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Blogger.com Announces Beta Update

Blogger-Beta

It looks like the team at Google/Blogger have finally decided to update the ever popular but getting crusty Blogger.com blog platform. They announced a new Blogger Beta today which seems to go part way to answering some of the calls for updating that many Blogger bloggers have been calling for for years. New features include:

  • Categorize your posts with ‘labels’
  • Dynamic Serving (leading to faster publishing)
  • Control who can read your blog (private blogs) update – seems there are some bugs with this – don’t go publishing anything too private yet.
  • Change the appearance and content of your blog with your mouse instead of HTML (sort of like widgets)
  • New Dashboard
  • New Templates
  • User accounts will now be Google accounts instead of Blogger accounts
  • More Feed options (ie feeds for comments on your blog, feeds for comments on individual posts as well as RSS 2.0 and Atom 1.0)

While I haven’t seen any of this (it looks like my old blogger account isn’t one of those that has been allowed to join the new beta yet) it seems like a ‘nice’ update that brings Blogger.com a little more up to date – however when you compare what they’re offering in comparison to other platforms you’d still have to say that it’s pretty light on in terms of features.

Still – I guess this is a step in the right direction – although I’ve always been a little confused by how a company who is as innovative and progressive as Google can have a tool that was so far behind it’s competitors in a 50 million+ user game like blogging. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come.

Is anyone in the beta program? Feel free to give us a mini first impression review in comments below or link to where you’ve posted your review on your own blog.

About Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.

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Comments

  1. Duncan says:

    Labels=Tags
    And they still don’t do categories :-)

  2. Andrew says:

    I’ve post about my first impressions at:
    http://changingway.net/archives/705

  3. Cory Miller says:

    I’ve got several blogs under the old Blogger.com — churchcommunicationspro.com for one and corymiller.com for another — and started a new one in the beta today to test out the new features.

    So far it seems the new upgrades are very nice … especially, of course, the labels. I have not blogged under any other platform, so I probably don’t know what I’m missing, but have enjoyed the simplicity of Blogger.com. It seems I’ve almost milked as much function out of it as I can. I’ll look to move my other blogs over ASAP so I can start taking advantage of the tags, function, etc.

    You have to admit … if anything, Blogger gets a beginner going with relative ease. I’ve waded in, read ProBlogger along the way, been inspired to wade out farther, and enjoyed the whole blogging process … kudos to Google for giving me something to entice me to stay a little longer.

  4. kunal says:

    i tried to convert myself to beta but they didnt allow :(. would love to try it and yea they finally are trying to be more or less like WP. But alas, its too late in my opinion.

  5. Sanjen says:

    Google still has a long way to go to get anywhere near the type of functionality that you get with platforms like wordpress.

    In the beginning I suspect that Blogger targeted the absolute newbie blogger and now that those newbie bloggers are a bit more seasoned, it’s possible that Google realise that they need to up their game.

    They have alot to do to catch up, but with over $100 billion in their bank account that shouldn’t be too hard :)

  6. John says:

    Detailed walkthrough @ Freshblog, w/ a review to follow as soon as I can play in the beta & then get out to write in the alpha, (or whatever we should call the existing service now!)

    & to disagree w/ Duncan…. To me the labels look like they’ll function as both tags and categories…. T’rati & other sites will see them, but you’ll also be able to use a sidebar widget listing your labels to display all posts with that label in the main body of your blog. Seems to cover all the bases to me!

  7. Thanks for the update. I use blogger so I’ll probably move over to their new stuff.

    - Bryan
    http://www.BryanCFleming.com

  8. John Hood says:

    Started toying with the beta, which seems to integrate elements of Google Pages. I just hope that migrating existing accounts, to the upgraded platform, is as painless as possible. Back up those templates.

  9. Blog Bloke says:

    I created a test account to peek under the hood and take the new Blogger Beta out for a spin. On the surface there seems to be a lot of changes, but after a closer look beyond the fluff I’m asking myself what’s all the excitement? You can read more of my review over at InstaBLOKE

  10. kitty says:

    I love the idea of labels but it’s only availabel if you upgrade to the new template editor and to tell you the truth that editor is really NOT for people who know HTML/CSS. It’s so restricted and we’re not allowed to edit with HTML yet.

    I like their new archive list though. Is there a way to add it to the template HTML-ly?

  11. boomer says:

    I’m not impressed with new changes. They are still very far from WordPress. Why don’t they do categories?

    Regards,
    boomer

  12. Solid says:

    Hi I am doing a review too, using a beta blog to do it.

    http://bloggerbetareview.blogspot.com/

    Like everyone has said they still have a very long way to go before they can compete with the other players…

    Solid

  13. Thanks for the tip Darren, I must have missed this one somehow. I am suprised with some of the new templates, but overall with the blogger system I am disappointed. They do seem to be slack in their approach to blogging, though the page generator seems to be a great step in the right direction for them. I used blogger first until I found out about wordpress. Google would have to really innovate this arena to bring me back to Blogger.

  14. Avatar says:

    Well, much has been said about the blogger beta as it is., but how about the Pr , promotion angle and principles for the upgrade?.

    http://bloggeratto.blogspot.com/2006/08/more-about-blogger-beta.html

  15. Klaus says:

    I am blog-newbie and started with blogger.com, but because it didn’t support categories/labels, I soon quit and changed to wordpress.

    But now I am back, proud user of “Blogger.com beta”. It’s superb and fits perfect my (beginner) needs, as you can proof yourself under http://saplib.blogspot.com

    Greets

  16. Christian says:

    i just did the switch with my blog. you are allowed to do it if you log in with your google-account and on the next page you were asked if you want to “switch to beta”. just click on that link. really easy. five minutes later i got the email-confirmation and started using the beta. publishing is so much faster now. everything went just fine. my blog is still the same and it has a lot of hacks.

  17. akinwande says:

    I cannot get my Google adsense account running in this new blogger, How do I work it out beacuse I have already migrated fully.

  18. dreamflow says:

    How to add Categories to your sidebar using Blogger Beta:
    http://basangpanaginip.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-to-add-categories-to-your-sidebar.html

  19. mumsgather says:

    I tried it out on a new account as I am afraid of messing up my blog after reading about some problems some others had migrating. At the moment it still does not support raw html editing and my google ads don’t show up so thats a bummer. I will only switch once they have fixed all the bugs and not before. However I do like the new labels feature.

  20. apnerve says:

    I have upgraded to Blogger Beta and devised a hack to remove the Navbar. Find out more at my Blog post http://apnerve.blogspot.com/2006/08/how-to-remove-blogger-beta-navbar.html

Trackbacks

  1. [...] With a target audience of millions (50,000,000 according to ProBlogger), I really think that Google should be far into more features by now: voice posting via phones, image hosting, email gateways so you can update via emails… Oh wait, don’t LiveJournal already do those..? [...]

  2. [...] Blogger Beta on its way Published 59 minutes ago in Software, Richie, Tech and Web. It looks like the team at Google/Blogger have finally decided to update the ever popular but getting crusty Blogger.com blog platform. They announced a new Blogger Beta today which seems to go part way to answering some of the calls for updating that many Blogger bloggers have been calling for for years. [Link: Blogger.com Announces Beta Update.] [...]

  3. SigT says:

    Blogger empieza a ponerse al día…

    En beta, pero ya se pueden empezar a utilizar nuevas opciones en Blogger a ver si poco a poco se ponen al día:

    Plantillas con opcion drag&drop (cambiar la apariencia moviendo elementos de un lado a otro sin tocar el HTML).
    Actualización de Atom…

  4. [...] Control who can read your blog (private blogs) update – seems there are some bugs with this – don’t go publishing anything too private yet. [...]