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January 21, 2011

Google Gives Blogger 77 Ways To Express Ones Text

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It looks like BlogSpot fans will have something extra to boast about (aside from Blogger’s perfect uptime record) as the search engine giant has just blessed Blogger users with 77 total fonts for their blogs.

A couple of months back we introduced Web Fonts to Blogger in Draft. Today we’re excited to not only launch Web Fonts to ALL Blogger users, but also announce we’ve added an additional 35 fonts to the mix, for a grand total of 77 fonts! […]

Web Fonts, brought to you by our good friends at Google Fonts, let you spice up and further personalize your blog. Just have a look at what we’ve done with the post titles and text of this blog! And for those of you interested in fonts for non-latin alphabets such as Cyrillic, Greek and Khmer, we have those too! (Blogger Buzz)

At first glance the additional fonts seems trivial, although after messing around with the settings within my Blogger account the additional fonts does help spice up the appearance of ones BlogSpot blog.

The additional change should also help maintain the platform’s dominance as the king of publishing platforms especially in light of the ever popular Tumblr.

For those of you not upon Blogger, Google Fonts is fortunately available as a plugin, module or extension for WordPress, Drupal or Joomla fans, respectively (note: if anyone can locate a plugin for Movable Type fans, feel free to let us know below).

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December 20, 2010

Blogger.com To Rivals: How Do You Spell Perfection?

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Regardless of whether you love Google’s publishing platform or prefer another service, the results apparently speak for themselves.

After testing 5 major blogging services, Blogger not only defeated rivals like WP.com, Typepad and the ever popular Tumblr, but also was the only service to boast a perfect uptime.

The winner was without a doubt Google’s Blogger. The Blogger blogs didn’t have any downtime whatsoever during the two months we monitored them, followed by WordPress.com which had very little downtime. Typepad deserves an honorable mention here as well. Posterous had somewhat mixed results, but overall receives a passing grade. Tumblr was the only service in the test that truly failed. (Royal Pingdom)

WordPress.com came in second, followed by Typepad, Posterous and Tumblr (the latter who received a failing grade due to their recent downtime).

According to Pingdom tests, Posterous apparently is having trouble with fans using custom domains, as the those blogs not only loaded much slower than sites underneath the corporate sub-domain, but also timed out much more frequently.

The perfect uptime of Blogger is a testament to the engineers behind Blogspot, who have in the past fought against DDoS attacks as well trying to provide enough resources to scale the platform (as Blogger has yet to be dethroned by rivals like WordPress.com and Tumblr).

Google is already celebrating the news which could help the company convince Google App users to adopt Blogger as their preferred publishing platform instead of choosing to self host their blog (or even select one of their competitors).

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December 18, 2010

Blogger Becomes iPhone Friendly (Android Too)

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In a move that will bring them up to par with their WP.com rival, Blogger (aka blog*spot) is beta testing mobile layouts which should help the platform appeal more to those sporting a smartphone.

[W]e are excited to announce our first launch of mobile templates! Initially available as opt-in functionality on Blogger in Draft, mobile templates will re-format your blogs for smartphones to enhance your readers’ viewing experience. In order to activate mobile templates, simply go to Dashboard > Settings > Email & Mobile tab, enable the mobile template option and then save settings. […]

We are initially supporting 6 variants of the Simple template and 6 variants of the Awesome template. If you have used one of these 12 templates through our Template Designer, your mobile view will be rendered in the same style as your desktop view (other template variants will be rendered as Simple). (Blogger In Draft Blog) read more

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November 23, 2010

Blogger’s Secret Weapon Against WordPress: Google Apps

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When Microsoft announced that it was transitioning 30 million active users to WordPress, it looked like Automattic (the company behind WP.com) would finally be able to surpass Blogger after years of maintaining a distant second to Google’s favorite publishing platform.

Apparently it seems that Blogger’s embrace of Google Apps could help the platform maintain its enormous lead by tapping into an audience just as large.

Google Apps users have been asking for Blogger and now, with out recently launched infrastructure improvement, they can use Blogger for free with their Google Apps accounts. We’re excited to provide Apps users with this great tool to have their voices heard on the web.

Google Apps is Google’s suite of cloud-based messaging and collaboration web apps use by more than 30 million users in small businesses, large enterprises, educational institutions, government agencies, and non-profit organizations around the world. (Blogger Buzz)

Note: Emphasis mine. read more

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September 29, 2010

What WordPress Envy? Blogger Live Stats Go Public

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After beta testing Blogger Live Stats upon Blogger in Draft (Google’s eternal testing ground), the search engine giant has given the feature its seal of approval by launching it towards the public.

Last month we released two new stats gadgets to the Blogger in Draft testing ground; after hearing your feedback and making a few tweaks, we’re happy to announce that they are both now ready for the main stage. The new-and-improved Popular Posts and Blog’s Statsgadgets can be added to your blog right now from the Gadget Directory by clicking Add a gadget from the Design | Page Elements tab.

Both of these gadgets take advantage of the traffic data that is being collected by Blogger Stats and provide an easy way for you to pass that info on to the readers of your blog. (Blogger Buzz) read more

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August 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Blogger! Here Are 11 Reasons Why We Love You

A 11 years ago on this day a man named Evan Williams set out on a quest to make blogging easier. After much thought, sweat and hard work he introduced the world to Blogger, which was later on assimilated by Google.

Fast forward to today and Blogger is the number one platform in the world (according to Quantcast) and despite the rise of Tumblr as well as WordPress, Google’s favorite child still holds the crown as king of the blogging platforms.

While Blogger is celebrating the occasion by encouraging blogspot fans to hold blogger fiesta’s around the world, here are 11 reasons why many users love Blogger, and why they continue to use Google’s blogging platform over its rivals. read more

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August 27, 2010

iPhone: BlogPress Makes WordPress Blogging Fun Again

The creator of BlogPress has just rolled out an update to their universal iPhone/iPad blogging app which now includes support for Squarespace and Tumblr.

However the greatest feature thus far is BlogPress’s inclusion of HTML support, which makes BlogPress the perfect tool for bloggers seeking to create content from their iDevices without firing up the laptop.

For those wondering whether they should consider purchasing BlogPress for $2.99 (especially in the age of free official apps) here is an in depth overview highlight key features (both old and new). read more

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August 12, 2010

Blogger Embraces Change, Adopts REAL Anti-Spam Defenses

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The boys and girls at Google have finally provided Blogspot fans with an alternative to fighting comment spam without having to resort to the dreaded CAPTCHA’s (which stopped working many months ago).

Unfortunately, spammers have been finding their way into these conversations. To fight spam, some of you enabled moderation of all comments or required word verification or login. While somewhat effective, these checks limit real-time conversations around your blog.

To address this, we’ve integrated Google’s spam filtering technologies into the Blogger comment system. […]

Here, you can permanently delete spam comments by selecting them and choosing Delete. You can also mark comments as Not Spam that have been incorrectly classified as spam (what we call the “false-positives”). Choose Not Spam and the selected comments will be moved out of the spam list and will be immediately published on your blog. (Official Blogger Buzz)

This is a welcome development as CAPTCHA’s have proved to be more of a nuisance for readers of Bloggger blogs, and did little to thwart the rising tide of human spam.

Adopting this anti-spam feature also means that Blogspot fans will no longer have to outsource their comment sections to Intense Debate or Disqus, and instead keep all of their comments “in house.”

Other platforms like OnSugar have also adopted similar measures, and hopefully Google’s entrance can encourage other blog platforms to abandon the silly word puzzles completely (not to mention those silly quizes as well).

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July 26, 2010

Installing Disqus On Blogger Is Now Idiot Proof

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Despite the fact that Disqus has one of the best commenting layouts in the blogosphere, installing the commenting platform upon Blogger (aka BlogSpot) was extremely cumbersome (at least when compared to rivals like Intense Debate).

Today Disqus has announced that they are adopting a new method to install their commenting system upon Blogger, which should please users who have no desire to dig through the code.

We’ve made it much easier to integrate Disqus with your Blogger layout. Using the Gadget functionality we’ve been able to improve the time of integration, and now require no patching of your template. Simply authorize Disqus, add a Gadget with your sites Disqus code, and you’re good to go. (Official Disqus Blog)

This should help increase Disqus’s popularity with BlogSpot fans, especially those who loathe all things CAPTCHA (which not only doesn’t work, but marginalizes the visually impaired).

Currently Disqus is available for all major blogging platforms (except for not surprisingly WordPress.com), as well as upon the  iPhone (via an unofficial app), the latter which may help users moderate their comments while they are on the go.

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July 6, 2010

Blogger Live Stats Vs WordPress Stats: Which Is Better?

Despite being late to the analytics game, Blogger has recently unveiled live stats for BlogSpot fans in order to help their users attain a greater grasp of where their traffic is coming from.

Although some of you use Google Analytics or other third party tools to track your blog traffic, many of you have requested an easier-to-use, fully-integrated stats feature for Blogger. We heard that, and we are excited to announce that Blogger in Draft now has built-in stats. Just go to Blogger in Draft, and you’ll notice a new “Stats” tab. You don’t have to install or configure anything to start benefitting [sic] from Stats.

The coolest thing about the new Blogger Stats is that it monitors and analyzes your visitor traffic in near-real-time. You can see which posts are getting the most visits and which sites are sending traffic to your blog right now. (Blogger In Draft)

This latest feature should help put the world’s most popular blogging service on par with WordPress, who also boasts an internal stats service known as WordPress Stats.

Although both WordPress Stats and Blogger Stats have many similarities, there are a few key differences that separate the two services from each other (which might surprise users of both services). read more

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