Asking For Help

There are several ways to ask for help, in Google Blogger Help, or in Blogger Forum, that though instinctive, don’t allow the helpers to help you as easily. Let’s see if I can identify some problem areas.

  1. Identify your blog.
  2. Republish previously posted information.
  3. Start a new thread for each problem.
  4. List the ticket number.
  5. List the details of the error message.
  6. Describe the problem, as you see it.

Always identify your blog
Here’s a common complaint in Google Blogger Help:

My blog doesn’t work

Here’s another:

My blog is missing! Help!

What’s the common item in both of the above examples (aside from the pain the Blogger must be feeling!)?

No mention of the blog name.

Please, folks, if you’re going to ask for help, start your report with something like:

My blog is http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/.

And please, put the name in a clickable link, in the body of your problem report. Don’t put the name in the title – make the title brief and descriptive. Having the clickable link, in the body, makes it possible to more easily see (or not see) your blog, without having to copy and paste the URL, and wonder if we got it right. Everybody makes mistakes. Don’t encourage the helpers to make mistakes, when they could be helping you.

If you’re really thinking about what you’re doing, you could increase the possibility of being helped, with something like:

My blog is http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/. It looks fine in Firefox, but in Internet Explorer, The posts are missing.

In other words, diagnose the problem, if ever so slightly.

But start with the blog name, in the body of your problem report, in a clickable link. Help us to help you.

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Republish useful information
Please note that, in Google Blogger Help, we can’t see any of your previous posts. So if you’ve provided information in the past, you’ll still have to provide it again. We can’t see your previous posts, unless you provide a link to one.

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Start a new thread for a new problem
It’s normal to read thru a forum, looking for others with your problem. It’s a good idea, even.

But having found a thread where your problem (what looks like yours anyway) is being discussed, please don’t go the the end of the thread and post

I’m having the problem too. Help!

When you do that, the discussion now contains 2 threads. How can anybody keep up with 2 threads in 1 discussion?

Start a new thread. Please. For everybody’s sake!

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List the ticket number

Occasionally, when you post your report in Blogger Help or in Blogger Forum, you’ll get a visit. Pete, who does not speak for Blogger, will nonetheless, occasionally drop by to remind you to report your problem.

Though Pete does not speak for Blogger (when he drops by, it’s purely as another Blogger, like you), if your problem ticket number is there in your report, indicating that you DID already report the problem, this CANNOT hurt your chances of being helped. Just that little extra effort by you could boost your chances, and a miracle may occur.

Think about it.

And oh yes, you DID respond to the botmail when you got your ticket number? Yes?

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List the details of the error message

Here’s a start for one problem report.

My blog is http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/. I get an error when publishing.

OK, that tells us two things:

  • The name of the blog involved.
  • What you were doing when you ran into a problem.

But there is some more useful detail.

  • What is the problem?

We see problem reports here a lot. If there’s an ongoing problem, and it’s getting bigger, it’s helpful to be able to relate the problems. If there’s a serious problem, it’s possible that some detail about the problem would be of use here.

Maybe:

My blog is http://bloggerstatusforreal.blogspot.com/. I get an “450 Write error: No space left on device” error when publishing.

Now that’s details which we don’t like seeing, because it identifies a problem that Blogger Support has to resolve. You won’t get around THAT error by changing to another Blogger server.

Maybe other error messages (both the error number and the description are useful, so be generous) will have better news for us, and for you in turn.

But without the error details, what can we do?

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Describe the problem, as you see it

You may not notice this little detail, I didn’t see its significance until recently. When you have a problem accessing a server, what are you doing?

When I access the server, I get a blank page.

Are you aware that there are two domains here?

  • Blogger – This is where you setup your blog, and publish your posts.
  • Blogspot – This is where you view your blog.

Many times, Blogger will be up, and Blogspot will be down. If you can create, edit, and publish your posts, but nobody can read them, you have a big problem. No readers, which = no immediate revenue. And less future readers, which = less future revenue.

Other times, Blogger will be down, and Blogspot will be up. Everybody will be able to read your blog, so no problems with current revenue. But you won’t be able to make any changes to your blog. If your blog (as most do) depends upon updated information, you’ll soon suffer from less readers, which again = less future revenue.

But you need to know the differences. And when you discuss your problems in Blogger Forum or in Google Blogger Help, it’s good to know the differences. And to state the details, relevant to the differences.

Help us to help you. Provide details about the problem.

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2 Responses to “Asking For Help”

  1. Mario Says:

    Good tip

  2. Rajesh J Advani Says:

    This is really well written. As a Blog*Star, maybe you could request to have this put up as a Sticky post in the Blogger Help forums. You know – “Read this first”.

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