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The New Followers Gadget

The new Followers gadget is out - and is causing some confusion.

If you are Following a blog - either your own blog, or somebody else's - and you examine the Followers gadget, you will see a button labeled "UnFollow".

Long ago, "UnFollow" was a selection, in the "Options" menu.

The "Unfollow" button is there, to let you stop Following a blog that you are Following.

"Unfollow" lets you stop Following any blog - yours or not.


If you are Following this blog, you should see a button labeled "Unfollow".



Previously, "Stop Following" was just one link, in the Followers gadget Options menu. Now, it's a button, in the gadget.


This blog, with the Followers gadget, as I see it.



If I wish to Unfollow a blog - possibly because I can Follow only 300 blogs at any time - I can click "Unfollow".


Since I am Following my blog, I see a button labeled "Unfollow".



Long ago, "Stop Following" was an "Options" menu selection.

Previously, the "Stop Following"" option was available, behind the "Options" link in the gadget.


What we used to see.



A blog that you are not Following will display a "Follow" button.

We see a "Follow" button, on blogs that we are not Following.


I am not Following this blog.




Since I am not Following this blog, I see a button labeled "Follow".



It's that simple. If you are Following a blog, you'll see an "Unfollow" button. If you're not Following, you should see "Follow".

If you wish to Follow, you will need a Blogger / Google account - though not necessarily a GMail account.

If you see "Follow" when viewing this blog, you are welcome to click on the button.



The #Blogger Followers gadget now has an "UnFollow" button, visible to people who are Following a blog. Previously, "UnFollow" was a "Stop Following" selection, in the gadget "Options" menu.

The CAPTCHA Continues As A Challenge

This month, we are again seeing evidence of recent security changes by Microsoft. We see signs of continued frustration, in the process of publishing comments - and publishing posts, as part of the Import process.

In the process of diagnosing an apparent comment publishing problem, I ventured into the comment publishing experience, yet again.

I temporarily tweaked commenting permissions for this blog, to allow anonymous comments and to require the CAPTCHA.

With CAPTCHA required, I published a test comment to my earlier post in this blog.


I did my best - which was not good enough.



CAPTCHA solving continues, as a challenge.


I entered a test comment, and made appropriate selections.




I got a challenge.

"Select all the food."




I did my best.




Apparently, my best was not enough.

"Select all images with a store front."




I tried again. Not all images here were completely obvious, either.




My second try was successful.



Hmm.

Select all the food.

Zoom in on the fourth image, above - and tell me which pictures, that I did not select, are food? To whom? Will zooming always improve chances of success?

CAPTCHA solving, as spam interdiction, will always lead to frustration.

There will be cultural issues - and resolution problems - with CAPTCHAs. This version of the CAPTCHA beats the one from several years ago - but still will cause frustration.

And need I again point out - will require proper filter tuning, on each computer used. Note that ongoing changes by Microsoft are currently affecting publishing comments - and publishing posts during the Import process.

And our experience may very, depending upon many different details, varying by blog, by computer, and by person. My sympathies to all who must deal with spam - and with spam interdiction.



The CAPTCHA continues to be an unavoidable element in comment publishing and other episodes of #Blogger life. And like life, some episodes are more pleasant than others.

Switch Between Your Blogger And Google+ Profiles

Long ago, when Blogger blog owners were given the option to associate their Blogger account with Google+, some would try out their new identities - then change their minds.

Some blog owners would upgrade to a dynamic, exciting Google+ profile - then regret their decision. Not everybody appreciated the features offered by Google+, as applied to a Blogger blog.

Blogger gave us the ability to revert to a Blogger profile - within 30 days. This did not help people who took over 30 days to observe problems.

Recently, Blogger Engineering improved our ability to choose a Blogger or Google+ profile, for our Blogger accounts.

You can choose either your Blogger or Google+ profile, as desired.


You can select either a Blogger or Google+ profile, when it's convenient.



You use the "Edit User Settings" wizard, to select your Blogger or Google+ profile - when you have both profiles associated with your Blogger account.

Use the dashboard menu - or bookmark a shortcut.

Just start from the dashboard home page, and the "gear" icon menu. Or you can bookmark the wizard.


Start from the dashboard home page.




Click on the "gear" icon.




Then click on "Edit User Settings".




That gives you the "Edit User Settings" wizard.




Now, you can select either a Blogger or Google+ profile, as convenient.



If your Blogger account has both a Blogger and Google+ profile, you can simply select one or the other, as convenient. Some Blogger features are based on the profile used by the blog owner, so consider the selection carefully - but the selection is at least available.



#Blogger blog owners, who have Blogger accounts associated with both Blogger and Google+ profiles, can now switch between one and the other, as convenient. Consider the change, carefully - but make the change, when necessary.

Blogger Magic - Third Party Templates

There are millions of Blogger blog owners - and each owner has their own idea, how their blog should look.

Not every blog owner is willing to settle for using a Blogger supplied template. Some blog owners design their own templates - and others choose templates provided by non Blogger developers.

Some blog owners - even those with no technical background - choose third party supplied templates, and demand instructions in Blogger Help Forum: Learn More About Blogger. Not every blog owner can be supported, according to their personal level of need.

It's OK for you to install a new third party template, for your blog - though you should plan to do some extra work.

Third party templates should include some installation instructions.

A template publisher should provide instructions for uploading and installing their template. Installation procedures may vary, however.

  • Easy install.
  • Template restore.
  • Template Edit HTML.

Easy install.

If the template publisher is honourable, using an install script, provided by the template publisher, can be the most reliable install procedure. A well written script can extract the template of your choice from the publishers library, copy it to your blog, and tweak the install to your satisfaction.

Giving control of your Blogger account, to an unknown third party, is not always the best idea, however.

Template restore.

If the template publisher provides a template as an XML file, and describes the template as "for Blogger", you can install the template from the dashboard. You will first download the template of your choice, to a local computer.

With a template downloaded locally, you use the Blogger "Backup / Restore" wizard, in the dashboard Template page.


Start with the dashboard Template page.




Hit the "Backup / Restore" button.




Hit the "Choose File" button.




Now, you have the file manager, provided with your computer. Select the file, containing the template just downloaded.



The "Backup / Restore" wizard is part of the Blogger dashboard. The template will be selected, using the file manager wizard on the computer being used.

Template Edit HTML.

This is the most universal procedure - if the template is provided as HTML. Just use the Blogger "Edit HTML" wizard, in the dashboard Template page.


The simplest install uses "Edit HTML", from the dashboard Template page.




Copy the HTML or Text file content, into the window.



In some cases, you may have to do some work, to use an HTML template.

It's your blog - and the template choice is yours too.

You can use any acceptable third party blog template. Many blog features will perform best, though, if you use the Blogger supplied post template.

To ensure up to date Blogger code, always refresh the post template, after installing a third party blog template.

And as always, I'll suggest that you backup the template, before and after installing a custom template.

If you install a third party template, you may have to support your blog, on your own.

Please understand that Blogger won't be able to support your third party template - that is the responsibility of the template publisher. Problems with your blog, after installing third party accessories, will be yours to resolve.



There are millions of #Blogger blog owners - and each owner is different. Blog design - and templates used - will vary similarly.

Some blog owners cannot be satisfied by the Blogger supplied template library - and require third party produced templates.

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