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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Series 400 Errors

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Series 400 Errors

Today has been riddled with reports of Series 400 Errors. I have been dicing with 413 all day...



Many bloggers have reported variations of the 400 Error. The effects my blogs may have been duplicated in others, too. My Tabs were mis-placed and skewy, my Sidebar had dropped to below the main post, my Header had disappeared, and the navbar was nowhere to be found...






After considering the situation, I eventually cleared the Browser Sessions. Then cleared the Cache and Cookies. Then, I re-started the Browser and logged-on to Blogger - with NO problems.

This appears to have been a Network Server problem - not a blog-level problem.
Blogger is currently investigating.

see: Clearing Browser Cache

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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Phishing Phroblem?

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Phishing Phroblem ?

Sorry about my sense of humour, with the title to this post, because the subject is not humorous, at all.

Phishing, once again, raises it's ugly head. The Gmail Blog, which I am subscribed to, updated me today, on new security measures they plan, which will help to advise you of possible attacks. These baddies are going to try everything thay can to get you, so I advise you to read this post.

If it makes you aware of what's going on, then it's worth the effort.

Be careful out there, folks!

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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Adding HTML to your blog

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Adding HTML to your blog

In the 'olden days' of blogs, as I am sure some people remember, changes to the blog were made directly on the template. This practice can still be seen in certain circumstances, for certain reasons - BUT - Blogger has changed with the advent of New Blogger, and now New Designer Templates, and so have the reasons, and ways, for 'tweaking' your blog.

I'm sure a lot of the confusion, in many cases, stems from the persistence of Blogger, in maintaining reference to the 'old Classic template', or the even newer 'Layout template' in help guides, and the 'newbies', or new bloggers, are not sufficiently knowledgeable with Blogger, to know. Hopefully, in my humble opinion, one day (soon), all the old-style blogs will be memories, but until then, we have to try to help bloggers sort things out. I would, however, be investigating upgrading my blog(s) if I was using the older style templates. Things are going to change, and possibly very soon, I'd imagine, though, like with most things, there'll be support - for a while! I see no urgency about this, just convenience.


Recently, a blogger was trying to find where, in the blog html (template), to add script for a gadget. In the 'olden days', the script may well have been added to this, or that section of the template, but not any more.


For adding gadgets, eg: counters, or buttons etc, my general rule of thumb is: -


"If it is html, or javascript - add it to an html/javascript gadget!" - That's what they are for!

Similarly, if you want to make changes to the CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)- add it via the Design screen - Template Designer - Advanced - Add CSS feature.


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Monday, June 20, 2011

Copyright - adding a notice to your blog

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Copyright - adding a notice to your blog

Last night, a blogger asked how to add a permanent notice of Copyright to a blog. I had no clue, other than to suggest that it was added to the Post Template, on the Settings - Formatting screen. That would work, and the notice would always be visible on the actual post.

As you can read in the above thread, the blogger states;

"I would like to add a copyright notice which will appear under each blog post (not the blog page footer). I guess that I need to add it into the relevant part of my blog template HTML, but where? I can't seem to find the part in the template code that corresponds to the post footer, i.e. the part with 'posted by', time, labels etc."

I started searching but couldn't find anything. I asked my mate, and he suggested to look in the Attribution Page Element. Duh! "It's moments like these you need Minties!" 1

If you click on the Design screen, you'll see the 'Attribution' Page Element at the very bottom. When you click on 'Edit', you'll see this next image ...



You could add some text, and the Copyright symbol, as I have for this exercise. Then your blog would show it at the bottom, like this -




Another choice you have, is to replace the text in one of the windows of your Blog Post Page Element, with some text. In this following example, I replaced the text "Links to this Post", which, as far as I know, has never worked on any of my blogs...



By doing it that way, the notice of Copyright will appear at the end of ALL - not in the Footer, and not at the bottom of the Main Page.


Maybe, there's a better way, but I'll leave that for the 'techies'. You might also look at the information on Creative Commons.


Reference:
1 see: Minties


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Internal Anchor Links - Simplified

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Internal Anchor Links - Simplified

Links within a blog are extremely useful, if the post is long, and has many different headings, or a variety of subjects discussed, and you want to direct a reader back, or forwards, to a salient point.

Links within a blog are referred to as Internal Anchor Links, and are not that different to External Anchor Links, which I discussed in my previous post.

The biggest difference is that you do NOT need to include the Post URL in your Trigger link.

The ANCHOR

With Internal Anchor Links, an Anchor point can be anywhere which you want to link-back to. The Anchors are 'blind' - you can't see them. For instance, if I wanted to link back to the first word in this post - Links - I would simply make it an Anchor point in one of two ways.

I could use the standard Anchor:
<a name="Links">Links</a>
or ...

I could use the alternative:
<a name="Linkhere1">Links</a>

Note: I have purposefully used Linkhere1, so as not to confuse an already set anchor I have in this blog. You would not need to do that in your blog post. You could, as I have done a few times in different blogs, have multiple Anchors using Linkhere1, Linkhere2, Linkhere3, etc. It's up to you.

n.b. All links are Case-Sensitive. So, if you include Upper-Case letters in your Anchors, you MUST include the same Upper-Case letters in your Trigger, eg: 'Links', not 'links'!

Later in this post, I will set a Trigger point, which will demonstrate how the Anchor works. Watch out for it.


The TRIGGER

The Trigger point, or Trigger Link, for an Internal Anchor Link, as I stated earlier, does NOT have to include the URL of the Anchor. For instance, you would NOT make a trigger for an Internal Anchor Link like this:

<a href="http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net/2011/06/internal-anchor-links-simplified.html">Links</a>

It may well work, I don't remember ever trying it, but it is considered to be 'bad form'.


The correct, and far easier, way to make your Internal Anchor Link Trigger is like this:

<a href="#Links">Links</a>

or, an alternative ...

<a href="#Linkhere1">Links</a>



Internal Anchor Links, as I suggested, are a great way to assist your readers, and to stress points of interest. The Anchor links, themselves, can't been seen, either. They are 'blind' anchors. Can you pick which word is the Anchor?

The hash sign (#) tells the browser that (the Anchor is in THIS post), and where to find it. It takes the place of the URL.

(Hash #) signs are only used with Internal Anchor links !

Have fun!

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Saturday, June 18, 2011

External Anchor Links - Simplified

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
External Anchor Links - Simplified

It isn't always easy to follow instructions in my posts, if some of the terminology is not known, before hand. I guess I am guilty of presumption that a certain level of understanding is present. That's where I can go wrong, and for that, I am sorry.

A perfect example is with Anchor Links. The terminology seems simple enough to me, now, but it wasn't when I started blogging, back in 2005! Of course, I understood what an 'Anchor' was, and what a 'Trigger' was, but not in the frame of reference for Blogging. To make it even more confusing, are the alternatives with Anchors and Triggers - whether, or not, they are for 'Internal Anchor Links' or for 'External Anchor Links'.

In this post, I will try to simplify the case for External Anchor Links. So, what we need to do first, is explain what exactly an External Anchor Link really is. OK?

The W3Schools, states ...
"Definition and Usage

The <a> tag defines an anchor. An anchor can be used in two ways:

To create a link to another document, by using the href attribute
To create a bookmark inside a document, by using the name attribute
The a element is usually referred to as a link or a hyperlink.

The most important attribute of the a element is the href attribute, which indicates the link’s destination."


An External Anchor Link is a link from 'somewhere' else, to a specific point 'within' somewhere else. In Blogging parlance, it is a link from one blog to a 'key word, or phrase, or image' within another blog, or post. Naturally, you can't set an anchor in a blog to which you don't have access.

eg: This is an 'External Anchor Link' to a photo of Tabasco Sauce, which is on my Recipes blog. It looks exactly like an ordinary hyperlink, doesn't it? Well, it is just that, on this blog. It is just a simple trigger point. You pull the trigger by clicking on it. The big difference is in the function of that trigger. It links to a specific 'Anchor Point' on the other blog, namely the image of the Tabasco Sauce, to which I have attached an 'Anchor'.

Here's a perfectly normal hyperlink - As my mentor in things blogging, the Nitecruzr, says;

"Anchor Links are simple. Make an Anchor, and then Link to it!"


The Trigger

So, what does that TRIGGER look like?

The trigger looks like any other hyperlink URL - except in one area. It also contains a specific address for the actual anchor point.


<a href="http://www.recipes.robertosblogs.net/2006/01/condiments-sauces-and-dressings.html#Linkhere13"target="_blank">Tabasco Sauce</a>

  • The trigger point is Tabasco Sauce.
  • The location (URL) of the Anchor point, is http://www.recipes.robertosblogs.net/2006/01/condiments-sauces-and-dressings.html
  • The target is #Linkhere13.
  • The trigger is the URL hyperlinked as : Tabasco Sauce


The Anchor

Now, on the other end of the Anchor Link, is the actual Anchor. It looks like:
<a name="Linkhere13">Plate 13.</a>

This Anchor is a 'blind' anchor (you can't see it, unless you happen to mouse-over it), and it is telling the Trigger Link where to link to...exactly! In this case, instead of the actual image being the Anchor point, which I could have done easily, I used it's location - Plate 13.

Another example would be a fixed Anchor point in nearly all my blogs. If you simply add #Linkhere to any of my blog URLs, the trigger will take you to a small image atop the Main, or Blog Post Page Element, in that blog - not to the Header of the blog.

eg: http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net/#Linkhere - will take you HERE.

Or, if you add it to the end of a post URL, it will take you to HERE.

Note: Don't add a forward slash / after a trigger link, or it will cancel-out the Anchor.
eg: http://www.recipes.robertosblogs.net/#Linkhere/ - will take you HERE

ie: The Top of the front page of the blog. See the difference?



Anchor Links are really as simple as that, folks! Make an Anchor point, and Link to it! They are great fun, and can be of great help to you and your readers.


See also: The Real Blogger Status blog post - "Putting Anchors, and HTML, in Your Posts"



My next post on Anchor Links will be on 'Internal Anchor Links'.

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Thursday, June 16, 2011

Blogger Buzz: Blog This!

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Blogger Buzz: Blog This !

Blogger Buzz has just announced a new extension for Google Chrome. It's called Blog This - an 'old' name, re-used. The idea is great, however, and of course, I raced to try it out. The next section of this post is what I highlighted on the Blogger Buzz post, and then clicked on my newly installed Chrome extension - Blog This favicon, now in my Browser's Toolbar.





Blogger Buzz: Blog This!:
"June 15, 2011
Blog This!
Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager

One of the things I often hear is how challenging it can be to generate ideas for topics to write about. This may be especially true for popular blogs when you feel as though your followers are eagerly awaiting your next post. Sitting down and staring at your computer with the hope of feeling inspired can result in disappointment. 

On my blog for example, I have a mix of posts that were authored be me, and articles that I've discovered elsewhere that I think may be of interest to others. Like many of you, there are times when I have things that I’m eager to write about, and other times when I just want to share something." 1


Of course, that is NOT how it looked when first posted. This is ...


Blogger Buzz: Blog This!: "June 15, 2011
Blog This!
Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager

One of the things I often hear is how challenging it can be to generate ideas for topics to write about. This may be especially true for popular blogs when you feel as though your followers are eagerly awaiting your next post. Sitting down and staring at your computer with the hope of feeling inspired can result in disappointment. 

On my blog for example, I have a mix of posts that were authored be me, and articles that I've discovered elsewhere that I think may be of interest to others. Like many of you, there are times when I have things that I’m eager to write about, and other times when I just want to share something."

I had to use Blockquote to get it the way I wanted it to look. I will also add a super-scripted reference to Blogger Buzz, too, as I like to give due credit, when I use another person's work.


The extension is easy enough to acquire and install in your Chrome Browser, and comes directly from Chrome Web Store, as follows:






"Once you add the BlogThis! button to your browser toolbar, blogging will be a snap (or rather, a click). Click the button to open Blogger in a new application window. The new post is pre-populated with a link to the web page you're on, as well as any text you've highlighted on that page. Edit the post to your liking and post it instantly to your blog!" 2


To get the section of the Blogger Buzz post I wanted to use, I highlighted it, then clicked the little 'BlogThis!' favicon ...





Of course, there are always things to 'watch-out' for. Here's one important feature I discovered, so far ...

Make sure you select the Blog you want to post to ... that can be done before posting on the pop-up display - I slipped-up on my first attempt, and downloaded it to the wrong blog. Easy enough fixed, though, by deleting the Draft post and doing it again - correctly.



I think this is a great feature, and can see the use for it. It does save a lot of time, and if you do the credits properly, you should be OK as far as use is concerned.


Note: You may wish to enable the "Show Links Field" in Settings - Formatting, if you want your Post title to become a permalink to the source.


References:
1 Blogger Buzz: Blog This! - Posted by Bruce Polderman, Product Manager

2 Blog This! by Google - Chrome Web Store



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Deleting Your Google Account is Not a Good Idea - for many reasons!

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Deleting Your Google Account is NOT a good Idea - for any reasons !

Many bloggers have a reason to change their blogs from one account's ownership, to another. This is easy enough to do, but, what happens to the images which have been posted to that blog, via the Post Editor image upload wizard?

The images are stored on Picasa Web Albums, and this is one of the many reasons why deleting your Google Account is not a good idea!

Your Picasa Web Album is attached to a particular Google Account - namely, the one used to upload the images.

A blog which is transferred from one account's ownership, to another account's ownership, as in 'Team Blogs - How do I move a blog between accounts?', will still display the images...

BUT - (and there is always a 'but') ...


If you delete the original Google Account, to which the Picasa Web Albums account is attached, the images will be lost because you will also delete the Picasa Web Album!

What can you do? Well, you do, however, have choices:

  • Upload all the images again from your source folder - from scratch.
  • Maintain your existing Google Account with the Picasa Web Album attached, which isn't difficult - or
  • You can Transfer the Picasa Web Album to your new Picasa Account - which must be set-up on a Google Account! They'll tell you that.


Option 1 above, is not worth considering, really.
Option 2 above, is a no-hassle, no problem, option. Keep it, forget it's there. Just remember the Password and ID.
Option 3 above is limited. Listen very carefully - you can only use this option once! Read the information provided by Google on the above link - carefully... eg:


Note: You can't use your former Picasa Web Albums username as your new Google Account username. Also, the tool won't overwrite your photos even if your target account has existing photos and videos.

Note: Please read this carefully, it's not the usual yada yada. The account migration can't be undone, and the Picasa account you transfer your photos and videos to, won't have the option to migrate to another Picasa account in the future.

Note: Blogger users: You can choose to keep your Blogger photos in this (old) account or transfer them to the new one. If you transfer Blogger photos to the new account, be sure to add the new account as an author on your blog.

The transfer happens on Google's servers so there's no download then re-upload required by you, but depending on how many photos and videos you have, this transfer may take up to 24 hours to complete. Google will send you an email when the transfer is finished.



People seem so ready to delete anything which doesn't suit them. Delete! Delete! Delete! - CRAZY!

Modify, then maintain, is my advice. For instance, a blog. They don't need to be deleted. You just remove all pertinent data, both personal (profile) and public (posts), then write a post, simply called 'Stub Post', with the same as the content, and post it. That fixes-up the Search Spiders and any cached copy. You can then move that blog to a lesser of your Blogger Accounts, and forget it ever existed - or, re-theme it, and start again. Simple.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Why Do You Follow a Blog?

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Why Do You Follow a Blog ?

Since Follower was introduced, many bloggers, and readers in general, have started Following blogs, rather than, or in addition to, subscribing to that blog. There is a difference, too!

But, as much as I am a Follower of many blogs, and have my own reasons for it, I often ask; "Why do people Follow certain blogs? Is it because they like the content, or is it for some other reason?"


The reasons I Follow blogs are:

  • The content of the posts is interesting to me. I enjoy reading it.
  • I like the style of writing used. Sometimes, it is humorous and amusing.
  • Sometimes, it is the set-up of the blog, itself. I like to see what others are doing - technically.
  • I Follow a blog because I can learn something.
  • I Follow blogs because they have technical information which I will use, time and time again.
  • I Follow other blogs because I hope people will find my blog(s) interesting, too, and Follow in return.
  • I Follow blogs to see who is Following them. That's one way I find Great Blogs to Follow, myself!
  • I use Follower like a Bookmark.

It is also essential that you know who is Following you, publicly.


That's about it, as far as my reasons for Following a blog are concerned. Why do you Follow a blog?


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Piggy-backing your Questions in Help Forum

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Piggy-Backing your Questions in Help Forum

The is a certain (unwritten) etiquette required when asking questions in the Google / Blogger Help Forum - start your own thread - don't 'piggy-back' your question onto someone else's!

I'm sure that it is tempting when you see a question thread, with exactly the same problem as you have, to add your twopence-worth - whether it be to ask something peculiar to your wants, or to report a major problem. The trouble is, however, by doing that, as I've mentioned before;

  • Google / Blogger does not get accurate data - numbers of people experiencing a certain problem, etc
  • The question threads become too long and messy,
  • Sometimes, your individual question may be missed, or worse - ignored!


Here is an example of what I am talking about. You'll notice that the original question about an RSS Feed URL has been answered. Then, several other bloggers piggy-back their questions on. Apart from the fact that the answer, in most cases, should be relevant to their individual situation, as well.

If you start your own question thread, the Helpers will see it, and try to answer it in turn, with others, and any follow-up questions by the original asker, will be relevant (we hope) to that original problem subject. If, however, the subject of the question changes, - start a new thread.


Also, please read: How to ask your questions in the Help Forum.

That is, I hope, my only gripe for the day!

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Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Web Search, Web Content? - Get '+1'

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Web Search, Web Content? - Get '+1'

Apparently, according to Blogger Buzz, it's 'cool' to use digital shorthand, and apparently, +1 translates as "this is pretty cool", or, is that supposed to be "kewl"? Crazy, man! IMHO! - haha.

When +1 was launched, in March, it was described; "...as a way to help share web content and make search more personal and relevant...".

"...In order to +1 things, you first need a public Google profile. When you create a profile, it's visible to anyone and connections with your email address can easily find it. Your +1’s are stored in a new tab on your Google profile. You can show your +1’s tab to the world, or keep it private and just use it to personally manage the ever-expanding record of things you love around the web..." 1

This new feature, added to the "Show Share Buttons" feature, is extremely easy to add. All you have to do is check the box in the Main Post Page Element ...





So, what happens now? Well, your readers, who like that particular post, or wish to suggest someone else read it too, click on the +1 button. They would then confirm that this is what they want to do, and that the details are correct, and that's it...





The "Learn more" button takes you here 1 ...



The Privacy Center for +1, is worth the look, too ...



Learn more about +1 in Help Articles, and also, learn how to personalise it, here.


Reference:

1 - Google +1 - Recommendations when you want them.

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Monday, June 13, 2011

Location: 'Geo-Tagging'

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Location: 'Geo-Tagging'

I often use the Blogger Editor Feature, called Geotagging. I imagine many readers would be interested in where Newcastle, NSW, Australia, is.

It really is an easy application to use. Blogger did take this feature down, for a while, but it is now back - and available on Production Blogger (Orange).


The feature needs to be enabled on the Main Posts Page Element, which is accessed from the Design Screen...




Once the feature has been enabled, the 'Add' a Location is selected from the Post Editor screen, when you are writing your post...

Click the 'Add' option...



Enter the Location - in full... and click 'Search'...




Check that the map indicates the correct Location, and click 'Save' ...




That's it! When you publish your post, the Location you chose, will be displayed on your Post Footer, or wherever you have positioned it ...



If your readers click on the Location, the next screen from Google Geotagging appears, with the map.



I think this feature is very attractive, and interactive with your readers' enjoyment. I do, however, (think there's still a few bugs in it) suggest that it might display differently, in different templates. This blog has a 'Simple' template and does not display the feature, while Bob's Buzz blog, has a 'Picture Window' template, and does! Go figure! Or, as suggested to me, it is a Post template problem and I should read this post! Pretty technical, though.

Today, I changed the template of this blog, the Report, via the Template Designer screen, and then changed it back again. Now, the Geotagging, and other Page Elements, appear to work - again.


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Sunday, June 12, 2011

Password Phishing Scam - from UGANDA

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Password Phishing Scam - from UGANDA

Just a quick alert: Through the night, I was woken twice, by my Mobile Phone's message beeping.

When I looked at the messages, thinking there was a family crisis, as that would be the only reason I can think of in the wee hours, imagine how angry I became when I saw what it was ...

"Windows Live Password Reset Code: 1234567" and "Windows Live Password Reset Code: 2345678", or whatever it was, exactly.

Then, doing nothing with it, I went back to sleep, because I knew that I had not requested a change to my Windows Live Password for my Messenger IM.

This morning, I referred the matter to my friend, Nitecruzr, who is an expert in the field of Network Security, and he laid my fears to rest - "It's a Password Phishing Scam, designed to get people with Internet Access on their Smart Phone/ Mobile Phones, to open a Browser session and use the reset code."

I felt a little more dopey, when, after my first cup of coffee, I noticed the originating phone number - +45 60993100000. That's the country code for UGANDA, and MS Windows Live don't have an office there, I don't think! haha. Maybe, American Express does!

So, be careful - these bastards will trick some people, I'm sure!

See also: Microsoft does NOT

p.s. - There is also a current scam on Skype, too. You get a call "Notification". It's from a recorded voice, telling you that your computer is at serious risk of a major malfunction, and that you should navigate to a certain site, and follow the instructions (destructions, if the truth be known). Ignore it - and block it - report it as SPAM.

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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Crazy Happenings 2 !

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Crazy Happenings 2 !

I recently wrote of Crazy Happenings with Blogger. It was all to do with the screwed-up maintenance program Blogger was running - then un-running (how's that for techie-talk?).

We have had a rash of problems, some of them attributable to Google/Blogger, and some of them attributable to the individual blog owner. Whichever it is/was, and whatever it is/was, this one has to take the cake, as far as I am concerned.

One of my Followers has a blog, which may, or may not, have mixed languages posted on her blog, namely Burmese/English. This presents a viewing problem for anyone who does not have the correct language and character set on their computer, or so I am led to believe.


This is what her blog looks like to me, when I use Firefox V4.0.1 browser...



This is what it looks like via Google Chrome V12.0.742.91 browser ...


Naturally, these Browsers display the blog differently, because both have different settings. I discussed this with my mentor, Nitecruzr, and he suggested that the blog owner may well be using Transliteration on her blog, as transliteration lets someone enter non-Roman characters into a blog, while using a Roman characters keyboard, hence unless we have those characters set on our computer, we see the symbols.

This can be a problem for someone travelling, and using a computer in a foreign land, too, such as Thailand, where a computer may be set for Asian Characters. I think I remember having that exact problem when I was living in the Land of Smiles, back in 2002 -'07.

Interesting, eh?


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Friday, June 10, 2011

Dating Your Posts - the Correct Way!

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Dating Your Posts - the Correct Way !

Back in January, my mate wrote a very good post on the subject of the World Wide Blogger Culture, and Date Formatting1.

It doesn't take very long for things to change in the Blogger World, either, and a change has taken place in the way the date is handled by Blogger. Now, the Post Editor has two options for handling date - 'Automatic', and 'Scheduled at'. The possibility of inputting the date in the wrong way, has been eliminated.

So, what was the wrong way? As discussed in Chuck's post1 (above), many Europeans, and Australians, (foreigners), write the date dd/mm/yy, or 10/06/11. This could cause problems with the scheduling of a post, and often did, and, as Blogger is American, we should write our date in the American way, to avoid any confusion. Well, Blogger has fixed that. Yay!


Normal posting date is on Automatic, so you can't change it, until after you publish it, if you want to. It will work off your Settings - Formatting date settings. Naturally, if the Time-Zone is not correct, the date will be screwy! So, Blogger does it to suit Blogger - eliminating possible errors by bloggers.



The Scheduled at date, and time, is where you can change the date/time to suit your requirements. If you want to pre-publish a post, or back-date a post, to change its order, this is where you do it.



Maybe, it's a good idea when using a computer, that, as you are probably using American programs and software - Windows, Blogger, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc, that you should have all settings in English US? I do, but I ignore the lousy US spell-check. Will they ever get it correct? ha.

Mmmm, I'll leave discussion on that one, alone. It's up to you.


Reference:

1 - Nitecruzr's blog, The Real Blogger Status

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Internet Protocol version 6 - (IPv6)

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. Newcastle NSW, Australia
Internet Protocol version 6 - (IPv6)

Do you know what IPv6 is? Do you know what it means to you? Do you even know what it does? I didn't, was blissfully unaware of it, until, maybe, last month.


I am not even going to try and explain it to you, but I will try to tell you what it is, and what it means to Internet users. OK?

Many years ago in Australia, we used eight (8) digit phone numbers. We were running-out, fast! So, the powers-that-be decided that we should move to a digital system, increasing the digits to ten (10). This allowed for continued growth in the population and the demand for numbers. This IPv6 business is along the same lines.

What is an Internet Protocol?

Basically, an IP is a means of communication between a source and a destination (client to Server) - in the digital language which computers use. It is the principal way of delivering packets of data across an Internetwork. The IP is the Primary Protocol, which is the established basis of the Internet. We see an example of it, every day, when we see a URL. The Hypertext Transfer Protocol (http), which precedes most URLs, is a Networking Protocol and the foundation of data communication for the World Wide Web. It is also a member of what is referred to as the Application Layer of the Internet protocol Suite, and there are many different layers...eg: Transport Layer, Link Layer, Internet Layer.

Until recently, the Internet Protocol version 4 (IPv4) was used as a Correctionless Protocol for use on packet-switched Link Layer networks. It has been the one we have been using since the early 1980s, and it replaced IPv3. Trouble is, that as data is transferred in packets, containing two numeric addresses (origin and destination). The growth of the Internet has mandated a need for more addresses than is possible with IPv4. The latest version,IPv6 allows for vastly more addresses. (We're talking billions, here, folks)!
Read on -


Internet Protocol version 6 - IPv6, has been introduced to deal with the eventual, and long-awaited exhaustion of the IPv4 addresses. The mathematical formula for working these figures, leaves me cold. We're talking big figures, like 3.4 x 1038, or more zeros than my computer can type!

Google added a brief explanation on a help page, and also a link for testing if your Internet Connection is compatible with the new IPv6. You can test your Internet connection is compatible, HERE.

Part of that help page states;

"IPv6 connectivity issues

Over 99.9% of users do not have any problems going to IPv6-enabled websites. However, in rare cases, users may have IPv6 enabled, but not working properly. This may cause delays and connection problems when visiting Google and other participating websites on June 8.

IPv6 connectivity problems are usually caused by misconfigured or misbehaving home network equipment (e.g., home routers), bugs in operating systems, or issues in ISP networks. In many cases, the problem can only be solved by upgrading or replacing home routers and by upgrading operating systems, or if the ISP fixes it. However, it is possible to work around the problem by using IPv4.

If you experience delays connecting to IPv6-enabled websites, you can work around the problem using one of the following:

  • Use an IPv4-only website, if one is available. For example, you can access Google at ipv4.google.com instead of www.google.com.
  • Upgrade to the latest version of your browser. Older versions of many browsers have known bugs with IPv6, and later versions may incorporate workarounds for IPv6 connectivity-related issues in operating systems, routers, and ISP’s.
  • Install a browser that includes workarounds for IPv6 connectivity problems, such as Google Chrome."

I'm sure more will be written in the future about this.

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Dynamic Views - Different, but Interesting.

Location: Newcastle, NSW. Australia. New South Wales, Australia
Dynamic Views - Different, but Interesting

Back in March, 2011, Blogger Buzz announced the introduction of Dynamic Views for Blogger. Then, in April, it announced the extension/enhancement for Dynamic Views in Google Chrome. It's an exciting innovation to present your readers with choice.

As far as I am concerned, the jury is still out as to whether, or not, readers would prefer this new viewing option, would use it, or would rather stay with the more traditional viewing options. I suppose it is, after all, subjective.

This post is designed to show some of the versatility of the option/feature. Make your own minds up.


To enable Dynamic Views, simply select that option on the Settings - Formatting screen...



To view the blog pages, in Dynamic Views, a reader simply adds /view to the URL...

eg: http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net/view
which would take you to this screen ...Dynamic Views.

To post it, as a link, and to have it open in a separate Tab, you would need to add "target="_blank" after the /view, so your URL looks like this:
<a href="http://www.blogging.robertosblogs.net/view"target="_blank"></a>


The default screen for Dynamic Views is the Sidebar screen ...



One of the secrets to using Dynamic Views, is that your mouse will highlight all expandable options on the screen, which, when clicked, will open. The amount of scrolling, which is common place in the Traditional viewing of a blog, is drastically reduced with Dynamic Views. In fact, that's one of the salient features, in my opinion.

The large blue button on the top right of the screen, is also a Control Point for navigating to other screens, such as Flipcard, Mosaic, Snapshot and Timeslide. Look for the notification of Number of Comments per post, in the little round pop-up displays. I like that.


Flipcard - 5 Images ...

The basic Flipcard screen -

Flipcard - Recent Posts -

Flipcard - Viewing by Date -

Flipcard - Viewing by Label -

Flipcard - Viewing by Author -


Mosaic

I think this screen is a waste of space, but ...


Snapshot

Snapshot - mmmm?


Timeslide - 4 Images

Timeslide has some good features - probably my equal favourite, with Flipcard -








The best thing to do with Dynamic Views, is to enable it, and then play around with it, to learn it's various benefits for yourself. It does have some wonderful features, and I'm sure there's something there for your readers. It's up to you.

Of course, there's always Blogger Help, should you need it. I don't think you will.

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Creating a Blogger Blog

Creating a Blogger Blog

One of my pet hates, in any guide to creating a Blogger blog, is the way Blogger ignores one of the most important features of a Blogger blog - the Settings! It is also the reason I started a series of posts on the subject.

Even in their Video Tutorial, this vital aspect is ignored - totally ...

I think this apparent over-sight, is one of the main reasons bloggers have to ask questions like these, in the Help Forum ...
  • How do I adjust the date on my blog? It's showing tomorrow's date, and my blog publishes hours later than I want it too! - see: Settings - Formatting - 'Time Zone'
  • I made a mistake in the naming of my blog (URL). Also, how can I change the spelling of my Title? - see: Settings - Publishing - 'Blog*Spot Address' (URL) and, then Settings - Basic - 'Title'
  • My blog doesn't appear in Next blog. Why? - see: Settings - Basic - 'Add Your Blog to our Listings?'
  • How do I see and approve, or delete Comments before they are published on my blog? - see: Settings - Comments - 'Comments Moderation'
  • How do I make my blog Private? - see: Settings - Permissions - 'Who can view this blog?'
  • ...and many, many more...
I can only ask why. There seems no logical answer, except that Blogger must think every new blogger is an experienced Internet user, or computer geek/nerd.
Don't forget the importance of the Settings!
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Saturday, June 4, 2011

Import - Export - Update, as at June 2011

Import - Export - Update, as at June 2011

Some bloggers are still reporting failure of the Import process for Wordpress XML files to the Blogger platform.

Blogger suggests the basics for Importing should be like this - "How Do I Import and Export blogs on Blogger?"

I wrote an overview of the Import/Export process, back in October, 2008, which was an update of an earlier post. This was then updated again, in 2009. Since then, Blogger has changed, and so has Wordpress.

The basics of the XML language is still transporting of data from one company to another. If one company changes it's format, or things like Comments, or Posts, then the other company has to catch-up. This sometimes causes errors which prevent one company recognising what the other company wants to transport. I'm sure that this is the reason for bX-Codes presenting Server Errors when trying to Import, as I found out, yet again, today.


Scenario:

I have a Wordpress blog, with one basic post on it. I haven't visited Wordpress since around 2008. Things have changed somewhat on the blog, and I had to try and find things. Those 'things' may be in the Display, or the way Wordpress formats its XML data for Export. I don't know, exactly, but something has changed.

I finally found the option for Exporting. It's now under Tools on the Dashboard.







Then, I wanted to Import that file to my research blog. I opened the Settings - Basics screen, and clicked on Import ...






The bX-Code occurred, again and again, and the effort was wasted. Exactly why it happened, I can only guess, but I suspect that it is because of changes within one, or both of the companies - Blogger, or Wordpress. BTW - my XML file was 7.58 Kbs - well under any limit shown of 1Mb.


Don't worry. This has happened within Blogger, too! It's just a matter of trial, error, and persistence. As shows in the following images, when I succeeded ...

First, the Exporting ...





and then the Importing ...





One person recommends this site for helping with the Transfer, but I think it's out of date. I could not find the 'Manage' option on the Dashboard (just below the blog name), nor, the 'Convert' Option.

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Blogger Error Codes