what distribution time you choose, for any FeedBurner Feed, you can have anywhere from 0 hours, to 24 hours - of delay, between publishing a post, and having that post distributed by email.

Being A Hacking Victim Is Not Always Caused By The Blog Owner

Even though being the victim of a hacking attack is not (always) the fault of the account / blog owner , the blog owner may have to bear some of the responsibility. Since hacking detection is a fuzzy process, it's not always going to be detected immediately. The previous article discusses what happens when Google does detect a hacking attack - and in some cases reacts too diligently. If Google is not able to detect an attack, in some cases, an attack may be successful.

Repeated TOS Violations Are Punished Gradually

Some blog owners don't understand the serious nature of repeated violation of TOS Policy, in Blogger blogs - and how offenses are handled, by Google. We've seen several reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners who appear to be unclear about the consequences of repeated TOS Violations. I got email from Blogger, about my Blogger account. We'd like to inform you that we've received another complaint regarding a blog that you administer. Upon review of your account, we've noted that you've repeatedly violated the Terms of Service: . Given that we've provided you with several warnings of these violations and advised you of our policy towards repeat infringers, we've been forced to disable your Blogger service. How do I get my blog restored? This example appears to represent the final step, in a multi step policy.

Blogger Magic - Pages Vs Posts

Not all blog owners know what pages are - nor how they differ from posts. We see confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? . How do I publish a post, which always appears on the home page? or How do I publish a post, which never appears on the home page? or How do I publish multiple posts on a page? Long ago, we used workarounds, like publishing a post, using a future or past date . The workarounds would create a post which would always, or never, appear on the home page - but there were always side effects, from using either technique.

Recovering A Deleted Page Or Post, Chapter 3

We've been advising anxious blog owners, for some time, how to recover deleted pages and posts. The easiest solution, in the long run, is to recover the PageID / PostID , and re publish the deleted page / post. Unfortunately, all deleted pages and posts can't be edited and re published . With new posts, un indexed by the search engines, you won't be able to find the post in cache - and you'll never determine the PostID. This will be a frequent problem with deleted pages - as static pages generally won't get indexed by the search engines - nor will they ever be included in the blog posts feed. In some cases, even when you know the PageID or PostID, the page editor / post editor may simply reject your attempt to re edit - and give you another bX code. Even so, all is not lost. You may have to rebuild the page or post - but you can generally keep the URL, of the deleted page or post, operational. Just plan the rebuilding process.

Reverting Your Blog Back To Blogger Comments, From Google+ Comments

We're starting to see regular evidence of dissatisfaction, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about Google+ based Blogger commenting. We've known about some undesirable features of Google+ commenting , for a while now. No ability to moderate comments, made against your blog, before they are published. No ability to moderate comments, from the dashboard. No controls for moderation, or for notification, of comments. No ability to view all comments, made against your blog. No ability to block all undesirable comments, made by people who don't like your blog. These are just a few details, which directly affect commenting.

CAPTCHA Verification Is Broken, For Some Blogs, In Various Applications

We're seeing a number of problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about various problems which involve CAPTCHA verification processes. The symptoms are fairly diverse. Some blog owners report problems with commenting, on their blogs. Some report problems with high posting volumes. Some report problems getting abuse review requested, for their blogs falsely accused of hosting abusive content. The reporting volumes, and perceived urgency, for each case, will vary.

Dynamic Template Instabilities Have Multiple Causes

For some time, we've been seeing reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about blogs using blogs using dynamic views, which display incompletely , and lack specific features. Various blog owners have developed, and reported, a workaround to the problem, which involves using an unpublicised Blogger setting found in the template HTML code. This workaround sets a loading delay, known as Timeout . There are several different causes of the dynamic view problem - some varying by the different blogs, others varying by the blog viewers - and some, varying by the Blogger / Google infrastructure. None of the causes will be universal in effect. This will result in varying success, when using a static Timeout setting as a workaround for the problems.

Getting Traffic To Your Blog - How Not To Do It 2

Here's a great investment idea. Everybody who needs money (which is most likely, everybody reading here) can invest $10 each. Everybody, reading this, can send me $10. Surely, each of you have a spare $10, to invest. What will I do with the funds received? I will, immediately, take 10% off the top. That's for my retirement account. I will let my friends (don't you wish that you were my friend?) take 5%, each, off the top. As I get investments from more blog owners, I'll send you - and the other initial investors - a token payment. At the end of a week, you, and the other investors, get to divide up the remainder. Isn't that a great investment idea?

Layout: Add A Gadget

We add gadgets using the dashboard "Layout" wizard.

Dynamic Template Instabilities Have Multiple Symptoms

Recently, we've been seeing a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about blogs using dynamic templates, which display incompletely , and lack specific features. Various blog owners have developed, and reported, a workaround to the problem, which involves using an unpublicised Blogger setting found in the template HTML code. This workaround sets a loading delay, known as Timeout . The currently recommended Timeout setting will force a fixed delay on blogs using the workaround, which may not be 100% effective in all cases. The effectiveness may vary, according to the specific problems reported by the various blog owners.

Maintaining Auto-Renew Settings For Your Domain - 2013

Recently, Google Apps redesigned their desktop GUI. Now, it's easier to maintain auto-renew settings for your custom domain. Of course, "easier" may not be the same as "more initially obvious". Along with the GUI redesign of Google Apps, Google changed payment procedures for domain registrations.

Dynamic Templates, And Network Problems - #2

We're been getting problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from various dissatisfied blog owners , who chose a dynamic template for their blog. The problems reported involve various symptoms. Blogs displayed will lack various gadgets, in the slideout gadget bar. Some blogs, when customised, will display using default layout and template settings. Some customisations, applied recently, just won't show up . Various blog owners have discovered a solution, based on code present in newer dynamic templates. This solution has been publicised, in forum discussions - and in various blogs and web sites. <script language='javascript' type='text/javascript'> setTimeout(function() { blogger.ui().configure().view(); }, 1000 ); </script> The solution, as proposed, involves a very simple change - but the change won't be immediately, or permanently, 100% effective.

Windows XP / IE V8 Is "Good Enough" - But For How Long?

This month, we've seen more than a few reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about various Blogger dashboard problems. Both the Overview and Post Editor dashboard sections seem vulnerable to problems - typically described as bX code terminations . Many of the people reporting problems admit that they are using Internet Explorer V8. For some blog owners, the choice of staying with IE V8 is not an option. Get everyone to use Chrome, and don't support those using IE V8. Win XP works fine. Everyone can't get new computers or operating systems, every time some new software comes out! Unfortunately, Windows XP was sunsetted, by Microsoft, some time ago - and IE V8 is the last version of that browser that will run, on Windows XP. Windows XP and IE V8 may be "good enough" for now - but time is running out, on both.

Static Page Created, Has Home Page URL

We get occasional reports , in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about a broken Pages gadget. I created a new page - but when you click on the link, you get bounced back to the Home page! When you look at the blog with the problem, it's easy enough to verify the report - just look at the URL behind the link , for the most recent page created. Indeed, it points straight to the Home page (base URL for the blog). When this happens, there is a very simple workaround. Just create another page, identical to the problem entry.

Repeated DMCA Violations Are Punished Gradually

Some blog owners don't understand the serious nature of DMCA Violations in Blogger blogs - and how offenses are handled, by Google. We've seen several reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners who appear to be unclear about the consequences of repeated DMCA Violations. I got email from Blogger, about my Blogger account. We'd like to inform you that we've received another complaint regarding a blog that you administer. Upon review of your account, we've noted that you've repeatedly violated the Terms of Service: . Given that we've provided you with several warnings of these violations and advised you of our policy towards repeat infringers, we've been forced to disable your Blogger service. How do I get my blog restored? This example appears to represent the final step, in a 3 step policy.

Anonymous Blog Ownership, And Hacked Account Detection

This week, we're seeing a number of reports from blog owners with Blogger accounts recently hacked. I was asked to change my password, because of suspicious activity. Having done that, my blogs are now deleted! With hacked Blogger / Google accounts, causing deleted blogs, there's not a lot of advice that we can provide. As you just discovered, the account is recovered almost immediately. Blog recovery, unfortunately, takes longer - sometimes, 1 to 2 days. You'll have to wait, patiently, until your blogs are verified by Google Security staff. We're also seeing the normal amount of reports of blogs deleted by Blogger, when detected for malware, porn, or spam. In some cases, blog review ends with the conclusion that the blog was not, in fact, deleted for a TOS violation. In these cases, the blog won't be restored by Blogger Support.

Confusion Over Custom Domain Expiration Dates, Caused By Google Apps Email

We're seeing some panic today, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from a few blog owners who have received email, which implies that their custom domain registrations are approaching expiration - and can't be renewed. I registered my domain several months ago, through Google. I have the receipt for the payment in my email, my Google Wallet account, and my credit card statement. Why am I getting this email now, some months after registering my domain - but well before my registration should be expiring? Our records indicate that the payment for registering your domain was unsuccessful. Payment failures happen for a variety of reasons (such as insufficient funds or an expired card). You can update your payment information to resolve the issue. Please log in to your account and update your payment information. If you take no action, your domain will not be renewed on . This confusion is especially unfortunate, given the recent discontinuation of

Community Building, With Two Purposes

Earlier this week , we saw numerous reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about problems with Google Friend Connect, on some Blogger blogs. Once we realised the variety of the symptoms being experienced by blog owners and guests, it was not too difficult to report the problem, providing sufficient details, to Blogger Support. In less than 2 hours after the problem was reported, Blogger Engineers identified and resolved the problem. Unfortunately, every problem with Blogger - and with Google Friend Connect - is not always going to have a similarly happy ending.

Dynamic Templates, And Network Problems

We're getting a few problem reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners who chose a dynamic view for their blog. My layout has one colour - yet when I view my blog, it's another colour. The accessory bar is missing gadgets - and there are various tweaks missing. I tried updating, using the Template designer, unsuccessfully. When I finished updating, the preview looked good - but when I saved and viewed my blog, it was still incomplete. This blog owner, like many owners, may not understand the unique design of the dynamic templates - nor how the design affects what is seen by the readers.

Post Editor Problems With Blog Owners Using Internet Explorer V8

We've been seeing a steady stream of problems being reported in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners unable to use post editor. The symptoms are varied, in detail. Some can't get the cursor active, in the window. Others can't use the Preview option. Still others can't Publish. The primary symptom, seen by many, involves yet another mysterious bX code . In many cases, this problem has been forecast, for some time - and the blog owners should blame only themselves. Many of these blog owners are using - or trying to use - Internet Explorer V8, to maintain their blogs.

Hacking Detection Is Generally Not Caused By The Blog Owner

We've been helping Blogger blog owners deal with spurious fuzzy content classification , for many years. We started out, long ago, with blogs deleted because of spam classification. Later, Blogger added malware classification - and most recently, porn classification ("adult content", with objectionable advertisements). These three classification categories involve fuzzy blog content analysis.

Blog Owners, Composing A Post, Seeing "Required field must not be blank"

We're seeing a few reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners attempting to compose a new post, and seeing Required field must not be blank The problem appears to result from trying to compose a post, without first entering a Post title. It appears that Blogger, trying to stabilise the post editor, is requiring non blank post titles, to save posts being composed. This includes the post being under effects of AutoSave , and the creation of Draft posts.

"Adult Content" Blogs, And New Blogger Monetisation Restrictions

This week, we're seeing some reports from a few blog owners who recently received a disturbing email message, mentioning their blogs and adult advertisements. I received an email stating I have adult content on my blog, and that a new policy will cause certain blogs to be deleted. Is my blog vulnerable to deletion, under this new policy? Like many spammers, these blog owners may be asking for a whitelisting of their blog - which is something that Blogger just won't provide .

Use Google 2-Step Verification, To Protect Yourself

Our Blogger accounts, and blogs, are under persistent attack by some rather nasty Internet users. Hackers, using other peoples computers, are constantly attempting to "guess" our Blogger passwords, and take control of our Blogger accounts and blogs. Blogger accounts are particularly vulnerable to attack , because too many blog owners Reveal their account names (email addresses) to the world. Base their passwords upon real life details. Publish blogs, where their real life details are visible to the world. Some blog owners think that by using only one computer forever, they should be able to register that one computer as theirs, and require Google to simply deny access to their Blogger / Google accounts, from any other computer. This is a very simple solution - and it's one which is doomed to failure.

Custom Domain Instability Caused By Server Mismatch

A few blog owners become confused by the necessary configuration of the domain root, when setting up their custom domains. Some blog owners, who do not have a good understanding of DNS principles, make mistakes when setting up the domain root (aka "naked" domain). From good intentions (trying to ensure that the domain performs better or differently), their naivete may actually make the domain perform worse - or not at all. With more blog owners unable to buy a domain through Blogger , and forced to setup their own DNS addresses, this will become an common mistake , and an increasingly critical issue.

Hacking / Malware / Porn / Spam Classification Effects

Occasionally, we see concern in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about the long term effects of Blogger hacking / malware / porn / spam classification or detection. My blog was deleted, because of spurious spam classification - and later restored to service. Did my blog lose search engine reputation, in Google? Any time a blog goes offline, its reputation is affected, to some extent. How much effect a hacking / malware / porn / spam classification or detection has, on any given blog, will vary widely. You might expect to see different penalties, for different offenses .

Google+ Comments Lack Controls For Moderation And Notification

As more people choose Google+ Comments for their blogs, we're seeing concern from confused blog owners, mentioning lack of control. There is no option for comment moderation in my blog's settings. My Comments Settings only includes the option to change Location. and I don't get notified about any comments published against my blog. There is no Setting for Comment Notification Email, either. These owners are discovering one of the design simplicities in Google+ Comments . With Google+ Comments, anybody can post - and share - a reference to any content, on the Internet, that they can view. If your blog is public, any post from your blog can be shared in Google+. If someone shares a post from your blog, and you are in a Circle where the post is shared, you may see the shared post in your Google+ stream. You have no control over content in your stream - even if the content references your blog - which you do not share.

Custom Domains Purchase - "Buy a domain" Lacks The "Check Availability" Option

We're seeing a few reports from confused blog owners, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , who want a non BlogSpot URL for their blog. I have tried to follow the guide, but my page does not say the same as the guide. Several blog owners, in trying to use "Add a custom domain" to buy a domain, are observing that there is no "Check Availability" sequence.

Blogs Locked After Detected Account Hacking

One Blogger mystery involves the varying periods of blog unavailability, after hacking activity is detected . My blog just disappeared from my dashboard - and no, it's not listed under "Deleted blogs"! When the owner mentions the notice about "suspicious" / "unusual" account activity, or having unlocked the account (by solving a CAPTCHA, receiving a phone message, changing the password) - and is advised to wait "24 to 48 hours" - many ask the obvious. Is "24 to 48 hours" really accurate? In reality, the legendary "24 to 48" hour time period is only a ball park figure - and both Blogger / Google, and the blog owner, contribute to the uncertainty.

Comment Spam And Referer Spam Has Various Purposes

One of the most intriguing subjects discussed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken involves the seemingly purposeless spam which torments us in our comments and our Stats logs. I see this random garbage on my blog - and the sites advertised are complete junk. Is there any actual reason for this? Interestingly, both nice blog spam (in our comments), and referer spam (in our Stats logs), have purposes - though with the continually varying content used in both, it all looks very much like random garbage. If we analyse the content, structure, and volume of the various spam attacks, we can see patterns - and an understanding of the overall purpose of the spam.

The REAL Blogger Status Is Actually The ONLY Blogger Status

On June 4, 2013, Blogger retired their Blogger Status blog . This blog has been retired. The latest information on Blogger service availability will now be displayed on the Apps Status Dashboard . Now, The REAL Blogger Status has become, by default, The ONLY Blogger Status. For your convenience, you may find a link to the Apps Status Dashboard , in the Peer Resources gadget, in the sidebar of this blog.

When Using Template "Edit HTML", The Edit Window Remains Blank

Since Blogger released their improved Template Editor , blog owners have been reporting a new, transient problem. I click on "Edit HTML", and the editing display opens - but the HTML window remains blank. Generally, you may wait a few seconds, and the HTML window will fill with the content. With enough patience, you'll see the content arrive - eventually. Unfortunately, waiting won't always provide a solution.

The Google Apps "bloggeradmin" Password Reset May Be Broken, For Some Domains

We've been seeing reports from some frustrated blog owners, about problems with the limited access Google Apps accounts . I've reset my password numerous times and it still doesn't work. Even given the recently provided "bloggeradmin" username, and the standard Google account reset process , some blog owners still cannot access Google Apps to manage their Blogger custom domain published blogs. We do have one bit of hope. One such problem report, recently forwarded to Google Apps Support, was noted by a Google Apps Engineer with the advice We identified a recent change which may have affected the password reset flow for some users. We expect it to either be fixed or rolled out shortly. So, there is some hope for a few unhappy new domain owners. It's possible that this problem has been resolved, with Google Apps now using the new comprehensive Google login screen . >> Top

Abuse Reporting Is Not For Deleting Your Lost Blog

Sometimes, people lose control of their blog, with no ability to regain control - and simply want the blog deleted. How do I have Blogger delete the blog, for me, since I can't prove ownership? When advised that Blogger does not delete blogs on behalf of former owners, the next thought by the former owner is to have the blog deleted as abuse. What category of Abuse should I use, to have a previously owned blog, deleted? While not intentionally fraudulent, this approach is still misuse of the Abuse Reporting process .

The "Create a new blog" Wizard Is Not Prescient

We're seeing some odd problem reports in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , about blog creation . I entered just the first letter of the name which I wanted, and I immediately saw Sorry, this blog address is not available. How am I supposed to create a blog, if all the names are taken? What intrigues me here is not that people see Sorry, this blog address is not available. It's that people don't ask the next question. How did it know what name I was typing, before I finished? How do you explain that you have to type the entire name, and have that name checked, before giving up, disappointed?

Confusion About Referer Spam Can Have Unexpected Consequences

As referer spam continues to be reported in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , we see occasional signs of confusion. Some blog owners, knowing how to use WhoIs lookups and similar online utilities, to their advantage, are looking up the referer spam targets - and are reporting the targets to their registrars and hosts. What these blog owners may not realise is that not all apparent "customers" of referer spam "services" may have actually contracted to be featured in the services.

Referer Spam Is Noticed More, By Newer Blog Owners

One of the details of referer spam , that intrigued me for a time, involved who was reporting the spam. Most - but not all - referer spam is reported by newbie owners . People who just setup a blog, and are anxiously waiting for their first readers outside their own country, are suddenly astounded Wow, thousands of people are reading my blog - from China and Russia! I am an international celebrity, in my first week!! The euphoria quickly vanishes, when told in the forums Nobody is actually viewing your blog from these sites - and nobody knows about these links but you, since only you can see your Stats logs.

The Google Apps "bloggeradmin" Password Reset Uses A Standard Google Account Reset

As Google Apps updates their limited function ("bloggeradmin") account setup process, we see reports from confused Blogger blog owners. After I reset my password, I still get The username or password you entered is incorrect when I try to login, later! and I reset my password - and it changed my Blogger and GMail account - but I still can't login to Google Apps!! The Google Apps password reset uses a standard Google account reset process - and is subject to normal account reset behaviour. If you don't reset the right account, you won't be able to login, later.

Comment Moderation In Blogger Blogs, Using Google+ Comments

With more Blogger blogs being updated to use Google+ Comments , we're seeing a few questions in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , about comment moderation. How do I moderate comments, with Google+ Comments enabled on my blog? This is a question for which there is no easy answer - and this is one of the least appreciated feature limitations of Google+ Comments .

Blogger Blogs Redirecting To "opromo . com"

This week, we're seeing a new stream of problem reports, from blog owners whose blogs are, once again, mysteriously redirecting their readers to unknown destinations . When I open my blog, it automatically directs to another search engine display. This appears to be yet one more gadget, willingly installed by many Blogger blog owners, which is now redirecting uninterested viewers. The target of the redirection, this week, is a parked domain website (ie, "search engine display") - for a product which was apparently installed, willingly , by the blog owners.

Empty Or New Blogs Can Be Classified As Spam Hosts

We're seeing a few recent reports, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from owners of empty and / or new blogs, about spurious spam classification. Very few owners of empty or new Blogger blogs understand why their blogs should be classified as possible spam hosts, by the Blogger anti-spam processes. Most blog owners seem to think that only blog content is considered, in spam classification.

Renewing Your Custom Domain Registration

Some Blogger blog owners, having experienced the anxiety of custom domain setup , intend to carefully maintain their domain registration. We see a few queries, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , about domain registration renewal. How do I make sure my registration gets renewed? or How do I renew registration before it expires? or, possibly My blog now displays a search page! Have I been hacked?

Recovering And Protecting Your GMail Account

Blogger blog owners may have productive action, when their Blogger accounts are successfully hacked through an attack on their GMail accounts. GMail account owners can get detailed instructions on recovering a successfully hacked account, and on preventing future hacking attacks from being successful. Some of the instructions are specific to GMail use - but overall, Blogger account owners will benefit from their use.

Problems Being Observed, In Blogs Now Using Google+ Comments

A few blog owners, eagerly opting to use the latest Blogger enhancement , Google+ Comments, are seeing some changes which they did not anticipate. Even after checking all of the settings, some blogs, with Google+ Comments enabled, may not show the comment form - or may show the form, but comments may not be visible. Besides the visibility of the form, there are other changes which some blog owners don't appreciate.

URL Availability Competition, During "Buy a Domain", Is Similar To "Create a Blog"

Some Blogger blog owners, trying to setup a new blog, discover the hard way that other people are trying to do the same thing. When I try to use "Create a blog", I keep seeing This name is not available. or Blogger is saying it's available - but as I begin to register, it says that it has already received a request for this name. Other blog owners discover that the competition between Blogger blog owners, when using " Create a blog ", also applies to "Buy a domain". And worse yet, "Buy a domain" involves competition with would be website owners outside Blogger / Google.

Blogger And Google+ Continue To Move Ever Closer Together

Today, Blogger announced the most innovative step in integrating Blogger and Google+, since sharing of Blogger posts to Google+. The December 2011 sharing option lets us publish our blog posts to Google+. Today, Blogger added the ability to do the same - and more - with our blog comments. Like basic Google+ post sharing, Google+ Comments will be shared, and be visible, on a Circle by Circle basis.

Dynamic Templates, And Jump Break

We see occasional evidence of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners who are using a dynamic template. Why does the Jump Break not show up, in the blog display? or Why can't I see the entire post? Not all blog owners understand the limited options , in the dynamic templates.

Blog Owners, Marking Stats Log Entries As Referer Spam, Won't Accomplish Much

We see the occasional optimistic suggestion in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from blog owners tired of the referer spam, in their Stats logs . Why can't we just tell them which Stats entries are spam? This is, admittedly, such a simple suggestion - it surely must present part of the final solution. If one considers the purposes behind referer spam, one can see a problem with having individual blog owners designate specific pageview entries, in their Stats logs, as referer spam.

The Tower Of Babble Comes Down Slowly - One Brick At A Time

I installed the Google auto translator - using a custom front end, which I helped develop - on this blog, 5 years ago . I installed it originally because of the February 2008 Kaspersky problem with Blogger blogs - and hastily, because of the magnitude of the problem. I knew, at the time, that the Google auto translator was not 100% accurate. No auto translator will ever be 100% accurate. Every language in the world is always developing, as society and technology develops. There will always be nuances in every language, which are not yet detected by any one person - or by any one computer. That said, I think that it's obvious to many people, that auto translation is a legitimate feature on the Internet.

Blogger Magic - Managing The Pages In Your Blog

Some blog owners are never quite sure how to manage all characteristics of the Pages, in their blog. From time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? , we see evidence of the confusion. How do I hide the Home tab? or I can't rename my pages! Some blog owners may know of one Pages management wizard, but not another. To the untrained eye, it may all seem like one big magic show.

All Template Changes Won't Always Be Visible, When The Blog Is Published

Not all blog owners appreciate the differences between using the various template wizards, and what they will actually see, once the blog is published. The confusion about the various template wizards, and what is actually seen, expressed in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , is numerous. Why aren't my changes to the template being saved? This question is expressed in a number of ways - and has a number of causes.

Using "Buy a domain", From Outside The USA

As custom domain publishing becomes more popular with Blogger blog owners, it's inevitable that people outside the USA would start using it, routinely. Questions about payment options are seen regularly, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? . How much does a domain cost? This used to have a simple answer . $10 US, charged against a major bank issued credit card. With the internationalisation of Blogger, the answer becomes significantly more complex.

The Option To "Expand Widget Templates", In The Template "Edit HTML" Wizard, Is No More

One of the more confusing features of the Blogger Template "Edit HTML" wizard , used to be the option to Expand Widget Templates With the new "Edit HTML" wizard , that option is not needed. Given the choice to "Expand Widget Templates", the typical blog owner was frequently caught between a rock, and a hard place, when editing gadgets. Don't use the option - and the gadget code section, which was to be edited, remained concealed. Use the option - and all gadget code sections were expanded, revealing all gadget code. This frequently left the owner with either no information - or too much information, from which to work. Broken templates, caused by improper template HTML edits, were common.

Blogger Blogs Being Hijacked By The Sociable Gadget

We're seeing a steady stream of reports, from blog owners in Blogger Help Forum: Something Is Broken , from Blogger blog owners, reporting the latest hijacking of their blogs. My blog is being redirected to a search engine display. or My blog has a porn popup attached! These are all blog owners who have installed the latest hack, willingly distributed by Blogger / Google. This appears to be yet one more gadget, intentionally installed by many Blogger blog owners, which is now redirecting unwilling viewers. The redirection target is a website which provides commercial advertisements for various Internet services, which creates a variety of symptoms , as reported in the forums.

Consider, Carefully, The Decision To Use A Third Party Commenting System In Your Blog

Not all Blogger blog owners appreciate the features provided, in Blogger native commenting. Some suggest that third party commenting systems, such as Disqus, provide a superior service. It's possible that, to some, third party commenting systems are more feature rich - but only Blogger native commenting provides one essential feature, in comment moderation.

Blogger Blogs Cannot Be Used As Gateways

We see evidence of confusion, from time to time, in Blogger Help Forum: How Do I? . How do I move an established blog to WordPress (or any other platform), while retaining the history, reader interest, search engine reputation? Some blog owners think blog readers are cattle (to be herded from blog to blog) - or monkeys (to be attracted by shiny things). We've known for some time, that Blogger blogs cannot be used as gateways, with traffic automatically redirected from one blog to another - or from a blog to a non Google website . Use of traffic redirection scripts is a known cause of blogs classified as malware hosts .

Adding Ownership Verification For Your Custom Domain? Examine The Error Display

Sometimes, you have to step outside the box, to complete a Blogger blog task. The task of adding domain ownership verification, to a custom domain purchased using "Buy a domain", is one example of stepping outside the box. I advise people that tweaking DNS settings, in general, is a task best undertaken by someone with "Advanced" experience with Blogger custom domain publishing. Unfortunately, domains purchased using "Buy a domain" are occasionally subject to incomplete setup - and correction of an incomplete setup involves republishing the domain . And republishing the domain requires verification of domain ownership .

Deleted Comments Cannot Be Recovered

Blogger blog owners, who are accustomed to recovering deleted files on a personal computer, will find Blogger Comments to lack useful protection. If you accidentally delete a file on your personal computer, no worry - just look in the Trash Can, find the file in question, and recover the file. Just do this before you empty the Trash Can. Comments, published on our blogs, cannot be recovered once deleted. I deleted a comment - but now realise that I acted in haste. How do I recover the comment that I deleted? To this person, there is no useful answer.

Forwarding A Domain Requires Experience

I constantly advise Blogger blog owners to avoid forwarding, when setting up custom domain publishing . In the rare cases where forwarding is actually required , not every blog owner reports success. My blog now displays a non Google search page! or worse My blog now displays 404 Not Found What did I do wrong?? Depending upon what setup work was done by the blog / domain owner, and what effort is required by the registrar, one may expect to see, quite predictably, either of the above errors.

The Task Of Forwarding A Domain Requires Experience, Persistence, And Research

I constantly advise Blogger blog owners to avoid forwarding, when setting up custom domain publishing . In the rare cases where forwarding is actually required , not every blog owner reports success. My blog now displays a non Google search page! or worse My blog now displays 404 Not Found What did I do wrong?? Depending upon what setup work was done by the blog / domain owner, and what effort is required by the registrar, one may expect to see, quite predictably, either of the above errors.

The LightBox Image Display Option Stopped Working, Recently

Last week, the popular display option, Lightbox, used for showing full size images in Blogger blogs, stopped working. Anxious blog owners reported that full size images are now being displayed in a normal browser window, with the browser back arrow required to return to the blog display - instead of the elegant black background overlay with the mysterious "X" which closes the overlay. The problem appears to affect all images in the blogs affected.