Blogger Dashboard – Hide Show All Problems – Missing Blogs

Open Letter to Google And Blogger,

Reference: Blogger Buzz: Updates and Bug Fixes for August 14th

Blogger Update

12/06/08 Just want to let the Google Guys and Gals know that as of this date I still had a bug with my According to Jim blog not displayed in my Blogger dashboard no matter what I did, (though it showed up in my Jim’s Blogger Profile). I’ll let everyone know when it gets there or I hear from the Google Crew. It’s not hidden, it’s just “gone missing” from the dash, but still accessible backwards through the post quick edits when I’m logged in to my Blogger account.

12/14/08 The Blogger Dashboard missing blog DIY fix and repair is quite involved, but cool if I do say so my self. More to follow in new a post with details of how I did it. Read addendum below and My Blogger Update Posting.

Please Email me.

According to this posting from Blogger the new feature was to provide more functionality. “There’s a new look for the Blogger Dashboard, which we think you’ll find more attractive and functional. If you have a ton of blogs (as we do) try out the “hide” and “show all” links to help manage the list.”

Well I tried it, and here is the hidden scoop.

Missing Blogs in The Blogger Dashboard

I am having a problem of the missing blogs in the Blogger Dashboard area ever since the Blogger dashboard update. Some readers have suggested that it is a case of not clearing the cache and cookies in the browser. I can assure everyone out in Internet land that it is not the clearing the cache and cookies problem in my browser(s) and computer(s) that is causing the problem.

What happens is that when “Show all” is clicked, it shows all and then when I click the “Always show” button next to the blog itself, it toggles to “Hide” except I still have one blog that is hidden permanently from the dashboard. However, the number count of the blogs shown is never updated. When I do a refresh again, the blogs are hidden again no matter what I do.

When Blogger added the “Show all” and “Hide” blogs Javascript from the dashboard, this is when my blogs started disappearing from the dashboard.

To check out some other blogs in my account, I tried hiding other blogs from the dashboard. This did indeed hide them, but now they stay hidden permanently. “Show All” works temporarily but does not latch to “always” when clicking the “Always show.” Now, only a few of the blogs “Always show.”

I tried several other computers (both Mac and PC) to verify that the problem is not the cache.

I tried four different browsers. (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari, and Google Chrome)

Nothing I have tried makes any difference what so ever.

Note: I have blogs that are both FTP setup with blogs hosted on other servers, plus blogspot.com

Also note that this “According to Jim” blog that you are actually reading which completely disappeared from the dashboard, (except I can still get to it with the edit tool from a posting, at the actual url address) was setup with ftp publishing to begin with, and did not assign a blogspot address when originally created. I tried changing it to a blogspot url address but it still would not show up in the dashboard area. I subsequently switched back to my own custom domain name. I also added the blog to another Blogger account (see link below), but it will not show up at that dashboard either.

However, this blog does show up in the Blogger profiles pages of both though. This is really strange that it will show in the profile but will not display in the dashboard.

It really seems that the new javascript is the main problem.

I’m at my wits end.

Blogger used to have a contact form for problems, however they have discontinued that service. It’s frustrating not being able to contact Blogger anymore. Note: I have posted this on the Blogger Help Groups too, with no response.

Blogger please help.

Thank you

Jim

PS To post this posting I had to do the end-around link (through the quick edit link on a blog post, when logged into my Blogger account) to the Posting, Settings, and Template area of this blog, and then create a new posting.


Addendum

12/14/08 I took matters into my own hands. The hidden blog in the Blogger Dashboard fix is quite involved and there are some precautions that must be taken into account before tackling the problem.

12/16/08 For those in Internet land, I have now documented the procedure online of how to do it, with the complete details. This detailed how-to procedure for Blogger is posted at My Blogger Update. Hint, importing and exporting blogs are the keys to technical success.

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Setting Up Business E-mail and Personal Email Accounts with POP

Thunderbird
Do you work from home? Do you have a business email account? Do you have a personal email account? Would you like to keep your business and personal emails separate, but easily read and respond to both at the same time, and with the same software email client program? If you answered yes to any of these questions, the following will give you a quick overview of what you need to do on your home office computer.

Many options are available for just about any email address today. Most free online service providers of email have the option to be able to write and respond to emails online and on a home office computer using POP. POP is a type of protocol for sending and receiving email. Don’t worry what POP exactly means, but any email client can be used to set up POP email. Email clients are software email programs such as Outlook, Outlook Express, Windows Mail, Thunderbird, Mozilla, Netscape, Eudora, Apple Mail, and others. If you have a free Google Gmail account, which I highly recommend, you can use POP mail to send and receive on your local computer, in addition to also being able to send and receive email online.

For some excellent examples of how to configure POP for Gmail, take a look at the following:

Mail Clients


If I am using one of these email clients, how do I respond using my business account when it’s a business email, and how do I respond using my personal account when it’s a personal email?

Once again, there are many options on each specific email client. Depending on the email client, you can have separate identities, and have separate accounts under each identity. Typically separate identities as in Outlook Express are completely different viewable login areas within the the email client program. This means that you would have to switch identities to be able to read and send emails from each specific identity. Each identity can have more than one account, with multiple email addresses being imported to the specific identity, but this requires quite a bit of filtering and sending a message will not necessarily be the email address that you really want to use to send a specific email from a specific address. For example, if you use one identity only to receive all your emails from both a personal and a business account, into one inbox, then it is most likely that the header of the email, (the part that shows the “Send From:” and “Sent To:” information) will not be exactly the correct addresses that you want to show for a business account response or vice versa.

Thunderbird e-mail client, which is free and highly customizable, with multiple identities and multiple accounts, does things slightly differently when talking about identities and accounts.

Idenitities

An identity in Thunderbird is a collection of settings for sending mail. An identity is defined by:

  • A name.
  • An e-mail address.
  • The account that the identity belongs to.

Note: Technically, an identity in Thunderbird is a collection of preference settings in your profile.

Thunderbird allows you to create identities that look exactly the same, but if you do that you might find them confusing to use.

Use more than one identity when you want to send mail using more than one From name or e-mail address, or more than one SMTP server, or more than one signature, or more than one choice for any of the settings that Thunderbird provides in identities.

Thunderbird e-mail client requires you to create a separate default identity for each account, but you can make these identities look exactly the same if you want to. For example, you receive some of your mail from Gmail and some of your mail from the company you work for, but you always want to send mail using your company From address. In your Thunderbird Gmail account, change the default identity to specify exactly the same details as in your work account.

If you receive mail that was originally sent to more than one e-mail address, then you might find it convenient to create identities for all those e-mail addresses. Then you can reply to a message from the same address that it was originally sent to.

Do not use more than one identity when one of your accounts already has an identity that you can use. This is because when you write a message you can change the From address to any identity from any account. There is usually no point in having duplicate identities in different accounts (unless they are default identities).

An identity specifies:

  • Settings used when you start composing a message
  • Settings used when you send a message

Identity P

Compose settings

HTML or plain text
Reply format
Send settings

From address
Signature
SMTP server
other settings…

Read more about Mail Concepts.

If you want to create an automatic forward, using a business email address, and having emails forwarded to your personal email address, you can do that, but be aware that if you respond from your personal email address on a forwarded message from the business address, the Send From will be the personal e-mail address and that is what the person will see on the other end when the e-mail is received.

A solution to this situation, is to have two accounts, one for business, and one for personal information messages, and make sure you are using the correct one for business, and for personal use.

If you have multiple email accounts online, and don’t want to have to login to each specific account, you can set up forwards to one account, and just note where the email came from. Then respond using the appropriate e-mail identity or account.

Gmail Notifier
is a notification program that runs locally on your computer that lets you know when you have a message at one specific account. Use this to monitor the main e-mail account, where all your emails arrive. Another option for automatic notification is to use ePrompter which runs automatically in the background, and can be configured to allow up to 16 e-mail accounts to be monitored at the same time, and will let you know with a small color coded circle (and/or sound) showing when an email arrives, and display the number of e-mails that arrived inside the circle. Both ePrompter and Gmail Notifier are very easy to set up and use. ePrompter’s wizard allows you to very easily create additional color coded account dots that will monitor all your different e-mail accounts.

Hope this helps, feel free to ask your questions.

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My Blogger Wish List

BloggerI like Blogger

I just wish Blogger had a simple way of creating static pages, that did not necessarily show up as a blog posted page.

Anyone that has been blogging for sometime will tell you, that there is certain information that a person or company would like to have readily available through a link on the blog itself to a separate page with the same branded template image as the main home page. Other times, it would really be cool if a person could have a unique page or pages that have a different template style. For example: maybe all the blogs posted under a particular label; a person would like to have a different image at the top of the page header to separate and visually identify the postings. There are Blogger workarounds and hacks that place in different pictures or images depending on certain parameters, but it would be nice to have maybe a different customizable template area for the static pages and/or labeled categories.

Additionally it would be cool if a person could easily blog to a different subdirectory area of the website when using Custom Domain Name Blogger publishing on another hosted account. While FTP publishing does allow multiple separate blogs under one domain name, custom domain name publishing does not provide the ability to create separate blogs under the main area of the website. Which means you can not have mondays.ws and mondays.ws/coolwidgets as a place to blog directly about coolwidgets. This would be a very handy feature to be able to easily add another subdirectory area under the current blog as a person would have with a unique category area and static pages on a regular website. You can however have other sub domain names with the same custom domain name using Blogger Custom Domain Name option. For example: backflag.com is the domain where I post short snippets using Tumblr as the free online publisher engine. But I use marketingstrategies.backflag.com as the custom domain name publishing option with Blogger to the sub domain marketingstrategies, for information about marketing strategies. Keep in mind that subdomains are typically viewed as separate websites and it is important to note from a search standpoint (see note below about having different websites).

Static Page Workaround for Blogger

Probably the simplest static page workaround for Blogger at this time is to go to the earliest blog posting date and post a new page with backdating it to this earliest time. Turn off comments and backlinks under post options for this posting if you want, and set the date to the oldest date. Then simply link to it.

The Strength of the Free Blogger Service

The strength of the free Blogger service is the ability to customize the html and css (cascading style sheets) code in order to create your own unique branded image. Other blog hosting services that offer free hosting such as WordPress, provide some of the features such as static pages but have severe limitations on what can be altered and customized with the css and the html.

The ability to use hundreds, if not thousands of free templates set up for the Blogger service is one of the features that I have come to love. Just about any webpage or website template can be converted to a Blogger template with having an understanding of the Blogger drive engine and placing the proper coding from Blogger into the template design area. This feature really makes it much easier to brand the blog to the current site design. Read about Blogging with Professional Web Services.

Additional Blogger Wishes

I love the new Blogger with XML. I wish we could use the XML features on the non Google hosting services. For example: currently one of the Blogger options is in the classic design template mode for ftp publishing to a paid hosted provider with full customization. We have our website at www.pwebs.net for Internet marketing services. We publish a blog using Blogger at: www.pwebs.net/internet-marketing.htm about the Internet marketing industry, in which we write about various aspects of Internet marketing. Currently we are using ftp publishing for the blog, and a customized classic template design. There are some pretty cool features that XML has, as compared to the standard ftp classic design template. If the XML new Blogger templates could be used for other than the free Blogspot account hosting or the Custom Domain option (see below), then it would make it much easier to customize and manage the information for publishing.

I know I said this before but it bares repeating. Blogger currently allows you to use the Custom Domain name option, but hosting still takes place on Blogger servers, and only allows one blog per main domain name without subdirectories as compared to ftp publishing (see above). A person can create Sub Domains for different blogs using the custom domain name option, but these are considered separate websites, and if information was substantially the same between these Sub Domains, the Search Engines would more than likely not look too favorably to having created additional subdomains. For example: www.jimwarholic.com could have a subdomain as info.jimwarholic.com with unique information at both areas and this would be OK. This is no different than Blogger hosted services with millions of subdomains at blogspot.com, such as eclectic-marketing.blogspot.com and professionalwebservices.blogspot.com.

One of the reasons I have come to really like using the Blogger service is because Google allows you to use javascripts in the templates themselves. WordPress free blog hosting restricts javascript from being added for additional features. WordPress states it’s because of security issues. I am not convinced that javascript is the problem as opposed to simply WordPress engineers taking the time to allow javascript to be used securely in the first place. Listen, I am not bashing WordPress, because I too have a WordPress blog with Jim West as the blog name, and I like posting there from time to time, but I am simply stating the main differences that I see between Blogger and WordPress.

One reason to choose Custom Domain Name Blogger publishing over FTP publishing is the speed at which a page publishes using the custom domain name option. Whereas on an ftp account, hosted somewhere else, it can involve quite a delay with ftp publishing timeouts on very large blogs. Custom Domain Name publishing is also easier to add widgets and other items for the novice blogger. Expert bloggers can also customize the templates quite extensively.

In this world, nothing is ever perfect as it is. Everything man-made can always be improved. Not everyone will have everything they want. What are some of your thoughts on the Blogger wish list? What features would you like to see added? One last thing that I forgot to mention is I would like the labels to be able to automatically show up when using classic template de
signs for ftp publishing, just like in the XML template designs provides the sidebar widget to display the labels. Currently for classic templates you have to create the list manually for the sidebar areas.

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