Monday, March 26, 2012

Blogger developer documentation has moved

Blogger have announced that the documentation for people who write tools using the Blogger APIs has moved to https://developers.google.com/blogger/

This iinformation is what you need to know to create and share you own gadgets. It is also very useful for blogger-helpers who want to understand the data / schemas that Blogger uses, in order to work out hacks for the rest of us to use to control the look and feel of our blogs.

The blogger developer forum is another very handy place too.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Styles on Blogger's post-editor menu bar

This article shows how the styles that can be applied in Blogger's style-bar look.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Removing the navBar from your blog

This article explains what Blogger's navBar is, what features it offers, and how to turn it off if your blog-site doesn't benefit from these features

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Stop Pinterest from sharing your pictures or blog-posts

This article shows you how to stop people from "Pinning" your blog-contents on their own Pinterest accounts.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Putting a Tweet-this-quote link in blog posts

This article shows you how to apply a "tweet this" label to a specific quote in a blog-post, and how this works for your readers.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

AdSense for Domains is discontinued

AdSense have decided to stop offering AdSense for Domains - a product that let domain owners show AdSense ads when someone tried to visit a URL that's not currently pointing to any website. (Because, of
course, they cannot use regular AdSense for Content ads on URL like this because the Terms and Conditions say it can only be shown on websites that actually have "real" content.)

There hasn't beean a public announcement (that I've seen), but AdSense publishers who are currently using AdSense for Domains have been getting individual emails about the change, which has these timeframes:

  • March 21: Cannot put AdSense on any new Hosted domains
  • April 18: Existing hosted domains will become inactive and AdSense advertising won't be displayed when someone looks at them.
  • June 27: Hosted domains will no longer be available in AdSense accounts (Meaning we need to have downloaded any necessary information about them before then).


They also say that: "going forward, undeveloped domains will only be served through our existing AdSense for Domains distribution network" - but I haven't yet been able to work out exactly what this means.

To continue monetizing existing undeveloped domains, we need to migrate them to a new domain parking provider - so I'm looking for recommendations for these at present.

There is a Migration Guide: to help people move existing Domains monetized through AdSense to other places here:  http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/5pn7W99IR8ElM3.

For more information see the Help Center: http://www.google.com/appserve/mkt/DhXnVfFp9Ihuw4.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sharing Google Analytics reports with other people

Google Analytics has added a Share button to

  • Custom Reports: (Actions menu on the table that lists your reports)
  • The dashboard: (top-left corner)
  • Advanced Segments: (Admin tab > Advanced Segments)

This a way to let you share reports etc that you've designed:  it works by giving you an  URL that you can email or publish in a blog-post.

When someone clicks on this URL, they go into Analytics, and a custom report - which is just like yours at the time you clicked Share and created the URL - is added to their own dashboard.

Effectively, what the other person sees is:

  • your report structure
  • showing their data


Analytics is hugely powerful, with far more features than your average blogger needs. Some blogger-helpers don't recommend it, just because it's so large (a bit like using Microsoft Word to edit a text file).

But it has a number of advantages over Blogger's built in Stats (including counts not being reset to zero every time that you edit and publish a post with an updated date/time - which is the way I give one of my blogs a home page).

It seems to me that this share-your-analytics-design feature opens up a large opportunity for people who really understand how Analytics works to help the rest of us find actionable information about what's happening on our blogs.   Do you know any Analytics gurus worth following?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Blogger Help Forum (English) is moving

The English-language Blogger Help Forum (BHF) is moving to a new Google Product Forum, based Google Groups, from 9 March 2012 (that's this Friday).



There's nothing about the change in Blogger Buzz, but they've posted a long announcement in the current BHF, and linked to a Getting Started Guide which shows the base features of Google Product Forums, and an example working GPF-based forum (the one for Google Plus).

Key facts about the change:
  • Posts from the current forum will not be moved into to the new forum (since most of them refer to the old Blogger interface). 
  • You will need to join Google Groups to use it.
  • All user levels will reset to Level 1 (presuming not TCs though) - but if they look to make more TCs, your post-history in the old BHF will be checked.
  • The only way to get a picture with your profile in the new forum is to have it linked to your Google + account.   (I tested with an account that's not +'d, these do  basic Google profiles that don't include pictures).
  • The existing BHF will be archived, so the current content can still be found.
    (Not sure what "archived" means - probably that write-access to it will be turned off, but read-only access will be continued).
  • All help-links inside Blogger will go to the new forum, once it's live. 
  • The new forum will be at:   https://groups.google.com/a/googleproductforums.com/forum/#!forum/blogger
One fantastic feature of the new forum is the keyboard shortcuts, eg "space" to move down a page.    (Bringing back fond memories of the first use-net reader I ever met, back in the days of Vax VMS  :-)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Adding a gadget to your blog, using Blogger's WYSIWYG interface

This article shows how to use Blogger's add-a-gadget tool.  

It also looks at how you can move a gadget around in your blog, and describes what you can do with some of Blogger's most-popular gadgets.