I have been using Blogger to manage this blog since Summer 2004, and have been waiting for a new shiny release to pimp up my posts. Until recently, the only major change to the service was the inclusion of AdSense and the ability to post from a mobile. Over the last few weeks, Blogger has been encouraging users to move over to Blogger Beta. So, I duly signed up to the beta version, and have been using it over the last week or so. Here’s my feedback:
Labels – great new feature (that’s been around for years in TypePad and WordPress) that enables you to add labels (tags) to each of your posts. As a relatively ancient user of the product, I’ve got loads of posts that I want to now add tags to in order to make it easier for readers to see related posts. But if I go in to the post and add a “label”, Blogger Beta updates the publishing date in the RSS feed so anyone reading my RSS feed gets regurgitated posts from several months back. This is a stupid oversight.
New Posts – A couple of days ago, you could create a new post in Blogger Beta and add pictures, change font, add hyperlinks etc at the touch of the button. These buttons have mysteriously disappeared today, allowing only plain text posts. Rubbish.
Display Formatting – I have a pretty standard 17” flat screen display on 1024x768 resolution. If I try and edit my blog in IE, the Manage Posts view only shows “edit” and “view “. You have to scroll to the right of the screen to see the post information and “delete” options.
No web stats? - Every person out there who blogs regularly, likes to occasionally (once every hour ;-) check their visitor stats and referral information (like who visited, where they came from and what search request brought them). I would have expected an updated and revised release of Blogger to include basic web stats, but nope, nothing.
In summary, disappointing. The new Blogger Beta does make it much easier and digestable to add and manage external links, scripts, headers and tags, but the service stinks of a product that hasn’t had enough testing and QA. I know it's Beta, and a few bugs are expected, but come on, this is Google!! I’ve seen much better quality product deliverables coming out of three person start-ups. Pull your socks up Google!