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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An Introduction to Blogger

Last time, we had introduced you guys to Blogging, and we had explained how you could make profit out of it. This time, we'll be introducing you folks into Blogger, one of the blog services that's available on the net today.

Blogger is a blog publishing system created by Pyra Labs, which is a company co-founded by Evan Williams and Meg Hourihan. It was acquired by Google in 2003. The service itself is located at www.blogger.com, and blogs that do not publish to their own websites are hosted by Google at the subdomain of blogspot.com.

For a brief walk at the history of this service, visit Wikipedia.org

Today, Blogger ranks no.1 among blog services (see Alexa Top 500 Global Sites), and is one of the Top 10 most visited websites worldwide. Perhaps the reason of its immense success is Google, the company that propelled Blogger to popularity. But, let us also not forget the guys behind the project.

Blogger is mostly sought by Bloggers and aspiring Bloggers worldwide. One of the reasons as to why most people go for Blogger instead of other web blog services is because of its reliability. Imagine, your blog hosted on one of the most powerful servers worldwide (Google Server). You can bet that your blog will seldom have downtimes, and will most likely be immune from DDoS attacks. This ensures that your work is safe most of the time. Another good reason perhaps as to why people prefer Blogger is because of its easy-to-understand features. The service is very user-friendly. When you join and create a blog, you'll get a step-by-step process where everything is explained, and that all you have to do is select among the already prepared choices. You also have a variety of other options such as choose among an already provided set of templates, add widgets with the help of a layout editor, configure your blog settings (already set to default), create posts on the fly with the aid of writing tools similar to that of MS Word's, and it also allows you to monetize your work by introducing you to Google Adsense. The blog can be used by both newbies and professionals alike. Users have access to the blog's XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) structure, allowing further tweaking of their blog's template design.

As part of the Blogger redesign in 2006, all blogs associated with a user's Google Account were migrated to Google servers. Blogger claims that the service is now more reliable because of the quality of the servers.

Along with the migration to Google servers, several new features were introduced, including label organization where posts can be labeled and organized base on its category, a drag-and-drop template editing interface that allows easy manipulation of the template, reading permissions (to create private blogs), new Web feed options allowing other web feed services to integrate into the blog, a post autosave feature that prevents you from losing your work in case of an internet disconnection or power failure, an import post feature that allows posts from another blog to be imported into your blog, and a schedule post feature that allows posts to be publish at a later time (sort of auto-publishing). Furthermore, blogs are updated dynamically, as opposed to rewriting HTML files. Blogger also pings weblogs.com automatically by default, and allows your blog to be included in the Google Blog Search. This way, bloggers can get visitors just by updating their blogs.

In a version of the service called Blogger in Draft, new features are tested before being released to all users. New features are discussed in the service's official blog.

The Google Toolbar has a feature called "BlogThis!", which allows toolbar users with Blogger accounts to post links directly to their blogs. There is also a free add-in for Microsoft Word called "Blogger for Word". This add-in allows users to save a Microsoft Word Document directly to a Blogger blog, as well as edit their posts both online and offline. Google Docs also has direct integration to Blogger. The Windows Live Writer, a standalone app of the Windows Live Suite can also publish directly to Blogger.

Blogger offers multiple author support, making it possible to establish group blogs.

Blogger also has a comment moderation feature that enables authors to moderate the comments posted on their blog. With this feature, they can choose which type of users are allowed to post, hide or permanently delete comments, and enable word verification to prevent spambots from posting.

Blogger continues to improve even up to this day. New features are already being tested, and will soon be integrated into the system. Already in the system are a quick comment form (similar to WordPress'), and a PicasaWeb photo and GoogleVideos video blog integration feature that allows bloggers to enter photos and videos straight into their blog. More features are expected to arrive in the coming months.

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