Tuesday, January 15, 2013


The nightmares don't have to do with the scariness of buying a boat and deciding to take up the cruising life again after 27 years (or not all of them anyway).

These have to do with trying to deal with Google and its subsidiaries. (Google owns Blogspot, Blogger, Gmail, and GoDaddy web domain registration).

As you probably know, we've been having trouble getting notices about our blog entries to you. That  explains the emails with the convoluted directions. Well, it turns out that somehow our blog URL (www.fotogypsiesatsea.blogspot.com) got eamarked as SPAM, either by Google or by Comcast. So any email with the URL in it goes in the SPAM folder. We even had to  (still have to) fish your replies to us out of SPAM.  I called Comcast, and after about 17 hours on hold (you know what that is like), I was told that someone would look into it and that I would hear back in 72 hours.

In the meantime, I knew there was another way around the problem.  If we used our own domain name (in the URL above, fotogypsiesatsea is a subdomain and blogspot is the domain), we should be able to get around the spam problem.  That would be simply www.fotogypsiesatsea.com.  I sent us an email containing that url, and, Yep, it worked.  Blogspot invites you to use your private domain as host for the blog.  If it's an existing domain, like our fotogypsies.com,  it's a very complicated process. But they tell you how to create a new domain and supposedly your blog will automatically switch to it. This involves finding out if the domain name is available, and registering it with GoDaddy for ten bucks a year.  No problem. The domain name fotogypsiesatsea.com worked and we registered it. It's ours!

BUT, when I tried to go to it I got an error message--no page for that URL! Well, there's no way you can get tech support for a problem you have with any of Google's companies. They won't let you talk to a person.  They send you to a web page that cites common problems and you can search for the solution to yours, if you are lucky enough to find it. The solution to our problem was to go go to GoogleApps to register our domain name with Google (I thought I had already done that.) So I went to GoogleApps and was immediately asked to sign in with my user name and password. WTF was that?! I kept guessing, and trying different passwords that we commonly use, and nothing worked. So I found the link that said if you are having trouble signing in go here. So I clicked, and got a message that told me what my user name was (bloggeradmin--I never would have guessed) and said they would email me a link to change my password.

Well, after a while, I fished the email out of my SPAM folder and clicked on the link.  I got a page with one of those (I think they're called) CATCHA phrases--you know, the fuzzy, funny looking words that a computer, and most humans, can't read, that you type into a box to continue.  I typed in the CATCHA phrase, and was told they would send me another email with a link.  They did, I clicked, and got another CATCHA. This repeated a few times (you know what Einstein said about insanity--doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result). I felt like I was a rat in a maze, or a character in a Kafka novel.  I was ready to blow my stack!

Finally I did get a different email, and was able to check into the management page for fotogypsiesatsea.  I was told "You don't have any blogs yet."  Then I read that if I couldn't find my blog it might be because I had multiple accounts under different user names or connected to different email addresses. I knew there was a place on the management page for our original blog where you can add or change a domain name. I just needed to get there!   I knew how to do that.  I went to the blog and up in the upper righthand corner there is a sign-in button.  I clicked on it and it took me--not to the control page for our blog but to the page I had just been on--the one that said I didn't have a blog!  I went around that track a few times. Then I figured out that I might be using the wrong email address (the primary email for the blog is a gmail address, of course). The trouble was my computer was remembering the sign-in process and automatically sending my sign-in info. Usually all I had to do was click on sign-in and I would be in the right place--but now it was the wrong place. Somewhow, I solved that problem (I'm not sure how) and got to my control page.

Ah, there is was.  Add new domain name. So I typed in our new domain name, fotogypsiesatsea.com, and here's one I was told.  You can't use that--someone else owns that domain. (Of course, I was the someone else!) Haven't solved that problem yet.

So that's why you've been getting the convoluted directions for getting to our blog. If any of you are web savvy enough to help us solve this problem, come to our rescue!

1 comment: