12 February 2010

Two Answers, A Questions, A Request, and An Apology

Lord knows I am no kind of blogging guru. I know enough to get around, meaning, I only mess with HTML if I have to.

But I figured out two things about Blogger recently that I thought were worth sharing.

Answer 1) Like lots of people, I am periodically plagued with comment spam. Word verification helps, but it's so annoying that I usually leave it off. Recently, the comment spam has all been landing on old posts - which, happily, is easy to remedy. Find your Blogger Dashboard and then go to Settings > Comments > Comment moderation - and enable comment moderation on older posts. Blogger's default is 14 days, but you can set the time frame to longer or shorter. Then, if a spammer tries to comment on an old post, it won't appear, and you can easily delete it from your Blogger dashboard.

Answer 2) I finally got sick of the blogroll that ate my sidebar, a blogroll that was pulling from Bloglines even though I stopped using Bloglines as a reader. It was out of date and out of control. But I'd been reluctant to use the Google Reader widget because it was, to me anyway, ugly and I didn't know how to make it match my template. I figured it out! I started by selecting a handful of feeds and tagging them "Blogs You Should Read" - tagging them let me select a subset of the whole damned list of feeds, and creates a folder with the tag name. Then, in Reader, click on Settings > Reader Settings (towards the upper right of the window). From Settings, click onto Folders and Tags.


Make sure that the folder is marked "Public", and then click the link that says "Add a blogroll to your site". That'll take you to a pop-up window where you can configure the sidebar widget. Leave the title box EMPTY and set the color scheme to NONE. Copy the generated HTML and go back to your Blogger Layout page. Add an HTML widget and paste in the HTML that you just copied out of Reader. If you want a title, add one here. That way, the title and list in your new blogroll widget will pick up the styling that applies to the rest of your blog. Matchy matchy joy!

Question) Sitemeter lets me see a lot of information on a per visit basis - like Domain Name, IP Address, Country, City, Time of Visit, Visit Length, Page Views, Referring URL, Visit Entry Page, etc. Is there a way to get that kind of detail out of Google Analytics? Because if there is, I can't figure it out.

Request) Please enable your email in your Blogger profile. Click on your profile and make sure it's linked to your blog and your email. You can have a separate email exclusively for blog stuff, if you'd like. If you don't have a real blog, you can set up a "blog" without any content so that you have a profile with an email. This also goes for people with other than Blogger blogs - you can have a Blogger profile that links to your Wordpress/SquareSpace/TypePad blog - or even to your Etsy shop. But the email is key - it's what lets me reply to your comment, which I dearly love to do.

Apology) Blogger seems to be comment challenged of late. I can't comment most of the time, at least from the (cough) PC in the (cough) office. So, I may well have been reading and not commenting, but the not commenting isn't my fault. And I still love you.

10 comments:

Stimey said...

First: Awesome about the comment moderation on older posts. I didn't know you could do that. Great tip! Thanks!

Second: I'm so honored to have made your blogroll list. :)

Third: Yes, about the enabling email. Yes, yes, yes!!!

Bibliomama said...

That is a good tip.

But on your 'blogs you should read' every time I click on 'view all' I don't get to view all, I get redirected to a random blog. Just thought you'd want to know, in case it's not just me (even though it almost invariably is just me).

Bron said...

I have no idea what you're talking about. How does everyone know what a widget is? Blogroll? I just want to read, Internet! Stop throwing new things at me...

That's it, this thing is going out the window...

painted maypole said...

ha1 i am SO doing the comment moderation on older posts. brilliant!

Kelly said...

Yes, yes, yes to enabling e-mail. I like being able to respond to comments too. A certain blogger I know showed me how lovely it is when your comments get a response.

;)

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Such great advice I had to Stumble it. I love the look of the blogroll. It blends perfectly.

I've had a lot of spam on the older posts of the LFCA, but they're all within the last two weeks. So annoying. I need to reset the time length.

Kyla said...

I love that comment verification feature! I need to do the blogroll thing sometime, but it is way down on my to do list.

I don't think Google Analytics does that fancy stuff...wish it did!

bernthis said...

if you can figure out how to get back the hundreds of readers that I lost switching to Wordpress I will be your slave for...well..okay for a whole day

niobe said...

Excellent tips. Which everyone should follow. Immediately.

nonlineargirl said...

You know, I always wondered why I could see some people's email and others show up as anonymous. Clever.

Also, I don't know what I am doing wrong, but I can't get GA to see that I have any visitors (which I seem to as I got some comments today). I wonder if I still have code from an older version of GA wedged in there somewhere that is messing with things. Grrr.