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Showing posts from May, 2015

Followers Gadget Opens Followers Inside An IFrame

The Followers gadget was recently changed - and not for the better . Find the Followers (aka "Google Friend Connect") gadget, on this blog. Look for "Follow Me" near the top of the sidebar. Click on any icon in the community display - or click on on the community "pop out" window icon at the top right of the gadget. See how it now opens all Followers content, where the gadget is located?

Scheduled Posts - The Challenge Continues

One Blogger feature, that is occasionally mentioned in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue , is the issue of scheduling post publication. Setting up a scheduled post is extremely simple - and that may be part of the problem. Before you publish a post, you give the post a published date / time that occurs in the future. The post date / time becomes the scheduled posting date / time. And there is where one possible problem, with scheduled posts, may start. Long ago, when scheduled posts were first introduced, the wizard for setting the date and time was rather simple. Since this is a new post, I can look under "Post settings", to the right, and see the "Schedule" option. If I expand "Schedule", I can see the selected default of "Automatic". If I select "Set date and time", the fun begins.

Blogger, Windows LiveWriter, And Similar Products

This week, we have a multitude of complaints about Windows LiveWriter, and similar third party editors, unable to login to Blogger. Blog owners who use LiveWriter, and similar third party products, to compose and publish posts, have reported authentication problems. I have used Windows Live Writer, to publish to my blog, for years. I now cannot publish, and the message I get is that the ID and password are not correct.

Non English Language Blogs, And Abuse Review

With Blogger blogs becoming more popular in countries where English is not the native language, we've seen a lot of blogs classified as spam - both righteously, and spuriously. Most spam reviews, originally, involved blogs with commercial spam - excessive advertisements, with little subject content. As the focus of spam classification shifted to blogs with content, we've been seeing more non commercial classifications - large blogs with unfocused subjects, and content scraped or syndicated. Combining the two trends - more blogs in non English languages, and spam classifications which focus on non commercial content, we see blogs which require more people to review. And the people required need familiarity with the languages, and the subjects, of the blogs which need review.

Put The Post Title Before The Blog Title

Some blog owners want to have the titles of the posts easier to spot, in search hit lists. The solution, to them, is to have the post titles appear before the blog titles, in the template header. If you want your blog to have the post title in front of the blog title, this is a simple enough change. It's best to make this change only affect display of individual pages (when indexed), and posts . Other search hit list entries, such as archive, label, and main page displays, should show the default blog page title - and not confuse the potential readers with irrelevant detail, in the search hit list entries.

Google Identifies Referer Spam, By Observing Trends

I've discussed referer spam before, and its visibility in Stats logs produced by newer, less popular blogs . There is always the odd mature and popular blog, also showing referer spam in its Stats logs. Mature and popular blogs, published by experienced blog owners, may still be subject to referer spam. Referer spam attacks blogs of all age and popularity levels. Experienced blog owners will learn to recognise referer spam - and typically, when they identify it, they learn to ignore it.

"Your Content Is Forever" Has Limitations

Many blog owners would like to retrieve deleted blogs - or contents of deleted blogs - or contents of live blogs, deleted. Some folks just deleted their blog, and immediately realised a mistake. Others deleted a blog, long ago. Some had their blog, deleted by Blogger - and just want the content back, so they can "start over". Some may delete a post, and realise that mistake. Others make a mistake with content, and find Blogger deleted the blog. And some get a new job, graduate from school, get a new ISP - and realise, too late, that they forgot to update their Blogger account to use the new email address for account recovery.

Publish A Language Related Blog Cluster

As Blogger blogs become more popular outside the U.S.A., we see various blog owners who are multi-lingual - and who want to publish simultaneously, in multiple languages. We see the question, occasionally in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger . How do I publish my blog in English, French, and Spanish - and keep a good relationship with my readers, the search engines, and the anti spam bots? This is not difficult to do - just publish a well balanced and linked blog cluster, with the "hreflang" tag defining the related blogs, to the search engines.

Private Blog Conversion Happens At Once

Some blog owners consider changing their blog, to private membership - but have a problem with managing the membership volume, during the conversion. How can I populate my membership list, with email addresses, before making the blog private? This is a question seen occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger - and it's a question that can't be answered. You can only add members, to a private blog. A public blog allows access to all - and has no member list.

Recovering A Blog, That Should Be Corporate Property

Occasionally, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger . we'll see yet another question about account recovery - but with a twist. I am trying to recover control of our old Blogger account, that became useless when a former employee left the company, taking the login information with him. Here we have an officer of a corporation, who is left holding the bag - because his management did not exercise proper control of a former employee. Unfortunately, Blogger accounts and blogs are legally the property of the employee who has (or had) control - and who left the company, while retaining control.

Blogger Sucks - They Can Delete My Blog, At Will

We see signs of anxiety and confusion, every week, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger , about blog control by Blogger. Recently I've heard that you guys can shut down my blog at any time. I was wondering if this is true, And yes, it's true. Blogger can - and will - delete a blog for righteous cause . The reality is that thousands of blogs are shut down, each day. 99.99% of the blogs shut down are published by spammers - and Blogger shuts them down, so genuine blogs can remain visible.

Occasionally, People Do Read Our Blogs

Real people live in various countries all over the world. Every country has Internet service - and people who surf the Internet. Some read this blog - and maybe your blog, too, My blog pageviews today increased from 150 to 1530 !! And almost all the visits were from Canada. Please Help Me! Why would you dread Canadian readers, eh? Knowing that your blog may host readers, in a worldwide community, would you fear traffic from unknown countries?

Blogger Blogs, And Social Networking Popups

Among blog accessories that are not going to get you good reputation, I can't think of very many more obnoxious than the FaceBook "Like my blog, before you read it!" demand. Currently popular with some WordPress blogs, this is yet another blog accessory that will eventually get the blog deleted, as a possible malware host . Useful Blogger blog readers look for blogs with informative, interesting, and unique content. Hiding a blog behind a "Like my blog!" demand, to help you boost FaceBook popularity before the blog can be read, will not get you useful readers.

Make Post Dates Relevant To Historical Blogs

Occasionally, we see a request from somebody who wants to publish a blog with historically significant dates, which precede Blogger compatible dates. In one case, we see a request in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger , about writing a blog, as "published" in the 1960s. I'm doing a History project, and I'm blogging as if I was in the 1960's. I was excited to see that I could change that date - but soon realized that it won't let me go back further than 1970. Unfortunately, blog dates will go back no farther than 1970.

Blogger Gives You A Second Chance - If You Act

As Blogger fine tunes their abuse and spam classifiers, we're seeing chronic abusers admitting their mistakes, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger . My Blogger account was just deleted! Recently, we received a message from Blogger, advising that one of our articles has been deleted because of copyright issues. We were further advised that if we re published, Blogger would have consider it as an act of rebellion against Blogger's policy. In most cases, this would represent a non repentant abuser, righteously deleted.

Each Internet Service Maintains Their Own Accounts

Occasionally, we see a cry of anguish, about account recovery, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . I need to publish my blog, but I forgot the password. I can access my WordPress account though - and my photo - -on my WordPress blog - clearly is me. Can I speak to a real person, so I can get my Blogger blog back? Here, we have a blog owner, who does not understand the relationship between Google, and non Google, services. Different companies, which use the Internet, and / or provide services which let people use the Internet, have their own standards for account maintenance and recovery.

Renamed Blogs, And Google+ Comments

As Google+ hosted comments become more common in our blogs, we see more questions about blogs recently renamed, and disappearing comments. Blogs renamed (and URLs changed) from BlogSpot to BlogSpot, from BlogSpot to a custom domain, and from custom domain to custom domain - all become concerns, with blogs that use Google+ hosted comments. This starts with the difference between Blogger, and Google+, hosted comments - and how they reference the host blog. Blogger hosted comments link to the blog - but Google+ hosted comments (aka Google+ stream posts) link to the URL. Any time you change the URL of your blog , you will lose Google+ hosted comments - from your blog. The Google+ stream posts, however, are still out there - and they still link back to your blog.

Navbar Based Blog Search, And Custom Domain Blogs

As Blogger Engineering continues to upgrade Blogger code so our blogs will support SSL (aka "HTTPS" protocol), they are having to update many blog components, at the same time. Sometimes, they upgrade a component - and the upgrade has a more extensive effect than they hoped. Right now, the navbar search gadget is broken - for blogs published to custom domains.

"hreflang", And Language / Region Based Blog Sets

If you publish a set of blogs in multiple languages, or customised for different geographical regions, you may have concerns about search engine reputation, and / or spurious spam classification. Blog sets which are legitimately replicated, for either different languages or geographical regions, have been known to be caught in the infamous Blogger spam trap . And blogs which contain duplicated content can be a problem, both in Blogger and in Google Search. Google provides a tag, which lets you indicate, to Blogger and to the search engines, blogs that are members of a legitimate blog set.

Google Domains Support, And "code CONFLICT"

As domains registered by Google Domains become more popular, we're seeing more problem reports, referencing broken domains, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . If I try to load my blog, I get the error An error occurred (code CONFLICT). Please try again. I bought my domain through Google Domains. We're enjoying the personal support options provided by Google Domains - online chat, email, and voice chat. It appears that Google Domains now provides a domain reset procedure, that may resolve the "code CONFLICT" error, on a domain by domain basis.

The Mail-to-Blogger "Secret" Word Is An Address

Some blog owners use Mail-to-Blogger, for publishing to their blogs, without considering the issues. Some owners can't get Mail-to-Blogger to work. I get Delivery to the following recipient failed permanently: or I don't get any error - and the post never shows up in my Posts list. Other owners have no problems getting theirs to work, and later find posts that they didn't send - and don't appreciate . Where did all of the spam come from? Using Mail-to-Blogger seems simple - but maybe should not be treated so. The Mail-to-Blogger email address, at Settings - Mobile and email, is a major part of the challenge , in this case.

When You Comment, You Need To Be Identified

We're seeing questions about commenting, and identification, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . Why do I have to click on 3 pictures of steak, to post a comment? This blog reader is not enjoying the new CAPTCHA - and has a problem with using it, repeatedly. When you comment, you now have to identify yourself as a person - not a robotic process (aka "autobot" or "bot"). For most of us, this is not an issue. We login to Blogger (or Google) once a day, and we're done. The "once a day" solution does not work, for everybody.

Block Specific Dynamic Views, Using Custom Redirects

One odd question, that has intrigued me for a while, is about dynamic templates, and reader choice. We see the occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger . How do I prevent my readers from viewing my blog, using an unacceptable dynamic view? This blog owner is overlooking one of the major advantages to dynamic templates.

Legacy Accounts Are No Longer Supported

We periodically have reports of problems, recovering account / blog access, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . Some problem reports come from people who graduated from school, got a new ISP, new job, ... and can't recover access because their email address is changed . Some problem reports come from people who can't recover access because they gave someone else control - or ability to seize control - and their blogs are no longer theirs . And some problem reports come from people who have old Blogger accounts, setup before Google integrated Blogger into their account structure - and who never bothered to convert their old ("Legacy") Blogger accounts into modern, Google accounts.

Your Content Is Your Content - Except When It's Not

We see an occasional question, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger , about content protection. How do I prevent other blog and website authors from stealing my posts? This is a question that has plagued authors, for centuries. It's not new, in online life. Before the Internet, most authors would simply register a copyright, using their governmental registration. The USA, for instance, has " Copyright.Gov ", which is now part of the US Library of Congress. Many other countries have their own registration services.

A Redirected Home Page Lacks Dynamic Sizing

One feature of the Blogger home page, enjoyed by some blog owners, is the ability to explicitly set maximum main page size, for the blog when displayed. We see an occasional complaint, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue . I redirected my home page, using a label search - but the display is now way too long! How do I shorten my custom main page? This blog owner is probably a little disappointed, to discover one tiny limitation, in main page setting. The "Show at most" setting, in Settings - "Posts and comments" - mirrored by "Number of posts on main page", in "Configure Blog Posts" - lets you set an explicit maximum page size. That setting only applies to the native main page URL - and some blog owners like to customise the main page, using a label search redirect.