20 October 2005

Meta: Blogger Functionality Rant

As regulars know, I have a tendency to make lots of posts. I wish Blogger had a function that would allow more posts to appear, in condensed form (the first paragraph or maybe just titles even), on one page. But, alas, it doesn't seem to have this function.

I'd also like to see a calendar style archive option, where the days of the current month appear with hotlinks on days when there are posts, as opposed to the difficult choice between a month sized achieve, which includes too many posts, and a week at a time choice, which is ugly and requires you to slog through several weeks to find what you are looking for, although, frankly, I usually use the "Search This Blog" function instead.

Also, it would be nice to be able to attach category tags to particular posts.

Now, beggers can't be choosers, and I'm not paying a dime for the wonderful service that Blogger is providing to me, so I am still, on the whole, thankful for what it provides, but that doesn't mean that I can't dream about a few minor adjustments.

Anyone who knows of ways to make these adjustments without much technical expertise is encouraged to explain in the comments.


Kyle said...

When you say you want more posts to appear in condensed form on one page, do you mean your main page? When I was using blogger I had just begun looking into that idea. There are tags blogger uses that I think can perform this. Look in their list of tags at ones such as Mainpage, Archivepage and Itempage. Unfortunately I switched before I really learned them, but maybe that will lead you somewhere useful.

As for categories, there are a couple of methods I see people using for this, but to be honest they seem complicated and contrived. A search on google for "blogger categories" is how I studied that.

I am not in a postition to suggest whether you should move from blogger to wordpress (or another blogging system), but I am in a position of providing information on what this involves. Since your questions here are the exact reasons I moved to wordpress, I'll write some information out on the off chance it is useful.

The host I use is an excellent one that provides more functionality and bandwidth than I can use. It costs $6/month. A domain name can be had for $5 a year, but when you make it anonymous - which you'll want - it will cost another $15 a year. My total costs for my server therefore come in at less than $8 a month.

Of course, if you don't have any experience with ftp, it will take some time to learn how to make use of the system. This would be fast, but at a lawyer's rate it might still end up being quite expensive ;) It is sometimes hard to place a monetary value on the time we spend.

It took me less than an hour to move all my posts and comments over to wordpress. I messed up my comment dates, but this was due to an error on my part and is easily avoided. Toying around with wordpress required more of my time but was fun.

I actually would consider the above costs small. The biggest issue facing you is, because you are using the blogger domain, you can't force people coming to your page now to your new one. You'll just have to make a post and hope they click the new link.

Overall I've found wordpress superior in every way. Once its installed it is even easier to use. The only exception is pictures; blogger is a little easier. The trick is that you may not find it to be. If you'd like more information, let me know.

This was my longest comment anywhere ever. Maybe I should make a post out of it so I can link to it instead!

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

Thanks so much for the input. I'll have to give some thought to how to deal with growing pains here at the blog.

Julie O. said...

From your dashboard, go to Blogger Help. Under Advanced Use click on Blogger Hacks. Under Questions, currently the second question is "How can I create expandable post summaries?"

That should do it.