The OFFICIAL MASTER LIST: (sign-ups are closed)

Monday, March 19, 2012

RECAPPING - Some valuable information revisited...

Hi, I’m Jenny Pearson, a co-host of the upcoming A to Z Challenge and I’m here today to talk about the stuff that goes on behind the scenes with your blog; a little recapping, if you will!

Recently, I posted about Disabling Word Verification (WV). 
While setting up a Test Blog, for the occasion of making a short video on WV, I noticed Blogger’s New interface (the behind the scenes area where you tweak your blog) DID NOT have an option for disabling word verification. This has now been corrected.
You can now change WV setting in the New Blogger interface. I guess Blogger heard the hue and cry!! Good thing - better late than never.
Here is what the area now looks like:

This is another area many bloggers (old and new alike) are having frustrations with. 
How do you change back and forth between the two interfaces?

If you are a relatively new blogger you are automatically using the New interface, and may find it frustrating - have you checked out the usability of the Old interface? 
Here’s how to got back and forth between the two:

This picture shows going from the New to Old interface...
And this one shows going from the Old to New interface...

I encourage you to play with both - but you should note Blogger is “forcing” the New interface style upon us little by little and I suspect in short order we will all be required to use the New interface whether we like it or not.
With that in mind, take a look at them both and decide for yourself which you prefer. Your say has more clout than you realize, so don’t hesitate to press the feedback button and let the folks a Blogger know which you prefer, and why. I’m forever pressing the feedback button! 
And here’s where the feedback button is...seems it's just available in New interface mode.

I’m aware that things evolve and change constantly, but I think Blogger has missed the boat with their “new” look and its apparent lack of functionality.
In their attempt to modernize it appears they have created unstructured, poorly laid out pages which are not as easy to navigate as the Old interface. (even though Blogger thinks otherwise)
What is your take on the Old vs New interface? Which do you prefer?
HERE you will find Blogger’s Using our upgraded interface page - which does a decent job of explaining the new interface. Their short videos are useful too. (it doesn’t mean I like it any better)
Have you set up the comment area of your blog to be efficient and easy for bloggers to use?
You have three options
Full Page
Pop-up Window
Embedded Below Post
Hide (only in New interface)
You can find these options, under Settings (in both Old and New interface):
Old interface users: Click on Comments, these options will be next to the sub-heading: Comment Form Placement.
New interface users: Click Posts and Comments, under Comments they will appear under the sub-heading: Comment Location? 
Make it easy for visitors to your blog to leave a comment. Think about what you have experienced when leaving comments at sites you you find it easy? This is what others will be asking when they come to your site too. 
I can’t stress enough the importance of disabling word verification. cannot see word verification on your own site. You must check your Settings to confirm this option is set on NO.

  • The Challenge starts Sunday, April 1st

On this day you will post the Letter is a calendar which you can drag onto your desktop to keep you on track.

  • During the Challenge make time to visit blogs on the sign-up list. 

We encourage you to start by visiting the blog right after yours on the sign-up list. Aim for five (5) a day, on posting days. This ensures that every blog on the list has someone dropping by to check out their Challenge posts.
  • Take the time to check out these related posts and the FAQ in the Tab area:

  • Tomorrow, March 20th we will be announcing the winner of the A to Z Video Challenge.

Thanks for stopping by!
Now, I would like to invite you over to PEARSON REPORT to enjoy an incredibly entertaining guest post by Stephen Tremp, author of BREAKTHROUGH, and the newly released OPENING.


Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Jenny - thanks for this extremely informative post .. it will be really useful to many.

Could I add perhaps a point you might want to include in the main post:

You know and so do others .. that I haven't been able to comment in embedded comment boxes for a year or so ..

Someone suggested I used the IE plug in - which worked .. I just had to reload the blog post using that - 'simple' even if it was another step .. at least I could comment and participate. That stopped working late last year ..

I've just reloaded Chrome and the IE plug in .. and I can now comment again once I've loaded embedded comment posts via this plug in ...

What would be wonderful if we could get our comments emailed to us .. if we're using the old interface as I am - after the A - Z I think I must come back and study this post - to see if I can update to the new interface ...

Cheers for now - good luck to everyone with the A - Z Challenge - it'll be so much fun ..

Happy Spring everyone .. excellent post Jenny, thanks so much - Hilary

Sarah Tokeley said...

Thank you for the calendar. I don't know why it's been so difficult for me to put the right letters on the right days :-)

Rebecka Vigus said...

My blog with the new google interface does not look anything like your test one. And it does not give me the option to use the old interface. What now?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad they changed it so people can turn off the word verification in the new interface. That was really confusing some bloggers.

S.A. Larsenッ said...

Love the information in this post. Deserves a tweet!!

Matthew MacNish said...

This is a most excellent summary and breakdown, Jenny! Thanks for putting all this work into it. I definitely prefer the old interface, but I know I won't have much choice sometime soon.

Arlee Bird said...

Very comprehensive and easy to understand explanation of things. This should be helpful to a lot of folks.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out
Twitter: @AprilA2Z
Please vote for your favorite A to Z Video

Anonymous said...

This has a lot of useful information in it. Thanks Jenny!

Nicole said...

Great preparation post for A to Z participants. I keep a note of the days using that little graphic in the sidebar of this blog, but I still dragged your calendar over to my computer this morning, so I can have it on hand.

I haven't tested the new Blogger interface and doubt that I will be playing around with it much any time soon, as I am in the midst of moving my blog elsewhere. I will check it out later though, to see what it offers and whether or not I should switch to it or remain with the old interface for my other blog that I've abandoned for like 3 years, lol.

Blogging The Madlab Post while socializing @MadlabPost on Twitter

Jarm Del Boccio said...

This was very helpful, Jenny! Although I am worried, because I can't find my blog title in the list...I thought it was in the 400-700 category. I did change the title on my own blog. It was "Traveling Through History" and now it is "Making the Write Connections". Maybe it's my eyes, but I can't find it on the sign up list...can someone help me?

Darlene ~Bloggity Blogger~ said...

Yes! Blogger does listen to desires of the blogger. I wrote to them about having to switch to the old interface to remove captcha feature. In no time, it seemed, they fixed the problem. (I'm sure I'm not the only one to point that out to them) Also, I wrote to voice my preference for the old interface, but I too suspect we might as well get used to the new...

Great job on the tutorial blog!

Suze said...

The calendar is quite helpful, thank you.

PR said...

I haven't tried the new interface yet. I tried the new gmail and it was confusing so has put me off trying it, I'll get lost lol! Thanks for the great explainaton :)

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Good check list.

I've always used a pop-up comment box and find it easiest when visiting other blogs.

Debra Harris-Johnson said...

Thanks for a great check list! if anyone comments on my blog let me know if word verification is disabled. Thanks!

Stephsco said...

Thanks for posting that about disabling the word verification. I had switched to the new interface but had to revert back in order to get rid of word verification. I was worried because of the amount of spam I got prior to enabling word verification. Now I use the Choose an Identity that you have on your comment box and so far no issues. Now I know I'm not crazy - thanks!

Tina said...

Great summary, Jenny. Gentle, yet clearly stating how we feel about WV...AND offering the solution. Bravo!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-Host of the April A to Z Challenge
Twitter: @AprilA2Z #atozchallenge

not displayed said...

Another excellent lesson in dealing with comments and WV.
When I was on blogger, it was often frustrating when things would be changed without any notice, leaving bloggers and readers struggling.
Don't seem to get as many problems over here on "The Dark Side" (Word Press)

Pearson Report said...

@Hilary - Thanks for dropping by. I know you’ve had such trouble with commenting with the embedded comment box and hopefully now that you’ve tweaked things you will not have so many problems.

I will be posting again on the 26th and will try to shed some light on this issue.


@Sarah Pearson - I love the work Jeremy (Retro-Zombie, a co-host) has done on this calendar. With it close by, on my desktop, I know I will not go far astray. :)


@Rebecka Vigus - I took a look at your blog, it is a blogspot so I’m not sure why you would have a completely different interface from the two that are available. If you wish to email me with more details I would be happy to look into if further. Contact me at: pearsonreport(at)gmail(dot)com


@Alex - It was so funny, I sent a “full bodied” email to one of the Project Managers at Blogger only to find, after a little sleuthing once I sent off the email, that Blogger had already made the change...sheepishly I sent another email very contrite and all...hopefully my blog doesn’t mysteriously disappear!!


@SA Larsen - Thanks for stopping by...and for tweeting! Much appreciated.


@Matthew MacNish - You’re making me blush!! Thanks Matt - your kind words make all this worthwhile.
I’m with you on the old interface, only I’ve just got it from a “reliable” source that it’s just a short time before we no longer have a choice between the two...the New is looming near.

Pearson Report said...

@Arlee Bird - Thank you! That’s the goal...comprehensive, but easy to understand, I’m please that you feel I accomplished that!


@Jeremy - Thank you for stopping by and checking this post out!


@Nicole - Glad the calendar is on your computer. It’s a useful little tool.
Sorry to hear you’re moving your blog - but seems that lots of bloggers are getting frustrated with the endless changes going on over here at Blogger - many that seem to make no sense at all.
Let me know how it works out...I may be close on your heels! :)


@Jarm Del Boccio - I searched the list for you and you are #497 under the name “Making the Write Connections” - good luck with the Challenge!
I’ll be dropping in on you!


@Darlene - High Fives to you for giving Blogger feedback. The more of us that do the more likely we will see changes that will be to our liking.
Thanks for dropping by to check out this post. :)

Pearson Report said...

@Suze - Glad you liked the calendar! Jeremy, one of the co-hosts, gets credit for designing it! I find if very handy, sitting on my desktop.

@Anna Smith - Seems many bloggers are reluctant to give up the Old interface, me included. But...I have heard, from a reliable source, we will not have the option much longer of using it. :(
Hopefully the link to the tutorial videos will be helpful.


@L. Diane Wolfe - Thanks for stopping by. Once we make a choice, in how we set up our comment area, it’s amazing how much it enhances our blogging experience.


@Debra Harris-Johnson - I’m glad you liked this post! And...just to confirm, your word verification is OFF! Good job!

Pearson Report said...

@Stephsco - Sounds like you got it all figured out, with turning off your word verification. It seems only recently that Blogger added this function to their New interface - about time. Thanks for stopping by. :)


@Tina - Thanks for stopping by and giving it the “Tina Thumbs Up” - makes me smile. :)


@Mynx - Hey, dear friend - thanks so much for dropping in and taking a read! Again...all stuff I learned from my earlier days, chatting with you!

Unknown said...

Thanks Jenny. The calendar is perfect! After changing to the new interface I failed to remove the annoying word verification. It's now gone, saving everyone time and effort when they stop by Scribbles From Jenn

Pearson Report said...

@Scribbles From Jenn - Thanks for stopping by Jenn.

Glad to see you've disabled WV on your site - good choice! You'll be making a lot of bloggers very happy. :)

Unknown said...

I very much like the new interface - it's quite intuitive, but it took a while to get used to.

Chuck said...

Super post Jenny...and it riled me up all over again about the new interface. I hate it and it has the effect on me similar to going to a car dealership to buy a car and being told what I will drive. It is sterile, non-user friendly and it sucks.

Great tips for preparing for the challenge!