Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Enjoying and Frustrated with Blogger

I spent some time this weekend playing around with Blogger.  They finally forced the new dashboard on me, so I figured I'd see what's different.

I've wanted to change the layout a bit for a while now, and then I saw the new Blogger design templates, and they were very easy to work with.  First, I changed the ivy picture that wraps the blog.  The photo I used had the "355" marker on it (the left field wall distance) and I tried to get that to show up on the left sidebar and then I added a "353" (right field distance) for the right hand side.  But I could never get them to line up properly, so I cropped them out.  All that's left is the ivy.

The new layout I chose gave me the chance to widen the text area.  I never liked that my old layout wouldn't allow me to show two medium sized cards side by side.

Now I can!

I kept the text background the same light yellow used with the old layout.  I looked hard and long at a plain white background, but in the end it seemed too bright.  I'm not sure about the yellow, but it does make the text easier to read than the white.

I also went back to the original banner image, with the marquee shown as it is instead of against a brick wall.  By default, Blogger left justifies a header image.  It didn't look good that way, so I hunted around the net for a bit and found a way to center the image.

I may continue to tinker with things a bit.  Let me know what you think, what you like, what you don't, etc.

As far as writing with the new Blogger, I'm still getting used to it.

Things I like...

  • Scheduling a post is easier to do; I like seeing the calendar to set the date...and hopefully they'll get the scheduling bug fixed.  As of today its still not fixed and I had to manually post this.
  • Keyboard shortcuts for bold, Italics, and underline just like in Word
  • The writing area is wider now.  I never understood why the old dashboard had such a small writing space
  • Being able to add multiple images from a file at once, and more than five images at a time.  That could become a huge time saver
  • The preview feature that shows you exactly what the post will look like
Things I Don't Like...
  • Images!  With the old dashboard and only in Firefox I could change the size of an image by dragging the corner.  I can't do that anymore
  • Images!  I'm having a hard time figuring out how to get them to the left side.  Right now, they come in centered.  I then right click on the picture and change it to left, but then the text wraps around the picture.  So then I have to cut the text and paste it under the picture.  I'm sure I'll figure out what I'm doing wrong, but for now its wasting my time with these extra steps.
  • Title names don't autotype any more.  I often use the same title or a variation of an old one, and it was nice to have the old titles show up when I started typing.
  • I'm getting some extra space in between paragraphs.  You can see it in yesterday's post. The odd thing is that the extra space was not there when I wrote the post.  I have no idea where it came from.
How are the rest of you faring with the new Blogger?  Any other likes / dislikes / tips??


  1. My biggest problem is with labels. Where they are located now, it is too easy to forget about them. I am a big fan of organization and with the amount of feature series that I do I need labels. Sure I can always go back and add them later, but they were easier before.

    That being said, I like that I can put an entire 36 page want list for 2003 in one post AND have it show up in other people's blogrolls as updated. It never used to.

    I was always able to upload multiple images at the same time. I have no idea what I was doing differently than you, perhaps it is just the browser (I use Firefox).

    All in all, I don't really have any major issues with the new Blogger format, but I reserve the right to change my mind at any time.

  2. I just started my blog this week so I guess I can't attest to any of the changes. But I do appreciate knowing there was a bug with the scheduling function because I thought it was just me being new not knowing how to do it.

    I might run into more problems as I get more comfortable and try to Pimp My Blog but so far so good!

  3. Agree with hiflew. The labeling and scheduling on the right hand side is a little too disconnected from the post and easy to forget.

  4. I too am frustrated with the space between paragraphs, to somewhat fix it you have to switch to editing from "compose" to "html" and delete the extra html command (br /) (with the "less than" and "greater than" brackets not the parentheses I had to use) or 3 or 4 or how many extra dang things blogger added. I've noticed that when in "compose" mode it isn't "What you see is what you get" like it is supposed to be, it hardly ever is. I've had to switch between the two an make sure I save after deleting an extra (<br /) or else it won't really delete it.

    For images when you have the image highlighted a pop-up menu comes up where you can change the image size (small, medium, Large, X-Large, Original) and the justification (left, center, right)

  5. I have the same issue with extra line breaks after images, so I post what I've written, look at it, then delete the extra lines. I've gotten that down pretty well. My biggest issue is when I try to post images, I have to hit the button more than once to get them to post. I'm not sure if it is my browser (Firefox), my laptop/connection, or blogger...

  6. I was very frustrated with the lack of ability to widen the main area. I came across the template change sort of by accident and love that I can post big landscape photos. I do wish you could move pictures anywhere on the screen.

  7. William,

    I have that same issue with the images not posting upon first hit of the button (I also use firefox) sometimes it takes close to a dozen attempts to get it done and that is for just one picture, trying more than one image usually takes 3 or more attempts. I've noticed that sometimes I have to upload the image form my computer, then when the image fails to load if I go to the "load from this blog" sometimes, not always, the image will load on that next click. I don't know if holding down the shift button or ctrl button helps or if using the return button instead of the mouse button it doesnt seem to matter which combination you use it still takes several attempts to get the image to actually post on the blog.

  8. I don't remember of the old system was this way, but I hate when in the Compose view, any text copied from another source retains its formatting when I paste it into my post. I find myself constantly copying and pasting into notepad, then pasting into Blogger, or just switching back and forth between Compose and HTML a lot.

    All the extra carriage returns are annoying, so I'm always clearing those out of the HTML. I wish they had a simple "insert table" option somewhere so I don't have to build tables out of HTML myself when trying to line up images properly.

  9. I don't know if you saw my "I hate you" post earlier Tuesday morning. It was all about Blogger. I'm still trying to adjust. On a positive note, both of my scheduled posts went up as planned today.

  10. While there yet may be some features of the new interface that are an improvement over the classic version, I have yet to find them. My initial experience has shown nothing but putting the look ahead of the functionality. What used to take me one click now takes two. Scheduling a post time used to be a click and two keystrokes. It's now five clicks.

    I also don't care for things leaping out of the margins or vanishing from view just because my cursor happens to pass over them unintentionally. Makes me nuts.

    And have you tried to view your dashboard on an iPhone? Holy crap. The old dashboard would show me if I had any unmoderated comments. Simple. The new one does not reveal that. I have to first enlarge the page in order to click on a drop down menu. Then click on the comments option. THEN click on the awaiting moderation link. Once I get to the comments, the pale, pale, pale grey selection box is so faint it can only be seen in ideal lighting conditions, which is another BIG FAT argument against the all white page, as the white boxes used to stand out against the tan background.

  11. I must have never been offered the classic version because all the changes everyone is talking about are the versions I have used since I started out. I'm confused? Is there an even newer version than the one I'm using?

  12. To add to my earlier comment, I guess I was on the new interface when I started.

    Be prepared for the fun image merry go round when you insert multiple images and also general image placement(you'll see what I mean).

    Give it time, it'll get easier to use.