Monday, December 17, 2007

Open ID makes commenting easy

Now you can comment on other Blogger blogs using Open ID. No longer will your visitors need to jump through a bunch of hoops to leave a comment on your site. This is a big step forward to making Blogger a more attractive platform for bloggers.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Feed me, Blogger

I think Blogger could do a better job with feeds. There is no setting to turn on a familiar orange feed icon, and the site feed settings are confusing for most new bloggers. There is a page element widget for adding external feeds, but it also does not display a helpful icon.

Now I know most modern browsers automatically detect feeds, and many people use sophisticated feed readers, but this is all about turning visitors into regular readers. They expect to see a feed link or icon on the blog.

Ways Blogger could make it easier:

  • A radio or checkbox on the feed widget to select the feed of the blog
  • feed icons on the site feed page to choose from.
  • Giving the blog writer choices on displaying their blog feeds by label in site feeds
  • A real feed management area
Google did aquire Feedburner recently, so I expect a lot of things to change pretty soon. I'm hopeful anyway. Until then, it gives me a lot to cover in the Syndication chapter of the book.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Google gadgets for Blogger in Draft

Some of you may already know this. Adding Google gadgets to Blogger blogs is officially in test. Many of the gadgets will not be useful to most bloggers, but there are so many of the things we will have plenty to choose from.

To test them out, visit to login to the draft/test version of your blog. When you visit the layout area under the tempalte tab, you can add a new page element and will see any new page element widgets. Choose the Google Gadgets widget, and you will be taken to a more elaborate, web page like screen where you can search, scroll, or view gadgets by category. After choosing a widget, click the preview button to see it in action.

The widget you chose may not work properly. Remember, this is only a test. Take it for a spin and be sure to let the Blogger team know what you think.