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

Sometimes, a mouse-click on images will enlarge them

Saturday, 24 July 2010

Share Buttons May Need Post Template Re-setting

Yesterday, I wrote about the problem I was having to display the new Share Buttons. I discussed this problem with Nitecruzr, and he suggested that it might be a Post Template Corruption. He was correct.

That's no big deal - it often happens when Blogger programmers don't think about the changes they are making. They make changes, add something, and make something else worse. The answer is a simple tweaking of the Post Template - to update it.

The following steps are as best as I can provide, to show how to do this. One question which will undoubtedly be asked is -

'Why do I copy, and then remove a piece of code, only to replace it?'

The reason is that you need to remove the piece of code, and replace it, in order to force the 'updating' of the Post Template. Of course, copying it first is sensible. Here's how ...

Step 1. - Navigate to the Edit HTML screen

Step 2. - Make a copy of your template - (need I tell you why? I don't think so)

Step 3. - Find the following piece of code - copy it, and delete it, then 'Save' the template changes

Step 4. - You will be asked to confirm the deletion - do so.

Step 5. - Replace the piece of code which you copied IN EXACTLY THE SAME PLACE, and 'Save'.

Step 6. - Navigate to the Page Elements screen.

Step 7. - Re-configure the Blog Post widget and select 'Share Buttons' - then 'Save'.

Step 8. - Make another copy of your blog template

Step 9. - Clear the Browser cache, restart the Browser, and reload the blog.

Happy blogging!


Friday, 23 July 2010

Blogger Share Buttons

I love to add Blogger options to my blog post page. I always try their new things, here, on this blog, or on a test blog (normally). Sometimes, I like them so much I add them permanently to the blog. Sometimes, I don't. Then, again, sometimes, I have NO CHOICE! The damn things won't work - not always, anyway.

Blogger recently released the Share Buttons, which you are supposed to add to your blog, via the Design screen - Edit Post configuration. Simple enough. That's what I did - 100 times, or thereabouts. It didn't matter what I did, the buttons would not show on my post. Why? Well, I do not know - all I can do is accept that it may be a result of post template corruption, which is what was suggested by Nitecruzr.

We tested this on a fresh, new blog, and it worked...

The problem appears to be non-existent on New Blogs, but appears on 'older' Layouts > New Designer template blogs. Those that have been upgraded. All my current blogs were Layouts blogs before I upgraded them to the New Designer Templates. Now, although the script for the Share Buttons appears in my templates, the icons do NOT appear of my posts! I can't figure that one.

So, it appears that Nitecruzr has thought about this overnight, and come up with ... see < HERE >
It requires a very simple tweaking of the template, as described < HERE >.

Follow ALL the steps he suggests, clear the browser cache, and then 'add' the Share Buttons option to your Blog Posts configuration - again.


Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Friday, 9 July 2010

Settings - Your 'in-flight' Control Panel

I don't visit the Help Forum as much as I used to. I got a little bit peeved with what seemed, at the time, to be the same old questions, ad nauseam. It appeared to me that bloggers found it a lot easier to ask a question of someone else, rather than search for an answer themselves, or to think.

I know, from memory, that starting out in the world of Blogger, or even, for that matter, using a computer, can be mind-boggling and even shattering to the confidence levels. That's normal in any new field, I think, but there are a few tips to help alleviate problems. I was lucky. I found a friend who was prepared to help me - but he always tested me by pointing me in the right direction to find out the answers for myself, to help myself, to evaluate situations with the available information at hand. He also got me into the Help Forum and showed me how to research, and learn. His guidance was extremely beneficial to me.

Other people have the same problems as you do, and their questions have, generally, been asked and answered before, at another time, by someone else. Finding those answers can be tricky, but searching Blogger Help will bring those answers to light. Also, learning about your blog, from your blog, will, too.

Don't get me wrong, bloggers of experience still ask questions, as do most novice bloggers I know of. It's a way of learning, but they try to find the answers first. Experienced bloggers still have confidence challenges, too. I'm sure everyone does, to some degree.

Blogger, itself, gives you everything you'll need, to create, 'run', and maintain your blog. They give you:

One of the above areas that I have spent a lot of time looking at, is the blog Settings. There are so many options available to you there. Questions can be answered there. Problems solved. Become familiar with your Settings, and you'll feel so much more confident. To employ a poor analogy, it's your 'in-flight Control Panel'.

For example, here's a question from the Help Forum, which should never have been asked:

The answer to this question lies in the Settings - Comments. If you don't want to allow people to comment on your blog, don't give them the opportunity - hide the function - Option 1 on the Settings - Comments screen.

You can also allow, or hide the Comments function, from the Design Screen - Configure Blog Post (Edit) option. You can also allow, or hide, comments for a particular post when you edit that post, see: - Post Options.

Here's another example of a question asked, when knowledge of Settings, would have averted it:

Here's a question from the Forum which could have been self-answered by looking in Blogger Help - Team Blogs. By becoming aware of what information is available, and where to find it:

Learning about your blog starts with YOU. Trust me, you'll save a lot of time - and worry - and boost your confidence, when you do.


Thursday, 8 July 2010

Stats - Blogger's New Feature

For many readers, and bloggers, the news of Blogger's new feature, STATS, is 'old news'. That's because many bloggers have a Blogger in Draft newsfeed and keep up to date, or, they use Blogger in Draft as their default platform/Dashboard, and have noticed the new Tab.

Many bloggers will also be very happy to see this (long-overdue)feature, is now available to them. Blogger has come up with a very useful tool, which, for some, will replace the need to add a Counter into a gadget, and clutter-up their sidebars, or footers. However, it's entirely subjective as to what individuals like. Personally, I will still use Statcounter and Sitemeter in conjunction with these new 'real-time' Stats.

The STATS provide up-to-date, or 'real-time' statistics for your blog traffic. Everything from a general overview of visitors and where they came from, to which pages they viewed, and which Browser they employed to find your blog. Now, some bloggers will ask why it's necessary to know those things, and I hope to cover some of the reasons, in this post.

When you click on the Stats Tab, Blogger takes you to the Overview screen, where you can access ALL of the current and past Stats for your blog's traffic - Now, Last Day, Last Week, Last Month and All Time. Naturally, as this feature was only been introduced in May, statistics prior to then, are not included.
Click on any image to enlarge it ...

The above Overview screen also provides links to 'more' information, such as Posts, Traffic Sources, and Audience. These can be clicked on to open, individually, on a separate screen.

OK, so why do I need to know all that stuff?

There are many reasons why this information is important to most bloggers. For instance, where are the majority of my readers coming from? This tells me where my blog is getting read, and where it isn't. Then, I can perhaps tailor my posts, or keywords/sitemaps, to open a larger viewing audience.

Why would I want to know which Browser someone uses? Well, as you can see in the above image, 62% of my readers use Internet Explorer, and 18% use Firefox, so it's essential that my blog is viewable in both of those Browsers. How do I know if it is? It's a good habit to view your own blog in a few different Browsers, as they can vary in main-page width, for example. If your blog doesn't load properly in all Browsers, people will not view it!

Why do I care which Posts my Readers read? Apart from the obvious, it's essential if you wish to maintain, or increase Traffic to your blog - give people what they want to read! This allows you to tailor your posts to requested topics.

Why would I want to know how someone came to my blog? The reason for this is manifold. Other bloggers will use links to your blog, to interest their readers, or support points they are making. Other sites drive traffic to your blog by doing this. It also notifies you of sources of interest so you can, once again, tailor your blog to readers' wants.

The new Stats feature provides all this information in a very useful way. It's fast, apparently accurate, and presented in a readable, and readily understandable, manner. Good one, Blogger.


Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Transferring Ownership of a blog

Many bloggers ask:

"How do I change the account that operates my blog?" Or,
"I want to transfer the blog to another account." Or,
"I started the blog with this email, and want to change it to another email account." etc

All these situations are, basically, the same... they refer to transferring Ownership of a blog.

Nothing could be easier than transferring Ownership of a blog - it's just time consuming and requires attention. BUT - make sure you do it correctly!

Blogger refers to this process under their 'Team Blogs - How do I move a blog between accounts?' section of Blogger Help, in - Team Blogs, Authors, and Readers

Let's say you have a blog, and the owner is ABC@whatever email account. In a nutshell, say you want to transfer the blog from ABC@whatever email account, to DEF@ whatever email account. Transferring the Ownership of the blog can be listed in steps: (It's easier if you open two Browser sessions - one in each of two different Browsers! Open one session with ABC@ email, and one with DEF@ email.)

  • Open the Settings - Permissions screen of the blog, with ABC@ email, and send an Invitation to DEF@ ...etc, to join the blog.
  • Go to the other Browser session for DEF@ email account and 'accept' the Invitation - using that account's name and password. (You maybe asked to create an account, during this stage, if you haven't already.) You will notice that a Dashboard appears, with 'limited' access options. This is normal - and a Dashboard for 'Author' access.
  • Go back to the blog's 'Settings - Permissions' screen, (ABC@ email), and when you Refresh it <F5>, you'll see that DEF@... etc, is now listed as an 'Author'.
  • Click on where it says "grant admin privileges", and make DEF@... etc, into an 'Admin' for the blog.
  • Then, and only then, go to Blogger using the DEF@... etc account (or, Refresh <F5> the session you are already using on the other Browser). You'll see a Dashboard with the blog listed. You'll notice it has changed. It should have FULL options listed. Check that you have FULL access to all components of the blog.
  • If you then click on 'Settings", from the new Dashboard, then 'Permissions', you will see both email accounts listed as 'Admin' of the blog, and at the far right, the word 'remove' next to each.
  • If you click on 'remove' next to ABC@ ... etc, then DEF@... etc, will become the sole owner of the blog.
  • You will also notice, that there is NO 'Remove' next to the sole 'Admin' of the blog - DEF@ email account! That's so you can't remove yourself!

The blog Ownership is now transferred from ABC@whatever, to DEF@whatever. Simple as, but confusing. Take it - one step at a time!

Unfortunately, this is the only way to do it.


Following - How to STOP - from the Navbar Option

Back in September, last year, I posted on How to Stop Following. Then, in May, this year, I wrote Following - Why Can't I Stop?

Well, today, I had to ask myself that very question - why can't I stop? I tried all the steps which worked before (otherwise I would not have written it up). Guess what? They didn't work! Frustrating.

So, what did I do? Well, I started at the very beginning - I started to Follow a blog. I went through the steps required - both from clicking on Follower gadget, adding a URL, and clicking on the Navbar Follow option. This was very time consuming. Then, I tried to STOP. Only the Navbar option gave me success. Even 'Manage' wouldn't help me. I was signed-in to Blogger, too! (Ha Ha - There's a catch in itself! You should be signed-in to Blogger AND Follower / Friend Connect!)

Notice on this next image, that I started to Follow my own blog, Pauper's Plate. It's highlighted in the Reading List.

I clicked on the link to the Blog itself, and then clicked on the Follow option in the Navbar...

This next image shows what options I got ...
  • You already follow Pauper's Plate
  • Stop Following
  • Cancel

I clicked on Stop Following ...

Now, Pauper's Plate has vanished from my Reading List. I have successfully stopped Following that blog.

I still do NOT know why Blogger has changed this, but obviously, they have. Too many people have reported NOT being able to stop, for something not to have been changed by Blogger. It is also very important to use the correct Profile! Which one are you using?

Do you use the same Profile all the time?

Hope this helps.