Thursday, July 30, 2009

How to recover deleted comments

Yes it is possible to recover deleted comments, but only if you moderate comments via email and you don't delete those emails which had been sent to your chosen address. I will use as an example the comment which inspired this post which you can see in the screen shot below:

email for comment moderation with links

This is how you recover deleted comments. First locate the relevant email with the comment. If you have not set your comments to allow anonymous comments, go to Blogger Dashboard, SETTINGS > COMMENTS and set it to allow anonymous (anyone) comments, only temporarily if you wish. Now go to the post where the deleted comment you want restored is. You can do this easily as the email for comment moderation has a link to the post (plus a link to the commentator profile which you would need later). Right click and chose open link in new tab (preferable) or open link in new window (if you don't use a browser with tabbed browsing like Firefox.

In that post, click Comment to open the comment editor, go to the email, copy the comment and paste it into the comment editor. Now your comment editor should look like the screen shot below if you had set comments to allow anonymous comments (Anyone). Tick Name/URL (see screen shot below):

Blogger comment options new template

The option you need to select should be Name/URL which when selected will open a pop-up allowing you to insert your name and url:

Blogger comment option to insert name and URL

Below the screenshot would be if you are still using the Blogger old template:

Blogger comment editor window

Go back to the email, right click on the commentator name (highlighted with red ellipse in the screen shot above), select Copy link location to copy the URL of the profile of the commentator into clipboard. Go to the comment editor and paste the URL into the box for URL (see screen shot above).

Go back once more to the email, copy the display name of the commentator into the box for Name. Now all you have to do is to publish the comment and the recovered comment will not only have the comment itself, but also the commentator's display name which is an active clickable link to the commentator profile. The only difference from the original comment will be that the photo of the commentator will not be displayed.

Note: If the original comment is Anonymous which is not clickable, then you can only put Anonymous in Name or tick Anonymous instead of Name/URL

Google Analytics Site Layout obscure blog problem

I wrote about Google Analytics and Site Overlay yesterday which places an overlay over your blog with a tiny box and a number indication the numbers (percentage) of page views through as you can see in the screen shot below:

There was one small problem. Even when you want to view the blog normally, those tiny boxes obscure the links making them unreadable. I also vaguely remembered someone else had complained about it on the Web.

Now it is easy to solve that little problem, just log out of your Google Analytics account. That is perhaps easier said than done because most blogger will be using a single browser with tabs and wants to be signed in for either their Blogger account and/or AdSense account and most likely all of them share a single Google Account. Sign out of Google Analytics and you will be signed out of the other accounts as well.

If you are facing this problem and want to solve it, what I suggest is to use an account for Blogger which is different from those for Google Analytics and AdSense (if you are an AdSense publisher). That is, have the same Google account for Google Analytics and AdSense but a different account for Blogger.

If you currently have the some Google Account for all, open 2 browsers (read about why I have many browsers). For example, open Firefox and Internet Explorer. In one browser, create another email address to be used for the Blogger account if you don't already have one.

In the other browser, sign into your other Blogger account (and Google Analytics if you wish). You can be signed in for both because different browsers have different cache and cookies. In the Blogger Dashboard, go to SETTINGS > PERMISSION, invite yourself with the new/different email address.

Switch to the first browser and go to your (new?) email address. There will be an email from Blogger inviting you to be a co-author of your blog/s. Accept the invitation.

Swithch to the second browser and Blogger Dashboard, go to SETTINGS > PERMISSION and you will find your second email address as a co-author. Make that an administrator. If you don't really want to have 2 authors for your blog, you can remove the first one (AFTER MAKING SURE THE SECOND ONE IS ALREADY AN AMINISTRATOR). You can then use the second email (Blogger account) for your blog/s and retain the first one for your Google Analytics (and AdSense if your are and AdSense publisher).

Now whenever you want to have both Blogger and Google Analytics signed in at the same time, just use 2 different browsers and you will no longer be bothered by those little boxes obscuring your links.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Missing toolbar unusable post editor Singtel

Many bloggers have been reporting an unusable post editor with missing tool bars, etc. If you are having this problem and your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is Singtel or Singnet (Singapore), you may be able to solve the problem by using the regional Singnet proxy "". Please refer to Distorted / Unusable Post Editor Toolbar for instructions.

Related post: Missing tool icons, EDIT HTML and COMPOSE tabs

Visitor counter - Google Analytics

Most bloggers will like to have information on their visitors. For me, I have been quite satisfied with Statcounter which had up till now, given me those statistics I want. Other reasons for using Statcounter are, it is real time, there is a choice of visible and invisible counter.

Way back, I had briefly played with Google Analytics but found the amount of information a little bit overwhelming and thought I don't need all that much information and I don't have that much time to check the statistics anyway.

That is, until recently. What prompted me to have a second look at Google Analytics was that link in my Google AdSense report "Integrate your AdSense with Google Analytics" (or something like that, from memory because after integrating, the link now says "Go to your Google Analytics Account".

When I had the time, I did dig deeper into the Google Analytics statistics and found many reasons why you should check it out too.

One of the statistics from Statcounter is the screen resolutions of visitors which when I started blogging, showed that a substantial percentage of visitor still used the small 800x600 resolution. Because of that, I had stuck to Ramani's 3 column fixed width Minima template which fits nicely into the whole width of a 800x600 screen.

As time went by, the visitor statistics showed that visitors with 800x600 screen resolution have become a small minority which made me switch to a wider 4 column Minima template which width fits nicely into a 1024x768 screen. However, one thing in the Statcounter screen resolution troubled me, the relatively large number with screen UNKNOWN.

Statcounter visitor screen resolution statistics

Google Analytics too have statistics for visitors screen resolution, but I discovered, much more detailed. As you can see in the screen shot above, Statcounter only gives 6 screen resolutions, one of them being UNKNOWN. Compare it with the screen shot below for Google Analytics. Google Analytics gives 10 screen resolutions, and there is no UNKNOWN. So Google Analytics have given me some assurance that the percentage of the 800x600 small screen is really small. I no longer have the worry that the among the large number of UNKNOWN in Statcounter statistics were hidden more small screens.

Google Analytics visitor screen resolution statistics

Another interesting statistics from Google Analytics is the Site Overlay. You can view which links have been clicked and the percentage. I have the label list in the first right sidebar, but I was doubtful if visitors ever click on them to find more information. Google Analytics Site Overlay shows this information as you can see from the screen shot below:

It is a nice feeling to know one's label list is being used. The site overlay will also show which links main page (home page) in the post have been clicked (actually it is the pageview) as you can see from the screen shot below:

However there are a number of things that Google Analytics Site Overlay does not track and one of them are Javascript. So if you are an AdSense publisher expecting to see which of your ads are being clicked, I am afraid you will be disappointed as AdSense uses Javascript.

There is some concern that Google Analytics may slow down site downtime. I think this is a small concern if you paste Google Analytics codes just before the </body> tag which will be practically at the bottom of the template and will be the last to load.

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