As many of you may have observed, I've just recently updated the layout of my blog. I think it works much better than the old layout. Hopefully everything is working right. If you notice anything peculiar, please let me know.
Unfortunately, at this point, I wish I did a little more research into what blog platform to use (evidently, three minutes was clearly not enough). If I had to re-do this blog thing now, Blogger likely would not have been my first choice.
Why would I think this? For the following reasons:
- Lack of posting categories
- Lack of a true trackback facility
- Lack of RSS feeds for comments
- (Related to point 1) Lack of RSS feeds for posting categories
- Inflexibility of Blogger to host files other than photos
- Need for better template creation/editing tools
- There's probably more, but they aren't immediately coming to mind
The lack of posting categories would have been a real stopping point for me. I know that some of my blog topics cover areas that have different audiences (i.e. Media Center-related posts for those interested in Media Center, Personal events (like Convocation from University) and reflections for my friends, Planning-related items for planners, etc). Without a true method of creating posting categories, it's not easy to dig through blog postings to find stuff that interest these subsets of those that wish to read my blog. While Blogger Help links to one possible workaround, posting categories ought to be added natively to Blogger.
Blogger's 'Links to this Post' is a poor attempt at emulating the trackback features found in other blogging platforms. Blogger should look into improving this so that it is on par with what Six Apart has done with Movable Type.
Other blogging platforms have RSS feeds for comments left on blog entries. Currently, I have to eyeball the bottom of each posting via the main page or the monthly archive pages to see if there are any new comments. Clearly, there must be a better way.
RSS feeds for posting categories. If Blogger adds post categories, it would make sense to allow for separate feeds for each category in addition to a feed for all postings. However, without posting categories first, it's the old case of "can't have one without the other."
At this time, the only thing that Blogger will store for me on its server are image files. If I had (for example) a registry file that would help Media Center users, or a pdf file that I want to distribute to my readers, I wouldn't be able to use Blogger to host these files for me. Files like this would have to be hosted elsewhere. Not cool for a service that ought to be all-inclusive.
In terms of assisting users implement new templates, there ought to be a better creation and preview tools. The current tools are a bit lacking (example, see this Movable Type-based Style Generator). It took far too long for me to modify this layout to make various aspects look 'right'.
Agree with some of my points? Are there any workarounds to the points that I raised? Am I missing something obvious? Now that I've started blogging here, I don't really want to switch (or maybe I should switch). Please let me know your thoughts.
In the meantime, I hope Google is working on these Blogger shortcomings to make its service better for its users. I would like to think that they have improvements in mind, but we won't know until we see the changes.