Wednesday, August 16, 2006

New Blogger (Beta) Still Has a Way to Go

As you've read before, I am tired of blogger. Been using it since 1999 and it's now time for me to move on.

By way of Mark Evans, I found out that Blogger has a beta out with some additional features. It's the first upgrade since Google bought Pyra Labs back in 2001.

I checked it out only because I want to give Blogger a 10th chance and here's what I liked:

  • Labels. Finally, now I can categorize my posts.

  • In the archives, it shows the number of posts beside the month and you can expand it to see the title of the posts. Right now, if you're searching for an old post, you have to click on that month under the Archives tab, then scroll down to find what you're looking for.

  • An AJAX-y thing where you can drag and drop what you want to make visible in the template you're using for your blog. Right now, the only way to edit your blog template is to go right into the HTML.

  • I like the fact that I can use the same login for my Gmail account for my Blogger account. No need to remember yet-another-username.

  • Posts are uploaded really quick. Has something to do with some server side improvements, stuff I don't really care about, but someone reading (and who can explain it better than I) can probably comment on what was done. All I know is that posting to my blog is really quick.

  • I can make my blog (or certain posts) private. This can be useful for a CEO who wants only his direct reports to read the blog, or a blog that presents tips & tricks to people who paid for a service.

Here's what's still missing:
  • No way to make individual labels its own RSS feed. From a podcasting standpoint, this is important since iTunes gets a little fussy when your feed has a mix of text-based posts and audio-based posts.

  • Still no way to schedule posts to be published in the future. When I was updating Jon Watson's blog, I had scheduled 8 posts on the Wednesday before the long weekend so they would go live while I was at Sherkston Shores.

  • Still no way to install a non-branded podcast player in your blog. Wordpress has a nice plug-in called Podpress that I've been using for one of my clients. Blogger is missing this.

A little too late in my book as I've already started the motions to port my blog files over to Wordpress. will be live very soon using a brand-spanking new blog platform. Stay tuned.

View my Blogger Beta page.

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