First Impressions of Blogger Beta: A Review
After my initial excitement has passed I decided to create a test account to peek under the hood and take the new Blogger Beta for a spin.
Blogger has promised to make the migration optional for now, but within a few months everyone will be forced to switch over to the new platform. I haven’t had much time to play with it yet but here are my first impressions.
Let’s begin by telling you what I do like:
What I like about Blogger Beta (with reservations):
What I think they can improve on:
The “Pick New Template” viewer is way too small and cumbersome to work with. I was also disappointed with the lack of templates with more than just one sidebar. The picture they provided is either misleading, or I just haven’t been able to find it yet in their teensy-weensy viewer.
The so-called new templates they claim to have added seem to offer only more color schemes for the old templates than anything else. No doubt they have been modified for the new layout features that will be needed to work with labels.
I’m not blown away by a long shot. The new editing features will probably appeal more to newbies. I doubt if I will bother with it because third party software such as w.bloggar already has these capabilities and more.
Probably the most important new feature is Labels. But it is too basic for my liking and needs improvements before I will be won over, although admittedly it is handy for use as a category list in the sidebar. I think I will stick with what I am using for now.
The other most important new feature is the Newsfeeds for Comments. But the question remains, are these changes compelling enough to win over power bloggers?
Personally I don’t think Blogger Beta is strong enough to make experienced bloggers want to move over from other blog platforms or to stop looking elsewhere with envy. There are still a lot more advanced features that I would like to see, such as trackback, PHP support and domain mapping.
Neither does it warrant any great hurry to make the switch over for existing Blogger users from the old Blogger platform. Except of course inexperienced bloggers that do not use third party software and need the new editing features.
Then again, perhaps Blogger is content to stay in the inexperienced blog user market. Perhaps these enhancements are only intended to grab back a little of the pie that MySpace or MSN Spaces have taken, and to make Blogger as easy to use as their marketing schpeel would have us believe. If that’s the case, I still think their dashboard editing features and template WYSIWYG need some improvements.
But it is encouraging to see that Google hasn’t forgotten about Blogger. Indeed, for their sake I hope they make good on their promise to roll out even more new features sooner than later, or they will continue to lose market share from bloggers that are looking for a better blogging solution.
This was just a quick cursory look and I may have missed some things so be sure check back here again, for like Google Beta this will continue to be a work in progress.
Blogger Beta UPDATE!
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