Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Checking out the new Blogger

Spent some time yesterday dinking around with the new version of Blogger, called, cleverly enough, Blogger Beta. I'm with Peggy Lee on this: is that all there is? I was, as you can guess, underwhelmed.

I'm normally a BIG fan of just about anything Google does (well, except for that China thing), but they've missed the boat on this one. It really is a "beta," and not much of one at that.

Why am I kvetching about this on an AIDS blog? Well, it's a blog--and Blogger is what we have to work with right now. Either I learn a lot more about CSS and HTML than I ever wanted to know so we can have a better interface here, or the Blogger team (which already knows this stuff) makes it work for us.

Here's what's missing:
  • Better templates (the instructions are not clear to a novice, the options are too limited, where are the new ones?)
  • More features (it's nice that Blogger is finally going to add categories and blog rolls, but where is the connection to Google Earth or Calendar or all those other features?)
  • Privacy issues (I'm blogging with my real name because this is an "official" blog; what about folks who want some pseudonymity in their blogging? what about folks who have both official and personal blogs? linking everything to your Gmail account makes it hard to keep those separate)
  • Three columns (duh!)
  • Statistics (duh!)

There are probably more issues, but these are the ones that popped up on the first pass. I think we'll wait until the "beta" goes away before looking at it again.



Peter Chen said...

You want 3 column? Take a look at 3-column template for Blogger Beta

Carolyn said...

Thanks for the pointer, Peter. I had actually seen some hacks for Blogger Beta that allowed for some of the things I would like to have available. The thing is, they're hacks. I have to figure out what the new Blogger's . . . uh . . . coding (?) means and then figure out how to put the hacks in. Not so easy for some of us. Certainly not as easy as, say, Yahoo's home page feature where you just choose the number of columns that you want.

It's a free program. It's a great service. Google does some really fine things (except for that China thing), so I'm sure they'll eventually make my dreams come true. In the meantime, I'll just keep on eyeballing the Texas Legislature and wait for Google to catch up with my dreams.

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