Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Blogger Miseries!

Tuesday, September 24, 2014
                   Post # 2 of the day
           Sunny and seasonally cooler

Blogger Miseries

   I had never heard of the term "spam" until it started to appear only blog posts. For those who don't know what spam is, it's unwanted e-mail that disguises itself as real mail. When you press on it, you get redirected to websites that you'd never visit!

   The rules of spam are:   

1.  Never click on any spam

2. Throw it in the garbage

3. Report it to your blog company (never works)

Three Major Headaches

I originally selected Google Blogger, my blog host 3 1/2 years ago. It seemed to be one of the better blog hosts. My other choice at the time was Wordpress, and I may move one of these days! The major problem with most of these blog sites and social media sites (e.g. Facebook) is that they have become too big.  Google blogger probably has hundreds of millions of people writing blogs. Consequently, the problem  with being so large is that the company cannot really answer questions. 

1.Google-Help Forums

 There are what are called Google Help Forums. You create a question after you initially search for a similar question. If there are no similar questions, you will see a window whereby you can ask your question. Questions are answered by Google employees (I think) and by people who are members of Google or Google+, or Blogger.

 Personally, many of my questions have not been answered well or the problems have continued, and solutions have not been found. 

2. Google-Picasa Web Albums

  Picasa Web Albums are where where your photos are stored in Google. Whenever I add photos, my photos are stored in a site called "Picasa Web Albums.  Blogger (Google's Blog Company) accesses the photos whenever I want to see it or edit it.  For the first 2 years there were never any problems. Then things changed. When I first joined Blogger, photos from my blog would be store in small-sized albums on Picasa Web Albums . This site is also owned by Google, and that's where my photos and those of the people who have helped me out are "supposedly" stored.

 What has happened in the last year is that the albums have become huge. NOw the albums appears to now store 1900+ photos. However here's the problem, and it's a major problem among anyone who uses the "services" of Picasa Web Albums.  My personal problem is that I cannot access at leaf 1000 photos on the largest Picas Web Albums. I have tried downloading to my computer. However, you have to have Picasa (A Google storage site on your computer) to download your own photos!
What appears to happen whenever I open Picas on my computer, is that Picasa starts to access all of my own photos on my computer, and I simply don't like that! The biggest problem however is that the 5 times that I tired to download my 1905 photos on a recent album, only 900 photos will download. So where are the missing 1000?

  All the solutions on that other Google service - Google Help Forums have proven fruitless - they don't work. And recently, either a Google employee or a fellow member of Google has responded to my problem by saying that I would have to join Google+ to access my photos. Google+ is a fairly-recent "wannabe" Facebook. I can see the advantages and economic advantages for Google to have such a site.  Facebook is worn billions, and brings in billions of dollars of revenue. 
It's a multi-faceted site. I'm on it, and I can blog, add photos,and chat with people. It hasn't he;pled me increase my readership, but I though I'd try. To get more exposure, I'd have to start paying so that Facebook would send out messages to a larger audience that I have there now. Google obviously sees that as another way to increase revenue - Pay for more exposure. LinkedIn - a company that allows people to join and present their CV's (Curriculum Vitaes or experience summaries)  also charges for broader exposure. There is lots and lots of money to be mined here!
What I don;t like about Facebook and Google+ is the fact that you have to be very careful of what information you place there!

3. Google Blogger

  As I mentioned earlier, spam or referrer spam are major problems on any public website such as a blog. About 18 months ago, I was spammed daily by a company that shall remain nameless. I was flooded with 20-80 spam e-mails daily.Worst of all, this company was not anonymous. Their name was in plain site, their e-mail address and website were also.  I sent feedback to google to help, and I write on the Google Help Forums, and nothing helped, nd nether did Google. Worst of all, this
 spammer is now on Google+!

 Eventually that spammer stopped, and I though all was well, until  a new spammer started. This one was worse, and I was receiving 80-130 spam e-mails a day. Supposedly,some were in face identified by Google via their autonomic software, but most got through. I even got spammed at my private Hotmail e-mail address that few people and companies know, Google being one of them.

  Although spam is "supposedly" harmless and you should never click on the link, it's very frustrating when you are a blogger and want to reach a larger audience, and set goals to try and achieve these larger numbers and audience. On August 25, 2014, I though I had reached the 200,00 page view milestone.What this means is that  200,000 people  (people and blog post combinations) accessed my blog. 

   Sadly, in the last 2 1/2 years, I have no real idea as to how much of this was spam!

My Solution - but is it a solution?

  When one of my post soared to 700 page views, that was the "last straw". The term "last straw" simply means that I had had enough of the spam and I was going to complain to Google and do something myself.  Of course, complaining is useless as I have explained earlier with the forums and with sending "give feedback" which is never answered to you personally. I send many  e-mail feedbacks,but since they are probably automatic read by computer, I doubt if any "real human" reads the selected few replies that Google  software probably pcks up through selected words. And don;t forget, with 200,000,000 or more bloggers, and probably 1,000,000,00 or more Picasa Web Album members, Google+, and 12 other Google Companies, any complaints are simply too much of a problem to reply to on an individual basis.

   What I decided to do is to change the status of any post that was infected by spam. I chafed the status from anyone being able to read the post, to one of "edit mode". In that status, the post is removed or cannot beseem  but for myself.   

   I've been writing on the Google Help Forums and on the Blogger "Give Feedback" spot that I would change the status of every post that was infected with spam to the edit mode. For the last 6 days, I have not been spammed. However, my page views on a daily basis are still abnormally high!
Has Google blocked the appearance of spam only site and e-mail but allowed those "clicks" or page views to still be counted- I do not know!

  The sad part, is that I had to remove my most popular blog post from my readers. I also removed 7 other blog posts - for now! I've screen-captured some  images to help explain the problem of spam.

The screen-capture below is the original post that I wrote
on March 12, 2012.

The screen-capture below shows you that I have 7 posts in the "edit" mode or "draft mode". 
To date, I have written  895 posts, and 888 are visible to my readers.

 The screen-capture below shows you the page views numbers.
The highest number is "An Arcade Cast Iron Chrysler Airflow Car"
that has 7,195 page views.

How many of those were "spam" or referrer spam, sadly I don't know!

   Of course, like anything else in life, one has to take a positive outlook and see the glass as "half-full", rather than half-empty. 

Do I like Google and it's many different companies?

Yes, about 7/10 on a rating scale.

Has the lack of help from Google damped my enthusiasm for blogging?

Yes, but in the case of my blog, it's my readers and the numbers who I have been able to attract from a 0 count  to now that have motivated and encouraged me to continue.

This is what the Internet is now, and you have to look at it for all that is has to offer and what one can learn from it. If I were to be discouraged by what Google doesn't or can't do to help compared to what I can offer everyone and what I have enjoyed doing, I would have quite long ago!

My next "small goal" is to reach 1000 posts. Of course, I may have to write 1050 if the spam starts up again - but it still  would have been worthwhile!

Thanks as always of dripping by to visit,
and as always, 
hgave a great part of the day or night
wherever you may be,

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