Friday, 26 July 2013

Blogger Blogs And Permissions

With Blogger Blogs, not everybody can do everything with every blog. Blogger doesn't provide anything as simple (or as obnoxious) as Simple File Sharing under Windows XP. They don't call it Simple Blog Access, but the choices that they do provide aren't a lot more granular.

Except for Authors, who have access only to their own posts, all access is against the entire blog. If you truly have a need to have different levels of access for different portions of your blog, consider splitting the blog into two or more different blogs, each with the components with differing access needs.

You setup blog membership and permissions from the Settings - Permissions wizard. It's a pretty simple wizard. You will need a current and operational email address (and not to an address that requires sender verification either) for each prospective member.

  • Administrative access is at blog level. Anybody with access to any part of a blog has equal access to the entire blog. You have to be able to equally trust all administrators.
  • Any blog can have multiple administrators, and multiple authors. There is a limit of 100 members, for any blog.
  • Only administrators can change blog settings. All administrators can change all settings - there is no granularity here.
  • Only administrators and members can post articles, using post editor, to a blog. All authors can post, with moderation only after posting. You can, at your discretion, let people post to the blog using email, and under your account.
  • Any administrator can edit any post at will. Authors can edit only their own posts.
  • There are levels of ability to post comments to a blog.
  • There are levels of ability to read a blog. This is why we now authenticate using a Google account
    • By default, you have a Public blog.
      • Everybody.
    • If you wish, you can have a Private blog.
      • Everybody invited, as a reader.
      • Blog members ("Authors").
      Note that with a private blog, you won't have any feeds available. Feeds are available only with public blogs, and unrestricted access.
    • If you make the blog Private, and don't invite any Authors or Readers, you'll have a Closed blog. That's your right.

If you want anything better, you'll have to get an alternate solution. If you want to block comments by IP address (a vague solution with limited success), you'll need a third party commenting service, like Haloscan.

When you look at the Settings - Permissions screen, at the list of Blog Members, you'll note two possibilities.

  • If the blog has only one administrator, you'll see "admin" beside that member. This account is the blog owner.
  • If the blog has more than one administrator, beside each member, you'll see either "admin" or "author", accompanied by a clickable link "revoke admin privileges" or "grant admin privileges".
  • If you change or delete either one of two Administrators, the "revoke admin privileges" link for the other Administrator will be gone. You will always have at least one Administrator. If you remove any account(s) from administrator status,make sure that the remaining account(s) are capable of providing administrative service, to fulfill your standard of convenience.

Making an additional administrator for the blog is simply part of transferring the blog to another administrator. Making an additional author (member) is a smaller part still.

  1. Add a second account, as a blog member.
  2. From the second account, accept membership by clicking on the link in the incoming email, and authenticating, using any new or existing Google account.
  3. Refresh the membership list display.
  4. Make the new member an administrator, by clicking on the "grant admin privileges" link.

OK, so how does all this work? Let's look at a Private Test Blog. What members can we have?

1 Author (Administrator), and 1 Reader.

1 of each - Administrator, Guest, Reader.

2 Administrators, 1 Reader. Note that both administrators have clickable links, to be changed or deleted.

Not a private blog now. 2 Administrators.


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