February 9, 2010

Blogger rant extended

NOTE: If you aren't interested in hearing a rant about blogger, you can probably skip this post.

Where am I at with this?

Today I spent nearly three hours working on an entry for my blog in Blogger. It was well researched, it was over 2000 words long and it took a look at what happened in the 2008 election cycle and extended that into some conclusions about the only way things could possibly turn out in 2010. It was logical, it cited examples and drew some really relevant conclusions - accurate or not, they were worth posting.

Blogger has let me down in the past. Today was the third time (that I recall, there could have been others too) that having written a considerable amount, jumping from the Compose mode to html mode (or vice versa) or adding a picture, a huge amount of my written text simply vanished. That's not a big deal if you have it saved, but Blogger has an Autosave feature that for some reason always kicks in whenever that deletion occurs. At least in those three instances.

I was suddenly faced with one paragraph instead of 30, and then an immediate Autosave. There is no recovery from that, and when it happens, it is simply infuriating. I'm not an easy man to infuriate either. 2-3 hours of lost work will do that to you though.

But Blogger has missed the boat on other things too. The new interface gives you some interesting functionality but it seems buggy. It also for some strange reason does away with the spell checker that the old interface had as standard.

Inserting pictures often alters the page-fold (the Read More) location or messes with a whole bunch of formatting options. As a WYSIWYG editor, Blogger has a long long way to go to approach Word 2.0 of the 1980's.

Embedding Ad Sense in your blog is fairly easy, but the transparency of how Ad Sense operates is sorely lacking. Understanding the interplay between visitors and revenue and feed burner and everything else that Blogger touches on is nigh on impossible. Why on a day with 50 visitors I can make $4 and a day with 150 visitors and the same number of ad clicks I can generate 1 cent in revenue is more than just perplexing. It seems fishy since that information is seemingly proprietary.

Changing blogger layout templates is never easy as advertised, especially if you want to use non-standard layouts like a 3-column layout. That wouldn't be a big deal if the standard templates they offer weren't still the same ones they had from 1956.

The absolutely only reason I'm sticking around is because there is too much time and effort invested in generating name recognition at a place where I don't feel my blogging is efficient as it could be at Wordpress or a self-hosted site.

Blogger is supposed to simplify blogging for non-html-technical people but it's failing miserably in my eyes right now. If I had to make a snap decision right now, I'd quit blogging. That's how frustrated I am with the blogger platform. Luckily there is no need to make that decision right this second.

Color me not just angry, but discouraged. I don't want to give up blogging because I believe I can contribute to the conservative political discussion. But when a bunch of stuff I wrote just goes away in literally, the blink of an eye, it makes me want to give up for technical reasons.

I've done a little research and I'm not alone in my complaints and concerns - it's not me. It's Blogger. Have I learned a lesson? Don't blog in Blogger directly first - write in Word and then paste it in. Maybe I've learned that. Or maybe I've learned that Wordpress is a better Blog host. It's too early to tell.

All I can say at this point is that I'm so frustrated, that I'd rather vent about Blogger than try to re-create what I'd written and re-post it again. That's not a good sign.

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