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More Stupidity from Blogger

Posted by Melanie Phung on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 6:48 pm

I think someone at Blogger read my post about 9 ways Blogger sucks and decided to help me fill the list out to an even 10.

Somewhere in the past week or two, without so much as a heads up, Blogger changed the system for leaving comments so that you can no longer link your name to whatever site you want. Now you have to log in with an OpenId (I have no idea what the hell that is, thanks to Blogger’s less-than-stellar communication) and if you’re a Blogger user the name you leave with your comments now links to your Blogger profile or nothing at all.

Seriously?

That’s stupid. When I leave comments on a blog, I don’t want my name to link to that gawd-awful Blogger profile page; I don’t want that Blogger profile page to rank well for my name; and I imagine no one who’s interested in a comment I left and wants to know more about my opinions (hey, it could happen) would care to get sent to that profile page instead of my blog. Why in the world did they make this change? I can’t see how this improves the user experience one bit, and it sure is going to get a lot of people like me annoyed. I get the whole wanting-authentication thing, but it should be an option available to blog owners, not a requirement – and the link should go to OpenId owner’s site, not the Blogger profile page.

First they changed Blogger to make it pretty much impossible to go in and edit the code (because they don’t trust us with the XML) and now this.

I’m taking bids from anyone who wants to help me migrate this blog over to WordPress.

p.s. Obviously you can add still insert a link with your comments by including a signature, but I find that to be really inelegant and somewhat obnoxious in blog comments, and I resent Blogger forcing me to do that.

p.p.s. I haven’t tried this, so don’t hold me responsible if this blows up your site or opens up security vulnerabilities, but here’s a possible work-around.

Comments (4)

Category: Blogger

9 Ways Blogger Sucks

Posted by Melanie Phung on Tuesday, June 12, 2007 at 11:35 pm

  1. When you make template changes, you can only preview the homepage, not individual post pages, which might have different elements than the homepage (like AdSense units, for example). In order to see changes on any other page, you just have to publish them live and cross your fingers.
  2. Google finally allows you to create “labels” (which is basically a category), but you can’t control the title tags of label pages. The page title for each of the category pages is just the name of the blog — which is a pain both for the SEO and the user, who can’t tell what that page is about unless they look at the URL. See #3.
  3. The page file name is auto-generated based on what you named the label/category. But spaces in the label name are encoded %20 in the URL, so your page name ends up being /paid%20blogging.html instead of /paid-blogging.html… unless you put hyphens in all your labels, which isn’t always appropriate.
  4. You can’t batch rename a label (once you figure out for example that it converts spaces in label names to %20 encoding). So if you wanted to rename a category, you’d need to retag every post, delete the old tags and manually do a redirect from the old page name to the newly generated page name)
  5. Post titles always start with the blog name, not the name of the post.
  6. You can’t customize the look of the comments page.
  7. Once you approve a comment, you can’t change your mind and delete it without “hiding” all the comments on that post.
  8. When you’re approving comments via email or the Blogger interface, you can’t preview if or where the blogger linked the username. So something that looks like a nice innocuous comment when you approve it could link to an adult site on your live page. And then you can’t delete it (see #7).
  9. There are no good plug-ins like there are for WordPress

What about it… anyone want to make it an even ten?

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Category: Blogger

Blogger Custom Domains

Posted by Melanie Phung on Monday, January 8, 2007 at 10:34 pm

Very cool: Google’s Blogger now allows custom domains even if you don’t have your own hosting. That means you can have your own branded domain just like the grown-ups (rather than that silly name.blogspot.com address) but keep all your content on Blogger’s free hosting. And the Blogger system automatically redirects all your old URLs to the new versions once you’re set up. All you need to do is register your own domain name, if you haven’t already. Nice!

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Category: Blogger

Moving to Blogger Beta (Take 2)

Posted by Melanie Phung on Friday, November 10, 2006 at 3:33 pm

Okay, I’ve moved the blog over to Blogger Beta. I’m hoping that a) nothing broke in the process and b) that this is a significant improvement over the previous platform. Blogger has always been far inferior to WordPress and MovableType, in my opinion, so I’m eager to see if the new functionality closes that gap.

Update: 2 Minutes Later
Sure ’nuff, something broke. It’s not archiving old posts correctly. Looks like it’s dropping the /archive/ subdirectory when it creates the links for the archives pages. (I also switched from weekly archives to monthly archives, but did this after I discovered the other error, so I’m sure that’s not the cause).

I’m cautiously hopeful this won’t be too hard to fix.

I should change the tagline of my blog to: I make mistakes so you don’t have to.

Update: Some Days Later
It wasn’t tough to fix in theory (just fixed the archive URL in Settings), but it’s still not fixed in practice. FTP keeps timing out before ALL of the pages are republished, so some of the links remain broken. I’ll keep trying, and once all the new (monthly) archive pages work, I’ll do redirects from the weekly archives to the new pages.

Update: Several Years Later

I moved to WordPress.

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Category: Blogger,Blogging