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:
And it also allows drag and drop manipulation of various aspects of the blog:
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
I did a couple of tag searches on Technorati this afternoon – but they came up empty – I wasn’t so surprised with one or two of the more obscure ones I tried but when my search for the tag Google came up with the following message:
There are no posts with that tag yet. Please try again later or post one yourself! To contribute to this page, just post to your blog and include this code
I began to suspect there Technorati may be having some technical issues!
Yet another Google story (!) – this time Google have announced that they have bought Writely – I wrote about Writely previously, Writely is a browser-based word processor with all kinds of Ajaxy, starring, tagging and RSSy goodness!
This further strengthens Google’s hand in their ambitions to have everyone save all their info on Google servers.
Om Malik had a lovely graphic on his site (reproduced below) showing how Google’s online offerings are quickly catching up with Microsoft in terms of functionality and have the added advantage of being free –
Another key difference between Microsoft’s Office offering and Google’s offerings is that you save Microsoft Office documents on your computer (or the office LAN) primarily, whereas with Google’s offerings, you save on their servers so your documents are available to you wherever you have an internet connection.
Of course the downside of the data being on Google’s servers is the loss of privacy. If information is on your computer at home (tax returns, love letters, business records, financial/bank details medical files, etc.), a search warrant is required to access it – if it is on a Google server, a subpoena is all that is required to get your information and there is no requirement on Google to notify you of that subpoena before the information is handed over!
If Google were to stand by their motto of doing no evil, they should encrypt your data and store it encrypted on their servers with only you having the private key to unencrypt it.
Don’t hold your breath!
I got an email this morning from a Tom Atkins. Tom had read about my various issues with FeedLounge and trying to sort out an online RSS Feed aggregator so I can keep my feeds synched across computers. Tom suggested I have a look at an online RSS Feeds aggregator called Gregarius and I did and I have to say I am impressed with it!
Gregarius is designed to run on your web server, allowing you to access your feeds from wherever you want. It is free, open source, web standards compliant (renders XHTML/CSS), supports OPML, has tagging, full text search and is full of AJAXy goodness(!).
What more could you want?