37 Site issues and updates
September 21, 2008 /

There could be no worse time for things to go wrong than when I am preoccupied with other important projects! Unfortunately, many of you may have experienced some issues using the site this week. So please allow me to explain what's going on, and why I haven't been around as much as I would like.

Issues with the Top Commenters and Popular Posts widgets

The biggest issue so far is that my Top Commenters and Popular Posts widgets have suddenly stopped working.

Both of these widgets are configured using the Yahoo! Pipes service, and due to their popularity and extensive use, the pipes used for these widgets have been putting a strain on the pipes service (causing them to be temporarily disabled).

Unfortunately, this is going to become a regular issue. I don't think it is possible to host pipes on my own servers (to bypass the bandwidth issue) and while these widgets use the same Pipes to output the widget contents to the many bloggers using these widgets, there will continue to be a strain on this service.

The best all-round solution would be for individuals to make a personal copy of the pipe for their own blog and change the pipe URL within the widget to match that of their own Yahoo! pipe. Luckily, I made "back-up" copies of the pipes used for these widgets, so I will get turorials for this method uploaded as soon as possible.

I do sincerely apologize to all affected by this issue! Before I had created these widgets, I had thoroughly checked the documentation for Yahoo! Pipes though was unable to find any information regarding limitations of use or bandwidth. In essence, I had thought it was safe and reliable to use these pipes to deliver content for your widgets. I am glad that the Yahoo! team were able to explain this situation, and hope we can get your widgets working again soon by helping you create pipes specifically for your own Blogger blogs.

Blogumus widget issues

The Blogumus animated tag cloud widget is without a doubt the most popular widget delivered on this site!

For most users, this widget works without a hitch, though some readers reported that the widget is blank and does not display tags at all.

After much trial and error, Roy Tanck helped me create an alternative method of installation for this widget which embeds the widget as a flash object rather than generating it through JavaScript.

This new version works well in most Blogger templates, though unfortunately not for everyone. I really don't understand why this works for some blogs but not for others, and so far have been unable to find a definitive solution to this problem. The only other possible method would be to hand-code the widget for your own blog, which would require you to add each url for your labels individually. However, even this method is not guaranteed to work.

If enough people are interested in this method, I will write up a tutorial to help you install Blogumus by hand-coding each link, so please let me know if you would like to try this by leaving your comments below.

Comment moderation for older posts

For the first time ever, I had to enable comment moderation this week.

Generally I feel confident that Blogger's anti-spam systems will pick up on *most* comment spam before it ever reaches the post. But when spammers disguise their comments, they seem to slip past the radar.

So I have temporarily enabled comment moderation for older posts (as in my experience, recent posts are rarely targeted by spammers). This means that if you leave a comment on an older post, it will be held in moderation until I have had the chance to review it. Of course, when the main spamming culprits have ceased their unwanted comments, I will lift the moderation ban and your comments will appear immedietly after posting.

Why I've not been around much this week

While blogging is my passion, there will often be times when I am unable to be online as much as I'd like. As many of you will already understand, I'm also a full-time mommy so when I take on occasional work, this means I have much less time to spend maintaining Blogger Buster and replying to all my emails.

Now that most of this work is completed, I can concentrate on blogging and also on some other interesting projects which I hope will allow me more financial freedom in the future (in other words, more time to blog!).

I will be offline from 9/28 to 10/5 as we're going to visit family abroad and it's doubtful I'll be able to get online. Thanks to Blogger's scheduled posts feature, I can still provide updates while I'm away :)

Any other issues?

Have you experienced any other problems using Blogger Buster which I may have missed? If so, please let me know about this so I can fix the issue as soon as possible.

I hope you all continue to enjoy reading my posts despite the occasional hiatus! Thank you to all Blogger Buster readers for your support and continued readership!

Author: Amanda Kennedy

Amanda is a professional blogger and web designer living in Sheffield, United Kingdom.

In addition to curating Blogger Buster, you can find Amanda on Twitter, Facebook or add her to your circle on Google+.

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  1. thank you for a great blog :) http://psychika.net

  2. I'm using your Template and I don't understand, why text disappears - from time to time.

    It happens only in IE. (at the main page)

    Thank you for your advice.

    My e-mail: integralny(at)gmail.com

  3. Hi Amanda, you're gone from 9/28 to 10/5.. Are you going to Paris Fashion Week?

  4. Hi Amanda,

    I added the new version of Blogumus hoping to fix a problem with the labels disapearing when moving to another page, and everything looked great, but none of the labels could be clicked. So now I am back to the orginal version which keeps disapearing, but at least it starts off ok and readers can click the label. If hand coding will possibly solve the problem, I would really like to know how to do it. This widget is great and fits the needs of my site perfectly. If I can get it to work, that would be even better. So count me in on needing a tutorial.

    Thanks for the work


  5. Amanda, for all the work you do, you deserve time away! I hope you enjoy yourself and relax a bit.

  6. I have prefered to stay in the background till now and just implement the instructions that you have provided on this site to install the requisite features that I thought I might need for my blog.

    Now that I have finished setting up my blog, I have finally decided to come clean and thank you for all the detailed and easy to implement instructions that you have provided here that is hard to find else where.

  7. I Added Blogumus through my Blog, but unfortunately sometimes when I access my Blog the labels are disapearing.

    Could U please give me an tutorial to Fix this Problems.

    Thanks A lots..

  8. Hey Amanda, you deserve more free time, for all the work your doing :) hope you have fun!

  9. I hope you have a great time while your away. I want to thank you for everything you do to help out fellow bloggers. I just love your site.

  10. The Recent Comments widget from BloggerBuster is still working on my blog, to let you know :)

  11. @Psychika.net: Where does the text disappear from? I was unable to notice this in IE6, so if you can let me know more details I'll certainly look into this issue.

    @Bengt: Now that would be a great holiday ;) But no, we are going to Tunisia to spend Eid with my husband's family :)

    @TechnicianBrian: No problem, I'll get a tutorial written up as soon as I can. I hope this will solve more problems than the last method we tried, as I can honestly offer no more alternatives after this! It's good that you and others are willing to try coding by hand. It's not particularly complicated, just time consuming! One advantage though is that this method allows the widget to be embedded in ANY web page (including MySpace, for example).

    @Theresa: Thank you for your kind thoughts! We're all really looking forward to the holiday, though I may suffer Blogger withdrawal symptoms ;)

    @Praveen Iyer: Thank you for leaving such a wonderful comment today! I'm glad to know these tutorials have been so useful for you, and hope this site continues to provide useful information for your customizations :)

    @Robby: I will write up the "hand-coding" version as soon as I can, and sincerely hope this helps solve the issues for everyone having problems with Blogumus

    @DaniekPK and Lapa37: Thank you both for your kind words. I'm really looking forward to the break :)

    @Mike Fan: Thank you for letting me know. It's good that most of the widgets are still working for everyone!

  12. Hope you have a great time away! :)

  13. I think it would be very useful to make the tutorial for hand coding the Blogumus widget for lists besides labels. It would be neat to be able to create one for links, interesting people and more. Beyond that is the possibility of making a Blogumus widget that desplays links based on the labels of the post it is associated with.

  14. hai amanda, thank for your widget blogumulus..i use it, but unfortunately the post popular widget still disapearing.

  15. Hi Amanda,

    Have a great holiday.

    For some reason your RSS feed doesn't update on my iGoogle page anymore? Never mind, I check in often enough anyway. :)

    THanks for all the work you put in. You should create badges for us bloggers who find your services invaluable and then we can promote you.

  16. Hi Amanda,
    What happened with Blogger feed system? It stop work suddenly and some widgets like the "I'm feeling lucky?" don't work anymore! And now there is a link 'subscribe' at comment form! Do you know anything about this?

  17. Hello could you please explain on how to install Top Commentators widget with our own personal yahoo pipe?? Also I do not know how to make yahoo pipe... It would be a great help if you can write tutorial explaining or referring any link to create yahoo pipe..


  18. I just installed the Top Commenters widget last evening. It is keeping the counts but the links are not working. Any idea when this will be fixed? I so enjoyed using this on a past blog and think it is a nifty tool.

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  20. Just want to report to you that my Blogumus widget works in Fire Fox but not in Internet Explorer. I am using Vista OS

  21. It works now with your updated tutor at: http://www.bloggerbuster.com/2008/09/alternative-installation-for-blogumus.html

    Thank you very much Amanda and Roy Tanck

  22. Dear Amanda,
    I think I've undestood why the blogumus widget sometimes does not work, even in the new version: the problem should be that if just one label has an accented letter inside, the whole widget stops working.
    I changed my labels, removing the letters with an accent, and now the widget woks very well.
    Bye bye!

  23. Hi Amanda!
    Did you ever get the tutorial for hand coding the Blogumus done??
    I installed with the alternate method (the 1st giving the blank box) and it's beautiful, but clicking the links doesn't work!

    I have already tweaked the appearance, just need to get it working!
    Thanks for all your work and any help you could provide!


  24. Mine is still working fine. It works great! many thanks again!

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  31. From what I can tell, the way to customize the appearance is to add the class prefix ".mobile " to additional style statements in order to customize the appearance in mobile browsers. Not had time to try it much yet, but will do my best over the holidays so I can write up a post.

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