Thursday, September 21, 2006

Beta Blockers?

Blogger has a new beta version out and is inviting bloggers to move over from their existing account. This involves signing in with a Google account - either using an existing one, or signing up for a new account.

Using systems in beta can be a "fun" experience - you might be the person to come across that little-known bug which completely ruins your day! Or you might find that all the new features are worth the little rough patches while everything gets ironed out.

I'll admit I'm dithering over whether I should jump ship and go for the beta release. There are certainly some great new features like the ability to restrict read access and add "labels" (tags to you and me) for searching and categorising your blog posts. OK, these two are features which other publishing systems like WordPress have had for some time (and I know of folks who have defected to WordPress from Blogger in the past due to these deficiencies).

One "hidden" benefit is their new dynamic serving of pages. In the past, you had to "Publish" each new entry or the whole blog when you made changes, to give the static HTML pages which made up your blog. If you forgot to republish, the changes weren't seen until the next time you republished. This was pretty tedious and took quite a while if you had large blog. In the new version, changes are made to the database immediately and each page is served dynamically on the fly at each request. No more waiting for the spinning logo to finish its whirling!

My ideal scenario would be to move just one blog (probably the RugbyMad one) and play with it for a bit to see if I have any problems, before moving this blog too. But it's not clear from the support info if I can do this - effectivley, both blogs are linked from one account, and I think it's the account I'm moving and not the blog specifically.

Anyway, if you're interested in what new features are in the beta release, here are a few links for you to digest:


Anonymous said...

I am glad I switched over, I have experienced issues when I switched over, for example it assumed my GMAIL email was my login and won't let me change this in IE, but I can get past this in Firefox, however in Firefox I can't type in a ' (apostrophe) when I try and type one in it jumps down to the find box in the status bar. I'm sure it'll work out in the end

Caz Mockett said...

Sheila, thanks for your info. I expect I shall bite the bullet in due course!

Anonymous said...

These beta blockers have been at play again, tried to reply to some of your posts and it keeps cycling me through menus about upgrading to Beta etc ... got there in the end :-)

Anonymous said...

I just switched over to beta and I guess I like it so far. It has some cool features. I suppose I haven't used it long enough to uncover the bugs.

It allows you to add photos to the sidebar, which I like. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while but haven't had time to figure out.

And I really like the way you can search posts in the archives.

The only problem I have so far is that I lost those little Feedburner and Site Meter thingy's. I'll have to get those back on. I think you lose any custom work you've done to your template.

And you're right - you can't change just one of your blogs. It's all or nothing, baby.