Feb 24, 2009

What Do You Like About Blogger?

While working on Chicago Spring Fling I recently made contact with a Googler via email who I remembered from FeedBurner before it was bought by Google. Since the purchase of FeedBurner he has moved on to become Product Manager on Blogger. I was surprised I got a response to my original email. I was even more surpised after I offered to give my opinion on Blogger he responded with:

"Hit me - good, bad, ugly. Seriously - really want to know what you like and can't stand about Blogger."

I have a list of what I like and don't like. But I'm going to go one step further and offer my fellow garden bloggers a chance to be heard too. What do you like about Blogger and what can't you stand about Blogger? You can leave your thoughts in the comments section. I will be including a link to this post and my favorite comments in my email.


  1. Oh yippee! Okay, I only have one main complaint, that blogger offers so few theme templates ... which sends me searching for something interesting to add to my blog. How about it blogger .. can we expand the choices ?

    Hmmmm ... what else ? Okay, as a senior citizen I have difficulty reading "word verification", maybe something a little more kind to my tired eyes ?

    Let me think on this some more and I will be back .. thanks MBT!

  2. So for the good - it's way easy to get started blogging using Blogger. So simple.

    But what I would really love is an easier way to upload photos that are LARGE. That auto stretch across my page. I use a "stretch" Blogger template but you have to go through some wacky things to get the photos large.

    Getting answers to issues on their Help section is also what I would call ugly.

    Thanks for asking!

  3. Oh, can I add one more thing? I haven't been able to figure out how to change the size of my header photo. There doesn't seem to be a way to do it (but maybe I haven't looked around in the unhelpful Help section).

  4. I like that a luddite such as myself can create and maintain a blog so simply. Blogger is user-friendly.

    Like Ohio Mom, I'd love to see more varieties of templates.

    I also think it would be great if Blogger would upgrade the comments section so bloggers could reply directly under each comment, as bloggers using other publishers such as Word Press are able to. (I've considered switching to Word Press for that reason.)

  5. I would like Blogger to make it easier to change the email address of where comment feeds from other Blogger blogs go and also make it easier to change the user name/email address. I have changed emails, but I can't get Blogger and my blog on the same page, metaphorically.I second what Garden Girl had to say about the comments. When there are a lot of comments, sometimes I miss one when responding. If there was the ability to reply under each one, I wouldn't miss any. I also agree that it would be useful if Blogger upgraded its Help. I noticed recently on my blog and some others that the photos in the sidebar had gone missing. I reloaded mine. An explanation of this problem would be useful. Also, on some older posts, the photos do not appear, just a box with an X. When clicked, the photo then appears. Overall, I'm satisfied with Blogger and have no intention to move.

  6. I'd like to see more templates/themes, too. I'd also like to be able to automatically insert pictures where I want them in a post instead of them loading at the top and having to be moved around.

    Per Jean's header photo comment, I've found that if I change the picture size in my photo editing program, it fits the header frame.

  7. Thank you for asking...I've had a dear blogger.com in my head for months. I appreciate the ease with which I was able to begin blogging...1-2-3 is right. I do think that more templates or allowing folks to shop among template features would be fantastic. I would love to be able to have larger photos on a page and insert them where I want them, too. Like Gardengirl, I think being able to edit comments would be fabulous....you can have a good conversation with a commenter that way. I have written to blogger about these issues. I have a wordpress blog set up, but haven't finished transferring everything over. WP isn't perfect either....which is why I think about staying put! gail

  8. I too would like more templates and themes to choose from. Also I wish it would use the time you publish a post to the blog, as the displayed time, rather than the first saved time. I like to save a post and work on it over time, but then if I post it shows up behind more recent posts I have done. Please add me to your blog roll for garden bloggers.

  9. Good suggestions everyone.

    Keep them coming.

  10. If these ideas will really get to someone working at Blogger that would be amazing! One of my problems has been that everytime I've tried to get help noone responds.
    SO, here are my 'wants':
    1. Better Blogger communication with "Bloggees'questions.(as above)
    2. Improve Comments editing section to provide ease of commenting back (as those above have stated)
    3. Improve uploading photo's (a. ability to do Larger; and b. place them wherever I want to without them staying on the left or right or middle, etc. They sometimes feel like 'magnets' getting sucked into each other if I try to use the 'non-placement' option; and c. change feature that makes them automatically upload to the very top of the post. Moving them down in painful! And it causes so many spaces between each paragraph that I have to fix the spaces over and over.
    4. OMIT word-verification all together. It's painful. Find another way (ie: Wordpress)
    5. Template choices-agree more would be nice.
    6. FOR ME, this is a BIG ONE:
    Labels section has a button to remove or add labels to posts. That's nice. HOWEVER, before I figured the feature out, I went in to delete all of my labels. I checked the 'all' button and hit delete, and GUESS WHAT???
    I still had the 'template' set up for both...but all the content was GONE.
    I found some posts by googling titles (if I could remember them) and seeing them in the Cached section).
    BUT: The Cached material faded over time. Even though I kept the links, and pasted them in my blog again, after a few days or weeks, those links no longer took me to my old post. It's like they evaporated from Google forever.
    I contacted Blogger for help. No reply.
    I contacted Google for help. They informed me that in fact, there is NO WAY ON GOD'S GREEN EARTH to EVER RETRIEVE THEM.

    SO, I am now almost paranoid about going near the Label section. One touch of the delete button and your whole blog could be gone.
    In MY opinion, that is the very WORST feature on Blogger!

    Otherwise, I have enjoyed Blogger and found the ease of starting my blog very user friendly. I was able to begin more posts in the framework of the original template and begin over on my blog. (Having lost a years worth of material was very upsetting however).

    I really hope someone in the Blogger management will read this. There have been no other Blogger 'helpers' who've ever been in touch. It's pretty impersonal.

  11. At the risk of sounding stupid, I'll try to re-state what I said above about losing my blog posts.

    I 'meant' to delete the labels.
    What I actually did was check every post and hit delete all, at the bottom.

    I thought I'd hit something regarding the labels But that was before I understood the process.

    When I hit the delete button, NOTHING came up to ask me a second time if I was "SURE" I wanted to delete. No 'second chance'. This is true.

    So essentially what really happened is that when I checked all the posts and hit delete, everything was gone and I had NO second chance of WARNING that every post was going. I thought I was just deleting the Labels.

    Wow, was I surprised:(

  12. It would be nice to have a banner template where we could take any picture and it would be resized immediately for a perfect banner at top of our blog. I KNOW this could be done!!!

    Thanks for asking, Mr. BT!

  13. i hate that when i go to comment on some blogs, rather than being laid out like this one is, the comment as option is in a drop down menu, then the capcha tries to load, but doesn't. so i'm unable to comment on those ones.

  14. I'd really like a calendar widget that was able to be synced with a page that corresponds with the day/week/month being viewed on the calendar. Alternatively a calendar widget linked to individual posts that contains date sensitive event information would be equally as useful. I know we can use the Google calendar thing, but I've found it to be a pain in the rear.

  15. I HATE that their is no plugin for gravatars.

  16. Hey I just noticed that I can click on the box on the right hand corner and it takes you to the commenters blog. How did you gt that to work?

  17. I would love the uploading time to "hurry up" a lot more. I write everyday, and most of the time is spent just waiting to upload the photos.

    Another wish, is that I could have a bigger archive on google. I have asked and asked, they never respond, maybe Blogger can put in a good word for me.

    Muddy Boot Dreams

  18. I am 80% happy with Blogger and love that I was able to start a blog so easily.

    Problems: 1) I fear Jan's issue of having my deathless prose die/vanish 2) I would love to post larger photos 3) I cannot figure out how to add Amazon to sell books through my site.

    And the new crazy cookie thing with Google Adsense, big thumbs down!

  19. I like Blogger!

    My likes:
    It's Free!
    It's unlimited space, I don't get hollared at for "going over my limit" (what is this "limit thing" you speak of?)
    I like all the widgets and gizmos
    I really like the ability to link
    It's fairly easy to program

    My dislikes:
    Templates are very limited and rather boring.
    Some of the widgets are difficult to put where I want them
    The width of the side columns is fairly inflexible.

    Basically, my likes outweigh my dislikes. I like the Community.


  20. Hello everyone. Thanks for commenting and giving your thoughts. I've sent my email along with a link to your comments to Rick.

    I pretty much asked for the same things you asked, the one difference is that I asked that they integrate picasa web & Google groups so we could have image galleries and forums for our blog.

    Muddy Boot Dreams, I'm not sure what box you mean. If you mean the avatars I just chose to display the avatars and they link by themselves.

  21. I agree with many of the other comments. I love Blogger. I love that when we evac for hurricane I can still work on my blog and can even send an update by cell phone if I need to let people know I'm ok.

    I love that blogger automatically resizes my photos. I would like to be able to place them wherever I want them.

    I also would like to be able to have two blogs open at the same time. If I open one, then I can't work on the other one because it thinks I am on the first one. Maybe I just don't know how to do it.

    Another gripe is that my Kaspersky will on occasion think all my blogger blogs are bad - phishing sites or something - and won't let me in them. I guess this is not really a blogger problem but a Kaspersky problem. It usually clears up in a few days and almost invariably is after an update. But it's annoying.

    I do wish the date would be the date I actually publish and not when I first save.

    Generally speaking I've been very pleased with my Blogger experience. Rarely have problems with uploading.

  22. I would love to see Google make improvements in Search Engine Optimization for Blogger. I'm less concerned with whether it validates( and generally it doesn't) than seeing changes made to make for better SEO. Why can't Google support having the best SEO with changes to things like blog title/post title code and other related issues?


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