What's Happening

Bloggers of Blogger.com – Rise Up!

Yesterday I was catching up on my blog-reading and discovered new hurdles discouraging me from leaving comments on blogs that use Blogger.com.  Then after jumping all those hurdles I learned that I’m no longer allowed to leave my link so readers can find out who I am.  WTF?

Naturally I assumed that something was amiss – until Doug Green explained that it’s intentional. 

Sadly, I agree with Doug’s prediction that the new rules will end up ghettoizing users of Blogger.com, but is there no way to prevent that from happening?  Complain like hell, or come on over to Typepad – or WordPress or Movable Type or probably any other blogging program that exists.  To hell with Blogger.com.

Posted by on December 17, 2007 at 9:54 am, in the category What's Happening.
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46 Responses to “Bloggers of Blogger.com – Rise Up!”

  1. Heather says:

    Dude! That stinks! Off to investigate…

  2. Kris says:

    Susan. Please don’t sugar coat it. Tell us how you really feel! :) I’ve been trying to switch to WordPress (offered by my Yahoo Webhosting) for a couple weeks now for the very reasons you expressed. I’ve seen some really good blog posts with no comments. Thought it odd until I saw what you have to go through to leave a comment. WordPress offers some real basic templates that you can’t do much with. The more custom templates have been unavailable while they work out some “bugs”. What’s a blogger to do? #%%$&#!

  3. Claire Splan says:

    Thanks for alerting us all to this. I’m on Blogger and I certainly want anyone, not just other Blogger users, to be able to leave comments at my site. I’m hopeful that enough complaints will lead to a policy change.

  4. Claire Splan says:

    Aha! After just going to Blogger.com, I realized that it is just a matter of adjusting the settings for my blog to ensure that anyone can comment, regardless of whether or not they have a Blogger account. The change is made under the Comments section of the Settings.

  5. Doug Green says:

    Kris – do a search on “free wordpress templates” – there’s a ton of them out there that aren’t tied into the wordpress theme site. I picked up a few yesterday directly from WordPress so it seems to be working fine.

    I also note that Yahoo is both expensive and rather limited in the space/bandwidth it gives you. It wouldn’t be my first choice by far.

    I host at both BlueHost and GoDaddy. Both have excellent customer services, decent prices and instant installation services. (WP installed with a single click and you’re running) I think BlueHost is a better WP server but slightly more expensive than GoDaddy. I use BlueHost for two blogs now and couldn’t be happier with the service.

  6. Angela says:

    I have a Blogger blog and while they do seem to be offering a new filter for comments (see list at bottom, second one down), it appears anyone can still comment.

    I haven’t had any problems with allowing “anyone” to comment because I enabled comment approval, which scares off the spammers.

    1. Anyone – includes Anonymous Users
    2. Registered Users – includes OpenID
    3. Users with Google Accounts
    4. Only members of this blog

    For the record, I’m happy with Blogger. It’s free, easy to use, and if there’s some nifty feature Blogger doesn’t yet offer, like a list of most recent comments in the sidebar, somebody out there has created a free and easy-to-add widget for that purpose.

  7. eliz says:

    Claire, the problem is that people can’t leave their urls the way they used to.

    You can leave your url under their new system. It’s called open id. But you have to add code to your elements in your blog, unless you have a wordpress, livejournal, or typekey (?) blog. If so, you are already set up with open ID and can leave your url without inserting this code.

    It does seem like a big pain, but they’re claiming they are NOT trying to shut other services out. Here is some verbiage from the site:

    “Ironically, our testing of OpenID, a feature that lets you use accounts from all over the web to comment on Blogger, made it appear that we were trying to force you into getting a Google Account. We regret this appearance, since we’re strong supporters of OpenID and open web standards in general.

    If you haven’t set up OpenID, you can still link to your blog — or any webpage, for that matter — by using the standard tag inside the comment form.”

    I’m not convinced, but I’m not about to switch from blogger over this either. People can leave their websites within the comment box, using

  8. eliz says:

    Oops–my comment got cut off. People can leave their urls in the blogger comment text using html, which you CANT do on Typepad :) and which I started to do, which is why my comment got cut off!

  9. Pam/Digging says:

    Susan, I was irate about Blogger’s change too and posted about this a couple of weeks ago—here (http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=391) and here (http://www.penick.net/digging/?p=388). Like you, I felt shut out and made to jump through hoops in order to post a comment on my favorite Blogger blogs.

    As of last week, as Ki (Mucknmire) and others let me know, Blogger has apologized on its site and now offers Open ID commenting. I haven’t stopped to figure that out yet, but it looks like a step in the right direction.

    Meanwhile, I use HTML code to link back to Digging when I post (under Nickname) on Blogger blogs. It takes extra time, but it works. Though not on your site, I just noticed.

  10. eliz says:

    You know, every service has stuff that sucks about it. Why, for example, can’t you sign up for comments here on our blog? You can on my blogger blog.

    And I find it annoying that I can’t use html in the comments here.

    No service is the Holy Grail. And Blogger is not the devil. It’s free, and that works for me because I don’t want to have ads, etc.

  11. susan harris says:

    Will somebody let us know when Blogger sorts this all out? Coz those work-arounds are beyond me.
    And good news from Typepad – they’re now allowing commenters to subscribe to further comments on a post. It’s available on my own blog already and will be rolled out to GardenRant any day now.

  12. It seems everytime I learn one thing about blogging, I find there are lots of new technical things to figure out. Thank you for bringing this problem to my attention – my Blogger blog is only a couple of weeks old – and for all the comments that send me back to Blogger to see what – if anything – I can do.
    Thanks for ranting!

  13. Frances says:

    I agree with common weeder above. Just starting out with a blogger blog, I can barely navigate just to get the pictures and text on. Some new fly in the ointment pops up every day. It may not be worth to try and keep up. I’ll just do what I have been doing, it’s all I’m capable of.

  14. firefly says:

    The OpenID standard is new. Six Apart, which offers Movable Type, Typepad, and Typekey, has made Typekey an OpenID server. You log in at the Typekey site and you are automatically identified at any Typepad blog. Typepad blogs can prohibit comments from users who do not have a Typekey ID (or they can require you to enter a verification code to prove you’re not a spambot) depending on the settings you invoke, but it’s mainly the “you must verify your identity” at a login site that is supposedly the big attraction about OpenID. It’s meant to prevent impostors.

    WordPress apparently offers OpenID services too, but I don’t have a WordPress blog so I don’t know how they do it.

    Typepad blogs are configurable so that you can use html in comments. This blog never has allowed it. Someone with administrator rights could change the blog comment settings.

    Blogger.com blogs have been “ghettoized” for me ever since Google took over and made it extremely difficult to log in to a Blogger ID to comment. Eventually I gave up and got a Google ID, but I don’t like it that my e-mail address displays on the Google dashboard after I sign in (does that mean any site I visit gets my e-mail info? I have never seen an explanation).

    Typepad has its problems, but I think Google and Blogger have done exceedingly poorly by basic users like blog commenters.

  15. firefly says:

    … I just tried to comment at eliz’s blog by signing in with my Typekey OpenID, and Blogger displays my Typekey Login Name, not my screen handle.

    According to the Typekey site, however, “The name that is displayed in comments that you make on weblogs is your “Display Name”, a different setting than your Login Name; you can change your Display Name at any time.”

    Oopsies again, Google/Blogger.

  16. misti says:

    Alter your code and use haloscan. It works for me and I’ve used it for years.

  17. susan harris says:

    Haloscan? Again, WTF?

    About this site not allowing HTML, here’s our choice: Either allow it in comments, or have all URLs in comments automatically converted to active links. I think we chose the latter because we figured more people could insert links that way than using HTML, which I don’t know how to do myself. For that to work you may have to copy the URL, not type it, which proves the point that no program is perfect.

    But back to our choice – what do you think?

  18. Jeri Lynn says:

    I use Blogger and I gotta tell ya’, when I read your rant I ran right off to test it for myself. And it ain’t TRUE! Geeze, what have you people been eating out of the garden? I left a comment to a blog – did not sign into my google account and did not comment anonymously. There is a 3rd option – I put in my name. If you keep a blog on blogger there is a place in settings where you choose who can comment to your blog. Go ahead, let the whole world in.
    (I recently put my toe in the water w/Typepad, do not own google stock, etc…)

  19. Oiy! The internet. I have noticed the changes happening over the course of the last few weeks in Blogger’s comment section. My approach has always been to relax and let it pass. It always seems to get worked out. If I’m antzy I go to the Buzz page or their complaint forum and see what’s going on and then I wait some more.

  20. I’d like to add that because Google’s primary business model/function to earn MONEY is through marketing and advertising the chances of them ghettoizing any arm of the system is remote.

  21. Don says:

    All this is very helpful, actually – I was just telling friends that GardenRant is triply great, not only do you discover useful, interesting garden ideas and get to have engaging exchanges on all sorts of topics horticultural and otherwise, you get to learn about how the web and blogs in particular work.

    WTF is indeed the phrase of the day, again there are all these *&%# choices and trade-offs. At times, the Luddite in me wants to find a wooden shoe – old garden boot would do – and jam it in the disk drive.

    About 3 weeks ago I migrated from Blogger to WordPress, in both cases with the software provider as the host. I’m glad I did, I like WordPress better. Blogger was a very good place to start as a newbie, but I’m seriously thinking about moving to “self-hosting” (any thoughts on this? GardenRant has its own url, I notice), and WordPress also seemed a step in that direction.

    I’ve also had trouble on occasion leaving comments on Blogger blogs, but usually managed to figure out a way. My colleagues at work all have Blogger blogs, so I’ll got check out the probs Susan and others have mentioned.

  22. Don says:

    All this is very helpful, actually – I was just telling friends that GardenRant is triply great, not only do you discover useful, interesting garden ideas and get to have engaging exchanges on all sorts of topics horticultural and otherwise, you get to learn about how the web and blogs in particular work.

    WTF is indeed the phrase of the day, again there are all these *&%# choices and trade-offs. At times, the Luddite in me wants to find a wooden shoe – old garden boot would do – and jam it in the disk drive.

    About 3 weeks ago I migrated from Blogger to WordPress, in both cases with the software provider as the host. I’m glad I did, I like WordPress better. Blogger was a very good place to start as a newbie, but I’m seriously thinking about moving to “self-hosting” (any thoughts on this? GardenRant has its own url, I notice), and WordPress also seemed a step in that direction.

    I’ve also had trouble on occasion leaving comments on Blogger blogs, but usually managed to figure out a way. My colleagues at work all have Blogger blogs, so I’ll got check out the probs Susan and others have mentioned.

  23. susan harris says:

    Don, “self-hosting” isn’t required to have one’s own domain name. GardenRant, for example, bought that domain name but we’re hosted by our blogging program – Typepad. Anyone can use a blogging program and have a domain name they bought for under 10 bucks pointed to their blog hosted on Typepad, Blogger, WordPress or whatever.
    And thanks for the recommendation – we DO try to keep it lively!

  24. bill says:

    There are two flavors of WordPress, a hosted version and an unhosted version, which more or less correspond to the SixApart products TypePad and Moveable Type respectively. The hosted version supports OpenId but the unhosted version, which I think is the more popular alternative, does not yet as far as I know. There is a thirdparty plugin that does this however. When you have the unhosted version you have to install all the upgrades and enhancements yourself.

    I use the unhosted version although I am one or two releases behind on the version. I am not able to comment on Blogger blogs except as “anonymous.” I do however put in a link to my blog using HTML.

    If Susan is asking whether readers prefer that this blog support HTML in comments I vote YES! I think that is a much superior choice to making a URL an automatic link.

    And really I think everyone should know basic HTML. It only takes about 5 minutes to learn how to insert a link or make the type bold.

  25. Angela says:

    Typepad Pricing

    One author/one blog = $49.50/year
    One author/ up to 3 blogs = $89.50/year
    Multiple authors/unlimited blogs = $149.50/year
    Multiple authors/ more storage and bandwidth = $299.50/year

    Plus domain name purchase at around $10/year?

    Blogger is, um, free.

    Can we argue that Typepad or WordPress blogs are better looking than free Blogger blogs? Nope. In fact, I’m constantly annoyed by Typepad blogs where people regularly fail to put some pixel space around their photos. Drives me bonkers!

  26. bill says:

    The hosted version of WordPress is also free I think. http://www.Wordpress.org

  27. Don says:

    Hosting by WordPress.com is free for basics, but you can pay them to customize the site design, etc.

    Thanks for educating me on how hosting affects a dedicated url name, Susan. I had muddled notions about how the process worked.

    GoDaddy and BlueHost host websites for a price. Do people also use them to “self host” blogs?

    Has anyone installed blog software on your organization’s host server and published a blog that way?

    (At some point, when dealing with this kind of technie stuff, does anybody else feel this overwhelming urge to run outside, in spite of the weather, to turn the compost pile, rake leaves – anything!)

  28. Don, I have a depressingly long list of techie things I need to accomplish that ALL have me wanting to run and dig in the dirt. I haven’t even figured out how to subscribe to and read feeds yet, and I’ve been blogging for 2 and a half years.

  29. Angela says:

    WordPress is free, but it doesn’t allow bloggers to earn revenue from Google Ad-Sense.

    From the WordPress website:

    Advertising

    “To support the service we may occasionally show Google text ads on your blog, however we do this very rarely. In the future you’ll be able to purchase an upgrade to either turn the ads off or show your own ads and make money from your blog.”

    Google ads on my blog, but the money goes to WordPress? No thanks.

    In a very general sense, I like the fact that Blogger blogs are accessible to all citizens… not just people who can afford to buy a domain name and hosting. Those Ad-Sense checks are a welcome bonus too.

    Can’t we all just enjoy garden blogging and avoid labeling Blogger blogs as “ghettoized” blogs? It comes off as a little bit… bloggist. ;-)

  30. HEre’s Blogger’s post “explaining” it all but guess what – I don’t understand!
    http://buzz.blogger.com/2007/12/openid-commenting.html
    If I want to choose the URL to leave with my comment I’m supposed to do what now? Put something in a header tag? Help!

  31. Susan as the owner of several blogs you need to choose which one your linked name/signature will lead back to.

    In blogger comments in the new drop down menu pick the service, Typepad, WordPress, AOl whatever that you are using. That opens a box to paste the URL in that you want your name to link back to.

    The “header tag” I don’t quite get either but that looks like if your Open ID URL does not lead directly to the blog page you want then you need to redirect it.

    The key thing at this point is will Blogger remember you when you visit a blog like all my info is remembered here. I don’t have to put in all my info for each comment.

    I just suggest you go to a Blogger blog click the drop down menu, choose your service and give it a whirl.

  32. Linette says:

    I had one blogger blog, it was my very first blog. I’ve been contemplating switching it to wordpress, but I felt like I’d be starting from scratch again.

    This was the last straw, I started setting up a wordpress blog to replace it last week:(

    I already have two WordPress blogs, and once I got past the learning curve, I really like the platform.

  33. Joy says:

    After reading all these comments my head is still spinning. I think some one already said what I was thinking .. all I want to do is have an easy blog and spend time in the garden rather than figure out which is the best place to blog. I do have a question though if some one could help me out .. is it true I can own my own garden blog name for a domain name permanently ? and would it be recognized across the board .. with all garden blogs ?
    I’m always confused but wow .. my eyes are crossed on this one ! LOL

  34. If a name, a particular grouping of words or spelling has not already been bought by someone else, then yes you may buy your blogs name as a domain name and own it forever for a fee.

    The internet traffic routing with a domain name is a whole other concept.

  35. Reading Dirt says:

    Wow, this is as much fun as the Mac-PC debates.

    I have blogs in WordPress and Blogger. I like them both in many ways. There are features of both that annoy me. I know really great blogs hosted by or powered by both.

    Part of what Google is trying to do, if I understand things correctly, is reduce comment spam, which is not much of a problem on my Blogger blogs, but is a big problem on my WordPress blogs, even with Askimet Spam and similar spam-catchers at work. I’ve had robots all over one of my WordPress blogs trying to leave comments with links to porn sites and sales sites for various useless and anatomical-enlarging products.

    The worst I’ve gotten with Blogger is the occasional, “Hi, great blog! You can learn about [semi-related topic] at my site: [inserted URL].” Every one of which I delete.

  36. eliz says:

    I’ve been having a rather ill-natured exchange on the Blogger help forum about this problem, which I’m too embarrassed to share, but it does seem as though it’s not spam that’s the issue–it’s a commenter improperly identifying themselves with someone else’s website (spoofing). (According to others on this forum, this can have very serious consequences.) Open ID is meant to prevent spoofing, not spamming.

  37. I just went to look for your ill-natured exchange Eliz through my Blogger home page and noticed I was now from Afghanistan too. It must be a plot by Dick Cheney to make it seem like the wars are going splendidly with this upsurge in blog traffic from Afghanistan. We’ll probably being reading about that in the MSM soon enough. It was easy to fix though.

  38. susan harris says:

    Now suddenly I’m noticing how many people I read use Blogger, so I think ghetto is the wrong word. Easily half the blogging world would be isolated from the other half, so that’s a problem for everyone.

  39. My dictionary defines “ghettoize” as “put in or restrict to an isolated or segregated place, group, or situation.” That sounds exactly right.

    There is nothing classist about the term; we on the outside are simply trying to make you on the inside aware that, “Hey…you’ve been cut off from the rest of the world and might not even know it.” After all, if you use Blogger, you wouldn’t realize the difficulties suddenly imposed on non-Blogger users.

    When a company like Google removes an existing feature which offered interoperability across blogging platforms, I find it difficult to believe it was just something they overlooked.

  40. Peg says:

    I am happy with blogspot, which is also free. Does anyone know if it is having the same problems?

    Leave it to the Interweb…as soon as something catches on it gets pricey and byzantine and subject to corporate tyranny…

  41. susan harris says:

    Everybody, we can call off the dogs; BLogger caved. Good work, complainers and ranters out there! And Peg, Blogspot IS Blogger.

  42. That’s some pretty fine customer service from a company that not only hosts our ramblings and images free of charge, but allows its members to share in the ad revenue.

    It seems like both recent “problems”, the OpenID issue and the header photo auto-resizing change, arose from a sincere attempt by Blogger to make the service easier to use. When it became apparent that the solutions fixed a problem for some, but created new problems for others, Blogger responded very promptly to (often hostile) member feedback and made the service even better.

    And it’s still free. ;-)

    Go Google/Blogger!

  43. Blogger announced on 2/20 that “Unregistered commenters can once again provide an auto-linked URL.” See Blogger Buzz [http://buzz.blogger.com/2007/12/you-blog-we-listen.html].

  44. Curtis says:

    While Typepad looks appealing still blogger is free and fixed.

  45. Shankar says:

    For the same reason I moved from blogger to blogsome, blogger really sucks big time!

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