Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Blogger...

Recently (I mean in mid-August actually...) Blogger introduced a "beta" version in which you could connect your Blogger account to your Google account. I was in fact a little late to try out this transition, which was probably good since I avoided all the initial bugs and glitches which early transitioners faced. The new beta version has some features that I had wished for in a previous post on this blog.

In the beta version I can now attach "category" tags to all my posts. This was one of the features I (and I am sure many other Blogger users) had wished for. Most other blog hosting websites have had this feature for a long time. Curiously, Blogger calls these tags "Labels" instead of "Categories", probably to distinguish itself from other sites, but it essentially does the same job. So you may notice "Labels" I have attached to the post at the bottom of the post (along with Technorati tags). Clicking on a label will take you to all the posts that are categorized under that label. For example click on the "Elephants" Label to see all my posts in that category. The Technorati tags are actually similar to labels, except that clicking on them takes you to all the posts tagged by that... well.. "tag" on Technorati.

The beta version also has a better template management interface through which you can make changes to your blog template. This has a user friendly interface to change fonts and colors and to add page elements such as blogroll, linkroll etc. It also includes a better way of adding and updating blogrolls and linkrolls. This is another thing I had wished for. Using this interface I can also display all the categories and number of posts filed under each in the sidebar. There are only a limited number of templates that are available with the new interface though.

I have upgraded my other blog "Oorjaa" with these new features. It was much easier on Oorjaa because there were only a few posts to take care of. There are a couple of new posts on Oorjaa too... so please take a look at them. I will be upgrading this blog using the new interface pretty soon... once I decide if I should change the look of the blog or not. If you have an opinion on whether "Transmogrified" can use a bit of transmogrification in terms of the looks itself, please leave a comment to that effect. I also need to update the blogroll and linkroll.

There are still some bugs and glitches in the new version though. I noticed some while writing the posts on oorjaa after I upgraded it. For example, when I try to insert an image into the post it gets inserted at the top of the post by default instead of being inserted at the present cursor location. The spell checker (always a good thing to do before posting) is horrible. It highlighted stuff in my post in all the weird places, sometimes highlighting half of one word and half of the next, for no apparent reason. Also it messed up all my links. So finally I had to use Word to do the task. Hopefully Blogger will get to resolving these soon.

Another feature I have been using for some time now for both of my blogs is "Google Analytics" to track the traffic. It is much much better that other traffic monitoring sites that I used previously. It give me much more relevant information regarding the traffic. Here is a snapshot of the geo-location of visitors for the month of November for example (click on it for a larger image). A bow of gratitude to each one of you who helped to put a tiny dot on the map! Keep coming back.

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