Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Problems with a Private blog on Blogger

Tēnā koutou katoa – Greetings to you all
No authoring signA plea for help

I’ve just set up a private blog on Blogger with about 20 author invitees. Some of my invitees are having real problems getting in. I’ve checked all their email addresses – twice now. All valid and squeaky clean.

There are 12 people who can get in (one’s a dummy email/password I created for myself) and at least 4 people who cannot get their valid Google account IDs to permit them access – doh! It's really frustrating!

A couple more found that their already-created Google accounts worked but the new ones with their work email address did not.

Lack of Feed

Another thing I notice is that I can’t subscribe to the new blog.

At first I thought that this was because of the settings, but then when I checked, none of them mentioned anything about RSS Feed except for the one on Blog Feeds.

I have Allow Blog Feeds set to FULL, and the Permissions set to Only Blog Authors (all my invitees are invited as blog authors).

I've checked out the Help on Blogger and haven't been successful at finding anything relevant to my troubled invitees who have been very patient with me.

I’m setting this blog up for the start of next term (in just over 2 weeks time here in NZ) and I hoped to get all invitees started by the end of this term. I'd really like it to happen.

So if you have any suggestions, I’d be really grateful to hear from you.

Ka kite anō – Catch ya later


V Yonkers said...

I had a similar problem last year when I had my students creating a blog. Two things you might try: First, reinvite the authors. In other words, delete the way you have it now, then invite again.

I think also, some of the students had trouble with specific computers. I am not sure if this has to do with their web browser (cookies), virus protection, or interface. Sometimes, they would not be able to get in, and the next time they tried it they would.

Finally, use plan B. I would just have them e-mail me when they couldn't get on then post it myself.

Sue Waters said...

Playing the devil's advocate -- does it really have to be private? Why? Because there is so much more to gain by keeping it open where possible. If it does have to be private I would consider a Ning only because of the other features.

Lack of RSS probably relates to the same issue as Ning -- when private it doesn't allow RSS feeds.

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Tēnā kōrua Virginia and Sue!

Thanks for the tips and ideas.

@Virginia - I'm on to the cycle of trying out what you suggest. The 'authorship' is not so participants can write their own posts so much. The options are reader - author - administrator. A reader apparently cannot leave a comment, whereas an author can - at least, that's what I discovered.

@Sue - I have no fears of openness. Good grief, with 77 'open' posts on my blog-site and over 500 comments deposited on others posts world-wide, I'd say I've proved that one.

Let's just say it's an experiment - for it is. This is for quite a different situation, and there are others whose feelings, principles and authorities have to be considered at this stage.

Time enough to have an open forum after I have launched this one and managed to engage a community of teachers successfully in interactive discourse.

Let's face it, if it was you, Virginia, me and a few others in our commentsphere, we'd have no trouble drumming up a rip roaring conversation, open or not.

At the moment I have managed to engage six teachers who have already contributed splendidly to the first forum. The present ratio is about 2:1 those who logged on and 2:1 those who are now contributing. For a first attempt with teachers, some who have never been to a blog, let alone comment on one, that's not bad statistics from what I've learnt recently.

I'm sure you have trust in me to report and write a post or two on what I find that's worth sharing. After all, I use the same principles when I engage in conversation on any blog post. Trust me? :-)

Ka kite

V Yonkers said...

Ning might be an option, however. This way each author would have their own blog. They could decide if it is private and if it is public. If there is a question of you being there to help hold their hand, then you could be a co-author. The next step would be to tie it to the ning. You could then have the authors in your group decide if they want to allow comments (thus making the blog public) by the general public or just by the group. You could then set the blog feature up in the ning so comments would be posted in Ning rather than on the blog itself. In the second case, it is a bit more complicated and more work for you, but it would insure the privacy that you imply your bloggers need at this point.