Thursday, May 24, 2007

Google Adds more Functionality!

Google just added another great upgrade, this time to their email ( program. They now let you attach 20MB files to your email, a great move since before this 10MB was the maximum and not big enough for a lot of movies that I wanted to send by email.

Google recently upgraded it's "Google Analytics" function to include nicer layout, and greater ease of use.

I'm anxious to see what other things are happening at Blogger - as I like Blogger a lot, it just doesn't have all the tweakability taht I'd like to see. I'm sure they're working on some major changes that will bring it in line with Wordpress, but do it in a much more intuitive and easy to learn manner.

I've now switched one of my blogs to I host the site at my own domain and web hosting at The name of this site is, www., and it's a personal development site. It's a positive site dedicated to providing new angles on what is out there in the personal development and self-help areas. It will be all unique as I don't copy anyone's blogs and rehash them like so many bloggers do.

If you aren't using Google's Webmaster Tools, Analytics, Reader (for RSS feeds), Mozilla Firefox (download the link on the right (I get $1 if you do so)), or Blogger if you are a beginning blogger then you are missing out on a lot of great stuff. Google is full of functionality now. Yes, they are so big as to be a monopoly almost, but - use them while they're here because there's nobody better right now if you're just starting out and don't know all the other specific tools for your blog and how to implement them.



Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Moving Blogger Blog to GoDaddy Domain using FTP Publishing

BLOGGER TO GODADDY FTP Publishing: Instructions

Ok, I just took the nasty step of switching over my blogs (5 of them) from blogger hosting where my url was:

and moving it to my own domain I have a web site at:

so now the new url looks like:

The reasons I did it require some explanation.

Originally I was hosting my blogs at blogspot. I decided, wow, I'm really into this blogging thing. I had posted 196 posts at my blog and my girlfriend had put 130 at her blog. I had another 150 posts at 2 of my other blogs there.

I thought - wow, this is serious. I need to move these things OFF Blogger and get them to their own domain for better monetization down the road - and more control over everything. Also, if I ever wanted to sell the blogs - much easier if hosted at my own domain, difficult if at Blogger because you don't own anything.

The next step I chose - and I should have eliminated this step - was to move them to Blogger's "Custom Domain" choice in Settings tab and Publishing link of Blogger's program to manage your blogs.

So, I moved them. All 5 of them.

This was a rather insidious process as I had to do some domain name switching and it was all hocus pocus really. The site stayed hosted at Blogger. I only bought the domain name and told Blogger to tell the DNS that I was hosting my blogs at my site - when actually they were all on-site at Blogger as they always were. Someone could now find my site by going to my subdomain on the domain I owned (example:

Hosting at their Custom Domains solution seems ok at first glance, until you want to look at getting a sitemap for your domain and also when you start considering that all those links pointing to the blogspot domain - like - everyone that linked to there wouldn't change their links because they still work. So, even though the proper domain name for her site was - the search engine sees links to and thinks that site is still valid too.

I then created a sitemap for two of my sites listing out every html
file I had in one huge list - realizing only later that an xml or txt
sitemap cannot be added to your Custom Domain at Blogger because you
don't have access to the root level domain to drop a file in there! When I tried to do a sitemap for the sites and place it in my directory at - it wasn't found... Apparently Google's webmaster tools can't read the directory because it's virtual. If that makes sense.

I then added the ATOM feed as my site map as some of you might know - we can do this for our blogs - no need to make a huge sitemap of every single file. Just copy the link url to your ATOM FEED from your blog's home page - and you can paste that in as your sitemap in Google Webmaster Tools. For instance, mine was:

However, that solves next to nothing as it only gives Google your last 10 posts at your blog. The other 186 of mine - were not registered by using the feed as the sitemap! BLAST IT!


To me, having a valid sitemap is everything. It means Google KNOWS which pages to index, so there's no excuse for not indexing them. I really like to have one as it makes me feel better about the whole Google spider process even though I still don't trust it.

I then decided - I'm going to move everything to my domain - physically put them there in subdomains and use the FTP function Google has to publish all my posts by FTP to my domain.

This way - nothing resides on Google (photos do I believe), but pages - that count for the search engines reside on my domain in my subfolder where they should be.

Moving to FTP takes some skill - not for the process which is fairly easy, but for the after-effects because now you are stuck with a classic template - of which there are about 15 maybe, but you don't have the easy widget functionality to put Google Adsense and all the other cool widgets all over your blog. It's cut and paste into the code time -and if you're NOT competent with code - don't move to FTP publishing - please.

So, moving on...

I killed the previous DNS magic that told people my site was hosted at my domain when really it was at Blogger and I moved all my blogs by FTP to my domain.

Now I have a valid sitemap for each blog - and all pages are listed. In the end I know this was the right move.

I've yet to move this blog though!

Ok, steps for moving to FTP from Blogger to Godaddy.

1. Create subdomains at Godaddy by logging into your hosting account. Choose Domain management. Choose OPEN control panel.

2. Choose Settings tab.

3. Choose Domain management. Create subdomains for each blog you want to put at that domain. For me- I had a whole site hosted at so I put my blogs in these subdomains:

don't list out the whole url - just add a subdomain like "trythaifood"

That's it.

4. Exit out of there because you're done. Nothing else to do in Godaddy because by default they point your subdomain to a folder on your path - they create the folder for you on your ftp path.

5. Login to Blogger's dashboard.

6. In the Template Tab go to HTML settings. Check the box for expand widget templates. Copy all of the template with Control and C and then paste that into a Notepad file and save it someplace with the name: blog-name-code-backup.txt.

Do that for each blog all at once so you don't forget and skip that. You'll lose the way your blog was originally if you don't save this complete template.

After you copy and save each template's code - scroll to the bottom of the page and choose "CLASSIC TEMPLATE".

This will change your template to a boring classic template - but you can pick from 14 other boring ones that are better than this one later.

7. Go back to your blog's SETTINGS tab, and Publishing link. If you need to set blog readers to "anybody" or "Everbody" then do so or FTP publishing won't work.

8. Choose FTP publishing.

9. Fill out the FTP publishing form carefully.

10. Your godaddy FTP server is just your domain name. was mine, don't put anything else - just this format.

Blog URL is the full name:

FTP path: for this one I went through heck to find it. Support gave me the wrong information so it was trial and error to find out what it was. NOW I GOT IT! NOW YOU HAVE IT TOO! If you have Windows hosting at Godaddy that is... If you have LINUX - you'll need to guess what your FTP path is - and maybe it's same as this one is for Windows - I hope so for you....

format is like this: /yourusernameforyourhostingaccount/subdomain/

if your username is billybob and your subdomain is trythaifood then it looks like this:


The other things - leave as they are - you will have to enter your hosting username and password at the bottom of the page.

When you hit submit on that page you'll see that settings saved successfully and it asks you to republish your blog.

From now on - any changes you make to anything - you need to republish the entire blog for changes to go into effect.

As you republish - watch...

It lists every one of your URLS in a nice list for you.

This is a bonus - because you want to highlight and copy all of those urls into a text file - Notepad - and save it as Sitemap.txt.

Make sure when you save the list there are no spaces before your first url or your last url - and, when you save the file - don't choose regular txt, choose save as UTF-8 which will make it a valid sitemap file for Google's Webmaster tools. The file still appears with the .txt extension, but the coding is a bit different - and valid for a sitemap file in Google's eyes.

Hopefully you have an FTP program. I use FireFTP which is a plugin for FireFox and it's quite cool.

It logs me into my domain and then I physically type my subdomain into the window address box at the top right like this:


when I do that the directory for trythaifood pops up -and I can upload my sitemap to it.

If I don't do that step - there is NO FOLDER FOR MY SUBDOMAIN available where the other folders are for my whole site!

Is that crazy?

Yes, but it's true, so you MUST type it in at the top or not be able to get there - and you NEED to get there to drop your sitemap into it.

Verify your sitemap in Google Webmaster tools and you're good to go.

For me the whole process once I figured out the FTP path took about 40 minutes for 5 blogs. Not bad.

However, to now make my blogs acceptable the eye after choosing all manners of classic templates and losing lots of formatting will take about 4 days to rectify.

You can go back to Blogger Dashboard, choose a blog's TEMPLATE settings and change to another classic template. To me the ROUNDERS one's look the best of all of them, but, up to you.

I"m not that concerned with formatting for now since I have what I wanted, SITEMAPS!

Good luck to you!

Hope this helps you - as I searched all OVER THE PLACE for a help file going FTP from Blogger to Godaddy and couldn't find squat. That, and an incorrect support answer from Godaddy made the experience my own private hell for 2 hours, but now you can learn from my mistakes.

Now, GO DO IT!


Friday, May 4, 2007

Blogging Simply: Format your Spew, Viralize your Spew. Huh?

Easy reading today, don't even go get a coffee.

Mood? Yen sabai... sabai-sabai... mellow yellow.... easy & cheesy...

This blog post will answer questions like:

What is spew, and what does a good blog look like?
How do I know if I'm blogging (spewing) correctly?

This blog post will NOT answer questions like:

Is it right for the US military to muzzle their bloggers (spewers)?

It IS right, but we'll not get into that.

Blogging IS simple.

You just write about the topic of your blog.

You can choose ANY angle to it. You can blog positively (+) or negatively (-). You can show photos and comment. Draw a note on a piece of paper and show it.

This is what I'm interested in lately. I can't draw well at all or I'd be a lot MORE interested in it! If you can draw - you gotta try it. It's interesting. It breaks up the online format because it looks like handwriting on the screen. That's always cool to see for some reason.

Check out You won't follow all her logic as a lot of it is mental gymnastics that she gets a kick out of... but, the point is - it's very cool to see handwritten charts or jokes that maybe started out as for her own edification (enjoyment and pride-building) but now she's sharing it with us.

She's getting mad traffic just doing that. She's not WRITING 300 words+ per day. How can she get away with that?

Here's me getting inspired from seeing her jokes:

A "farang" is what Thais' call foreigners. I'm a farang here. I'm not a drunk farang teacher, but they DO exist.

D= could also be a Thai prison.

I lied to you. Remember when I told you that you needed to write 300+ words everyday to get great traffic? I was only speaking of search engine traffic.

If enough people like to read what you're spewing - you can just spew a few words or write a joke on a napkin, photo it, edit it, stick it on your blog and call yourself a blogger.

Others will link to your spew and you'll get lots of Google PageRank Love....

But, you're not that concerned because you've got a site that isn't relying on the engines much. A viral site relies on it's visitors to evangelize it. Spreading the good spew all over the web so more traffic comes to see what the hype is all about.

In a way this is better than relying on the search engines because they're changing more than people are. People will go on raving about their favorite spew for a long time... sharing their favorites with their friends. This is a great thing for bloggers and if possible you want to capitalize on this by having a very interesting blog that is viral. Viral means, it is so interesting that visitors think they are COOL by sharing it with their friends.

Their friends may also think... "that Vern, he's cool for sharing that spew... How does Vern GET that cool?"

Here's an interesting viral blog with many cool things to do... BlogBombs >

Notice how you can't STOP reading it?
Notice the variety?
Notice the catchy way the spew is formatted?
The multi-colored spew?
Notice the ample use of horrifying photos, videos and descriptions to tweak the spew just right?

That site is COOLNESS personified. Blogified if you will.

It's my site.

So you can see - sometimes Vern is shooting for Google Group-hugs and sometimes Vern is ignoring Google for the glitz. The glam.

Sometimes Vern is just being his whacky self by posting cool things at his other sites.
Sites that make him think he's still cool.
41 years old and still cool.

Anyway... so, you know what spew is.
You know what viral is.
You know what Indexed and Blogbombs are.

Here are other examples of "good blog sites": (mine) (Darren Rowse, Blogger King)

You know you don't NEED to make a site that ranks high in Google - but it's actually easier than creating a viral site unless you're a pretty interesting blogger/bloggerette.

Get to blogging!


Thursday, May 3, 2007

Google Adsense Changed Allowable Color Schemes?

Is Google changing what can and cannot be chosen for colors with it's Adsense ads?

Maybe some testing or changes happening at Google Adsense.

I'm a blogger and I was changing my ad-link unit - 468x15 on my blog - at the top under the title.

As much as I wanted to change the URL links to RED it constantly made them PINK. I typed in the code for red. There was no mistake made. When I went back later and looked at the codes -they hadn't changed. But, what was actually showing on my blog were pink url links - not red. I was trying to match exactly the url color of the rest of the links on the page - like I've been able to do in the past without problems.

I thought, I'll try to change one of my other blogs.

SAME PROBLEM, different colors.

On I wanted the urls in the ad link unit at the top to be on a white background, black text and exactly the url color of the rest of the urls on the site.



It's not user error. I changed those links on BlogBombs to red 3 times -and it never took effect. I finally changed them to YELLOW in disgust. Changing to yellow worked instantly. At I changed the blue links twice before deciding on another hue of blue which the adsense program accepted.

Anyone having this issue?

Here is my screenshot - or you can go to see it: The Google links are pink. The other links I have on the right to join my feed are red.

Blogger screenshot

OK, so I checked the source code and found this for my ad link unit specifications:

Google Adsense link unit settings

My link, and url text shows: FF0000 which is the code for RED.

Here are my style settings - which I don't think influence Google's adsense ad since it's a separate script - but they all say RED except the hover - which is bright yellow:

Blogbombs style settings

Is this strange or am I the last one to know about Google doing this? It would make sense if Google is trying to limit the amount of clicks on the ad link unit - a highly successful ad - when visitors click them by mistakenly thinking they are part of the site's main links at the top.

Google has recently said more about webmasters that try to place the adsense ads too close to their own navigational text links at the top of a page. Maybe they are taking things into their own hands and forcibly changing colors to make them different from other link text on the page?

Maybe my blog was doing something wrong and they're penalizing me?

Maybe this is a test?