Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Off Topic Tuesday #4: Blogger needs an overhaul

I've been using Blogger since 2004 or 05 and Tumblr since 2010 and in the time I've spent on the latter, I've come to realize that Blogger is in a desperate need of an overhaul. Don't get me wrong, I love Blogger and think it's a great service despite the flaws, but it could be so much better. Here's the problems I see and how they could be fixed:

Lack of community. On Tumblr, if you're a fan of a TV program, movie, book, comic, etc. then you can easily find other fans and become part of that fandom. On Blogger, not so much. Sure, you can search for other people who are also fans of that think you like, but it's a crapshoot because whoever comes up might not actively post about the thing.

The solution here is to replace the current search system with one that can not only show you blogs with similar interests, but posts too. So like if I do a search for say The Flash, I can see who is posting about that show and comic. That not only helps give bloggers wider exposure, but facilitates the formation of cohesive fandoms and makes Blogger more attractive for people looking to get into blogging.

The app, it sucks. No eloquence there, just straight truth. Its functionality is no different than just going to blogger.com and that's a problem. Mobile blogging is a big deal and while the Blogger app lets you make posts on the go, it leaves a lot to be desired.

As you can see, the post editor is behind minimal. There's no ability to attach images or videos, or do much of anything other than adding text. But hey, you can sure as hell bold and italicize that text!

Another problem with the app is that it doesn't let you view other blogs, just your own. Again, this goes back to mobile blogging. The inability to view blogs that you're following or any other blogs is a huge hindrance.

Speaking of followers, a minor gripe I have is that there's actually a limit on how many blogs you can subscribe to. I can understand this being a limitation back before Google took ownership, but now? Not so much. Other social media doesn't limit how many people you can follow on their platforms, so why should Blogger?

Another area that is sore need of improvement is themes. The current batch is fine, but I'd like to see more, including user created themes. It's not a huge deal, but having more options that better fit your blog's aesthetic would only make Blogger even more attractive.

I mentioned social media and one of the things needed in the overhaul is better integration with other platforms. As of right now, you can post articles to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and other Blogger blogs. That's nice, but outside of external methods, there's no way of adding a Twitter, FB, Tumblr, or other social media feed to your blog via a gadget.

Blogger is a great service for long form blogging and compliments the short-form and medium-form platforms of Twitter and Tumblr, but compared to the latter and other services like Medium are unfortunately starting to leave it in the dust and I think a major overhaul would do wonders to put Blogger back near the top.

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