New look for the new year

I've been waiting to transfer MicroExplosion over to the new Blogger template system for a while now and finally started playing around with it the other day. Aside from losing my stat tools in the switch, everything transferred nicely. The new customization system Blogger built is pretty handy. I used to have to get into the HTML code to make customizations but now they've created some very easy tools to keep me from doing that.

I've come to like Blogger and even though I've considered switching in the past I think I'm going to stay with it for a while. My biggest beef with Blogger is that it doesn't take full advantage of being owned by Google. There are so many great Google tools available, it's a shame they're not more fully implemented into Blogger. If I could change three things about Blogger's it would be:

  • The ability to remove the Blogger toolbar at the top of the blog. I know many people who specifically don't use Blogger for this reason. More than anything their concern is that when someone comes to their blog and hits the "next blog" link you never know where they're going to end up. I think most people are smart enough to understand that a blogger has no control over where that link will take you, but it's enough of a concern to some people I know that they chose Wordpress or Typepad instead.
  • Custom header. Blogger's taken customization to a new level for them with their new template features but the one thing they're missing is the ability to let a user create a custom header image. Right now the only header customization you get is in the form of the text changes. I know Wordpress, for instance, has an easy header image customization tool. I hope Blogger's working on making this change. Heck, they could even tie it into Blogger's Picasa software to pull the image. Picasa's already got a Blogger tie-in anyway, so why not?
  • Stats. Blogger still doesn't have its own stat tracking built in. I hope it won't be long before they build Google Analytics into the system. It would really strengthen Blogger as a whole.
By and large the blogging community seems to view Blogger as an entry level blog tool which is kind of ironic if you think about it because Google's such a respected entity by the blog community as a whole, yet their blog tool seems to be looked upon as inferior to "serious blog tools." If Blogger could begin to roll in more Google applications it could really become a contender among the other free tools available today.


Nathan said...

Bill, I love the new look... much cleaner and easier to read. Good points on the blogger system too. Maybe Google should take notice.

Karen said...

Hmm. so you like the new blogger? I haven't moved over yet because I am afraid I will lose everything. I already have a google account.I too dislike the next blog button which is why I have the one campaign banner to prevent that.

Bill Seaver said...

Thanks Nathan. Yes, Karen, I was using the Beta version already (which is much, much better than the old Blogger) but I did it without adopting the new template system they've had in place. The template change I just made was the final step for me switching over completely to the new Blogger version.

Michael said...

I believe you know I am a Word Press guy so I can't comment on Blogger. That being said I have to say I am not a big fan of the new color scheme. That is just my opinion, put it with a buck and you might be able to buy a Coke. Later,

Mike Warren

Randy S. Cook said...

I just hit the "next blog" icon at the top of the page....you were right, you really don't know where you will end up. Needless to say, I will be coming back to your blog more often. (I was amazed at where I ended up..ooola, la!)

Bill Seaver said...

Thanks for the feedback Mike. And Randy...thanks for the verification!!