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Monday, September 29, 2008

Watch the Robot!



Last night, I decided to meld two of my Blogs, which have similar, if not the same, theme and personality. I was instantly reminded of the Beatles' song; "I should've known better", or whatever it was.

One blog - (117 Posts), another - (88 Posts). There were a couple of 'double-up posts' so, all up, I was exporting (on Blogger in Draft, naturally), about 212 Posts.

Now, having been caught a long time ago, by the SPAM Robot, for posting in excess of 50 posts in a 24 hrs period, I decided to discuss this with a friend. We decided that, as it was an Export/Import, there should be NO worries, but to test it anyway. I did test it, and found NO problem.

OK, using Blogger in Draft, I proceeded to Export the XML File for my blog. No problems. I Imported the XML File to another blog - NO Problems. I then went through each of the 'Imported' posts on Import blog Post Editor, and Published the lot - 112 Posts - NO problem. Not even a hiccough ...

- until this morning...





Now, I have some questions:

  • Why would the new Feature, Import/Export, not entertain the idea of an Import having more than 50 posts?
  • Why would it wait until the job was well and truly finished, (over 8 hrs - at least, I was asleep by then), before adding a Word Verification Captcha to my Post Editor - on Both Blogs?
  • Why the hell, when you are logged-in to both of YOUR Blogs, would the Robot even think you are Spamming yourself? For crying out loud!
  • OK, they'll remove it after 24 hours. So, why put it on to begin with?

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Comments - How do you delete them?



One question which often pops-up, is how do I delete a comment I left on someone's Blog? Or, I deleted a comment I left on someone's Blog, but it's still showing.


Deleting a comment is simply a matter of navigating to the blog where you left the comment, clicking on Comments and selecting the comment you left ...





You click on the little Garbage / Trash can, and this screen appears...


Then you click on Delete Comment, the comment is deleted...



BUT, indication that there was comment still remains, and is only removable by the Blog Owner ... as you can see in the next image, there's 2 comments indicated, but only 1 showing, though the actual comment is not viewable ...




To remove that comment indication, the blog Owner has to delete the Comment - permanently!




Leaving only one comment, as preferred.


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Languages - How do I post in another Language?



How do I either post in a Foreign Language, or insert some Foreign Language text, in my posts?

The answer is simply twofold - either ...



Here's some of what I have typed, so far, into Japanese, Chinese and Russian - with Images.

Here goes:

Japanese

" どのように私はどちらかの外国語、ポストか、またはいくつかの外国語テキストを挿入すると、私の記事は?
その答えは単純に2倍です -

  • 言語の翻訳オプション - ちょうどあなたのブログへの翻訳を追加すると、お友達や読者のために!
  • の言語ツールです。



Chinese (Traditional)


我如何可以發布在外語,或插入一些外國語言文字,在我的帖子?
答案很簡單兩方面 -

  • 語言翻譯選項 - 只需添加翻譯到您的博客,你的朋友和讀者!
  • 谷歌語言工具。


Russian

Как я либо должность на иностранном языке, или вставить иностранного языка текста, в своих сообщениях?
Ответ прост раза --

  • Язык Переводчик вариант - добавить переводчика в своем блоге, за ваши друзья и читатели!
  • Инструменты Google для языка

(*Bear in mind that sometimes, the translations may vary from dialect to dialect. If you have a better translation, please suggest it to Google.)


You enter the text in English, or whatever language you speak, select the from and to languages, then click translate. Then all you have to do is copy and paste to either your email, blog, or wherever. It's surprising how much you can type in and get translated, in one go, as well.

I've done some large emails to my friend in Japan, and she can read it, understand it, and thinks I speak and write Japanese! hahaha - One day, I will tell her the truth - before I get caught-out!

So, if you have a yen to send an email, or publish a post in some foreign tongue, or even translate something you see, then Google Language Tools/translator is a pretty good place to start.

Just one thing to mind - sometimes you may need to check the copied translation for Formatting. The Google Language Tool may add some of it's own syntax.

Also, there are over 60 'on the fly' languages available on my Translator Bar Option, at present, but I'm sure that more interfaces will become available soon.


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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Following - Summary of Blog Title Character Tests



...continuing on from: Testing - Following with Chinese Characters


The addition of gratuitous characters in your blog Title, such as (Shift \) giving (|) and, now recently alerted to by Known Issues, the (Quotation Marks) - ( " "), will cause you problems with the new Gadget, Follower.

My guess is that, as we've known for a long time with a URL, certain characters are just NOT acceptable, nor, it appears, are they in certain other places, either. My mate, suggests these 'concatenations' etc, provide the Follower gadget URL with unacceptable hexadecimal representations for the Server.

See: The Real Blogger Status


So, tests I have made, subsequent to an inquiry thread in Blogger Help Group, indicate:

  • I first thought it may have been the actual Chinese characters, and made my suggested work-around.
  • Addition of Language characters, such as Chinese lettering, or French accents, is OK, when wanting to use Follower for a blog. No problem 400 Error (Bad request) message appears.
  • The addition of (|, or, as it appears, the quotation marks (" "), will cause the 400 message.
  • I noticed over six months ago, that the addition of quotation marks in the Title description for my Linkslists, was stopping them from displaying. I would say these problems are connected to the overall character situation. During testing, I found these characters did NOT cause any problem... ? * < and >


As well as the Shift \ - (|), I also forced a 400 Error with this character ... ( ^ ) ... but could not with the Quotation Marks ( " " )?


This problem of the 400 Error won't go away, but it's good to know some reasons for it!


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Monday, September 22, 2008

Testing - Following with Chinese characters



...continued from: Following - A Language Hitch?


This test for adding Follower is for a blog with a mixture of English and Chinese (Traditional) characters in the Title.

I am trying to re-create a 400 series (Bad Request) code Error, or a 404 (Not Found) code Error, which a blogger, Jane, was inquiring about, on Blogger Help Group. Jane's blog Title was:

"Reddie's Page | 鸿屋"

Starting this Test with the Blog Language set to English, the Profile Language set to English, and the Blog Title set to:

"My Follow Testing Blog - 我的測試博客 "

Following loaded - with no problems.



Then I started to wonder why...



Then my brain finally tweaked to it.

In Jane's Blog Title, she had her English characters and her Chinese characters, separated by a "concatenation" ( Shift \) which produces an "|".



To test what I was thinking, I substituted this concatenation for the hyphen in my Blog Title, and guess what? That's correct - a 400 Error - Bad Request! (Eureka)


When I switched it back to the hyphen, I could Follow this blog without the 400 Error!



The reason I tweaked to the concatenation, was that I tried to save the URL of my new Testing Blog, and Post, to my Notepad, which I do for all blogs and Posts - and got this...



Apparently, Blogger Known Issues is reporting a similar problem for some readers, when trying to Follow blogs which have quotation marks in their Titles ... (Sept. 23.)

Next Post - Summary of Events.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Following - A Language hitch?



As I found out just recently, in order to use Follower successfully on your blog, your Language Setting on Settings - Formatting, must be set to English.

What happens, then, if part of your Header contains a non-English character?


For instance,

Roberto's Blog - 罗伯托的 Blog


Well, the chances are that, as soon as you try to Follow, you'll get a 400 Error (Bad Request) message, as Jane found out on her blog, recently. However, was it caused by the Chinese characters?


Originally, we thought there was a problem, with the non-English characters causing the hitch (400 Error), because the Feed recognises the blog Title - and for Follower to work, it has to be in English. So, what could we suggest?

A simple answer would have been to eliminate the characters of the other language. Right? Well, yes and no. Jane liked her Header/blog Title - in her case, it was "Reddie's Page | 鸿屋".

The remedy suggested at the time was, that if Jane would, perhaps, cancel the characters on her actual blog Header, and construct an Image of her Header, containing the characters, via say, MS Paint, she could have both Follower and her Fancy Characters. eg:




The reason? The Feed would see the normal blog Title, and Jane's readers would see her Header Image.

In the next example, underneath this Header Image, is the real blog title - Testing 4.


So, now, I used one of my Blogger Accounts to Follow my Testing 4 Blog...









Everything seemed to be OK - then ... see the following update

UPDATE: 23rd Sept. - see: Latest Test on this problem


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Following - Anonymously



One feature of the Follower/Friend Connect gadget, is the ability to Follow Privately, or Anonymously.

This allows you to subscribe to a Feed from, and Follow a blog, without the blog Owner knowing - for whatever reason, I don't know, but still, there it is.

OK, you see a blog you'd like to Follow, so you click on Follow this Blog, or you Add the URL of the blog - and, as long as that blog has Feeds enabled, you can Follow it. You click and get this screen ...




You see that you have two options:-
  • Follow Publicly
  • Follow Privately (anonymously)


You pick Follow Privately.


Anonymous Following doesn't show anywhere, except on YOUR blog Dashboard/Reading List.


You can Follow some blogs, Publicly, and some Anonymously. If you want to change your status on a particular Blog, from Anonymous to Public, just click on Manage and select Public.

If you wish to cancel your subscription to that Blog, you can click the little garbage/trash can.



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Block a Follower



What if you have someone Following your blog, and you don't want them to?

Well, you BLOCK them ... BUT - if your blog is set to Public, you can't stop that Blocked blogger from anything other than appearing in your list of Public Followers. You can't stop him/her from Viewing your blog, Commenting on your blog (unless you have Comment Moderation enabled), or Subscribing to your blog.

*n.b: ...and YOU can't Block an Anonymous Follower!

If you set your Blog to Private, Following won't work, because Feeds do not work on Private Blogs!

So, you don't want someone 'Following' your Blog - publicly, simply click on Manage that Follower ...




On your Dashboard ...




The next screen then appears, where you can check that you are Blocking the correct Follower, then click BLOCK ...


This screen will then appear ...



If you then wish to check which Followers have been Blocked from your Followers Gadget, click Manage again, then select ...




If you realise you blocked someone you didn't want to, then click UNBLOCK. - Easy!


Remember: You have to be logged-in to Follower gadget, with the ID of an Administrator of that blog! If not, you won't be able to Block.


Blocking a Follower - Updated April 2010


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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Use your Profile



Your Blogger Profile has some very interesting characteristics. It's not just a page displaying information about you, to interested readers. It is a very useful, and important, service tool - for YOU!

Many times, bloggers ask; "How do I find other blogs with similar interests, or likes, to me?"

The answer lies right in front of them - their Blogger Profile.

Completed sensibly, it's a great Tool. Click on View Profile from your Dashboard, and you see your Profile, like this ...






All sections, which you have faithfully completed with your information, appear as underlined links. They are clickable! Click them!

For instance, I entered that I like Tom Clancy books. If I clicked on that 'link', all other blogs, with references to Tom Clancy, would be displayed. What does that give me? Well, a whole lot of other bloggers with similar interest - either saying they like Tom Clancy, too, or maybe articles on the author, or whatever.



What if I wanted to see how many bloggers there were in my home town? Easy ...



So, your Profile isn't just for displaying who you are. It's a great tool for you to use, too!


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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Photo Rotating and Editing



I use three software programs for editing my photos/images before I upload them to my Blog Posts.

The first is Irfanview, the second and third, are MS Paint, and MS Picture Manager - which are generally located on your computer, in MS Office (if you have it).

  • If I want to leave a photo, as is, but just put a border around it, or add a caption, or background, I use MS Paint. Quick and easy.
  • If I want to lop it, crop it, or chop it - reduce it in size, or compress it, I use MS Picture Manager, although there are lots of programs which will do it.
  • If I want to custom-rotate it, or decrease the pixelation, I use Irfanview. There are lots of other features on this program, too!

The reason I use Irfanview is because it has a Custom 'fine' rotation, and a variable 'Decrease Paint Depth', for compressing. Plus, it has many other features I may want, from time to time. It's one of the few really good programs of any sort, which is also FREE. For example:

To rotate an image, say 30% to the right... Original + border




Original opened in Irfanview - (I've added a Black Background, too. I could have done that in MS Paint, too, but chose Irfanview, this time.)





Custom 'fine' Rotation selected





Selection made





Finished 'Rotated', Image





Why a rotated image would be needed, is up to the individual blogger. How, is now easy.

Get to know these products.


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