Tuesday, August 14, 2007

The Blogger Experience

I'm coming up on my one-year anniversary with this blog at the end of this month and have been using Blogger to post for that entire time. Since I started posting, Blogger has changed for the better in certain ways.
  • Labels were added so posts could be sorted or searched for by topic.
  • Auto-saving was added so that posts wouldn't be lost as easily.
  • The need to re-publish the entire blog (which only required clicking a link but could be quite slow) to update with a new post was eliminated.
  • Google e-mail addresses became user names and your gmail password became the password by default so using Blogger required a gmail account.
  • Improved customization of the design was added including easily allowing your banner to contain a custom picture (though I have not yet done this, I really should).
  • Default language settings which were hard to find and tend to re-set themselves based on the origin of your I.P. address now are right up front where you can easily find them. This is a blessing when you get swapped over to Japanese and can't work out how to get back to English.
There are a lot of advantages to using Blogger if you're not a control freak or interested in making a living from your blog (though you can make money with any blog by enabling Google's adsense function, I'm guessing you can make more from a site better designed to showcase ads of various types). You don't have to pay for bandwidth if you have a high traffic site. You don't have to do any web site coding or design if you don't want to but you can make alterations to the pre-set schemes colors, designs and fonts if you so choose. You have various levels of control over comment moderation and notification. It's a pretty easy and straightforward way to run a blog.

This is the cramped space we have for moving around pictures.

Some things, however, have continued to be troublesome or tedious. The biggest one, and this is on my mind because I've done a lot of picture intensive posts as of late, is that you can't add pictures into specific points in a post. Every new picture gets loaded at the top of the post and has to be dragged around in a relatively smallish preview window for rearranging. What is worse though is that if you add pictures after having entered text, dragging them down to where you want to locate them often results in random text dragging with it and you have to go back and piece together the post.

My number one wish for Blogger would be for pictures to load at the insertion point or to be dragged and dropped precisely into place. As it is now, any post with more than a handful of pictures has to be carefully organized such that I load them all first in backwards order. Only after all of the pictures have been uploaded do I proceed to type up the post. This isn't always possible since I don't always know for certain what order is best.

Other than that, I really don't have any complaints and would recommend that people who are as unambitious about web design as me and who want to blog give Blogger a try.


Luis said...

Have you though about using a blogging front-end client like Ecto? It made blogging a heckuva lot easier for me. I'm not 100% sure about where it would be able to upload images to for a Blogger blog, but it is a pretty smart app and probably could do the job right. It can interface with your Blogger account. Costs $18, avaialable for Mac and Windows.

tornados28 said...

I agree about the loading of pictures problem. I would have thought they would have abetter way of doing it. After loading some pictures, the spacing of any paragraphs gets all messed up.

Emsk said...

Likewise. In my technical know-nothing I thought it was just me who had the photo probs!