Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beta Blogger Blues

I have a confession to make. I use Blogger. In some quarters, having “blogspot” in your url is as big a faux pas as having “aol” in your e-mail address. Blogger screams training wheels and evokes thoughts about people with endless dreary posts about their cats. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I breathed a sigh of relief when Neil Gaiman on a Cranky Geeks vidcast proudly admitted to using Blogger as well. If Blogger is good enough for the author of American Gods, it’s good enough for me.

I own, but I’m too cheap to actually pay for any hosting. As bad as it is, I’ve never run across any bandwidth problems or had any serious crashes while on Blogger. I like letting someone else worry about back-ups and server capacity. Not that I flatter myself into thinking that I would ever get a Exceeded Bandwidth Allowance in even my wildest dreams.

For months, Blogger has been using some of that Google buy-out money to upgrade the software and enhance the feature set. They even claim to be out of beta, but every time I try to upgrade, I get this insulting message:

They claim my blog is too big to upgrade. My blogs have a grand total of 346 posts. Through the power of BlatantCommentWhoring™, I have bullied my way to over 2000 comments, of which no more 1500 are my responses to real comments and most of the rest are spam I keep around to look impressive. If this qualifies as a big blog by Blogger standards, perhaps I need to rethink my loyalty.

I am hesitant to move to WordPress or MovableType or something “real” bloggers use out of sheer laziness. Those types of blogs look like they take much more care and feeding, and I would rather spend my time putting words on the screen even if the blog itself keeps looking like its shabby self. Besides I kind of like the low-footprint of a web-based interface when I am blogging from places perhaps I shouldn’t be (not that this is an admission that I ever do).

One feature of the more robust blogging software packages I have always been envious of is tags or labels or whatever you want to call them. My blog is so random, I would like to be able to categorize posts so that readers can find just the stuff that interests them without wading through all my other brain farts. I am so covetous of the labels feature, I have even been fantasizing about the ones I would use. So far I have:

Sex and smut
Embarrassing my family
Lame quizzes and memes
General blather

Until Blogger deems me worthy, I will have to keep my nose pressed to the window looking at the greener grass and mixing my metaphors like a Waring® Blender.

Ultra-Mega-Comment Whoring™: What other silly labels should I use? Are Blogger bloggers as lame as their reputation? Have you transitioned to New And Improved Blogger? Did it hurt? Was it worth it? Did it call the next day?


Anonymous said...

Really? No offense but 346 is wussy compared to some of the "daily" bloggers out there who have been at it for years.

Should I consider myself lucky that I was able to convert? One point worth noting - the 240 posts that I converted took between 6-8 hours to finish. I was very nervous that it was frozen or something and that I was going to lose my kingdom. Fortunately, I went through the painful process of copying and saving all of my html source for every post beforehand just in case it didn't come out the other side alive.

Ultimately the new Blogger is a lot nicer. You do have tags, the pictures seem to upload without issue and it doesn't perform that stupid republish function every time you post an entry. Now, the posts are published as soon as you save them.

Good luck. If you have the time and patience, I'd rattle their cages a little bit. You shouldn't have to be hung out to dry over 346 posts!

Anonymous said...

I am not as prolific a blogger as you, and when I made the shift to the New and Unimpressively Not Much Different Blogger, it didn't give me any trouble. The tags are fun but other than that, it's not much different as far as I can tell. Except that when I go to leave a comment, I need to sign in first and then make my comment, otherwise it is completely lost when I do sign in and I must needs re-type it entirely, which is just annoying. It should either stop losing my comments or else ask me to sign in first. Dammit! Is it too much to ask!

yellojkt said...

My point exactly. Neil Gaiman in that interview says that Blogger support answers his calls immediately. I wouldn't even know who to call.

That is annoying. I think they expect you to stay logged into Google 24/7 which doesn't strike me as a great idea. I have already heard of one GoogleVirus.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Impetua on the signing in issue. A real PIA. Otherwise I had no problems switching over to the beta a couple of months ago, and my blog is about the size of yours. Although I don't have your comments, so maybe not? :-)

I like the tags, but with my custom template I don't think I'm getting as much out of them as I could be.

You have sex and smut posts? When did I miss those?? :-)

Anonymous said...

Where is your tagging category for cats?

Anonymous said...

I was on blogger for a week and then a friend offered to switch me to moveable type because it was more reliable he said. It's been okay but it's not as user friendly as blogger...except for posting photos....that is easier. My friend Fred from just switched to beta blogger from moveable type. I think he is happy with the change and didn't have to change his .com address.

Anonymous said...

The current importer for WordPress won't work for Blogger blogs that have been "upgraded" to the "New Blogger" format.

Anonymous said...

i converted a few weeks ago. i had no trouble with it. eventually all blogs will be converted over to the new format.

working with the new system is both easier and more difficult at the same time. i would much rather be able to create my own template from scratch, but i can't figure out where the required parts know, the archive and stuff. but the elements part allowed me to cut/paste the parts from my old template to this one.

i was able to get haloscan comments inserted into the new format, whereas i couldn't in the old (automatically that is).

as to it calling, i hope it doesn't. it'll be then that i'll need to be packed away.

Anonymous said...

I use Wordpress and it is as easy as pie and a much nicer interface than I remember blogger being.

I've been very happy with it and it doesn't require any work other than writing your posts really.

Anonymous said...

I use Typepad, which gets the job done.

I have the domain with a redirect to the Typepad site; the rest of the storage space is taken up by the Community Association website. What the hell; they gave me two domains for the price.