Monday, February 26, 2007

Test - Is email posting working again yet?


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Blogger status

Blogger does in fact have a status page, but I don't think it is updated frequently enough to offer real-time status. To my mind, the top few items should be shown directly on the Blogger Dashboard web page.

In my opinion, Blogger status should also indicate problems that have been reported that may not yet have solutions.

-- Jack Krupansky

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Time lost screwing around with Blogger

I figure that I've lost over three hours of my time this weekend trying to figure out and work around problems with Blogger. When working, it is a powerful and useful tool, but problems can be extremely frustrating.

-- Jack Krupansky

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Blogger bug: Colon in post title causes title text to be mangled

I tried to use the following text for the title of my previous post:

Blogger bug: View Blog for new post needs refresh

but it gets posted as:

logfor new post needs refresh

The colon triggered the malfunction.

So, I changed it to a dash and that works fine.

I don't think I ever encountered this problem when posting via email.

Funny, I tried to reproduce the problem with this post, but instead of mangling the title, I lose the labels and the most recent edit of the post when I click on the "edit" icon for the post.

Turns out, there is a workaround for that as well: do a browser "refresh" after you click on the "edit" icon for the post.

-- Jack Krupansky

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Blogger bug: View Blog for new post needs refresh

After creating and publishing a new post in Blogger's web interface, I click on the "View Blog" link and I do in fact see my blog, but as it was before the new post. I have to manually refresh the browser (IE 7) to see the updated blog. Blogger should force the refresh itself. This bug has been around forever (I started using Blogger two years ago.)

-- Jack Krupansky

Blogger still blocking email posts

As of this morning, Blogger is still blocking emailed posts. This feature was working 24 hours ago, but broke yesterday afternoon. There is nothing on the Blogger status page to indicate that there is any problem, and Blogger has not replied to a problem report that I submitted.

My two main interests in posting by email are convenience (most of my work is done in email) and the fact that email keeps a record of sent messages, so I have my full blogging history stored in my email folders.

I'll go ahead and post directly in Blogger today. Hopefully on Monday (don't people at Google work on weekends... don't they know the meaning of "24/7" or "reliability"??) we'll see some action and resolution.

-- Jack Krupansky

Test 4

-- Jack Krupansky

Test 3

Another test to see if email posting is working again.

-- Jack Krupansky

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Blogger refusing email posts for one of my blogs

For some reason, Blogger is not accepting email post to one of my other blogs. I've tried all the normal tricks, including the use of a different email account and changing the email code word, but not a peep. There are no bounceback messages nor are the posts stored as drafts. Unless there is a service outage, I suspect that Blogger decided that my posts were spam for some unknown reason.

I tried sending this post via email, but the same problem happens, so I ended up manually posting it. Sigh. Hopefully it is really just a service outage.

-- Jack Krupansky

Blogger refusing email posts for one of my blogs

For some reason, Blogger is not accepting email post to one of my other blogs. I've tried all the normal tricks, including the use of a different email account and changing the email code word, but not a peep. There are no bounceback messages nor are the posts stored as drafts. Unless there is a service outage, I suspect that Blogger decided that my posts were spam for some unknown reason.

-- Jack Krupansky

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Muliple blogs on Windows Live Spaces requires multiple Live IDs

Blogger lets me manage multiple blogs all under one login ID (Google account). I had heard that Microsoft Windows Live Spaces would allow me to have multiple blogs, but I searched high and low and was unable to find an equivalent feature in Live. I checked some more, and it turns out that yes you can have multiple blogs on Live Spaces, but each requires its own space and Live ID, somewhat akin to having multiple Hotmail accounts. Oh well.

I'm sure that Windows Live Spaces (that's the full and proper name) will eventually catch up with Blogger, but for now you have to resort to the multiple Live ID workaround.

-- Jack Krupansky

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Unable to post to a Blogger blog via email - workaround

This morning I was unable to post to some of my blogs via email. I tried again and tried all of the usual suspect workarounds, but nothing worked. What did finally work was to change the secret codes associated with email posting for the blogs. That did the trick and now all is wonderful in the world again.

As I migrated some of my blogs to the new version of Blogger I did get a polite email from Blogger informing me that the prefix for the email posting addresses was changing in some cases, but I didn't see any hint that my secret code words would also need to change and in fact the email explicitly said they wouldn't be changing. Further, the blog I was having trouble with had not yet been migrated.

But, at least we now have a known workaround.

-- Jack Krupansky

Migrated to the new version of Blogger

I finally bit the bullet and migrated all of my Blogger blogs to the new version of Blogger. All seven of them are now consolidated under one Google account.

The blogs each has their own distinct identity, but I can now more conveniently manage them together.

-- Jack Krupansky

Sunday, February 11, 2007

What is the date?

The trouble with a global 24/7 interconnected world is that you quickly become unmoored from any sense of location, or even date and time. Just now I found myself wondering what the date was. Sure I can check my computer's clock, but that confirms the point.

I was reading a story on The New York Times web site entitled "For Clinton and Obama, Different Tests on Iraq" and wasn't sure if it was from today or yesterday. Parts seemed very familiar, but other parts of the article seemed new. So, I scrolled back to the top of the first page of the article and checked. It said "Published: February 12, 2007", which is neither today or yesterday, but tomorrow. Granted today is alread tomorrow on the west side of the international date line, but what exactly does it mean for an article to say "Published: February 12, 2007" when it is posted on a web site on February 11, 2007? I'm assuming it simply means "To be Published in the print edition that will be dated: February 12, 2007."

The "dateline" for the article is Feb 11, which is in fact today, but probably means that at least some of the reporting and possibly even some of the writing were done on Saturday, February 10.

For the record, I am posting this on Sunday, February 11, 2007 at 8:34 p.m. PT. Hopefully Blogger will properly record that date and time.

-- Jack Krupansky

Does Barack Obama have his own personal campaign blog?

Okay, so U.S. Senator Barack Obama is supposed to be the new, young, "fresh face" kid on the block. So, he should be "net savvy", right? Well, maybe he isn't. Simply hiring people to do all that "net stuff" is not good enough if you are trying and need to distance yourself from the old-school politicians. Techmeme drew my attention to a blog post by A VC entitled "That's Not How You Do It Obama" that complains that:

I had high hopes for Barack Obama's net savvy. But today his campaign blew it. I heard that he announced his candidacy for President today in Springfield, IL, where Lincoln did the same thing almost 150 years ago. I decided to go see the video. I went to Obama's website and clicked on the video. Turns out it only plays in Internet Explorer. Firefox and Apple users were directed to another link that didn't work for me. That sucks.
[My emphasis.]

But, A VC does flip flop and turn around and praise Obama:

But despite all the bungles today and they made a bunch, I do think Obama's team gets the net. They just have some work to do to get it right. The Obama website is certainly a lot better than Hillary's. So is Edward's for that matter. Both Obama and Edwards have links to flickr, youtube, facebook, and myspace pages on their home page. That's smart.
[My emphasis.]

What bugs me is that so many people believe it is only "the team" that is supposed to "get the net", and there appears to be little effort to get the candidates themselves to engage in online conversations on a daily basis.

I don't expect the old-school politicians to be savvy and comfortable enough to get into "this blog thing", but if you want to be truly hard-core "net savvy", start personally posting to a personal blog.

I see something called "Community Blogs" on the Obama web site, but no sign of a personal campaign blog with posts authored by the candidate himself on a regular basis.

If Obama wants to be treated as "net savvy", he personally need to be net savvy, including a personal blog. It is not about knowledge or nice words... it is about commitment and action.

I await his (personal) reply... but I'm not holding my breath.

Maybe he simply feels that he is "too busy" to talk with us. Maybe he feels it is beneath him.

My personal advice to all of the campaigns: have your guy allocate 20 minutes of every day to doing a brief blog post. Not a full-length essay, but just a few quick thoughts about how events of that day affected him or hopes and expectations he has for the following day, or a reply to something staff may have found on some other blog. Something. Anything. But show us that he really does care what we think and actually does want to have a conversation rather than merely collect our votes.

I send that challenge not just to Obama since he is supposed to be the new-new guy, but to all of the candidates. I would love to see Hillary follow my advice, but I'm not holding my breath on that either.

-- Jack Krupansky

Global Neighborhoods or does geography really matter?

Shel Israel of Naked Conversations fame is working on a new book entitled Global Neighborhoods, premised in large part on the precept that with the advent of the Internet, geography no longer matters. Today, I read an article in The New York Times by G. Pascal Zachary entitled "When It Comes to Innovation, Geography Is Destiny" which posits that geography does matter, saying that "Yet the inescapable lesson of the iPod, Google, eBay, Netflix and Silicon Valley in general is that where you live often trumps who you are." Grrrr... so, which is it. And don't tell me... "it all depends", even though that may in fact be the correct answer.

My own answer is that network communications technologies simply allow us to "be" in any geography we want to be. You don't need to "be" in Silicon Valley, you simply need to engage in network contacts or conversations with those who actually are in the Silicon Valley environs... or at least you think they are, since in the online world, illusions are the only reality.

I await Shel's answer. I am not communicating this question to him directly, but through the miracles of modern, Global Neighborhood technologies, he will, as if by magic, know that I just posted this query.

Incidentally, I have a cousin down in LA who has a new Internet venture called BuzzDash. Check it out... unless you are one of those dinosaurs who believe that geography really is everything. Hey, LA is in the same time zone as Silicon Valley; isn't that close enough?

-- Jack Krupansky

The Wizards of Buzz

I just checked TechMeme, and the top item was an article in the Wall Street Journal Online by Jamin Warren and John Jurgensen entitled "The Wizards of Buzz - A new kind of Web site is turning ordinary people into hidden influencers, shaping what we read, watch and buy" which highlights the emergence of a trend towards focusing on the opinions of key users, letting people express their opinions in a way that can be tallied and winners identified.

The Journal article, dated Saturday, February 10, 2007 failed to note the latest entrant to this hot phenomenon: BuzzDash. It is still in beta, but they will begin a marketing push soon. BuzzDash lets you vote on polling questions, called BuzzBites, tallying and displaying the results and letting you comment on the question and view the comments of others as well. You can even suggest your own BuzzBites or put BuzzBites on your own web site or blog.

BuzzDash is easier to use than, say, if all you want to do is express your opinion on a clearly defined question.

Virtually nobody knew about the site at the time the Journal article was published, but that could change quickly over the coming weeks and months.

My interest here... this is my cousin's latest business venture.

-- Jack Krupansky

Saturday, February 10, 2007

What's your opinion? - inquiring minds really do need to know and so does BuzzDash

Do you have an opinion on any of the following questions:

  • The death of Anna Nicole Smith?
  • Whether Google will be the top search engine in 2010?
  • How many hours of TV you watch every day?
  • The best location for a vacation home?
  • Whether Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are really in love or is it just an act?
  • Did Lindsey Lohan really have an appendectomy?
  • Is Russell Crowe the biggest jerk?
  • Should Mark McGwire be elected to the Hall of Fame?
  • Will the defending champion Carolina Hurricanes make the playoffs?
  • What will happen to real estate prices over the next 2-3 years?
  • What is the greatest near-term threat to the US economy?
  • What is your overall perception of Wal-Mart?
  • Where will Google shares close on Dec. 31, 2007?
  • Is the troop surge in Iraq a good idea?
  • Is global warming proven and caused by man?
  • Is America ready for a female president?
  • Does Nancy Pelosi really need a bigger plane?
  • Who will win the Democratic presidential nomination?
  • Who will win the Republican presidential nomination?
  • Are term limits for politicians a good idea?
  • Which version of The Office is better (U.S. or UK)?
  • Which movie will win the Oscar for best picture?
  • PC or Mac?
  • What best explains the origins of life on earth?
  • Which would you rather own as a pet?
  • Coke or Pepsi?
  • Questions of your own

If so, check out the new web site called BuzzDash. It's in beta, but looks like it is fairly decent.

They have a bunch of categories of questions that you can vote on.

Each polling question is called a BuzzBite.

My interest here... this is my cousin's latest business venture.

-- Jack Krupansky

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Blogger reliability has improved

Blogger's reliability for email posting has been significantly improved for three weeks now. I haven't had a bounced email post since January 13, 2007.

Whether this is a fluke or a sign that they are getting their act together remains to be seen.

In any case, I am greatful for the reliable (and free) service.

-- Jack Krupansky

Friday, February 02, 2007

Experimental blogging on Microsoft Windows Live Spaces

I'm starting to play around a bit more with blogging on Microsoft Windows Live Spaces. This is simply as an experiment. It doesn't feel as useful to me as Blogger, yet.

But, I am getting a little more comfortable with it. Especially since I figured out how to easily view only the blog and not all of the other "decoration" that you get with a full-blown "space".

Here is my Live Spaces blog: Jack Krupansky - My blogging outpost on Live Spaces.

That link takes you to the stripped-down blog. This link takes you to the fully "decorated" space.

My latest experiment is to email a post that has a linked picture embedded in it. I do this all the time with Blogger, and can do it now with Live Spaces if I email from Outlook Express, but it is problematic using full-blown Outlook. That's odd, but I'm investigating it further.

There are other ways of easy posting to Live Spaces, such as directly from Word, and the new Live Writer tool. Each has their advocates, but I like the sheer simplicity and convenience of posting via email, probably since that's where I do most of my work these days anyway.

-- Jack Krupansky