Ideas for blogger but impossible to contact

I know I have the option of writing my own html on here. But its been years since I’ve done that, and not everyone can do that. So yesterday I was taking a closer look at the things blogger offers to make things esier, and there are some things I so wish I could do, but blogger doesn’t offer.

I had a sighted friend look at my blog while we were chatting, and I wanted to make sure that all the labels aren’t in one long list. With a screen reader, its kinda hard to tell. Voiceover makes certain noises for new lines, so I really should have paid attention to that. Luckily, my friend informed me that all the labels are in a big block, so at least visually, it doesn’t make the blog really long.

But the thing with a screen reader is, it reads everything it encounters. So to get past all the labels, I have to go through every single one. The blog isn’t laid out nicely with headers. In some cases I can skip by using the headers to navigate, like skipping past the blog to get to the comments. But I can’t use headers to skip past the labels or the blog archive.

So I want a drop down menu for my labels. How much tidier that would be. Say you want all the Doggy Diaries post. You’d scroll down, open the drop down menu, select Doggie Diaries, and the page would reload with just those posts, just like it does by clicking the label. But it would eliminate the huge body of text with all the labels. Same with the blog archive. I’ve seen a blog archive drop down menu on another blog, but I have no idea how she achieved this.

Also, I’ve realized that some of my labels are incredibly redundant. So I want to delete a few, and rename some. Oh blogger, why couldn’t you allow us to edit the actual labels, rather than going through every damn post? How easy that would be. On the dashboard, have an area to edit labels. Each label would appear in an edit text box. You could have the option of renaming the label, or deleting it, and it would change all blogs associated with that label.

I tried to find out how to contact blogger, but as with every other google service, you have to post in a forum. I don’t want to post in a forum. I don’t care what answers I might get from other bloggers when it comes to this sort of thing. Not to mention it takes a CAPTCHA to post. I want to write directly to the blogger team. But there’s no email address or contact form, that I could find.

Oh, another good idea might be to include a labeling tutorial in the getting started section. When I first started, I didn’t get the point. It wasn’t until I started reading other blogs that it made sense.

And maybe have a disclamer in the security area that says, “if you select CAPTCHA security, you might exclude certain people from commenting”.

Another thing. On my Dashboard, it lists all the blogs I’m following, before my reading list. I can’t navigate by header to get to new blog posts, so I have to scroll past all the blogs I’m following. I know what blogs I’m following. I want to just get to new posts. Why not have the blogs I’m following in a drop down menu? Or have a link to “hide all” just like with labels when making a new post?

And, why not link the google reader to the reading list all in one place, so that non-blogger blogs can also be seen in my new post update, all in the same place? I know, I know, just get an RSS feeder, but why? I want it all on the same page, on my dashboard, so I can read all my updates, and post in the same place.

Does anyone know how to directly contact the blogger people?

18 Comments

Filed under accessibility, CAPTCHA, NaBloPoMo 2009, proud geek, rant, screen reader, Voiceover

18 Responses to Ideas for blogger but impossible to contact

  1. Off the top of my head I can’t think of an easy way to contact them,but you might want to keep an eye onBlogger Buzz.They ask for user feedback there from time to time so maybe you could get in on some of that.

    If I find a more direct way to get in touch with them I’ll let you know. One would certainly be handy.

  2. Sorry R, I’m not sure how you can contact the people directly but I do know how you can change your Archive to a drop down list. You start at your dashboard and find the layout for your blog. Once your in where you can edit the layout you can find the Blog Archive Edit link which is kind of tricky with voice over. It only says Edit for all the gadgets, not the title of which you are editing. I attempted it and couldn’t figure out how to do it but I’m also not very good at voice over lol. Anyways, once you get to the Edit screen of your blog archive you will see the style list for your archive. You can choose from a hierarchy, flat or drop down. Good luck with getting it fixed. B might have to help you. I would ask Darrell to attempt it but he’s not here right now so hope it helped.

  3. yeah forums have worked out to be semi ok, but I’d really like to get straight to Blogger. There is a way to contact Blogger support, but a. I think there’s a captcha on it, and b. they’re real picky. Let me find the piece on what reasons you should contact the blogger support team. • Need to contact our support team? We provide email support for the issues listed below. While we do read each email, you’ll only hear from us (generally
    within three business days) if we need more information to resolve your issue. The following articles will help you determine if you need to contact us:

    list of 6 items nesting level 1
    • Login and Access Issues
    • Report Abuse
    • Bugs
    • Report a spam blog
    • Report nudity
    • Report Hate Speech on Blogger
    list end nesting level 1
    So yeah.

    If you want, although it’s not optimal and it certainly is what I hate having to do if in your shoes, I can post things on the forum for you and hope for a response. I have had really good responses, I mean, one chick helped me fix my tracker and without her I wouldn’t have fixed it for days. but in the case of the post email links, well, no reply at all. Damn song. The responses come straight to my email, so I don’t have to keep going back and back and back to the forum. And I had to use Firefox and only Firefox to be able to even post in the forum. So…if you want, you can compose a forum post and send it to me…you have my email address in many different ways…and I can post it.

    Incidentally, miss accessibility advocate sure hasn’t responded. And what was up with that post about blind people going to “functions”? Was enough to make me wanna hurl.

    Ooo that got away from me. Anyway, the offer’s out there if ya want it.

  4. R

    Hmmm I thought I looked there…I’ll have to try it again. Hmmm….thanks lol.

    Steve, I’m so mad at myself. There was a blogger buzz a bit ago where they asked for how you see blogger in ten years or something, but I didn’t go into detail.

  5. Natalie, I could kiss you! If I ever want to banish the black down-pointing triangles, I will follow your advice!

  6. R

    Karen, I might just do that. I’m mush right now but I might think of having you do that. See, I just had something in brain I was gonna type, but its gone. Ugh.

    Oh and as for Miss Accessibility, yeah, seriously? All her posts are like that. I’m thinking, does she really get questions like that? Does she know there was a comment on her blog? Did she ignore it on purpose? I’m half tempted to unsubscribe, but I kind of get a kick out of some of it.

    I need to start making a list of all the websites people are having problems with to talk to my UK lady about.

  7. R

    Natalie it worked! I know I’d been there before but how I didn’t notice that. Anyway, with Voiceover, once you go into Layout, there will be a frame, I think it says something like rearrange page elements frame 1 or something like that. Darrel would need to VO shift down arrow to interact with the frame, and then he can go in and edit stuff.

    So now my archive is in a drop down menu. Why the hell don’t they offer that with labels?

  8. I know there are different ways you can have the labels structured. Maybe play around with them. Now I have to see what your archives look like.

  9. Yay kisses and happiness!! Glad you figured it out!

  10. R

    I picked “cloud” for my labels, not knowing what it was. I had my sighty friend look, and he said that the labels with more frequency are bold. I guess its a large justified body of text for the labels. Which is fine, but doesn’t solve the problem of the reader having to navigate past it all, since using headers doesn’t work. Now, if every section of a blog were a header, this wouldn’t be an issue.

    Maybe I just somehow need to have the blogger people read this post and the comments lol.

  11. Herm. When I look at it with JAWS, the labels are the last thing I see. Where do they fall? If you do ’em like ours…which I have to verify how we did ’em, they are in a list, so you can navigate to the next list…if Alex can do such a thing…and get past the labels. Weird weird weird.

  12. that functions post was awful, enough to make me never want to hear that woman’s name again let alone read her blog. Ever hear of a thesaurus, you dope? if it’s all like that, what a horrible representative for the blind…or for anything she is.

  13. L^2

    Well, many years ago there used to be a way to contact Blogger directly, but I heard they got inundated with stupid questions that wasted their time (because people were too lazy to read the Help sections first) so much that they weren’t able to deal with the really important issues that people were telling them about, so they quit offering direct contact. As you said, now you can only contact Blogger through the forums, and yes, sometimes you will get other bloggers’ replies in addition to a Blogger staff member.
    Earlier this year, in May I think it was, they opened a suggestion forum for a trial time period, but it was only open for about a month or so and they got hundreds of thousands of the same suggestions/complaints before it was shut down. I’ve heard that they have been working on many of the most popular suggestions they received there, but who knows when we’ll actually get the really useful ones.

    A few of the things you mentioned in this post are possible to do though, like a drop down menu for your archives. I use that style for my blog archives. it’s one of the options you’re given when you edit your blog’s layout. You don’t need to know HTML to do it, you just have to tell the layout editor which style you want in the options box.

    As for editing or changing your labels on a whole batch of posts at once, this can fairly easily be done on the “edit post” page that has a list of all your blog posts. On the left side of that page there’s a link list of all your labels. When you click on a label, like a misspelled one, it will bring up only the list of posts which have that label. Then you can click on the “select all” option. then go to the “make a new label” option where you would type in what you want the corrected label to say and apply that new corrected label to all those posts. Then go back up to the label options list and find one that says “remove label” and click on the old misspelled label remove it from those posts. Then all those posts will only have the corrected label. Hmm… that might be hard to follow. Sorry, but it’s really not difficult to do if you can figure out my directions. LOL

    The way your screen reader reads the layout on the dashboard for the blogs you are following is probably what is causing you problems there. On the dashboard reading list thingy the blog names are in a scroll list in a column at the left and all the new posts show up on the right side. Visually they show up side by side, just like they do in Google Reader, so new posts can be seen immediately while the list is available to scroll through at the side. But it sounds like your screen reader reads the left column before it reads the right column, so I’m not sure if there is anything that can be done about that on Blogger’s end of it.

    Also, if you search the Help section there are tutorials on how to use Labels and all the other features offered for Blogger. You just have to look for them. 😉

    You can add any feed subscription to the list of blogs your following on the blogger dashboard. All you have to do is add the links. Or you can import links to your dashboard reading list from your Google reader. They don’t have to be Google/Blogger blogs in order to work in Blogger/Google’s feed reader. And Google Reader as well as the reading list on your Blogger dashboard is a feed reader, you don’t need another one in addition to it.

    Hope that helps at least a little. 🙂

    I’d be happy to help quickly fix what I can for you, but I know most people aren’t comfortable having a “stranger” tinkering around in their account. So, if you need me to explain anything better in order for you to do it yourself, just let me know.

  14. Ouchers. Curiosity. How does Alex respond to your archive combo box? If I don’t watch it, I will go flying to the first thing I arrow to. I have to hit alt down arrow to open the list box to make sure I don’t go flying. Just curious. I used to hate those boxes until I learned that trick. Is there a similar trick with Voiceover?

  15. R

    Ok L^2 that is all fabulous information. I bet now that I kind of know how the page is laid out, I might be able to figure it out. The labels thing will take come practice on a healthy brain day, ie not today lol! Excellent info, and I’ve actually saved the email notification in my email for reference.

    Karen, what the? I have no idea what you’re talking about, flying somewhere? Huh? Whada huh? Does not compute.

  16. R

    Oh, and I have never looked to see if I can navigate by list. I did not know that was an option. I will be checking out my help mode on a healthy brain day to see if I can’t figure that one out. I never messed with navigating by headerstill I got on blogger and was reading people’s entire freakin blogs lol. So maybe I’ll discover a way to navigate by list.

    Hands hurt, eek! too. Much. Typing.

  17. Hahahaha. We’re making you type and type and type.

    Ok, lemme try and explain. I get to the combo box. I have to turn something called forms mode on to interact with it. In most combo boxes, you hit down arrow and down arrow and down arrow until you arrive at the option you want. Not this one. I hit down arrow once, and I hear a click…and zooom! I’m taken to the November archive! I didn’t even hear an option, I was just taken to the first thing I arrowed to. Have no fear, there’s a workaround. If I hit alt down arrow first, it will do something to the combo box to prevent it from going click, click, zoom. I just wondered if you had a similar workaround, or whether Alex doesn’t click zoom.

    Does that make sense?

    And l^2, you are a freaking genius re: labels. I’ve been thinking of changing our internet label to say series of tubes, but there are 200x posts in there, and…guck no way I’m going through ’em all.

  18. R

    Whoa. Thats crazy. No, when I encounter a drop down, I just hit VO space, which is like a select, or mouse click kinda. The menu pops up. I VO down arrow till I get to what I want and hit enter. If I hit escape, or go back to select one, it just cloes the menu.

    Very interesting indeed.

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