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Blogger Magic - Updating Labels

Not all blog owners know the best ways to update labels, with the posts in their blog.

We see occasional signs of confusion, in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger.
How do I add a label, to many posts at once?
and
How do I correct the spelling of my label, already added?
and
How do I remove all of the labels, from one of my posts?
These owners are not aware how to use the dashboard Posts page - and Post Editor - to add, delete, and edit labels.

Blogger gives us labels (aka "categories") - and two ways to manage labels.

You choose the appropriate procedure, based on what changes are needed. The difference is whether you have one label, that needs to be applied to many posts - or one post, that needs multiple labels applied.

  1. Using the dashboard Posts page - one label, many posts.
  2. Using Post Editor - many labels, one post.

Using the dashboard Posts page - one label, many posts.

The Posts page, and the Posts menu, is used to add, delete, and edit one label, for many posts - one label, at a time.

  1. Use the Label Selection list, to select the posts to display.
  2. Use the Posts Selector column, to select any or all posts displayed, for action.
  3. Use the Label Action list to add, delete, or edit a given label, for the selected posts.
    • To add a label, click on "New label...", type the new label, enter the new label, and click "OK".
    • To delete a label, click on any label that has previously been applied to all posts selected. With any one post selected that does not have the label clicked, that label will be added as necessary.
    • To edit a label, you have a slightly more complicated procedure.
  4. Repeat as necessary, for another label.


The Posts page.




Open the Label Selection list, by clicking on the pulldown arrow.




Select the posts for the label needed.




Use the Posts Selector column, to select any individual posts, or all posts, for action.




Open the Label Action list, by clicking on the pulldown arrow.




Add a label, using "New label" - or delete or edit a label, by selecting one of the listed labels.



Editing the name of one label, for many posts, requires adding a new label - then removing the old label. This is a slightly more complicated procedure - and is subject to label related limits. "Editing" a label, using the Posts page, will require planning, in some cases.

Using Post Editor - many labels, one post.

Post Editor is used to add, delete, and edit many labels, for one post - one post at a time.

  1. Find and select the "Labels" caption, in the "Post settings" sidebar.
  2. In the window that opens, add, delete, and edit as necessary.
  3. Click "Done".
  4. Click"Update".


Select "Labels", in the sidebar.




Add, delete, and / or edit the label cloud.



If you have multiple labels, in multiple posts, that need changing, you can use a combination of the above techniques.

Beware the label limits.

When updating labels, you need to avoid exceeding the limits.

  • Per blog label count.
  • Per post label count.
  • Per post label character count.

If you exceed a limit, you may have less choices than you would want. If your changes are extensive, you may do well to script the task, before starting.



Making label changes, to multiple labels and / or posts, in a #Blogger blog, can be done using either the dashboard Posts page or Post Editor. There are reasons for choosing either alternative.

Microsoft Windows Security Updates, May 2016

If you use a computer that runs Microsoft Windows, you may have been affected by Microsoft supplied updates, distributed 3 weeks ago.

May 10 was the day termed "Patch Tuesday" - the day when Microsoft releases important security related patches, to its various Internet updated products. During the 3 weeks after May 10, we've seen a significant number of security related discussions, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.

It appears that Microsoft updates, for May 2016, affect use of Blogger.

The Microsoft Security updates, applied May 2016, appear to have affected various Blogger features, that are known to be vulnerable to layered security.

  • CAPTCHA visibility when daily post limit is exceeded.
  • Publishing comments, or replying to published comments.
  • Quick Edit icons.
  • Followers / Reading List maintenance.
  • Stats self initiated pageviews.

All of these features are known to be affected by cookie filters, and / or by script filters.

If you are using a computer that runs either Microsoft Windows 7 or Windows 10, and you are experiencing a problem with publishing comments, or with using Quick Edit, or with blocking your own views in Stats, or similar problems, you may want to check your cookie and script filters.

I note that some of the reports mention the browser used as Chrome or Firefox. You'll want to check filter settings in Windows Security Essentials.

Being realistic, it's also possible that Microsoft broke something within Windows - but we'll have to wait patiently, for them to admit that.

If you need different or more advice, please start a new topic in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue.



Microsoft released monthly security updates May 10, 2016 - and since that date, there have been a number of security filter related issues, reported in Blogger Help Forum. It appears that the the Microsoft Updates involve cookie or script filters, which affect use of Blogger.


HTTPS Redirect And Post Editor HTTPS Warnings

Last month, as part of the SSL rollout, Blogger added a page / post / template editor feature - that not everybody understands.

A blog with "HTTPS Redirect" enabled will provide SSL access, for every reader - both those who intentionally use HTTPS, and those who normally use classic "HTTP". Those who normally use "HTTP" will find themselves redirected to "HTTPS" - no choice.

When you use page editor, post editor, or template editor, on a blog which offers "HTTPS" to everybody, you may see an alarming alert.

If you decide to enable "HTTPS Redirect" on your blog, page editor, post editor, and template editor will let you know when you are editing mixed content.

This page contains HTTP resources which may cause mixed content affecting security and user experience if blog is viewed over HTTPS.


When editing pages and posts, on a blog with "HTTPS Redirect" enabled.



Editing your template so it mixes HTTP and HTTPS may affect the security and user experience of your blog when it is viewed over HTTPS. Learn more. Hide warning


And when editing the template, on a blog with "HTTPS Redirect" enabled.



You will have several choices, when encountering the "This page contains HTTP resources ..." / "Editing your template so it mixes HTTP and HTTPS" alert.

  • Change all links to "HTTPS:", using "Fix".
  • Fix each link selectively, and select "Dismiss".
  • Don't change anything, and select "Dismiss".
  • Don't enable "HTTPS Redirect".

Change all links to "HTTPS:", using "Fix".

Select "Fix" - and page / post / template editor will automatically change every "http:" reference to "https:".

You will have broken links, which reference services and websites that do not yet support SSL. You will eventually need to find out what services and websites you link and use, that don't provide SSL - and drop them, or encourage them to upgrade.

Fix each link selectively, and select "Dismiss".

You will have broken links, which reference services and websites that do not yet support SSL. The links that you leave as "HTTP:" will still throw "Mixed Content" warnings.

Don't change anything, and select "Dismiss".

Your blog will throw "Mixed Content" warnings.

Don't enable "HTTPS Redirect".

Let your readers decide how to access the blog. The readers who use HTTPS will see "Mixed Content" warnings.

"Mixed Content" warnings will be around, for a while.

Until all blogs, services, and websites provide SSL, every blog and website that links to or uses those blogs, services, and websites is going to throw "Mixed Content" warnings.

The purpose of the warnings is to let the readers of our blogs know of possible risk.

Hey! This blog has content that may not fully support your need for security!!

That's what the warnings are designed to do. Keep our readers informed, so they can protect themselves.



Not every blog owner knows what to do, when using #Blogger page, post, or template editor, and encountering the Blogger equivalent of a "Mixed Content" alert. Blogs that have the recently added "HTTP Redirect" option enabled will be susceptible to this alert.

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/blogger/SHhkzy1uh8g

Blogger Magic - Maintain Reading List Brevity

When you Follow a blog, the blog feed is added, as a subscription, to your dashboard Reading List.

This lets you read the blog content, conveniently, using the newsfeed. Separately from the Reading List, you can choose whether to have your personal Followers icon displayed, in the icon cloud on the blog display.

Besides maintaining anonymity in Following, you can hide any number of blogs, in the Reading List index, to make the index manageable.

You can display your Reading List, with the various blogs indexed in 3 states.

  • Hidden, and not shown.
  • Hidden, and temporarily shown.
  • Visible.

Just learn to hover the mouse cursor in the right spot, to the left of the index entries, to change the state of the individual blogs.

Hidden or not, the blog content will continue to display, in the main Reading List display. Hidden blogs simply appear or disappear - as needed - in the Reading List index.

Here's an example of Reading List index entries.


Start from the Reading List section of the dashboard home page.




Here, we see two blogs that are being Followed, both visible.




To hide a blog, hover the mouse cursor to the left of a given blog name, and click on the down arrow.




To show all hidden blogs, click on the right arrow to the left of "Hidden blogs".




Now, all blogs are displayed - and the hidden blogs are indicated.




To un hide a hidden blog, hover the mouse cursor to the left of the blog name, and click on the up arrow.




And we again have two blogs, both visible.



The actual content of the Reading List display does not change - just the Reading List index, on the left.



To help you use the #Blogger dashboard Reading List effectively, you have the ability to display or hide specific blogs in the index. This does not change Reading list content - just the index - and makes it easier to locate important blogs, repeatedly, in the index.

Blogger Magic - Make A Private Or Team Blog

Some blog owners like to restrict access to their blog - and others want to have multiple people able to publish, or maybe to administer their blog.

A few even want multiple administrators, and restricted access. Both private and team blogs involve use of the Permissions wizard, and the membership invitation / acceptance process.

Making either a private or a team blog starts from the Permissions wizard. Just keep the multiple functions, and the different links, in mind.

The Permissions wizard, on the dashboard Settings - Basic page, is how we setup both private and team blogs.

You invite members - prospective authors and readers - using "Add authors" and "Add readers", respectively.

Start from the dashboard Settings - Basic page, in both cases.

Start from the Settings - Basic page.




Find the Permissions wizard.



The "Add authors" link is used for adding both administrators and authors.

Click on "Add authors", to add prospective administrators and authors.


Click on "Add authors", and add prospective blog authors.

Add a list of names / email addresses, comma separated.



Paste or type email addresses of prospective administrators and authors, into the "Add authors" window. Or use "Choose from Contacts".

To make an administrator, wait until the invited author has accepted membership. Then, change "Author" to "Admin", in "Blog Authors". Don't change an author to administrator, unless you understand the risks!

The "Add readers" link is used for adding readers.

Click on "Add readers", to add prospective readers.


Click on "Add readers", and add prospective blog readers.

Add a list of names / email addresses, comma separated.



Paste or type email addresses of prospective readers, into the "Add readers" window. Or use "Choose from Contacts".

Select either "Only blog authors" or "Only these readers", for private blogs.

You can make a blog private to Authors - or have both Authors and Readers. Select "Only blog authors" or "Only these readers", respectively.

Each prospective member must accept membership.

For an invited author or reader to become an active member, they must open the email and accept membership.


Prospective authors and readers are listed as "open invitations" - under either the "Blog Authors" or "Blog Readers" window - until they accept the membership invitation.



Accepting membership involves opening the emailed membership invitation, and clicking on the invitation link. The new member can use an existing Blogger account - or setup a new Blogger account, on the fly.

A GMail account is not required - just a Blogger / Google account - existing or new.

Remember membership limits.

Whether you are making a private or a team blog, remember that every blog is limited to an absolute total of 100 members.
  • You.
  • Any additional administrators.
  • Authors.
  • Designated Readers.

Designated readers (in a private blog) are part of the 100 member limit. Un designated readers (in a public blog) are not part of the limit. A public blog can have any number of readers.

Membership revocation may not be immediate.

You can revoke or update membership of an administrator, author, and / or reader - but membership changes don't always take effect, immediately.


Making a #Blogger blog with administrators, authors, and / or readers starts with the Permissions wizard - and continues with each prospective member accepting membership, using email sent by the Permissions wizard.

https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!category-topic/blogger/Vd_L5xAtKFY

The Featured Post Gadget, With Multiple Posts

The "Featured Post" gadget is a useful tool, for spotlighting individual posts.

One of the limitations of the gadget is that it, like many (though not all) Blogger supplied gadgets, allows only one copy on the blog, at any time. The gadget is, after all, called "Featured Post" - not "Featured Posts". Blogger does not give us the ability to feature multiple posts, simultaneously.

Given a little imagination, we can make the gadget work, for multiple posts. We can't feature multiple posts, simultaneously - but we can alternate featured posts, sequentially.

Combining the "Featured Post" gadget and labels, we can alternately feature multiple posts, in a daily or weekly sequence.

I added a label in this blog, "Featured Posts".

I identified a couple dozen posts, in this blog, which need to be featured - and gave each post the label "Featured Posts". My intention, once the Blogger Followers gadget rewrite effort is behind us, is to feature one different post in "Featured Posts", each day.

Just edit the "Featured Post" gadget, and select a different post - each day.


The "Featured Post" gadget is at the top of my blog.




I can edit the gadget, and open the label list.




And, select "Featured Posts".




That gives me a list of my posts, with the "Featured Posts" label.




And, I selected the currently featured post, "Dear Followers Of This Blog".



Next month, I may select a different post to be displayed as a Featured Post.

So I can't feature more than one post at a time - but I can alternately feature different posts. And with some planning, I can make it easy to alternately feature different posts.



The #Blogger supplied "Featured Post" gadget can't be used with more than one such gadget on any blog, simultaneously. It is called "Featured Post" - maybe, for a reason.

With a little planning, though, you can organise the posts to be featured - and change the gadget, daily or weekly.

Blogger Magic - Comment Moderation Settings

If you publish a blog, and want your readers to comment, you need to decide whether to moderate comments.

Comment moderation, applied properly, help you to keep abusive and spam comments off your blog. If you want to publish a blog, and have real people commenting, you need to keep spam comments off the blog. People won't comment, if they have to compete with spam.

If you want to publish a blog, and allow Blogger Hosted comments, you really should moderate. If you don't moderate, prepare to remove spam comments after they are published. Remember that Google+ Hosted comments are moderated by the community.

You setup moderation, for Blogger Hosted comments, from the dashboard Settings - "Posts, comments and sharing" page.

Under "Comments", you have "Comment Moderation", with 3 settings.

  • Always.
  • Sometimes.
  • Never.


Moderation settings are in the Settings - Posts, comments and sharing page.



Moderate Always.

Every comment, published by somebody who is not an administrator or author, will be moderated.

With "Always" or "Sometimes" selected, moderated comments will be sent to each email address listed in "Email moderation requests to".


Select "Always", "Sometimes", or "Never".



You - or whoever is addressed under "Email moderation requests to" - will have the ability to moderate from the email message received. You, or any blog administrator, can moderate from the dashboard Comments - "Awaiting moderation" page.

Moderate Sometimes.

You can selectively moderate comments for older posts, with newer posts not subject to moderation.


If you select "Sometimes", you provide a moderation threshold.




Here, we are set to moderate all posts older than 14 days.



Every post subject to moderation will receive the treatment, selected for "Always". Every newer post, not subject to moderation, will permit any comment to be published immediately.

Moderate Never.

Any comment, submitted to be published, will publish immediately.

Dashboard moderation offers three options.

With every comment listed in the dashboard Comments - "Awaiting moderation" page, you have 3 options.

  • Publish.
  • Delete.
  • Spam.

Once one of these options is chosen, for any comment being moderated, you'll have similar - but not symmetrical - options.

EMail moderation offers similar options.

With each comment moderated by email, you'll have 3 similar options.

  • Publish.
  • Delete.
  • Mark as spam.


Select "Publish", "Delete", or "Mark as spam".



Besides moderation, you can select CAPTCHA verification.

Besides moderation, you can reduce spam, using CAPTCHA verification. If selected, all non administrators and authors will be subject to CAPTCHA verification.

If not selected, anybody commenting anonymously - and not signed in with a Google account - will still be subject to CAPTCHA verification. The "Show word verification" setting applies to comments posted with the publisher properly authenticated.

Right now, the CAPTCHA used is a word puzzle - and has received mixed reviews.

The bottom line.

As a blog owner, you should choose a comment moderation policy - if you allow Blogger Hosted comments.



If you allow #Blogger Hosted comments on your blog, you need to choose a moderation policy. Moderation is essential, to reduce spam, and encourage comments by actual blog readers.

Blogger Magic - Using "Add a Gadget"

One of the most useful features of Blogger is the ability to add many different accessories, to a blog.

There are accessories, for every blog - and for every owner preference. The "Add a Gadget" wizard, in the Blogger dashboard, is the best procedure for adding accessories, to customise a blog reliably.

Using "Add a Gadget" is a simple process. It will be most useful, in the long term, if used cautiously, however.

Adding a gadget is not difficult.


Start from the Blogger dashboard Layout page.




Click on any link to "Add a Gadget", to that template section.

This link, for instance, will add a gadget to the right sidebar.



Choose any of dozens of interesting and useful accessories.
















Be knowledgeable, when adding accessories.

Similar to the process of adding an HTML gadget, there are a few mistakes that you can avoid, when adding a gadget in general.

  1. Some sections of the Layout page may not allow gadgets to be added.
  2. When you find an interesting gadget, be selective!
  3. Some Blogger provided gadgets are found under "More Gadgets".
  4. Don't use "Add your own" - unless you know what you're doing!
  5. Add a new gadget, when adding important features.
  6. A gadget, as added, will be displayed on every page of the blog.

Some sections of the Layout page may not allow gadgets to be added.

Each template section can be subject to gadget limits, and to locking. This will prevent addition, removal, and / or re positioning of gadgets.

If you're unable to add, remove, or reposition a gadget, you may have to edit the template - and change the section settings.

When you find an interesting gadget, be selective!

"Add Gadget" lists gadgets produced by third party developers, as well as by Blogger Engineering. Some non Blogger produced gadgets won't benefit your blog, in the long term.


Look for "By Blogger", for the best choices.



Not all third party gadgets are intentionally malicious - but the most reliable gadgets will be explicitly labeled "By Blogger".

Some Blogger provided gadgets are found under "More Gadgets".

The "Basics" tab in "Add a Gadget" contains mostly gadgets "By Blogger" - and most gadgets "By Blogger" are found in "Basics". Some gadgets "By Blogger" are in "More Gadgets" - and you may have to search that list, carefully, to find what you need.

Don't use "Add your own" - unless you know what you're doing!

There are 3 tabs, in "Add a Gadget".
  1. Basics.
  2. More Gadgets.
  3. Add your own.
The latter, "Add your own", can lead to frustration.

If you are not familiar with coding XML gadgets (and probably do not need this advice), don't bother with "Add your own". Stick with "Basics" and "More Gadgets".

Add a new gadget, when adding important features.

You can install HTML code using the Template Editor - or you can add an HTML snippet into an existing HTML gadget - if you wish. I highly recommend that you add a new HTML gadget, for each important accessory, though.

A gadget, as added, will be displayed on every page of the blog.

By default, a gadget, once added, will be visible on every template page. You can, with some care and effort, make specific gadgets display selectively.

Enjoy adding accessories, properly.

So enjoy accessorising your blog - just accessorise carefully.



You can add any number of useful accessories, to a #Blogger blog, using the "Add a Gadget" wizard in the dashboard Layout page. The best choices are explicitly labeled "By Blogger".

Diagnosing Geographical Location / IP Address

We see various problems reported, in Blogger Help Forum: Get Help with an Issue, which may involve geographical or network relationships.
Why can't I regain access to my blog, that I stopped publishing 5 years ago?
and
Why can't I see my blog?
and
Why does my dashboard show up in a language that I can't read?
With questions like these, it helps to know how and where the owner and / or readers of the blog get Internet service.

Geographical location and IP address are useful details, when diagnosing various problems with our blogs.

  • Access and authentication.
  • Connectivity.
  • Language.

Address / location diagnosis is not a difficult procedure, given the right tools. As an example, click on each of these three links, one by one. Print or copy text details, as convenient - then combine and compare the details, from the different services.


There are other similar tools, that I may identify later.

I'll show each location discovery tool, from various geographical locations. This will illustrate the uncertainties of geographical vs geolocated location - and why use of multiple ("redundant") online diagnostic tools is a good idea.

I clicked on each link, twice - while connected differently - and made the screen prints from these geographical locations. I may show additional locations as I use them.

  • 22 May, 2016: MacDonalds, Martinez CA
  • 23 May, 2016: StarBucks, Martinez CA


"IP-Details.com"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Austin, TX
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 64.134.233.29
Provider: MacDonalds




"IP Location"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Valencia, CA
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 64.134.233.29
Provider: MacDonalds




"Info Sniper"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: (Los Angeles, CA)
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 64.134.233.29
Provider: MacDonalds




"IP-Details.com"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Bedminster, NJ
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.3.7
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"IP Location"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Rohnert Park, CA
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.3.7
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"Info Sniper"
Date: 22 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: (Los Angeles CA)
Geographical Location: MacDonalds, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.3.7
Provider: Verizon Cellular



---


"IP-Details.com"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location:
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 50.247.110.187
Provider: StarBucks




"IP Location"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Menlo Park CA
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 50.247.110.187
Provider: StarBucks




"Info Sniper"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Milpitas CA
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 50.247.110.187
Provider: StarBucks




"IP-Details.com"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Bedminster, NJ
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.12.193
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"IP Location"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Salinas CA
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.12.193
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"Info Sniper"
Date: 23 May, 2016
Diagnosed Location: South San Francisco CA
Geographical Location: StarBucks, Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.197.12.193
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"IP-Details.com"
Date: 5 June, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Bedminster, NJ
Geographical Location: Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.213.0.103
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"IP Location"
Date: 5 June, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Berkeley CA
Geographical Location: Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.213.0.103
Provider: Verizon Cellular




"Info Sniper"
Date: 5 June, 2016
Diagnosed Location: Oakland CA
Geographical Location: Martinez, CA
IP Address: 70.213.0.103
Provider: Verizon Cellular



Geolocation is a useful diagnostic tool, when diagnosing various Blogger problems - but geolocated details, using the above tools (or complementary procedures), need to be persistently cross checked. Tomorrow, or from a different location or service, one may see different results.

Access and authentication.

Sometimes when trying to regain access to a dormant blog, you'll be advised to access from the previously used computer. Google uses location comparisons, as part of demographic authentication.

Connectivity.

Some blog disconnections may have geographical origin. Knowing where you, and other blog readers may be (or appear to be), can be useful in determining a geographical relationship between problems.

Language.

Blogger uses geolocation to determine appropriate local language. Knowing where you are - or appear to be - can be useful in determining why you may be seeing the Blogger dashboard and / or your blog, in a given language.

The bottom line.

Along with blog address / name / URL verification, location diagnosis is a useful procedure - but the results need to be considered discretely.



When diagnosing various access / connectivity problems with #Blogger, knowing the IP address and location of the reported problem is useful. It's easy to get the desired details - but the details may need to be verified, carefully.

https://productforums.google.com/d/topic/blogger/4LkxHxYsj1c/discussion

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