Now that most all of my posting to Blogger is done via the latest Windows Live Writer - Technical Preview release version, I rarely stop in at Google Blogger at all.
My blog template is also a custom job, so I don't do much now that I have it like I want it.
However, Google continues to refine its Blogger platform and there have been some exciting changes just announced.
Updates and Bug Fixes for June 26th - Blogger in Draft blog
Let’s lead off with the quick stuff:
But that’s not what you came here for. You wanted this:
- Google Gadget integration continues to improve, with better editing of gadget preferences.
- The new look for the Dashboard has seen a handful of tweaks, including a new button style that we’re trying out and, by popular demand, the “show all blogs” toggle is now sticky.
- The subscribe page element has been published to WWW.
- We’ve added a “Make Blogger in Draft my default dashboard” to the Blogger in Draft dashboard, so now you don’t have to remember to type “draft.blogger.com” instead of “www.blogger.com.”
- So you can easily keep up with the news, we’ve added this blog as a tab on the Blogger in Draft Dashboard.
- Webmaster Tools Verification. Turn this on to automatically add and verify all your blogs on Google’s Webmaster Tools.
- Star ratings. Add a 0–5 star rating control to the bottom of your posts so that your readers can rate them.
- Import / export of blogs. Back up all of your posts and comments to one Atom XML file on your computer, and import your posts from one blog to another.
- Embedded comment form. By incredibly popular demand, we’ve brought the comment form to your blog’s post pages, with support for Google Account and OpenID authentication.
- New post editor. We’ve completely revised the post editor, bringing in drag-and-drop image placement and better HTML handling.
The Star Ratings is cute, but GSD is going to pass on this for now.
The Embedded Comment Form feature does intrigue me. I don't think I am going to go through the work of trying to add it to my custom template just yet (more work required) but it does look to be like a feature I will want to go with down the road.
Importing and Exporting of a Blogger blog will be a very appreciated feature when rolled out. For now I just use a special bookmark in Firefox to pull all of my posts up at once in a browser session and just save the page to my drive. This method looks to be faster and more flexible.
Finally, as I mentioned, I use Windows Live Writer as my blog posting platform of choice. I might use the Blogger post editor for a quick change on the fly but I almost never touch it. I do expect these changes to make it more useful in the control area. It includes improved image handling, improved raw-HTML behavior, you can modify the compose behavior options with more granularity, link editing is simplified, Safari 3 is now fully supported, preview mode has been improved, and placeholders are now added for <object> tags in compose mode.
My biggest headache is that the last time I went into the regular Blogger post editor on line it would not display the editor correctly in Firefox 3.0 or Opera. I had to revert over to IE 7 to do what I wanted to do. Egads! Hope this new draft version fixes some of those issues as well.