This post may not interest you in the slightest, the main point is that you shouldn’t notice a thing but it may be quiet here for a few days in the near future.

I think, after four and a half years, through Blogger Pro, the Google buyout, the redesign and all the early day issues, it’s time I finally said goodbye to Blogger. It’s been fun, and I’m forever in the debt of the guys at Pyra for helping me get started – I can still remember finding Blogger, completely independently, when I was looking for an easier way to update my website than having to hand code a page, then hand code additional links and finally FTP all the updated files to my site – who knew it would go on for so long. It’s grown from a quirky little service to a fairly substantial one, but unfortunately it’s popularity is it’s downfall. The inability to post when I want has become increasingly frustrating, and all the while the feature set is being tailored more towards the ‘new’ market (I can’t blame them for that, it IS the space that Blogger is trying to dominate).

However I think I can safely say that I’m more a power-user and my recent spate of Firefox posts has made me realise, finally, that categories could be very useful.

Of course having made the decision, I need to find the time to actually make the switch. Ideally I’d do it this weekend but I’m a tad busy (shopping on Saturday, night out Saturday night, staying at parents, Gran’s birthday celebrations… ) so I’m guessing it’ll be done at some point next week. I’ll keep you posted of course.

Not sure how it will all work just yet, but hopefully the only difference you’ll notice is a change to the comments system.

Anyway, just a heads up, if I’m not posting my usual inane nonsense at any point in the next week or so you’ll know why.

bookmark_borderBlogger again

I’ll stop after this.

Business Plan. What is it and why did it prompt the new ‘revamped’ design?

There is a lot of focus (rightly) on the new look and new features (and changed features). But where now? Keep adding features for free? Really? When you are taking on Moveable Type and have been, seemingly, static for quite a while you are losing ground. Everywhere I’ve read posts from the people involved in this re-design talk of it in the immediate past. So is this the first step in a longer term strategy?

For Blogger Pro people, the people who paid for extra features, the only thing we are getting is a comments system, and a restricted one at that. Granted the amount of comment spam that hits most sites means that more of the hosted comments systems will have to start offering some form of spam protection (TypeKey anyone?) but there needs to be scope for people who aren’t (touch wood) affected by this.

I’m not bashing the new Blogger, Google, or any of the people involved but I DO get the feeling that this is only half the story. Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m being too hopeful and maybe I need to remove some of the emotional attachment I have for Blogger (I mean I have a Blogger hoodie after all…) but I’m sure there is more to come, and that the technological changes under the hood that AREN’T being talked about are probably twice as important as those nice new curvy graphics on the front page.

As ever, time will tell.

bookmark_borderReading feeds

Lockergnome’s RSS Resource is chock full of information. So much so that I’ve not really taken much time to get to grips with both the site, and RSS in general. Yes I have an XML feed but as a Blogger Pro user, that’s really just a few clicks and and a filename to handle.

If you are like me, a bit bemused by all this, I urge you to Get a grip on Rss in 3 easy steps! (does exactly what it says on the tin).

However if you ARE like me, you’ll end up visiting the websites themselves most of the time anyway. You see, I’ve tried using RSS feeds for sites on my blogroll, but it’s a very…. I dunno… dry experience. For me, reading personal sites is an encompassing experience where the content is as important as the design. I know that holds true for news sites, shopping sites etc, but only if you are browsing through them. All I really want from a news site is news. RSS is an excellent solution for that.

The other downside to RSS is that a lot of feeds aren’t ‘full’. That is, they give you a summary of the posting, the first three lines or so.. again this may be useful for news sites where you can use that information to decide whether or not to read on. For most personal sites the first three lines may be an indication of the posting but frequently the core message doesn’t arrive until later. Take, for example, this very posting where the first three lines are:

“Lockergnome’s RSS Resource is chock full of information. So much so that I’ve not really taken much time to get to grips with both the site, and RSS in general. Yes I have an XML feed but as a Blogger Pro user, that’s really just a few clicks and and a filename to handle.”

From that you can gather that I will be posting about RSS but that’s about the limit of it’s usefulness. (Although the ‘usefulness’ of a lot of posting on personal sites is probably questionable, mine included).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking RSS and I do believe that it will become increasingly useful, but it I believe we are still missing that killer RSS application. Think of the way Blogger transformed personal publishing, or the way Google grabbed the search engine crown. We are still waiting for the RSS application will make that leap, forcing RSS out into the wild. Until then RSS will remain useful, but limited to the hands of the technorati.

bookmark_borderBye bye Blogger Pro

I’m guessing this will be news du jour. Google have canned Blogger Pro, well not canned it completely as I’ll still have access to some of the advanced features, but you’ll no longer be able to upgrade to the Pro version. In return for my hard earned cash I get a Blogger Hoodie which, given my efforts to purchase a Blogger T-shirt, will cost Google more than my Pro subscription was in the first place.

I’m sure other people will be a bit put out but, as Evan said in his email, the Pro subscribers helped keep Blogger on it’s feet.

* heads off to polish halo

Listening to: Leftfield – Melt


Seems like a new version of BlogThis has appeared too… if you use it you will find (or soon find) that once you have posted, the little window stays open and gives you the option of editing your posts (which then resizes and takes you to the main Blogger page…

Might be a Blogger Pro thing only though. But hey, a new feature is a new feature.

bookmark_borderNew Blogger

Ohhh and I’ve been on the ‘New Blogger’ for a week or so now.

Very ‘nice’ but still lagging behind Moveable Type as far as features go. However I paid for Blogger Pro and I’ll support it for a while yet. Just wish there was more info about what is in the pipeline. Ev? Hello?