If you’re a power user of most Google web products, you’ve probably noticed that Google is in the process of revamping most of these products. If I remember it correctly, Google started doing this around the time Google+ was launched. This could probably be a prelude to how Google is going to integrate all its products centered around Google+.
Part of this plan is naturally to make all those products uniform when it comes to theme, design and interface. Among those products which recently got this treatment include Google Reader, Gmail, and most recently Google Blogger.
Refreshing the Blogger Interface, Blogger What?
Yes folks, believe it or not, there is such a thing as Google Blogger. It’s Google’s old blogging platform which was probably used by most if not all of the successful and not-so succesful bloggers that you knew (myself included). Actually, Google has been pretty much neglecting this product, letting it take its natural course of existence. Fortunately, many are still using this blogging platform, despite the dominance of the widely accepted and used WordPress.
Are you one of the loyal users of Blogger? If yes, then you’ve probably tried using the new Blogger interface. If not, here are the essential new features of the updated Blogger.
How to Try the New Blogger Interface
When the Official Google Blog announced this update, it was made available on an “Opt in Now” mode. This means that you can opt to change your Blogger dashboard to the new interface and then switch back to old version anytime you want to, or at least until Google finally decides to terminate the old Blogger interface.
To switch to the new Blogger interface, watch out for a pop-up announcement the next time you logged into your Blogger account. When you see this pop-up, you’ll see the link that you need to click, to switch to the new Blogger interface.
What Are the New Features in the New Blogger
First thing you’ll notice upon checking out the new Blogger is of course the completely revamped design of the platform. Whether you are writing a post or simply browsing your account dashboard, you will now have a larger canvas to work on or stare at.
When viewing your account dashboard, you will now be able to see page view stats of the blog or blogs that you are running on Blogger. Both the number and a graphical representation is displayed just below the blog title. The previous information is still there, including number of posts, and last published date.
Just below your blog listing, there is still the Reading List feature which display the list of blogs hosted on Blogger that you’ve been following.
When composing a blog post, the main screen shifts to a view which will remind you of the new Google Docs layout. The formating options that you can use when writing your post is displayed on the top bar and above it are the Post Title field, and the various publishing options including Save, Preview and Close.
On the right sidebar are the different Post Settings that you can use which include – Labels, Schedule, Location, and Options.
Additional Dashboard View for Individual Blogs
One new feature of the updated Blogger platform that you’ll probably appreciate is the view option for the individual blogs that you manage. When you open this view, you’ll see several options including overview of your blog stats (page views, updates, top traffic sources), posts list, pages stats, comments, stats, earning (if you have installed AdSense), layout, template and settings.
Personally, this new view makes it easier to manage your individual blogs not only in terms of tweaking layouts but also for implementing ways of enhancing page views and blog statistics and ultimately growing your blog audience.
It’s pretty obvious that Google wants to maintain Blogger as one of its major web products. The fact that it was given a major make over is a good sign that Google has no plans of putting Blogger to the dead pool. This is good news since many bloggers still maintain their blogs on Blogger. I know some blogs which became popular in more ways than one despite the fact that these blogs are hosted freely on Blogger.
Introducing this new interface is a step towards the right direction. Blogger may not get the same massive user base as WordPress.com but it will certainly be able to retain loyal bloggers who will continue to patronize the service. Hopefully, we will not wake up one day with Google announcing that Blogger is going to be shut down. It will be a big lost not only for Blogger users but for Google as well.