Bloggers Have No Sense of Humour!

Many thanks to Lorelle on WordPress who wrote a great post talking about my “Bloggers are not Webmasters” and “Webmasters are not Bloggers” posts. Lorelle on Wordpress is one of the blogs in my feed reader, and I was rather surprised to see her mention my little blog.

One of the side effects of those posts getting some attention is that I have discovered that not only are many bloggers not webmasters, but they also have no sense of humour. The “Bloggers are not Webmasters” post was never meant to be taken very seriously, but considering the number of comments that start or contain the F word, I can only conclude that bloggers have no sense of humour.

I am also surprised by the number of comments that contain the F word. One of the things I often admire about bloggers is their ability to use words to keep me interested in what they are writing. Words are important to them, so I guess I was expecting a blogger to be able to tell me off with something more that a simple F word.

This is another reason to make sure that comment moderation is turned on. I would hate to see those comments make it out to the general public. If you want to tell me off, go right ahead, but use language that is appropriate. The whole world does not need to know you have no sense of humour and that you can’t put more than two words together.

Blogger in Draft

It seems like the new Blogger just got out of beta, and now Blogger is offering a new draft version where they try out new features before releasing them to the general public. You can try out the new Blogger in draft by going directly to If you want to read more about what the new draft Blogger is all about check out this post from the official Blogger in draft blog.

Once you login you will see your dashboard like you normally do with your blogs listed. You will notice that the header is different, and of course you will notice some changes on your individual blogs, mainly on the posting section at the moment. The two current features they seem to be testing is the option to add polls to blogs and the ability to add enclosures like a podcast of video to your blog. I took a brief look at the new features, but so far have either no use for them, since Polls will only work on Blogspot hosted blogs, and the video enclosures are for your own custom made videos in AVI, MPEG, QuickTime, Real, and Windows Media formats. I thought it was odd that they did not offer an automatic link between a persons Google Video/YouTube videos. Here is a short video I made of Fort Carlton last year, it is nothing special, but the only video I had handy to test with.

While it is nice to see Blogger continue to find new things to improve and add to the service, it would be really nice if Blogger would fix some of the problems with the service before adding more features into the mix that will simply need fixing. Some of the things that Blogger perhaps should look into fixing include:

  • FTP Publishing of labels is using a %20 in the space creating all kinds of problems for FTP publishers like myself.
  • Image uploads are constantly giving problems. If they can’t upload images properly how well will they be able to handle video and audio uploads?
  • RSS feeds for comments are hard to find for FTP published blogs. I don’t think I have ever read any official documentation on the topic.
  • Allow bloggers to remove the no-follow attribute on comments and backlinks.
  • I am sure I will think of more…feel free to add yours as a comment.

Some features that I hope Blogger will get around to adding include:

  • Better support for FTP publishers (ya right, soon we will be left high and dry!)
  • Publish on a future date. This should be standard. Write a post, give it a future date and it publishes on the date and time. How hard can it be! Heck simple cron jobs can do stuff like this.
  • Support. Need I say more. Ok I will anyways. Face it Blogger support SUCKS! Getting a hold of anyone at Blogger is impossible and the Blogger help groups, while full of well meaning people, often have no solutions. I suppose that is not really a feature is it. It would be nice to have it improved.
  • Allow Javascript in posts. I can’t be the only one wanting this.
  • Your list? Add a comment!

Well, you can maybe give draft Blogger a go. It is easy to try, not like the switch to the new Blogger was. If you are a podcaster you might find the new features an improvement. Of course if you are a serious podcaster, I doubt you use Blogger anyways.

Webmasters are not Bloggers

Webmasters are great people, but I have to admit for the most part professional webmasters are not bloggers. A bloggers main job is to do one thing, and one thing only, provide good content for a weblog. defines a blogger as:

a person who keeps and updates a blog.

Webmasters do a lot of things, in fact webmasters are jacks of all trades, programmers, designers, customer service representatives, they are not bloggers. Who can blame them really, they are so busy dealing with all the other stuff they simply don’t have time to sit and write content for a weblog. When webmasters do sit down and write content for a blog, it is often in the form of a tutorial on their favourite script, html or css.

I applaud all of you bloggers out there. To consistently be able to write good content for a blog takes a lot of hard work, time and creativity.

Bloggers are not Webmasters

Here is the hard truth for all of you bloggers out there. Bloggers are not webmasters. According to a webmaster is:

A person whose occupation is designing, developing, marketing, or maintaining websites.

By that definition a blogger is not a webmaster and here is why.

  1. Design

    Look at the number of blogs on the Internet with the default theme or with themes that have been download from blog theme websites. If the blog actually has a unique theme then often the blogger has paid someone else to do it for them. Face it bloggers are not designers.

  2. Website Development

    Considering most decent web hosts offer a control panel that will install WordPress with the click of a button bloggers are not developers. Bloggers have no clue how to make small changes to even the simplest things on their own blog. If there is no plugin for it then it simply can’t be done. Bloggers don’t do development. In fact I suspect that most bloggers could not even tell you what FTP is.

  3. Marketing

    Marketing is all about customer service. Most bloggers know nothing about customer service, since they are to busy bragging about themselves and telling the world how great they are. Having a huge ego and talking about how much money they make by abusing their readers is not marketing. Face it, if a store clerk treated you the way some bloggers treat their readers you would be talking to the manager of the store asking for that person to be fired. Perhaps bloggers know knowing about marketing because they don’t actually offer any type of service or product. Sure they say they will give you advice or information on _____, but the reality is they never really give any information on their topic.

  4. Blog Maintenance

    Considering the number or WordPress installs that are never updated it is quite obvious that bloggers do not know how to maintain their own blog. Not to mention checking links, making sure contact forms work and making sure feeds work properly.

Bloggers might be great people, but face it, the average blogger is not a webmaster. They just don’t have the technical, artistic and social skills to be competent webmasters.

Join me for part two later this week to discover why webmasters are not bloggers!

Blogger Comment Link Love

One of the things that has frustrated me about Blogger, and Google to some extent, is the fact that they try to dictate to me how the links should be on my blog. For example comment links are automatically given the “nofollow” attribute. Well I don’t like that. I want the people who take the time to comment to get a link back to their website or blog. That seems fair. I have comment moderation in place so comments have to be approved before being published so I can delete the spammers comments and they won’t get any link love.

I searched through the Blogger help, which is pretty much useless to tell you the honest truth. Then I searched through the Blogger help group, and there were some answers there, but they were all for the new layout system when your blog is hosted on Blogspot. Well that did not help me so I went back to the Blogger help looking for the classic template tags and it was there that I got my idea.

The Blogger template tag <$BlogCommentAuthor$> is the template tag responsible for printing out the comment authors name and link. There is no way of telling it not to output a rel=”nofollow”, so enter in a little snippet of PHP to modify that little bit of HTML that Blogger is inserting into my blog. Look where Blogger has the <$BlogCommentAuthor$> template tag replace it with <?php echo str_replace(' rel="nofollow"', '', '<$BlogCommentAuthor$>'); ?> and presto that nasty little rel=”nofollow” attribute is gone. Of course this only works if you are processing your HTML files as PHP.

On some blog templates you might not find the <$BlogCommentAuthor$> template tag, instead they have <$I18NPostedByCommentAuthor$>. It does exactly the same thing. Just replace that tag with <?php echo str_replace(' rel="nofollow"', '', '<$I18NPostedByCommentAuthor$>'); ?> and let the link love begin.

On a related note, if you leave a comment and want to have a link pointing to your website make sure you choose the “Other” under “Choose an identity”. This way you can specify your website or blog address instead of a Blogger profile. No one needs to have link love to their Blogger profile.

Oh and what is the cost for all of this link love? Unlike some bloggers out there who have decided to charge $10 to remove the nofollow attribute, I will charge you ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! In case you are wondering the above link is a nofollow, because he does not need anymore links.

WordPress Community Vulnerable

Just read about this on BlogSecurity that the WordPress Community is Vulnerable. Of the 50 blogs they selected 49 of them were vulnerable to known security attacks.

Might want to make sure you upgrade your WordPress blog software as soon as you can. This is one of the reasons I use Blogger. It might not have all the bells and whistles but it also does not have the same types of security concerns. Considering the number of scans I get on this blog alone for WordPress vulnerabilities it is just something I just don’t need the headache of dealing with. WordPress is great blog software, but it is a reminder that you need to keep it up to date besides just blogging.

Appreciate Your Readers

While I have been swamped with work today I have taken a few moments to surf around and found some blog posts that I would like highlight.

There is an excellent post on The Reasoner titled “Are you treating your blog commentors like slaves?“.

On a similar theme there is a great post titled “5 Ways to Appreciate Readers” on the Reader Appreciation Project.

Enjoy the read!

Love Your Commenters

I have not been blogging for a long time, but I have been actively reading and taking part in various blogs for some time. One of the most interesting aspects of blogging is the chance to add to the conversation though comments about a post. Commenting on another persons blog is a way of continuing the conversation that the blogger started.

In my experience there are a couple of ways that bloggers can quickly turn off people and ultimately loose their readers.

One of the quickest ways of losing readers and visitors it to not take part in the conversation that takes place after the post. You need to continue that conversation. It helps to express and round out ideas from the post. Blogging after all is not meant to be a one way form of communication but a group participation activity.

Another way of losing readers through comments is by not posting comments. I am not talking about spammer comments, but comments that are good quality comments that are not posted because the blog owner does not agree with the content or simply feels that the comment does not add to the conversation of the post. While I agree that blog owners have the right to not post comments that they don’t want to post, there is a large difference between spam comments and comments that add to the conversation of the post. You don’t have to agree with the comments, but as long as the comments are on topic I feel they should be posted.

There are blogs that I have taken part in over the last few years that I simply don’t return to. Not because the content of the blogs was not interesting, but simply because the blog owner has chosen to delete, not post or basically be disrespectful to their readers and commenters.

Be good to your commenters. They have taken the time to share in the conversation that you started. If people are not sharing thoughts and opinions back with you then what is the point of blogging? The reason I started this blog is so I could take part in conversations about web mastering and blogging that I enjoy and I look forward to the conversations.

What’s in My Blogging Toolkit?

Darren Rowse over at asked people to list what are your top 5 blogging tools? I thought I would give a detailed response here.

  • Blogging Platform: Blogger
    Unlike the majority of the commentors on Darren’s blog I prefer Blogger as my blogging platform. The main reason I prefer Blogger is becuase it is easy. I spend the majority of my days updating, fixing and coding other websites and when I get to blogging I just want to write something. Blogger is easy to use, I can access it anywhere with an internet connection, and I don’t have to worry about upgrading software to keep the bad guys out. There might be features in Wordpress that would be nice to have in Blogger but I can live without them. I prefer to publish using FTP though, so no blogspot address.
  • Desktop Publishers: Firefox
    I don’t use a desktop blog publisher. I find more and more of my applications are moving away from the desktop to online applications. Firefox is my browser of choice. I also have several add ons installed that I find useful for blogging, mainly a dictionary to help me with my spelling.
  • Metrics Package: Google Analytics
    Google Analytics has become my favorite analytics program lately. Mainly because of the wealth of information that I can get from it and the fact that it is tied in with Adwords. The one thing I dislike about Google Analytics is that it does not update fast enough so occasionally I install Sitemeter free version, just to so I can see what is happening sooner.
  • Promotional Tools: Feedburner, MyBlogLog, StumbleUpon
    Feedburner is great. They take care of offering up my RSS feeds to the services or formats people want, they ping all the services I need to help get the word out that my blogs are updated, I get an email subscription service that I don’t have to worry about and I get some stats about readers and what they click. It is a great service, you just can’t ask for more for free.
    I think it is fun. It is fun to have see who is reading your blog and having a chance to learn a little about them.
    I have talked about StumbleUpon in the past and I think it is a fun social bookmarking tool that has great potential. I use it all the time to surf and I make sure it is easy for my readers to Stumble my blog.
  • Content Sourcing Services: Other People Blogs, Surfing and Experience
    I read other blogs daily. I subscribe to roughly 10 RSS feeds and check the live bookmarks once or twice a day. After all reading what others are saying can help to inspire and bring out my own ideas.
    I mentioned I like to use StumbleUpon. It has been a great way to find new and interesting websites and get new ideas to talk about. I would never have found some of the sites without it.
    You learn a lot by doing, making mistakes and growing. Those things can give you a lot to talk about.
  • Design Tools: Photoshop
    I like Photoshop. I bought it quite a few years ago and I like it. I even got it to work well on Ubuntu.

It is interesting to me how a blogging toolkit so closely resembles the tools that are needed for general website development. For a general website for a business I might substitute a more general content management system such as Drupal or Joomla. These software solutions have made internet publishing relatively easy and accessible for individuals, businesses and organizations of all sizes.


Recently every blog I visited had a MyBlogLog recent readers widget added on to it, so my curiosity was peaked about what this new service that I kept seeing was.

I was pleasantly surprised with the features that MyBlogLog offers. Along with the recent readers widget you can add a Top Links widget and a Stats script. They offer a free version and a pro version that you have to pay for. From what I can tell so far the free version is probably sufficient for most bloggers, unless you just have to have the real-time stats.

The other added feature is a community page for every blog that you own. To see an example of a community page take a look at the LGR Blog community page. On the community page you get a great overview of the readers to the blog, can post comments to the community and view the recent rss feed from the site.

The benefits of MyBlogLog are the possibility of increased traffic, a unique user community for your blog, and it is just basically cool to see who your readers are. There are also some downsides. Spammers did not take long to invade the community. I have already had as many spammers visiting my other blog which meant I had to hide them. Also the comment section of the community pages seems to be a target for spam. Hopefully MyBlogLog will get a better solution to control spam soon.

If you have a blog take a look at adding a MyBlogLog to your site. It adds an additional fun component to your site.