Links



The images above, are actual Image Links, and are click-able. Use them to navigate to the sites indicated!

Saturday, 30 December 2006

How to move around a Blog!



In the parlance of bloggers, when we talk about moving around a blog, we say, navigate. So, bear with me, as I will use that term from now on.

If you are unfamiliar with blogs, and someone has sent you an address (URL) for their Blog, don't panic. There's usually nothing you can do to upset-the-apple-cart. There's nothing you can do to wreck the blog. So, relax.

The blog URL (Uniform Resource Locator), usually looks similar to this:


It will be in lower-case letters and/or numbers. Click on it! Sometimes, you may have to copy that URL into your Browser's address bar and click <Enter>

When the computer navigates to that address, the blog will appear. These blogs are scrollable, so, you can use the scroll-bar at the side to go up and down, or you can navigate around the blog by using the 'links'.

Links are special highlighted connections to either, other sites within the same blog, or another site/Blog, where the author of the Blog wishes you to see extra information. These links normally look like an ordinary word, or phrase, which has a (URL) embedded in it - making the words a different colour. If you point at it, or hover your mouse over it, the character of those letters will change, sometimes with an under-lining, indicating that they provide a link somewhere.

Not all text of a different colour is a link, either. Some authors, like yours truly, use colour for stress. The coloured text may also be a 'pop-up' information, or 'mouse-over'. Confusing? Yes, I know. There are only TWO active links on this post-page. See if you can find them.


OK. So, you've navigated to the Main Page or a pre-selected page of someone's blog. This will depend on what the URL has suggested. Normally, the NEWEST posts on that Blog, will be where we call, 'at-the-top'. Most MAIN PAGESwill have a certain amount of Posts on them. Sometimes it may be as little as one. Scroll down while reading, to the end of that article/post and then, the next older post should appear.

If you navigated to a specific post, then click on the HEADER of the blog, to go to the MAIN PAGE. sometimes, as with Roberto's Blogs, I have included a little TOP at the end of each of my Posts. If you click on this, then you will be brought back to the STARTof the post.


In the body of the Blog, the main posts are displayed. These are what attracts most people to a Blog. There is also a Sidebar, or columns to the side of the Main part, with additional functions. These may be ADVERTISEMENTS, a lists of LINKS, an INDEX, or ARCHIVES, or STATISTICS, or whatever. Generally, you can click on these as well. To come back to the Blog page you just navigated away from, click the green arrow in the top left-hand corner of your screen, once, or twice, etc, or click where the screen you are on says to.

With Sidebar LINKS, such as my Hidden-Linkslists, click on one of the Boxes, and the list will appear. Click on one of those listed links to navigate to it. Then click on the little HOME icon at the bottom of the page, or the title of the Blog, or, the green arrow, to navigate back.

If you see a photograph on a blog, sometimes you can click on it to make it larger. You will be taken to a separate screen for this purpose. Click return, or close that window, to navigate back.

You can also send an email copy of this particular Post-page by clicking on the little 'envelope' at the bottom of this page. You can also find more Posts on a particular topic, by clicking on the labels menus in the Sidebar.

Sometimes, a blog will let you leave a comment - by clicking on that option below. Most times, you would have to be the 'owner' of a blog, or a Registered Account holder, before you can do that, because of the threat of Spam. A lot of Blogs have Guestbooks which you can leave your comments in, as well. It largely depends on the choices of the owner.

So, navigating around blogs is relatively easy, when you have some experience. Give it a go. Don't be frightened. You can't do any damage by looking.

You may be logged ON - to see my blog, but not logged IN - to my blog.


TOP

Monday, 25 December 2006

Next Blog - get rid of it!



Just for a quick look, something to do, I clicked NEXT BLOG on my NavBar...
Talk about a shock! What a good reason to ditch it, or Block it! I'm not a prude, but give me a break. I don't need that!

I got taken to a Blog, which had a title, Piss Off - and, the blogger had no Navbar to take me further, either. One click - one blog - one lousy, rude, blog. Now, one seriously anti-Next Blog Blogger - Bob!

I received a comment from another Blogger the other day about this very problem - which I agree with wholeheartedly. Ironically, it was on an article I wrote about removing the Navbar, which I do NOT agree with.

Blogger -

- You really do have to get rid of the NEXT BLOG feature from our Navbar!
... as though I could do it, with the wave of my wizard's wand?


TOP

Saturday, 23 December 2006

Blogger ! You are joking!



I really can't believe what I have just read, today. One fellow blogger, has been waiting over 16 hours for his Blog - with 2000+ posts on it, to be Migrated.

When you click on the URL concerned, you get this...






This is another prime example of the need to kick Blogger. Bloody Blogger people are having LEAVE? HOLIDAYS? - For FIVE DAYS? You're JOKING, JORDAN! You are the only person who helps. Buzzer is learning to be of assistance, too, and I thank her, him, too. BUT, aren't there too many problems at the moment, on the coal-face? Just how long do people have to wait? How long does Migrating a Blog take? Where IS the communication improvement you promised all those months (Fri. Oct. 13th) ago?

I quote...
Thanks for your thoughts, Chuck. Communication is something we know is important and are working to increase.

What about all the people who will not be having a good, blogging Christmas? How the hell, can you take a break? I could imagine all the troops in Iraq saying; - 'Oh, well, General, it's been a busy year, so we are having a break! Tell Bushy, will you? Back in five (5) days'.

I hope all your friends, who have Migration problems, don't lob around to your house, and chop down your Chrissy-Tree!


TOP

Thursday, 21 December 2006

Making Your Own Profile



If you are unhappy with a Blogger Profile, or want a separate Profile for each blog you have, you can make one of your own! It's easy.

As I have done here, just create your page, back-date it in Post Options to a previous date, so that the post page will not show on your main page, and add the details you wish. If you don't want it like that, copy the html to a html/javascript gadget. Copying the html to a gadget, is probably the best way to achieve what you want, but it is good to have choice.

This is a link to my real Blogger Profile < Click here > - for comparison, and below is one I just made up, which I could use. All I would have to do is add the blog post URL for the post, to a Text gadget, and position it in my blog sidebar (see sidebar). (All the links have been copied from my real Profile).

Self-made Profile








CONTACT

My Web Page

Roberto

About Me

I've been (fully) retired since 2000. I've travelled a fair bit, and lived for a while in Bali, and 6 years in Thailand. I like cooking, reading, blogging, watching sports on TV, and playing my guitars. I love my family times.

Interests

Favorite Movies

Favorite Music

Favorite Books

My Blogs

Team Members

Reflections
Roberto's Blogs Dot Net
the Report Chuck Chuck
Recipes

TOP

Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Excuses, Reasons and Descriptions



There are some beauties ...

  • I accidentally tried to edit the template!
  • My problem is easy to fix (I hope)
  • Help! Blog Went Haywire.
  • Recovering an accidentally deleted a blog. Blogger employee, please help!
  • Can't remember username, URL, or e-mail ...
  • Help - Deleted Blog?
  • How to complain to Google for breach of copyright in Blogger?
  • I'm new. What do I do?
  • Locked myself out and lost the key.

Thank goodness for someone who knows how to correctly address their problem...

  • I really don't have a clue as to what I am doing, but...

Don't forget to look at Blogger Help - first!


TOP

Tuesday, 19 December 2006

A Work-around... a.k.a. 'Run-around'.



If you want to go to Sydney, Australia, (no, it's not in Europe, as many people think - that's Austria!), you can go via London. If London is full of fog, you might try Honolulu. But, then again, maybe Seoul, and then straight down South to...

Typical? I think so. How many work-arounds will Blogger come up with for Comments? They have been giving excuses, and work-arounds, for longer than I have been aware of Blogger - six months. When they first borked my oldest blog, Roberto's Retreat, back in August, or so, they were having problems with Comments.

HAS ANYTHING REALLY CHANGED? Despite all the assurances of Gatsby, and the likes of Buzzer and Jordan? I don't think so.

Just imagine the fun Bloggers are going to have in a week, or so, with the Christmas push for Migration! I believe Chuck has hit the nail on the head, too, with his understanding of the situation. Be prepared to wait for a little while. Don't be in a hurry to Migrate your account at this time.


TOP

Friday, 15 December 2006

A Question of Privacy.



There are two sections of a Blog Profile, which have the word REQUIRED next to them:-

  • Username
  • Display Name


Only the Display Name will be published.






Your Username (an email address) will appear on YOUR screen, or, on your NavBar, because YOU are logged-in. This tells you which Log-in name you are using - NO-ONE ELSE CAN SEE IT!

There is a check-box (above image) which asks you; Show My Email Address? - Leave it blank!

The Display Name is what you want it to be. It's what goes on each of your Posts! It's changeable, too! You do not have to put your REAL name on this section. You have a choice! There are check-boxes next to most entries on the Profile Page. You choose!

Entries with nothing next to them, as per First Name, Last Name, are NOT REQUIRED. Leave them blank if you want to!

You do not have to have a Profile, either, but you have to have a Display Name and Username.

Only the Display Name will be made public!


Personal Privacy and Security is of paramount importance to Blogger, so READ the information!


TOP

Monday, 4 December 2006

What is the 'Flag Blog' Button?




I think we are all aware, that the 'Flag Blog' button, has been re-installed on the NavBar of Blogger-Beta Blogs. This, then, begs a couple of million questions. Well, at least a half-a-dozen, or so.

What is the 'Flag Blog' button?


The Flag Blog button is a way for viewers to let Blogger know, if they find anything about the content of a Blog, to be either offensive, objectionable, vulgar, spam, or, generally, in breach of the Terms of Service. Under section four (4) of the Terms of Service, entitled, 'Member Conduct', you can read all the things you agree NOT to do, with, or on, your Blog.


What is it's purpose?

This button allows readers to warn Blogger, so that, other readers may not be offended. As Blogger has millions of customers, it is impossible to oversee, or observe, the content of each one. So, it relies on readers, such as you, to alert them. Of course, if you make a mistake, or change your mind, you can un-flag a Blog by re-clicking on the same Button. This begs a question, too. If there is a possibility that you may change your mind, why 'Flag' the Blog in the first place. Remember, it could happen to you! As Blogger itself says; "One person's vulgarity is another person's poetry"!

What happens if my Blog is Flagged by some angry person?

Well, the 'system' prevents a person's Blog from being 'unlisted' just because of the actions of 'an angry mob', or, one upset reader. Blogger will monitor the amount of 'Flag' calls, or seriousness of the situation, and use that information to assess what action is required. Some people tell me that, if you don't upset someone, you are not doing a good job. Well, dubious as that may be, I would not like to offend anyone, so I try my hardest. Other people may not be as courteous or thoughtful of others, as you or me, so, do not temper their content. If you find it offensive - 'Flag it!'. Remember, if it is offensive to you, it may be a child who sees it next!


Who can 'Flag' my Blog?

Anyone who reads the Blog has the right to 'Flag' it as objectionable. Of course, Blogger placed it right next to the 'Next Blog' button, so it may be easy to click the wrong one, and 'Flag' someone's Blog unintentionally. Only Blogger could do that. If you accidentally 'Flag' your own Blog, just 'unflag' it again by clicking on the button again.

What happens to my Blog if it is Flagged?

As mentioned earlier, Blogger observes how many times a Blog is 'flagged', and then assesses what action to take. This 'action' may be anything from 'quashing' the 'flag', to 'unlisting' the Blog, to 'deletion' for more serious 'spamming' related abuse, or, illegal activities. See:, section nine (9) of the T.O.S - TERMINATION.

'Unlisting' a Blog means it will not be viewable, or promoted, on Blogger. It will only be accessible through the 'Web'. You will, no doubt, remember that section of the Settings - Basic menu, called Add your Blog to our Listings?. Well, in this case, you don't get the choice, Blogger does.


What's an example of 'objectionable' material?

Objectionable material can be anything from pornography, racism and bigotry, to political opinion. It may be an article on religion which incites a hatred of people practicing, or following, that religion. It may be the schematics for designing a bomb. One person's attitude is not the same as another's.

You have to maintain a certain level of awareness when you are blogging. Many people are under the mis-apprehension that they can write anything in their Blogs. Well, that maybe true, on a Private Blog, but, not on a Public one! So, be careful.


This could also relate to objectionable content in Comments posted to your Blog. Keep Comments Clean, by Moderating them.


TOP

Friday, 1 December 2006

Delete your Blog? No way, José




I find it difficult to imagine a situation, dire enough, to make someone want to delete their Blog - with all the information available these days, suggesting they do not! In fact, there's many, many bloggers - each week, looking for help, to restore a deleted blog!


Some people even delete their Google Accounts. Now, that's a definite no-no! Be careful. Your blogs are attached to your account!

Blogger doesn't have a way for Users to delete their own Blogger accounts fully, so follow these instructions. Also, as The Real Blogger Status has posted, be careful if you do delete a Blog account, as all associated Blogs with that account, will do "the Disso"!


If you really have your heart set on deleting your Blog, then see this article first.


The simplest way for me to put my suggestion is : DON'T DELETE YOUR BLOG! But, I know all situations are not as you would desire, and deletion, sometimes, may be necessary. So...

  • Remove all photos, personal details, and delete all the posts - easy.
  • Delete all the Personal Information on your Profile - easy.
  • Copy, and then Delete all your Links-Lists. Then...
  • Make a 'stub-post' ... saying something like, 'This Blog is a 'stub-blog' only', and publish it, as a message to any readers.
  • If all your information is removed, then there's no relation to you. Is there? But, by doing this 'stub-blog', you are depriving the bloody SPAMMERS of one less, established, Blog URL. Then just forget it. Maybe in a few years, you'll change your mind and want to start up again. If you have done a lot of work on that Blog, deleted it, and many people have the URL - thinking it's your Blog, it would not be nice for them to surf to it one day, and find PORN!
  • Last, but by no means least, after thinking and doing all the rest, if you have to delete a Blog, go to 'Settings' - Basic Screen. At the very top of that menu screen is a Delete option. Two clicks and it's gone! You can, however, Restore it if under 90 days since deletion. Maybe, you can after that, but it's up to chance - and Blogger!


TOP

Thursday, 30 November 2006

Security is great, if...




There are constant, sophisticated, and sly, efforts going on - right at this moment - to steal your computer - and, through your computer, hopefully, get to other people's computers, like mine, too!

So, your security precautions are great - IF - you :-

  • Keep them Up-to-Date
  • Use them regularly - once a day, maybe
  • Know how to interpret the results
  • Recognise possible problem areas
  • Have the correct defence


...the list goes on, and on, and on. So, how do I keep abreast of what's happening out there? I do not have the time to just sit at my computer looking up hundreds of sites for Security Information! I want to do some things, like blog, check my email, surf the web, watch a video, play games, or listen to the latest music.

Well, that's totally understandable. Most people do, too. I do, however, check one site - EVERY DAY. This is a good one!


I know that if there is anything which could possibly be of great concern to me, Chuck will have it posted in PChuck's (the 'P' stands for Paranoid) Network. That's his job. He is an Information Technologist, with a bent for Security. I know many of you may say; "Why Chuck? There are many sites out there for info." That may be very true, but, I TRUST CHUCK! So, can you.

For instance, I was reading an article about Video's this morning, and then linked here, and there, to come across another article, which prompted me to think about the ways bugs, trojans, viruses etc, get into my computer. I immediately went to PChuck's Network to look anything up, and there it was - an Article on Fake Codecs.

By the way, Microsoft - does NOT send - updates via Email!

How many people will blindly make Security blunders, through ignorance? Help yourselves to Chuck's brain!

A good starting place is keeping your Passwords STRONG, and changed regularly .

TOP

Wednesday, 29 November 2006

Checking your Connectivity



I thoroughly recommend, a regular, daily visit, to PChuck's Network. I also recommend, highly, a daily visit to your PingPlotter. Oh? Not heard of it?

Pingplotter has saved me going completely nuts, many times. Chuck got me onto it some time ago. PingPlotter is a Diagnostic Network Troubleshooting Tool. Don't however, confuse this with the Ping Command.

I have it open on the bottom toolbar, and whenever I see a slowness on my program, I quickly check to see if I have lost connection, or packet size is decreasing, or many number of things associated with my ISP - generally, before they know!

For instance, I can check how many Router Hops there are between Nakhon Si Thammarat, in the south of Thailand, where I live, and wherever I eventually get connected to the Internet - generally, Bangkok - 1000 miles north. I can graph the performance of a particular section of the route my connection takes. I can then get this information reviewed by an expert. I can then use that information to assist me in getting help, or backing up my case for Service to the connection. It's wonderful. Try it.


TOP

Still having problems. It's ongoing.



Blogger is in their final phase of the Migration. Many Classic Accounts have been moved over, and many bloggers are happy, unhappy, stunned, blasé, and suffering from many other emotions. That's only natural.

The thing that amazes me most, is that, nothing much seems to be getting fixed! I still see many questions relating to Publishing - in general. I still see many questions about:

  • Photo Uploading,
  • Posting,
  • Blog Access Problems,
  • 3rd Party,
  • Comments,
  • Feeds,
  • Blogthis,
  • Browser problems.
  • Why?


When answering a concerned blogger's question about Remember Me, in Google Groups today, 29th November, I went immediately to Blogger Beta Known Issues and searched for it. I found an update on that issue, dated in SEPTEMBER! Nothing since!

Here it is...

- The "Remember Me" login option will not work correctly in Internet Explorer 6.0., or 7! The best workaround is to simply use Firefox. However, if you prefer IE, you can add google.com to the list of allowed sites under Internet Options> Privacy.


and also...

- The "Flag for Review" button is missing from the navbar on beta Blog*Spot blogs. .


Everyone should know that the 'Flag' button has been on the Beta Navbar for about two weeks, now.

So, I can add lack of Communication, to the above list of continued problems. Oh, sorry, sorry! It's Thanksgiving! Oh, yeah, I forgot. Jordan and everyone are probably on Holidays! Not a care in the world, eh?

This also leads me on to another of my pet hates. Do you think a company, say Bell Telephone, has non-paid Helpers like Blogger does, to answer customer problems? I know we don't pay for this service, but other Companies do, through their advertising, and Google/Blogger makes a bloody fortune!

Why, then, have they only got one, or two Blogger Employees scanning the Help forum?
Occasionally, at that!

TOP

Saturday, 11 November 2006

Phishing ALERT



PHISHING ALERT - MYSPACE ACCOUNTS


Hello Readers!

As you know, I read Chuck's blogs. he's an Information Technology expert, and Internet Security Professional, from California. Chuck let me know today, that there is a MAJOR PHISHING scam, currently happening, with myspace accounts. Please read this following article;

MySpace? Stay Away.


Please take precautions, as recommended... and don't think it stops there, either.

How would you like to be a Job Seeker? It's high-time for all of us to wise up, folks. These baddies want your - everything!

p.s. Dec. 2006...

Also, have a read of this article regarding Instant Messengers. It's getting so you can't trust anything.


Maybe consider Sandboxing your Browser. Maybe use a Proxy Server when 'surfing' the Web?

TOP

Change your Password(s) - Regularly!



With all the Spammers, Hackers, Trojans, Bots, Identity Thieves, Phishers, out there, these days, it is a wise precaution, to Change your Password - regularly.


Make it a 'strong' password!

Make is a 'Good' password!


Have a look at this User Guide - Choosing Good Passwords - a User Guide - from M-Tech - Identity Management Solutions.


It was only a month, or so, ago, that there was a scare on Yahoo.com.


In light of that Phishing attack on the myspace site, hundreds of thousands of site owners are now at risk. I hope some of them read this article; My Space? Stay Away!


You can NOT be too careful, in today's environment. That includes your email account, too. Do you think I am joking? Read this article about the supposed, Internet Explorer 7 Support.


Take it seriously, folks. This is NOT a drill. It's a warning!


TOP

Sunday, 5 November 2006

Have The Chooks Come Home to Roost?



I mentioned some time ago, in my Migration series, how Blogger would probably need to add staff to their force in order to complete the Migration - because they would be a little bit busier.

Well, it seems, as you well know by now, that Blogger is getting ready to move the last 10%, although they may not call it that, I am pretty close to the mark, I think. It has been reported several times, now, by Blogger Employee, that ALL Blogger Accounts will be Migrated within a couple of months!

Well, is this the first of many? Or another under-estimation of the situation?


What amazes me most, is the level of problems doesn't seem to be diminishing? In fact, some of the old ones are re-surfacing - in spades! The biggest problem still appears to be communication - the lack of it!


What I truly wonder is, with all their existing problems, and low Public Image, how many more Helpers will become Blogger Buzzers? Or, Buzzards? I am very sure they will not just pick anybody to help them, though, Blogger do make some very strange decisions.

My bet is they won't add many, if any, staff to the Help Forum - maybe one, or two - at most! Why should they? They have 10, or so, poor 'helpers' (Blog*Stars) like me, who spend hours trying to help other bloggers with problems. Cheap staff, eh?

It will be a very interesting time over the next 'few' months!


TOP

Monday, 16 October 2006

It's NOT your Fault! Is it?



Where does the blame for lack of education rest? Should Blogger have done something to better advertise their new product? Describe how it works? Give a brief summary of what to look for? Create a dummies shopping list? Hold lessons at the local Church Hall? (A bit silly, but you know what I mean. Eh?)

I think so. I have been around for 55 years, in many different walks of life. I know human nature fairly well, and I can safely say, that people do not look at manuals (until something breaks down), and then, if it's easier to ask a question, rather than go looking, they will. People do not want to be inconvenienced. Self-Service only happens in a Supermarket, and the toilet - depending where you shop, can you tell the difference?

Now, having said that, and alienated all the people of the world, let me say this. I don't blame people in this case! I blame BLOGGER!

If I buy a Rolls Royce, they'll teach me how to operate it. If I buy a Boeing 747, they'll teach me how to fly it. If I buy a fancy Television set, they'll teach me how to operate it! Not, BLOGGER! No. You want to know what Blogger does? I'll tell you. They get you to join-up, fill all the necessaries in - then create your Blog - and send you to the POST Screen! Not even to the SETTINGS screens, which is where the 'real' set-up is!

How many times are we going to see questions in Google Groups, like this one:

"Beta is good. I have to admit but the template is way too complicated. The classic view is much easier to add a link. But where do I find the place where you put new links. If I switch into classic view, all my old settings are back even though I click on view blog. I have a lot more of links to add to my blogspot. Please help if you know. I would really appreciate your help and time for this request"... - The owner of this question, hasn't even looked at Page Elements before attacking the Template, then writes in complaining that; "Beta is good. I have .... but complicated".

Why would you NOT investigate the new Blog, have a look at all the 'bells and whistles', see what makes it different to a Classic Blog, before trying to change the template? Why?

... or this one:

" - Hey there! I can't use the stat counter in the new template, I had no choice but to revert back to the old one: This is copied from the forum and is my exact issue: When I want to install the StatCounter code in the new Blogger (blogger.com) template, I get the following message: Your template could not be parsed as it is not well-formed. Please make sure all XML elements are closed properly. XML error message: The reference to entity "java" must end with the ';' delimiter."

Same problem. Didn't familiarise with Beta before trying to add html code into the Template, instead of a Page Element.

This one, re: the simple task of 'Removing a Page Element'...

"I am trying to remove ad sense from my blog and the codes they say I should use are not on my template are their different codes for Blogger beta? Help!!!"


Look at this beauty...


" - Do the "tool" icons appear on my blog? After I started editing my links the Screwdriver and Wrench began appearing and I can't seem to get rid of it".


Folks! These are questions from Bloggers who should have had some training in what Blogger Beta is all about - what to look for Features! Why should they have had to ask these questions anyway?


Here's some advice that should come freely from Blogger...


For goodness sake, if you ARE going to muck around with your template - BACK IT UP FIRST!

If you get angry, DO NOT DELETE YOUR BLOG!


The cruncher at the moment, though, is about the impending Migration...

" - Hey...this frightens me! It's taken me ages to finally get my blogs the way I want them...and it's all been very exhausting and difficult. How can I be forced to move to something new? Not just me, but many others who are new to this and worked very hard to finally get things the way they want them. I save my template each time I make changes. Does this mean I can simply copy/paste it into whatever the template is for the new Blogger Beta and it will work exactly the same, even though I have made all kinds of changes and additions? Could someone who understands take a look at my blogs and tell me what to expect? I am really, really nervous about this, and this is the first I hear of it.... Thanks for any advice and reassurance you can give me in this ..."


Why should a Blogger, who has worked very hard to make a Blog look nice, have fears that it will all come crashing down, when, in fact, it very-well may not have the slightest problem? Why can't we get some answers from Blogger? Why is it up to people like me to try and get some action? I hope my articles on Migration do make people sit up and take notice of the disgustingly poor state of Blogger Communication.

Of course, there will be problems. Blogger itself has stated that. My questions are all related to when, how, why and what. People ask me, ...When is it going to happen? How are they going to move 'BIG' Blogs, with the present level of problems? Why, haven't they contacted us and told us anything? What happens to a giant Blog if all the links disappear, or the indentations disappear, or the...?

Is it Communication?

Are we lacking communication here? I think so. At present, how much information has come down the line from Blogger, as to what is happening with Migration of accounts to Beta? How much communication from Blogger, do you find to your questions in Google Groups?

OK, if you know a little, yes, maybe you could find it. The problem for me, when I first joined the Blogging scene, ten months ago, was, I could hardly turn the computer on, let alone understand terminology. I still have to ask what something means! I know how to research, though. I know how to look for information, myself.


So, don't worry. Just relax. Blogger Beta is NOT Blogger Classic. It's different! Take some time to look around your Blog. Learn the different screens and what they are for - before tackling the template, or something like that! Wow!


TOP

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Is Blogger Ready to Migrate the Last 10?



Do you think Blogger is ready to Migrate the bulk $$$ of their Classic herd, let alone the final 10% to Blogger Beta? I don't!

If this next bit of information is anything to go on, they are thinking of it! These people can't row a dinghy, yet are thinking of launching the Queen Mary! Get out of the way! Man the bilge-pumps! Stow the lollies! Hide the kids! If this doesn't go as planned, the Queen Mary just might become another Titanic!


This gratuitous piece of platitudinous garbage, started me thinking. That's why I started the first part of this story. There is nothing I hate more, than hypocrites. I've seen a million or more Sunday Christians. I seen a million, or more, good parents, who spend most nights at the Hotel, or Race Track or Casino, while the children are at home by themselves - or, outside in the car! Hypocrites - every one.

Anyone who professes to like something, or do something, when they bloody-well don't like it, or do it, is a hypocrite! Blogger Support is, sometimes, like that.


If you read the first line of the above, you'll see what I mean; "Thanks for your thoughts, Chuck. Communication is something we know is important and are working to increase. (They won't have to work hard to increase it - it's been nearly non-existent!) If you've been the victim of Blogger Support, then you'll see what a hypocritical statement that is. The first part may be a heart-felt thank you, but the latter part is definitely NOT!

That started me thinking about all the threads in the Google Groups, where everyday Bloggers 'air' their grievances or problems, and also, where they expect to get an answer - from Blogger technicians - not just more-experienced Bloggers!

The second sentence states the obvious. "We've been a bit busier than usual since the launch of Blogger in Beta." Of course you have, silly. You weren't anywhere near ready for all the un-manageable problems, were you? Admit it! This, the biggest part, the BULK - of the Migration - the 85% part - was a bit of a handful, eh? Now, you are thinking of Migrating your prized last 10% ???????
Give me a break!

Ever seen the Blogger Status? Does the acronym, BS, fit here, or not?

The last part confirms that Blogger has ideas of NO MORE CLASSIC Blogs. They really intend to try and migrate ALL blogs to Beta, within a 'few' months. I wouldn't count on it, in the light of these problems with just the ordinary-sized Blogs. Can you imagine the size, importance and VALUE, of some Blogs? I can. If they do, it'll be a step-by-step process. They'll nurture and guide bloggers through the change.

Here's as good a list as I can present, of some of the PROBLEMS still recurring and registered, on Google Groups.

Lack of Communication

Problems with Page Elements

Problems with Picasa

Publishing Problems

Sign-in Problems

Uploading Photos Problems

Disappearing Photos

Language Interface - how long now?

Getting a 'Suspected Spam' Blog - Uncertified

Comments on Blogs

Browser Compatibility

No "Flag For Review"

Problems with 'Search Bar' in NavBar

Invitations to 'Team' Blogs

Formatting Issues - Just Cosmetic?

Comments 'Atom Feed'

3rd Party Service Problems

Line Spacing

Block Quotes - Spacing



I really could go on for another page, or so, but take my word for it, there are heaps of problems. Blogger is having enough troubles sorting out - and keeping out, these errors. I think, that with the level of minor, or cosmetic errors, as Blogger sometimes likes to call them, presently hanging around, that Migration of the remaining big accounts, would NOT be advisable, in the next few months.

If I am wrong, and it does go ahead, a lot of Bloggers will be happier, because that means most of the little niggling problems will have gone, too. But, I bet a lot of the 'BIG' boys and Girls, will be really ticked off !


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Saturday, 14 October 2006

Dissecting a Migration



Most things can be bisected, or maybe, trisected, cut into two or three parts. Sometimes you'll hear the terms bifurcated, or trifurcated. But, the really interesting stuff comes when you dissect something. This is where you cut it up, and or analyse, or criticise, all the various parts.

Now, with regards to the continued change in technology, an ever quickening shuffle towards better systems, as we are talking about with Blogger Classic Blogs to Blogger Beta Blogs, we are having a migration, of old technology, to new. There is NOTHING you can do about it, except, of course, to pull out - give up! What good would that do? You'll be on a limited life-span!


So, as I have described before, and has also been discussed by others, like Chuck,

Migration seems to be on everyone's lips, and minds, at the moment - and rightly so! This is a Make it, or Break it for Blogger Beta. If this is bungled by Blogger, the ramifications will be serious, very serious.

Mind you, I am not personally involved with Migration. All of my 12 Blogs are already Beta Blogs. Most are public - a few aren't. So, if the impending Migration of Classic Blogs is bungled by Blogger, the only affects on my Blogs will be from Beta related problems - of which there are presently, many. I won't lose hours, months or years of work - or, at least, I don't envisage doing so. I believe I was in one of the first parts of the Migration when Roberto's Retreat and Balladry were-migrated - (touch wood, Balladry has never had a problem of any significance, other than a photo retaining problem. How long will that good luck last?) So, there are many Bloggers, like Chuck, and others, who have grave concerns about how this Migration will affect their Blogs, and when it will, actually, happen.

Having said that, I point out the fact that it is impossible for a blogger like me, in Thailand, to accurately assess, at which stage Blogger is with their overall Migration - although, I have my suspicions. I have to sit back, look and analyse what information I can glean from what's going on. I know for sure, the Pilot Phase is finished. Possibly, 70 - 80% of the main body of the Migration is under way, too. There's no accurate way for me to get that information. But, I don't think I am too far away. The things I have to look at include two major groups;

1. CAN FIND OUT -
  • the level of related problems.
  • the efficiency by which they are being fixed.
  • the recurrence of those problems.
  • the incorporation of retrofit programs.
  • the increase in awareness by Blogger of these problems.
  • the increased level of TWO-WAY communication.
  • the little snippets of information left behind as teasers, by Blogger Personnel.
  • the information I get from other bloggers.

2. CAN'T FIND OUT -

  • the efficiency of the Migration - time wise.
  • What's Blogger's time frame?
  • the 'split-up' of their entire customer base - how many are already migrated and how many are still to go?
  • the Staffing requirements for doing this.
  • the constraints of available equipment and that effect on the migration.
  • the contractual obligations with 3rd Party providers.
  • how much is at stake if...
  • what's Google's stake in this?
  • What are their requirements?
    ... and many, many more.

The basics of a Migration, as Chuck and I see it, are covered in the Report and RBS.

I would go so far as to say, we are pretty close to the mark on this. I described the Migration as being either, one or two types - Homogeneous or Heterogeneous. Chuck leans towards Heterogeneous, because there are NO two Blogs the same. We are dealing with varying examples, whereas, with an Homogeneous Migration, such as with a species of Bird, we have just the ONE type. The differences are summed up pretty succinctly, in RBS.


So, it isn't easy. But, with some common sense, we can assess fairly well, what's happening, and dissect the Migration. I feel that we are well into the main body. Probably, almost to the end of it. This will leave the significant accounts only. The BIG Classic accounts - the VALUABLE ones. As Blogger Employee, Jordan, says, he expects the Migration of these accounts to be in the next few months. Well, that is probably fanciful imagination at work.

With the current level of problems, and knowing that there will be MORE intricate, unknown, and specialised problems associated with the GIGANTIC Blogs, like PChuck's Network. Now, I am sure there are Blogs bigger than his, too!

I will be detailing as many of the existing and recurrent problems facing Blogger, in my next post on the Report, in "Is Blogger Ready to Migrate the Last 10?" - Coming soon.
Keep watching...


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Friday, 13 October 2006

Max to 99! Migration coming!



Get ready for a Migration - to utter K.A.O.S! Even Max Smart and 99, his ever-faithful, and beautiful side-kick, (and wife), couldn't envisage the scenario to this drama. It would be a very funny show, if we could view it all in one series, too.

To understand the possibility of impending chaos, you have to have read, What Does Migrating Involve?, or a drier version (from my mate, Chuck) Migration To Blogger Beta.

I nearly kacked myself laughing at a reply I read today, from a Blogger employee, in response to an Open Question posed by a concerned blogger (part-copy below). Some of the comments are pointedly sceptical about Blogger's abilities, and then this Blogger Employee's Reply takes the cake...



I don't know exactly how many of you Readers and bloggers, have been prompted to think about this chaotic Migration concern, but I just want to say, in hindsight, that the above snippet from Jordan, runs fairly well along the lines of the scenarios in my 3 articles, "What Does Migrating Involve?" If you look at the above, you can see all the PHASED PILOT ideas for a Migration of the expected proportions of Blogger Classic to Blogger Beta.

The first sentence,... is the platitude. This is aimed at keeping you happy. They are happy with the ONE- WAY street, of US giving THEM feedback! What about the feedback WE require? Communication is a two-way street, Mr. Blogger! Once a month, or longer, update of "Known Issues" doesn't cut it, for me!

The second sentence, "...we look forward to moving everyone over to the new version of Blogger (as you should too!)... " - what a load of BS..."but, before we do this, we want to make sure that it is ready and no one will lose functionality". What functionality? Going on the amount of reported problems in Google Groups - of varying reasons and probable causation, there can't be too much 'functionality' to worry about! Things that are reportedly 'fixed' - break-down again, or still affect half, or more, of the Bloggers. These are some...

  • Why can some Bloggers upload photos and some cannot? - Still a problem.
  • Why do some Bloggers get 'ERROR: 404' and others don't? - Still a problem.
  • Why do some Bloggers still have problems with Comments? - Still a problem.
  • Why do some Bloggers have pages missing? - Still a problem.
  • Why are some Bloggers having Publishing problems? - Still a problem.
  • Why do Beta blogs not work with Google Sitemaps? - Still a problem.

I'm compiling a list, of many of the concerns and problems, faced at present by Bloggers.

The third sentence, "...We're taking the time right now, when only a small percentage of users have moved over to beta, TO IRON OUT ANY KINKS THAT MAY POP UP and prepare it for the rest of our users". Ha! Ha! - this is the cruncher - "...iron out any kinks that may pop up...".

This is the reason for the first and second parts of the Phased Pilot. The 'Testing' phases. Maybe, if this PRESENT part of the Migration, is the 85%, - goodness gracious, and they've only moved a 'small percentage'? Good Grief! They are going to try and move their final 10% - in a few months time? NO-WAY, JOSÉ!


We've been the GUINEA PIGS! We've been the CANNON FODDER. We are the CATTLE! We are finding the way for the rest - the Final 10% - the BIG BOYS - to follow. Glad I am not one of the final group.

Stuff our blogs up and keep our blood pressure rising - as a test? That's keeping us happy, Folks! How would Blogger expect anyone to believe this? Who do they think they are kidding ?

Then she goes on to say, "...Essentially we won't force migration until Blogger in beta is ready, which will probably be in the next few months". This is the part where I lost it, Folks. I've not laughed so much, in ages! I really think it's at least 6 - 12 months, not a few!

Did YOU actually have a choice to migrate? I remember when Roberto's Retreat, my first Classic Blog , was little more than a month old, I signed-in one day, and had a fairly pointed message to convert, because, I had heard that, if I didn't, it may not be offered again, in the foreseeable future. "Get it now while it's hot", so to speak!

Then, comes the pièce de résistance", " ... until Blogger in Beta is ready (to wrap-up), which will probably be in the next few months". Well, if that's what Jordan, and Blogger Support think, they are certifiable. They can't even get this first part of a gigantic Migration done properly! I think it's a pie in the sky! Of course, if it doesn't work, what do these employees lose? It's Mr. Blogger who loses - not money, but face! Chaotic, eh?


The last two paragraphs are just rubbish. To finish off this 'thread-reply' from Blogger Employee, have a look at this example of more BS and platitudinous rubbish. There's only one thing I can find to say, at the moment. "JORDAN! YOU ARE ON DRUGS - and they are NOT working properly!"

Keep watching - I have more coming! The list of concerns - as I see them.


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Thursday, 5 October 2006

What Does Migrating Involve? - Part 3



Scenario Number 3

Continued from Part 2 ...

Folks. This is the serious part. This is where the 'Chaff' and the 'Wheat' are separated. The 'Men' from the 'Boys', so to speak. The last Enchilada. But, they kept hearing a little voice, saying; "Make sure you keep them all happy!"


The final 10% of the herd. Knee-shaking stuff. Everything could come crashing down around Mr. B. Logger's bank account, if the you-know-what hits the you-know-what! Egged-faces could be a dime a dozen if this baby doesn't work!


Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pathetically Poor Performance!

This should be the ethic written on every bunk-house on the Blogger Ranch. An early morning Mantra for the Cowboys. One morning, the Big Boss asks the cowboys; "Are we ready, yet, Boys?" Of course, they say; "Yes, Boss". That's why Mr. B. Logger is the Boss, because he is NOT an idiot. He's even got a new partner for Blogger Ranch!

He knows that the remaining 10% of his herd, is the most valuable. These are the drop-dead ten percent. This is where the money is. These are the breeders of the future. This 10% represents his Grandchildrens' College years - in comfort, and no Dentists' Bills - forever. How does he know all this? Well, Mr. B. Logger secretly thought to himself, "I better not stuff this up! The ten percent had better be a trouble-free migration. These babies are too valuable to lose. If a Wolf, or a Mountain Lion, or even a stray Dingo gets stuck into some of these beauties, I've got big problems".

"OK," he said. "This is what I'll do. I'll do nothing! That's right! Nothing - with this last 10% , until I am sure." Wise choice. The reason being, the 10% would have all the same problems that the 90% had, PLUS, maybe some unique problems that they had not thought of before - magnified by maybe, 50, - because of their sheer size. That's why they were selected in the 10% originally. So, to properly assess this, the 10% would have to be Phase-Piloted, too. Just like the initial 5%. He was going to have to assess the whole 10% and find another 5% group of the prized cattle group, who WANT to try the migration to Blogger Ranch.

This would be his pilot group. He would also have to do EVERYTHING again, that he did with the last group - especially, keeping them happy. He would also have to hope, that he could get extra men, and equipment, to help. This was a valuable migration. So, it all started again - The initial 5% - broken into a 1%, and two 2% groups. Then another 10% group would be selected and drafted from the bulk 95% of the herd.

Now, being a smart fellow, Mr. Logger knows that the success of this entire situation, lies with the contentment of his herd. He is still going to have sheepish cattle, who want to stay in the mountain pastures - or worse, run back half-way through migration. All his cattle must be continually happy about the move. Everything could come to pieces if some of the prized members of the group kick-up a fuss, do-a-flit, take-off, or generally, stuff-it-all- up! Mr. Logger doesn't want egg on HIS face. No sir! So, he has to make sure - doubly sure - that there are no problems with anything along the way, and all his Cowboys are ready, and all his new Extra Staff are on hand, before he'll tackle the remainder in the migration.

Can you imagine what kind of fiasco there would be, and what future Blogger Ranch would have - if the final 10% stampeded and pulled-out? Mmm. Don't forget, he still has to please his new partners, the Giggle Cattle Corp.


So, back to reality, Folks.

Classic Migration to Beta. Pretty good story, eh?

When will it happen? Who knows, but I feel I can assure you now - without any fear of ridicule - it ain't on the cards in the foreseeable future. If it is, they're crazy! There are too many sticky problems at the moment. There are millions of Bloggers in the real herd. Many of which will be considered for the last 10% - which will be interesting to see, won't it?


The Cast ...starring:
  • the everyday blogger, and his/her blog - Cattle
  • the Blogger crew - The Cowboys
  • Blogger (itself) - Mr.B.Logger (a.k.a. John Wayne)
  • Google (itself) - Giggle Cattle Corp
  • The really, really big blogs - worth $$$ - The Final 10%
  • Migration - Itself - The intended move from Classic 'Old' Blogger to Beta 'New' Blogger

Thank you!


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What Does Migrating Involve? - Part 2



Migrating Blogs - SCENARIO NUMBER 2

Having read, Scenario Number 1, you will begin to appreciate the difficulty and preparation which had to have been done by all the Cowboys - and the Cattle Rancher BossMr. B. Logger - in order to achieve any hope of success in this, Scenario Number 2.

Let me set the scene, as this is a little more complex.

OK, same quantity of Cattle. The big difference this time is, that there are Bulls amongst the Cows, and some are a little wild about being disturbed, from their usual, comfortable, mountain-top pasture. They have also grown pretty big horns, during the summer of contentment! Some of the cows have also become special!

Now, being rather cluey, Mr. B. Logger realises he won't find this as easy as scenario number 1. He calls for ideas. Because of the big differences this time, Mr. Logger has named this, the Heterogeneous Migration.

The best idea that was raised, was to try a Pilot percentage, to ascertain possible problems. But first, they would have to convince the cattle to migrate. That would be difficult. Why? Well, because the Cowboys and Mr. B. Logger had NEVER spoken to any of the cattle before, (and still don't), but they expect them to give feedback, and most of the cattle had never heard of Blogger Ranch, and didn't know what to expect. Some cows said they had heard it was supposed to be beta than the classic old ranch, but it wasn't proven so, yet.


Phased Pilot

OK, they settled on this idea, got some of the cattle to agree, and then decided to run a small 1% of the total cattle herd first. This is what they called a Phased Pilot. Assessing problems which arose from the first group, then they would do another group - this time 2% of the total herd - and, even a third @ 2%.
These 'pilots' would account for 5% of the total herd.

OK. Having done the Pilot migration, and having seen some of the problems, like crazy things that only pop-up once in a hundred years, births out-of-season etc, the cowboys decided they knew what was most likely to happen, so they decided their tactics for the remaining 95% of the herd. Now, this is where the work really began. No room here for weaklings who would rather be playing on their local beach. 95% of the herd - worth millions of dollars in revenue to Mr. Logger, had to be moved. So, how to do it?

They would have to assess this very well. This part of the herd, the main part, was where the big, cranky, stubborn, cantankerous, and HORNY sons-of-guns were hiding - Deadly, if riled too much. Difficult to move. Worth everything to Mr. Logger. These were his prized examples of the Bloggerford Breed!

"I think about 10% of the herd will be my prized Bulls and Cows. These we'll take special care of and, maybe, leave until last!"

"Great idea, Boss." "Hooray, Hooray for Mr. Logger." (This was the only time this excitement was heard).

The remaining 85% would have to be assessed, too, so the cowboys got to it. They divided the herd into three (3) parts - after drafting-out the special 10% of the prized stock. These three parts of the herd were classed as:
  • 1) Easy to do.
  • 2) Probably some problems, but still doable.
  • 3) Difficult to move - pains in the saddle.

Now, the cowboys were learning, they were pretty smart by now. They had done a lot of work and had some experience. They were watching carefully and had fixed some of the major problems. They had also scouted out the best route to take , and modified some of the gear they used. They shot many Lions, Wolves and Coyotes, and a few tourist Dingos, and Tigers, too. They also revised and re-modelled some things already learned. This, they called retrofitting. Good word, eh?

So, it wasn't long before they were nearly finished the bulk of the migration. Moving some of each of the three-parts together, they made it through. Lots of things happened and they wrote them all down, too. They hadn't planned that the fences in the corrals would break-down. They hadn't planned that some of the cows wouldn't like the pens they were in , and would want to go back to the mountain pastures. They hadn't planned that some of the cattle would just - disappear from view! They hadn't planned that some of the Bulls would jump the fences - de-railing them. They hadn't planned that some of the cattle would want to leave messages for other cattle- and couldn't! Many, many other little problems of strategic importance in the overall plan, were biting at the heels of the cowboys, as they struggled to migrate the herd.

All these problems are still being sorted out back at Blogger Ranch, by the way! But, the cowboys don't tell the cattle what's going on - in case of a stampede, or something. Don't want to spook them. There's a notice board, of course, but no cows and bulls read that, they just complain in their groups.

They, the Cowboys, would need to fix these problems, and pretty damn quickly, too. They had to help in tackling the last 10% - and those 10%, still had to be assessed themselves! They were still in the mountain pastures, getting fatter and worth more - every day!

But, that's another part of the story. Tune in for SCENARIO NUMBER 3, "The Finale" - Coming soon!


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Wednesday, 4 October 2006

What Does Migrating Involve?



Everyone may think of a different meaning for the word Migration. It may be Birds going south for the winter (Australia is a great place)! It may be Wildebeest and Zebra on their great Migration in Africa. But, probably, most people who enjoy Blogging, would think of the Great Migration to Beta!

Now, I have given it some thought, asked many questions, and have my own opinions, which I may write up at sometime soon. Suffice to say, for this minute, I am thinking in two fields. Cowboys and Cattle. For each field, there is, naturally, a scenario. Good, so far? OK.


Scenario Number 1.

Now, if you'll pardon this analogy, I am thinking of all Bloggers as Cattle. I could have called them Marbles, or Crayons, but Cattle is good - just for this story, I assure you.

In the this scenario, the Bloggers, sorry, Cattle, are all rounded-up together in a vast herd of thousands, millions. They are also, all the one sex - female, all the one breed - Bloggerford, and all belong to the one Cattle Rancher, Mr. B. Logger, Esq. (played by John Wayne).

All the COWBOYS have to do is drive them to the ranch and put them into the various yards. Correct? Correct! Now, the Cowboys are represented by Blogger Support Engineers, and other Staff, - on their annual holidays. The trouble is, that these cowboys haven't been on a Migration , let alone seen some of the challenges of herding thousands of cattle to the pens! So, what do they do? One bright spark says, "Let's do a Test-run with ten, or so, and see what problems there might be." Feasible? Yes, I think so, but is ten cattle a fair example? No, I don't think so.

Another, wiser engineer Cowboy, says; "I think we should look at the herd, in toto! They are all the same, so what problems could there be - apart from maybe a Mountain Lion, a Wolf, or a Coyote along the way? We have ten days to move them all to Mr. Logger's ranch and get them penned up. No worries!

The wisest Cowboy of all, The Chief, Mr. B. Logger, himself, says; "That's a great idea, but why don't we split the herd into five different groups, and drive a certain amount of Cattle each day to the pens. That way, we can keep a better eye on them as they will be in smaller groups! Hooray! Hooray! It's easy to see why he's the Boss, eh?

OK, so by the end of the allotted time, all the Cattle have been moved into the pens, and there were only a few little problems. These were noted and will be remembered for next time, whenever. Pretty easy, eh? I thought so. But, will it be as easy when...


OK, OK. Some of you may be saying; "What about the boy cattle? The Bulls? "Well, I did say this was only Scenario Number 1. Didn't I?" Mr. B. Logger also had his new partners, the Giggle Cattle Corp, to think about.

* I also need to mention, here, that all the above cattle WANTED to be moved into the nice comfortable NEW pens. They mooed in agreement, when it was offered to them! It was referred to, by Mr. B. Logger, as a Homogenous Migration.


Keep watching for the fun part - SCENARIO NUMBER 2, coming soon to a blog, near you!


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Thursday, 28 September 2006

Sidebar dropping lately?



Let me put you in the picture. One day, a long, long time ago, in a land not unlike this one, an old prince of a fellow, named Roberto, thought he was smarter than the average bear, Boo-Boo, and started a couple of Blogs with different emails. His computer wasn't flash, with only a 28.8Kbs dial-up, and Internet Explorer as a Browser.

All went well for the prince, until the ugly, wicked witch of the web, cast her eye on his Blogs and said; "Ha! Here's an idiot I can have some fun with!"

Well, I know a witch when I see one, believe me, I've had two Mothers-in-law! The third one is OK, she lives in Thailand, and I haven't met her!

Now, back to reality...

Many, many times, I have had to scratch my balding pate, trying to figure out why! Why? These Blogs are jinxed, or something! Periodic plunging of my Profile - and Sidebar - in general!

The first thing I did, (which, in reality, was about the hundredth), was to contact a ... FRIEND !

Chuck put me onto a Website, called Webcredible, and an article called "Internet Explorer and CSS issues". Once I read that article, thought about it, and applied some basic 'nous', I managed to fix the problem on one of my Blogs. I edited ALL my posts, reduced the size of photos and text - and Bingo! Dropping sidebar problem - eradicated!

N.B. - Bear this in mind: - Sometimes it isn't the photos, but the sidebar content itself! Sometimes the AdSense ads may be too wide for your template sidebar, eg: Google Search in some templates. This will also cause Sidebar Drop.

Well, I had it licked on all. Not on ONE particular Blog. Why? Why? Why? So, I went back and re-read the article on Browsers etc - DOHH!

It said quite clearly that Browsers have differing qualities when it comes to width. Problem solved.

I changed to Firefox 1.5.0.4, which is slightly wider, and haven't looked back - especially, with Google Search option in the sidebar! That is, until today, when I once again used Internet Explorer to view a Blog. The sidebar had dropped to the bottom! But, now knowing what to look for, I fixed it in a jiffy!

Case solved, and the wicked witch of the web can go back into her little cave in the deep, dark, recesses of my computer - hopefully, forever!


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Tuesday, 26 September 2006

Browser Bungles



I spent a lot of time on my Blogs, today. A little tidy-up here, a new Text-Page Element there, a photo somewhere else. I was having a very industrious and constructive time. Then I had a thought: "How does this look to someone with the Internet Explorer Browser?"

Guess, what? My Blogs looked crappy! Bloody Internet Explorer, with it's narrower allowances, made everyone of my sidebars drop, lines wrap where there should not have been wraps, and fancy Type-Styles disappear. Little photos don't appear - only boxes with red-crosses in them!

If you look at this Blog through Firefox, you see it as I want it. If you use Internet Explorer (and I have IE6), then you won't see the lovely
'Old English' style print in my Text-Page Element. I worked for hours to get it back - nearly right in both Browsers - only to think to myself - WHY?

I am doing TWICE the work here, so someone with a second-rate Browser can view my Blogs. I do this for nothing - I am not making any money out of Blogging ! I never hope to make money. So, why do I care about people with antiquated Browsers? I don't know, either. But, when you consider that over 80% of the world's computer owners, use Internet Explorer, and many of them could visit MY blog, I better make it right!

But, you have to, so grin and bear it. Do the extra work. Everyone has a choice. IE or Firefox, or whatever. "Vive le différence!"

Thank goodness for Firefox!

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Tuesday, 29 August 2006

Uploading Photos? Problems?



I have been a member of quite a few Forums since becoming a Blogger! In nearly every forum, from time to time, I see letters from Bloggers who have problems and concerns re: uploading photos to their Blogs...
  • "I upload, but no photo appears!"
  • "I can't get the photo to Upload without it timing out!"
  • "If I do manage to upload the photo, the Blog doesn't publish it!"

Just typical concerns. Rightly so! We put in enough hours on our Blogs to warrant no additional hassles? Correct?


I believe there is a simple answer to all these concerns, as I have NO problems uploading photos - ever! Ready? OK, here goes ...


REDUCE OR, REDUCE AND COMPRESS YOUR PHOTO, BEFORE YOU TRY TO UPLOAD IT! Simple, eh?

OK, here the gist of it. Your Blog is only so wide (don't worry too much about the 'exacts' here. Trust me. I don't know the exacts for all template designs - but, it is)!

As at the time of writing this post, the Blog Page had a limit - overall - including photos - of 1 Mb, for display purposes! Therefore, your photo has to be within certain guidelines, or it won't be uploaded! If it is uploaded, Blogger, itself, will adjust the size to their parameters. Many Blog sites, won't let you upload a photo if it's outside a certain size range - that's 96 Kbs! Outside that, and it's a NO GO, JOE!

Compressing a copy of your photos won't damage them. Make a folder in, say, My Pictures. Call it what you want. Copy your Blog-able photos to it so you don't compress your originals, then, using either Windows Microsoft Office Picture Manager, or whatever, compress that/those photos to, or a little less than 100 Kbs.

I use the setting - compress to 'document-size'. They usually come out at around 50 Kbs or less, which I think is getting to the right size. Width and Height can also be reduced! This doesn't effect the finished blogged photo - except in size, naturally. It'll still look good on your Blog! Hell, if it is too small, do it all again - decreasing the reduction to say 120 Kbs.

Remember, it's important to select small, medium or large on the Photo Upload wizard, too!

* Have a look at the following site, webcredible, which I was directed to, for another matter - (side-bar dropping). There's so much information there!

I found the article I wanted, which straightened me out. When I learned of the restriction of Blogs, I have never since, had a problem with the side-bar dropping or falling to the bottom of the page, nor have I had problems with photos uploading! Except, naturally, when Blogger Beta has faults.

Try it. It may help you. Size DOES matter! If you want to see this in action, check out this post from the 'future'! See if you can pick which photo is reduced, compressed, or 'au naturel'.


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