Wednesday, August 16, 2006

blogger 2.0

Following soon after the launch of Microsoft's desktop blogging tool Live Writer (PC only), a lot of web commentators such as Mark Evans have pounced on the news that Google has released a beta version of Blogger, the first major update since acquisition in 2003. Just about everyone, such as Wired, is impressed with the new features, though favourable comments are usually accompanied by the suggestion that it's about time too. On the downside, Steve Rubel found problems with the privacy settings, and the software isn't fully compatible with the Safari browser yet.

Techcrunch says that the beta version is still too unstable to be reliable, but in a spirit of adventure, I switched my blog over to the new system anyway, despite the fact that once you make the change, you can't go back to the old one.

Visitors may not notice much difference at first, but the benefits include a better publishing system and a drag-and-drop method to change the layout. Other changes include privacy settings and the ability to use tags without workarounds like the Grease Monkey script that I've been using for a few months (though it sounds to me more like having categories that are specific to each blog rather than tags which can be searched at Technorati, but I may be wrong).

There is now integration with Google accounts. I'm not sure what the implications of this are, though it's probably part of Google's plan for world domination.

I've had a GMail account for a while, but never used it. I visited it today and found lots of messages from a weekly news group that I'd apparently joined. I might now use the option in Netvibes, my RSS reader, to link up to my GMail account so that I can automatically see when I have new mail.

Update: Presumably because of the change to the new version of Blogger, I'm having difficulty posting drop cap images from Flickr. As a result, the Alphaphot project is temporarily suspended until I can resolve this.

Further Update: Other people also seem to be having problems posting images with the new beta version. Some have found that using a different browser helps, others suggest posting images before posting text, while still others found that disabling cookies can help. Unless this is resolved quickly, it might be enough to prompt the move I've been secretly experimenting with in the background, preparing to move this blog to Wordpress...


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