Friday, September 2, 2011

If You Tweak It, They Will Leave

I haven't done a rant in quite some time here, so in celebration of all things me, I will simply say this:

The views expressed here may sound like sour grapes, but they're my own sour grapes. Reader discretion is strongly advised.
And now, I will say this:

Blogger in its infinite wisdom, has yet again foisted another "improvement" onto its users. While some of the previous changes have been good (sort of):

Dropping support of older browsing programs as new ones are created; the little favicon thingy (where you can put a picture in your url so when someone brings it up, they can see you); new templates; and the new photo editor.

This latest change could be the one that might drive a few of the casual (i.e., you and me) bloggers away and possibly scare off potential newbie bloggers (i.e., those who are taking that next big step and posting their thoughts, etc. online) from using this service (which in spite of a few things that I loathe (like not very good customer service for anything that isn't directly related to the blog itself), I still love using).

For those of you who use Blogger for your blogging needs, you've probably seen the latest version of the dashboard that was rolled out on August 31st. While some people (mostly the pro and semi-pro bloggers) are thrilled to pieces about this upgrade, people like me are not.

The main reason why I'm not thrilled about this latest upgrade is to me, at least on the surface, it ain't user friendly.

Most of the time when I rant about something, I do it from a personal point of view. This time, I would like to offer my opinion with a mixture of a personal point of view and the point of view as a potential new blogger.

When this new "improvement" came up, I clicked on the link to take a look see. Instantly, I was given a message that Blogger doesn't support my browser and some aspects of my blog won't work in this new environment. WTF? Blogger stated back in July that they would support only the latest 3 versions of any browser on the market today.

Since I have IE 8, that pretty much means I'm good, because as far as I know, there is no IE 10 or IE 11 on the market, only IE 9, which I can't get with Windows XP. So it means that Blogger is reading my cookie wrong, which it does whenever I try to make sure that it doesn't count my page views because it says that I have IE 7. Anyways, I dismissed that annoying little message and took a brief glance at what the new dashboard looks like.

What I saw immediately rubbed me the wrong way. Unlike the old version with the tags "New Post/Edit Posts/Comments/Settings/Design/Monetize/Stats", the new one has everything scattered all over and the stats page sits directly next to your post count. I scrolled down a bit further and saw that the rest of the dashboard where your blogs are, was radically altered as well.

All of this is really hard to describe without doing a visual, so if you want a basic idea of what I'm talking about, check out the link on your dashboard to sample the new and improved dashboard, which will soon become mandatory whether you like it or not.

While I don't mind things being improved to make the overall experience smoother, I don't like things to be improved just for the sake of keeping up with the other blogging services. Where does this leave me and my four active blogs? I'm not really sure.

If I can't find a way to avoid all of the bells and whistles that Blogger insists on putting into this improvement, I may act like the proverbial brat and take myself elsewhere. And that's something I really don't want to do. I worked too damn hard to build this blog up to where it is today, only to have to move it someplace else because an upgrade winds up being a downgrade.

The bottom line is that I'm not happy about this latest improvement to something that really doesn't need to be improved. Just because something looks relatively old, doesn't necessarily mean that it should be kicked to the curb and replaced by eye candy.


  1. I see this same problem with facebook. all the time updating something and just when I've gotten used to the original way. Sigh.

  2. I haven't noticed anything different really. Maybe it's because I post in the 5am hour while I'm half asleep. :)

  3. I've already had a big moan about this on someone else's blog. I think the new dashboard is totally crap.

    I wish blogger would sort out their other issues like how often I can't comment on blogs and other people can't blog on mine, not to mention layout problems too, before they start pissing around with new dashboards that no one wants anyway.

  4. Charles: Facebook is notorious for this kind of crap, and they make it so that you have to opt in order to be secure, which really bites.

    Can't tell you how many times I was able to pick up good tidbits from other friends about how to make my FB experience more secure.

    Blogger is slowly becoming like that, which is a crying shame really.

    Lynn: Don't worry, you will. Whether you want to or not, you will be assimilated. :D

    Joe: I've had a few regulars who've switched to WordPress and Twitter because they got fed up with those exact same issues that you mention.

    Furthermore, I agree with you 100%

  5. Rant well taken. Blogger sucks sometimes.

  6. R: A multi-comment from you. Kewlness.

    It does from time to time, especially if you got a problem with anything except the blog. Then the customer service is often like what you get in the real world sometimes.

    Sometimes they forget that the other parts that are connected with the blog that they own (like Googe Reader or Feedburner) need decent customer service just like they do with the blog.

  7. The people in the tech sector have not yet learned the wisdom of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  8. S: Ain't that the truth.

    I could give you a prime example of that philosophy with my current employer, but that would become simply a rant on how to waste millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars.

    The tech sector will never, ever, ever learn that lesson.

    Neither will the guv'ment for that matter.


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G. B. Miller

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