Too little too late – Google tries to win back Bloggers

Blogger is Google’s free hosted blogging platform. Blogger’s steady decline as a blogging platform has been well documented by Blogger users.

Via Marshal Kirkpatrick today comes news that Google have launched (in beta, of course!) a newer version of Blogger. This version has lots of shiny bits such as allowing change of colour of your blog using a WYSIWYG interface:
New Blogger format screen

And it also allows drag and drop manipulation of various aspects of the blog:
Drag n drop of the About me

The new version requires users to have a Google account which is a bit of a mixed blessing. It also allows for tagging of posts using the Labels field – in fact this is probably the most useful update to the entire application.

Given Google’s lacklustre commitment to Blogger over the last two years and the very little progress in this update I would say to anyone thinking of starting a blog now to stay from Blogger and use the likes of WordPress.com instead. If you are on Blogger – move to a real blog platform. You know you want to.

UPDATE: – for a more comprehensive review of the update see the Google Operating System blog. And Blogger’s official post about it is here

15 thoughts on “Too little too late – Google tries to win back Bloggers”

  1. The main problem with moving is that you lose all the link goodness and I don’t know if there’s any way of putting a redirect on a blogspot URL to a new address.

  2. Yup, if you are hosted on blogspot, I don’t know that there is an easy way to get off Blogger AND bring your Page Rank with you.

    The best way might be to do it in 2 steps –
    1. Use Blogger to re-publish on your new domain, do this for a number of weeks until people are used to the new domain and then
    2. Switch to the new blog platform.

  3. There are a few of us blogspotters who might move to our own domain if there was some handholding (training!!) along the way – moving to the likes of wordpress does not appeal to me but using some blogging software on my own domain would. I know there are god hosting packages out there but I ain’t moving without a safety net!

  4. You can do it with Technorati. They recently (at last) consolidated my links etc.

    suzy – mving to WP from MovableType was very easy – worked a charm. Blogger is a bit more complicated but a competent blog monkey like Tom 😉 will do it in a trice. Same as upgrading. I did a 2.0 to 2.0.4 last night – 10 minutes including a dozen or so plug-ins etc.

  5. We’ve been planning to switch over to wordpress but every time we think about, we have a collective nervous breakdown and have to put it off. The complete unreliability of blogger actually turns the idea of changing over into a much bigger nightmare than it should be.

  6. Google, the most over hyped one trick pony in business today.

    They do a good job selling ads and an awful job at everything else.

  7. Suzy – I think you mean you don’t want to move to WordPress.com (the hosted version of WordPress). Standard WordPress (which I run on this site) is a fine blog platform and one I would strongly recommend. Moving to it from blogspot requires you have an account with a hosting company and a domain – once you have that, it is reasonably trivial. Feel free to give me a bell or drop me a mail to discuss further.

    Mark (gulp) – something is obviously wrong in the universe when I find myself in moderate agreement with one of your comments. Maybe you are having an off day. Or possibly it is me 😉

  8. It’s you.

    I’ve reached the pinnacle of intellectual development while you’re still eating the stuff which collects in your belly button. 😉

  9. Tom,

    I bought my own domain name today (well I bought 3 of them :-)) and am organising hosting which will have wordpress installed and from a bit of searching I have a tutorial on how to move my posts over from blogger to wordpress. Keeps repeating to self ‘I can do this, I can do this’. All to mark my first blog birthday!

    Thanks for the offer of help and I might be back to you!!

    Suzy

  10. I like Blogger. I know I’m going against the tide here, but I find it really easy. It’s free, you type your post, click publish bada-boom, bada-bing.

    I don’t know how people work in technology, seriously, whenever I read stuff with words like beta and Technorati and RSS in it, I hear a shrieking in my head….and then I realise it’s not actually in my head, that it’s me, shrieking out loud!

    I guess it’s not the same for you guys – or am I wrong?!

  11. No Karen,

    it is not the same for me anyway. Having used Blogger lots of times (indeed I started out blogging on Blogger) I can honestly say I experience exactly the same shrieking in my head you mentioned anytime I have to go back to using it.

    Perhaps you might try WordPress.com. It is straightforward to use and has none of the annoying problems Blogger has.

  12. What annoying problems? I’ve never had any problems with Blogger to be honest. Though then again, my blog is very simple. Just text and the odd pic, so maybe that’s why I’m not having any difficulties.

  13. I have had lots of problems with posting in Blogger – with very simple text only posts.

    Often on hitting Publish I am left staring at a spinning icon whose percentage never goes above 0%.

    If you have never had this happen to you – I’m delighted for you and long may it stay that way.

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