Blogger Finds The Beta Exit

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Google’s Blogger service has been running a couple of versions in parallel: the old Blogger they picked up from Pyra Labs, and the new beta built to replace it. The new Blogger has shed its beta tag and is ready for all those people who make blogging a New Year’s resolution.

Users of the Blogger service have a new and shiny version to play with, one that has dispensed with its beta label and has opened its doors to dreamers, demagogues, defiant teens, and more.

The process of getting from old Blogger to new Blogger seems to have taken ages, but in Internet time anything longer than a picosecond looks like an eternity. The developers have scrunched in plenty of features during the rebuilding period.

Anyone who has joined Blogger since November 16th has done so with a Google Account, and used the beta product. People with old Blogger accounts are being encouraged to make the switch to the fresh hotness of the new service.

Pete Hopkins wrote at Blogger Buzz about just a few of the features now available:

The new version of Blogger is metaphorically bursting with features, from the big guns like drag-and-drop template editing and post labels (which are perfect, by the way, for indexing the 131 historical figures you may have written about), to little polishes like a better-designed Dashboard or that you no longer need to solve a word verification CAPTCHA to post a comment on your own blog.

We’re excited about the new version of Blogger, both for what it can do now (which also includes access control for blogs and better input fields for post dates) and what we’ll add to it in the future, now that we have a new, stable, powerful infrastructure to work with.

Users can create a private blog, where only designated readers can view it. Blogger also has expanded feed capabilities, with choices to publish in Atom 1.0 or RSS 2.0 formats. A blogger can set feeds for the entire blog, and for all comments or per-post comments as desired.

They removed a couple of annoying features, by taking away the CAPTCHA requirement for a blogger to comment on his blog, and by enabling instant updating when a new post is created or settings are changed; say goodbye to the “Publishing…” spinner, as the developers noted in the Blogger tour.

Blogger’s mobile features allow the journeying blogger to post text and images directly from a mobile device to a blog. Also, one can record an audio message on a mobile, post it to the blog, and it will be available as a .mp3 file to blog visitors.

What the new Blogger can’t do is make you post on a regular basis. The features are in place to support a newfound blogging habit, but the real transition to blogging comes from within. And there’s always Jason Calacanis’ advice on becoming an A-list blogging superstar:

‘Want to be an A-list blogger? Go to Techmeme. Look for the top three stories. Write about them every day. Go to the blogs of the other people who are writing about these stories and comment. Do this every day and attend every conference going. And you’ll be an A-lister. Write once every two weeks and wonder why you aren’t an A-lister.

“Blogging is the biggest meritocracy in the world. It’s not broken. You don’t rank? It’s because you suck. How well you do is up to you.”


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Blogger Finds The Beta Exit
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