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Is Google Neglecting Blogger? 149

Posted by kdawson
from the it's-just-traffic dept.
Ian Lamont writes "For years, I've been frustrated by Blogger's relatively limited functionality and other problems. For instance, we've heard about Blogger's security flaws since the beginning of this decade. Blogger's latest problem, which lets bots bypass CAPTCHAs in order to set up spam blogs, is not just a sign of Google's disregard for security — it's symptomatic of Google's neglect of its Blogger service. For instance, Blogger is just now rolling out a feature that lets writers publish in the future, years after similar functionality was released in Wordpress and Moveable Type. Is Blogger destined to be a sideshow as long as Google keeps acquiring and building more high-profile services, such as Google Maps and YouTube?"
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Is Google Neglecting Blogger?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:49PM (#23216490)
    Give it another few years for Google to make it perfect, like everything they do
    • by Lemmy Caution (8378) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:05PM (#23216612) Homepage
      Google is the Neal Stephenson of companies. Promising starts, interesting ideas, and a chronic failure to finish.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I don't think we'll see blogger improving. Just like it happened when they bought Writely, they may not care that much about the product the company is selling, but the team that does it. Blogger seems to be in "mainteinance mode", they may have a small team working on maintaining and keeping it up to date while the rest of the people works on a "blogger killer". They haven't even tried to integrate blogger with the rest of Google apps (blogger interrupts the service some times for "mainteinance", something
  • by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @03:59PM (#23216564)
    Then why are all the people still using it regardless?

    It's not as if the other mentioned services (such as Wordpress) don't have free alternatives.
    If you're serious about it all, you would buy your own domain, and use (and customize) any CMS to your liking.

    I find it very funny to see these complaints (definitely "They've been neglecting it for years" ; Then why are you still blogging on there?
    • by Rachel Lucid (964267) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:58PM (#23216980) Homepage Journal
      Blogger is not without utility. However, a bit of a "feature War" has sprung up between it and Wordpress, and Wordpress's abilities have expanded far beyond that of Blogger's.

      Google hasn't been neglecting Blogger so much as Blogger has been getting PWNED by faster-developing companies who can roll out more / better features faster.
      • by cmacb (547347) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @10:31PM (#23219172) Homepage Journal
        I would hope that Wordpress and other are ahead of Blogger on features. If you only do one thing, you had better do it very very well, especially if you have an option to charge people for its use. I have no desire to pay for the privilege of blogging and I'm not obsessed about how many readers I have (nor do I expect to ever make any money doing it), so Blogger is a good fit for me. If any of those three factors were different, I'd probably pick something else, including the possibility of renting a server and hacking together something totally unique.

        Given their money, with fairly little effort I think Google could put Wordpress and other specialty blog programs out of business. Unlike Microsoft, I don't think part of Google's mindset is eliminating all competitors everywhere. A good example of that was the recent Campfire fiasco, where Google threw together a quick and dirty application example that was almost identical to a for-pay product from another company. The other company complained, Google nixed the example product (in this case as the function was so trivial, without a lot of bells and whistles, I don't think they should have).
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Then why are you still blogging on there?"

      I blogged there as late as 2003. It sucked then, it still sucks now. There is no support - period. It's pure anarchy. Others who don't know any better stay there and put up with it.

      But even if I've left, Blogger's suckiness still affects the entire web. Spamblogs still come up in search results, spamblogs still jam my server logs with bogus referrer hits, half the social bookmark sites link to trashblogs that crash after 10 hits, and furthermore it gives a bad name
      • by grrrl (110084) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @09:57PM (#23218916)
        Blogger is still sufficient for small time blogs to keep friends and family up to date (I plan to use one when I go travelling later this year).

        It is still far nicer than a lot of the free blogs I have been forced to visit by friends who have gone overseas and signed up with a dedicated travel site, in which the page is FULL of ads, hard to navigate, no RSS and frankly a pain on the eyes with the tropical island colour themes.
    • by devilspgd (652955) *
      This is Google's "thing", they buy or build a service, it's the darling child for a few months, then it gets left to rot. People stay because they're too stupid to go elsewhere, or because they get stuck using a specific provider's name and can't easily change.
    • At one point (pre-Google) Blogger was one of the best free blogging services available (which, granted, said more about the availability than about Blogger), and once you've had a blog for a few years, it becomes very inconvenient to switch. WordPress does have a thing where you can import posts and users from Blogger (and other services), but there's also the issue of having a new URL, converting your blog's skin (since your readers will be familiar with the old one), getting search engines to realise your
      • by KingOfGod (884633)
        >but there's also the issue of having a new URL
        Once all old posts are imported to the new blog, delete everything old and make a new post with the link to the new blog, asking your users to update their bookmarks/rss links/whatever.

        >converting your blog's skin
        Since your users are too dumb to get used to a new one?

        >getting search engines to realise your old blog doesn't exist anymore
        With time, this happens automatically. Remember, the best way to get good search page rankings is to NOT bother with t
    • by Elledan (582730)

      Well, I have been blogging on Blogger since late last year (see my sig, or http://mayaposch.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com] for those with sigs turned off) and for my purposes it's more than sufficient. I write the blog posts locally in an editor, then copy-paste them to the WYSIWYG editor of Blogger, of which I only use the spell-check function, which is okay, add some tags and publish the thing.

      With such a kind of interaction it's hard to find many faults with Blogger's setup :) Regardless, I'll soon, within a month, be

    • 'I find it very funny to see these complaints (definitely "They've been neglecting it for years" ; Then why are you still blogging on there?' Fair question. It will take a fair amount of work to do it, I don't want to deal with hosting costs, I'll lose pagerank, and I'll also lose some of my readers when the URL changes.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not Invented Here Syndrome. YouTube is still a fairly new purchase, so it's hard to tell what'll happen there, but we've heard similar complaints about other things they've purchased like GrandCentral, Dodgeball, Jaiku, JotSpot, Urchin, etc.
  • by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:01PM (#23216576) Homepage
    On a related topic, the usenet groups I subscribe to are getting a ridiculous amount of spam recently from gmail accounts. On a given day, you'll get, say, 10 new posts, each with its own distinct subject line, trying to sell watches or running shoes. They're all from the same gmail account. It doesn't do you any good to plonk that gmail account, because the next day it's 10 new spams from some new gmail account. It's gotten to the point where I'm considering just filtering out all posts that come from gmail accounts. I'm guessing this is happening because google has relaxed their conditions for getting a gmail account, and at the same time the spammers are getting more sophisticated about solving captchas. The impression I get is that google is starting to feel the need to grow into their ridiculously large market capitalization, and they can only do that by bringing in lots of new users. If that means letting in lots of spambots too, well ...
    • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You realize that 'from' headers in emails and usenet posts aren't authenticated in any way, right? People can put whatever address/domain they want in there... gmail, slashdot, nasa etc.
      • by maxume (22995)

        Do you think the posters in comp.lang.python (which is also bridged to a python.org mailing list) are faking these headers:

        Original-X-Trace: posting.google.com 1209302397 21110 127.0.0.1 (27 Apr 2008 13:19:57
        GMT)
        Original-X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
        Original-NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 13:19:57 +0000 (UTC)
        Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
        Injection-Info: m36g2000hse.googlegroups.com; posting-host=91.197.18.35;
        posting-account=43WFKAoAAACZ0P8milfUZEohmId2hTvY
        User-Agent: G2/1.0

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 1u3hr (530656)
        You realize that 'from' headers in emails and usenet posts aren't authenticated in any way, right? People can put whatever address/domain they want in there... gmail, slashdot, nasa etc.

        It's harder to fake the other headers, created by news servers en route, and if you look at all headers:

        Path: g2news1.google.com!postnews.google.com!f24g2000prh.googlegroups.com!not-for-mail
        From: service0...@watchec.com
        Newsgroups: humanities.lit.authors.shakespeare
        Subject: Designer Jewelry Is Suitable For Everyone
        Date: S

      • You're missing the point. People are creating gmail accounts (via a cracked captcha or whatever) and then posting to usenet via google groups.

        Some usenet providers try and filter spam, some don't (and some actually advertise that they deliver everything rather than missing any - which would make sense if there was easily configurable spam filtering at the client or ISP level). Thunderbird's (current) spam filtering on usenet is a bit poo, and my ISP (at least) doesn't have a usenet spam filter in place.

        Fo
    • by Niten (201835) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @05:01PM (#23217008)

      Absolutely! I just came in here to say this.

      For my part, I eventually did cave in and block Google Groups-originating posts entirely. I've seen, possibly, five spam messages on any of my favorite newsgroups during the three weeks that I've been blocking Google.

      The company has, in point of fact, exhibited a tendency to neglect some of its services over time. This is bad enough when it comes to Blogger -- people put in many hours to become established there, although let's face it, it's not as though they have a service-level agreement with Google. But neglecting Google Groups and refusing to act upon numerous spam reports, to the extent that groups like comp.lang.python and rec.bicycles.tech become absolutely useless you block all GG-originating posts? That's inexcusable. If this were anyone other than Google they would have been issued the UDP a long time ago.

      So yes, by all means, block Google Groups, because they have chronically and increasingly failed to fulfill their responsibilities to the Usenet community. And put a message in your signature to this effect, so that Google Groups posters will know why you are ignoring their articles; and so that they will consider moving to a different service.

      • by osu-neko (2604)
        wait.. what? People still use Usenet? I used to be a regular, but I quit when it became unusable due to the noise... that was like eight or nine years ago.
        • by daeley (126313) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @08:11PM (#23218192) Homepage
          that was like eight or nine years ago.

          September 1993. Forever and ever.
        • by Niten (201835) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @08:44PM (#23218452)

          It's had its ups and downs since then with respect to the volume of spam. (Thanks to Google, the present timeframe is definitely one of the "downs".) But yeah, Usenet is still around, and it's not going away any time soon.

          Many programming and other technology-related groups are still very active. Usenet is one of the best places to go for advice on the C programming language (comp.lang.c), information about PICs (sci.electronics.design), Linux advice (comp.os.linux.misc), or even cooking tips (rec.food.cooking).

          Usenet has its weaknesses, but it also has some unique strengths versus Web-based discussion forums: everything is organized (more or less) hierarchically; the user interface is whatever you want it to be; and it's easy to download and archive interesting posts. These features appeal to enough people, apparently, to keep it going...

        • by jschrod (172610)
          Then you would have needed a better provider. I see maybe 2-3 spam messages a week in the newsgroups that I read (comp.* mostly, some de.*). And the signal-to-noise ratio there is usually higher than those on most Web forums that I have visited. (Well, for example, it's definitively higher than here on /. ;-)

          Maybe it's the work of my Usenet provider, news.individual.net, I dunno. The 10 EUR p.a. were well spent up to now, I got a service with great reliability.

          Oh yes, and I use Usenet since 1990/1991 or

      • by lysse (516445)
        Some quote is springing to mind, something jwz said about a bunch of kids with ADD being in charge of development... I'd go find it, shear it of original context and lob it in here, but I'd have lost interest by the time I got back...
    • On a related topic, the usenet groups I subscribe to...
      I'm sorry, you've lost me. What is this "usenet" you speak of?
    • by billcopc (196330)
      The funny thing is I've been contemplating banning Gmail from my server and having an auto-reply to the tune of

      "Gmail is full of spammers, and Google isn't doing anything about it. If you really want to contact me, please use an alternative mail provider."

      Seriously, a huge portion of my spam, and IMHO the far worse bounce spam, comes from Gmail. Google never acts upon spam reports, nor can they be asked to crack down on splogs even when users are doing all the sleuthing work. If they want to continue pri

    • The email address the Usenet post claims to be from is not authenticated in most Usenet servers. Maybe Google Groups now limits these to be Gmail addresses; or maybe not. But what I have found is that virtually all of this recent dramatic rise in spam on Usenet is from the actual Google Groups servers, with googlegroups.com in the Message-ID header (not gmail.com). I could not see any means for a Google Groups user to override the message ID, so I blocked all posts based on the message ID. Since the mes

    • Those posts are probably coming from GoogleGroups. If you just filter out GoogleGroup posts, you'll reduce your spam by a great deal.

      Here's a site on the subject: improve usenet [improve-usenet.org]

  • Google has a long history in buying companies and letting the fruit rot on the vine. Look at Google Pages..... at first it seems like a great idea for Google.... free web hosting that's integrated with all of Google's services. Unfortunately, the only way to create pages is with Google's Page Creator, which sucks.
    • by croddy (659025) *
      Yeah, that has been the defining characteristic of Google since its IPO. It's too bad they are past the point of no return; it would be a breath of fresh air to see them just jettison all this crap and go back to providing a good web search service.
      • and go back to providing a good web search service.
        What are you talking about? Google is still the best search service provider on the net. Who is better? MSN? Yahoo!? Baidu?
        • I think he meant that they would go back to doing *only* that, not that they didn't currently have a decent search service.
          • Hmmm... then why should they? Their search engine is still the best we have, why should they not do other things as well if they have money to burn? :)
            • I didn't say I thought they should do that :P Though personally I only use their search services and nothing else.. well, I use youtube sometimes but I don't really think that counts!
          • by croddy (659025)
            haha. yeah, that. i put the "just" in the wrong place.
    • Sites (Score:4, Interesting)

      by nguy (1207026) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:36PM (#23216856)
      Actually, Google has something much better than Pages, namely Google Sites. Unfortunately, you only get it with Google Apps, and you still get Pages for your domain's home page.

      I think they should scrap Pages, replace it with Sites, and add subversion access, like they do with the Code Wiki.

      Speaking of the Code Wiki, that should probably also be replaced with Google Sites...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by nog_lorp (896553) *
      I call bullshit, to parent and all the responses.

      Open page creator, look to the right at "uploaded stuff", click browse, select html file.
      http://noglorp.googlepages.com/firefox.htm [googlepages.com]
      - theres the firefox start page, saved and then uploaded to page creator. It looks all fucked because the image paths don't work, but the html itself it totally unmodified.
  • Blogger is fine... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by rpp3po (641313) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:04PM (#23216602)
    Its audience are the masses, and for those it's a very easy to use and convenient tool. If you need pro features, because your blog is so sophisticated, choose a pro service provider instead and stop whining! Sounds like targeted fud. Why else would one cite a six year old story about a "security flaw"?
    • amen. The less features, the simpler it is to learn and the mor robust it is. Any feature change can be a nightmare for the support.
  • by shanen (462549) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:07PM (#23216634) Homepage Journal
    Below is a general suggestion, but it is directly relevant to one of the main problems with Google's neglect of Blogger--several weeks ago (and several times in the past), the spammers have used Blogger as their reply channel for spam. Remember that the motivation of spamming is economic, and they need some way for their suckers to find them and send money. The suggestion below would be directly helpful in accelerating the response to this form of Blogger abuse--though it also applies to many other neglected systems that would more quickly receive the negative attention they deserve when they are abused by spammers.

    Summary of Suggestion: How to make Gmail the spam target of absolute last resort.

    The goal of this suggestion is to intelligently leverage and focus Google's expertise and credibility against the spammers and their accomplices. But where will the intelligence come from? From me, from you, from *ANYONE* who has a Gmail account and who wants to help oppose the annoying evil that is spam. Aggressively implemented, it could make Gmail into Spammer Heck--maybe to the point where only a fool would send spam to Gmail. (Yeah, there are plenty of fool spammers--but at least we'd get the laughs without the serious spammers.) Less spam = more value in Gmail.

    So do you want to fight against spam? You, too, could become a WSF (wannabee spam fighter).

    SpamSlam is my 'working draft' label. The idea is roughly based on other anti-spam systems--but with more smarts. Almost all email systems include one level of feedback in a Spam/NotSpam button. (For relative brevity and because it simplifies the draft implementation, I'm focusing on Web-based email here.) Think of SpamSlam as a report-spam-button on steroids. SpamSlam would report the spam, but also do much more. Essentially this Gmail feature would do some of the automatic analysis that any spam fighter has to do, get some intelligent feedback, and hopefully be able to act immediately against the spammer. Speed of action is actually crucial--cutting off the spammers' income is a key goal of this proposal.

    Here is an approach to implementing it:

    Clicking on SpamSlam would first trigger a low-cost automatic analysis of the email, including the headers. Let's call this Pass 0. Basically this is just using regular expressions to find things like email addresses, URLs, and phone numbers. The results would be used to generate a Pass 0 webform with comments and options (and explanations and links). This pass should also look for obfuscation and ask the wannabe spam fighter (WSF) to help break the spammers' attempts to evade the spam filters. (This is leveraging the spam's features against the spam--if a human can't figure out the spam, then the human can't send money to the spammer.) In many cases, this Pass 0 analysis may be able to suggest answers. If something like "drop@dead.com" appears in the header, then the WSF should just click the option 'fake email'. Perhaps the WSF would only need to click a check box to confirm that "V/1/A/6/R/A" is a drug and categorize the spam. Other times the WSF can actually type in the answer to the spammer's quasi-CAPTCHA, and then the SpamSlam function can do something. At the bottom of the 'exploded email' in Pass 0, there will be the usual submit button.

    After the WSF submits that Pass 0 form, more analysis can begin. The data is no longer raw, but partly analyzed, and the system can start checking domains, registrars, relays, fancier types of header forgery, MX records, categories of crime, email routings, and even things like countries hosting the spammer. This kind of analysis will probably take a bit of time, but a new Pass 1 form will be prepared for the WSF to consider. Basically, this would mostly be a confirmation step for the obvious counteractions. That's stuff like complaining to identified senders and webhosts, but also things like reporting open relays and spambots. It also needs more flexibility and 'other' options in the responses at this point--we all know the spammers are cons
    • by OverlordQ (264228)
      That sounds exactly like SpamCop.
      • by shanen (462549)
        I didn't mention SpamCop specifically, but I know it quite well, and several of the features of this suggestion are intended to address flaws and weaknesses of SpamCop's approach. However, I think the fundamental problem there is that they've been acquired and reaquired, and their current ownership is basically tied to the backbone people. As noted in the note near the bottom of the suggestion, the backbone people are quite happy to deliver spam packets as long as they get paid for doing so. Perhaps my perc
  • Holy crap! (Score:5, Funny)

    by gazbo (517111) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:07PM (#23216642)
    A blogger is upset about some software that allows them to blog?!

    Batten down the handles - this teacup's in for a stormy night!

  • If blogger sucks, why don't you just buy your own domain and start blogging on that? I am sure it does it's job for most people who are using it. btw I think most people stopped blogging when myspace came along, and the other, more serious bloggers, have their own host or got a better service.
  • G-Integration (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Itninja (937614) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:09PM (#23216666) Homepage
    I have had a Blogger page for some time and always found it odd how poorly the integration was between blogger and other Google services was. For example, I wanted to add Adsense ads to my blog. I found there was a handy 'adsense' element that I could add so I gave it a try. But it was so limited (minimal formatting available, inability to center the ads) I just ended up using the generic 'javascript' element and pasting my own code.
    • I agree completely. Feature-wise, Blogger mostly does what I need it to do for my blog. But I'm using other Google products in conjunction with Blogger (photo albums, gmail), and it surprised me how non-integrated they all are. Had to create accounts on each of them separately, then link them together. One one hand, it's nice that they don't *force* Blogger users to use only Google products, but one definitely gets the impression that Blogger is off in it's own little half-neglected world.
      • Same experience here.

        Side note. In the beginning I was quite surprised by Flock doesn't support Google services/supports only few of them. (N.B. Flock's support os Google services greatly improved recently.)

        After some time getting used to it - and you know appetite comes during lunch - I tried to do more (thinking that unobtrusive interface just hides some advanced functionality and all I need is just to read the advanced documentation) just to find out that most of Google services are WYSIAYG. There

  • Ehrm, what /is/ "Blogger"? I know of a lot of Google services, but this one I don't. Perhaps it's just not interesting enough a service to put much effort into.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      You don't even know about Google's main service: Search [google.com]
  • by bjd145 (99489) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:13PM (#23216694) Homepage
    IMO they are also neglecting Picasa, especially the Picasaweb. Adobe and Flickr are doing a much better job of updating their online photo sharing sites. What about Google Finance, Google Talk, and even Google Docs. All things that seen to be lagging in development.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      There is an updated version of Google Talk at http://www.google.com/talk/labsedition/ [google.com] - the new features shown on that page are: emoticons, group chat and notifications from Gmail, Google Calendar and Orkut.

      I do agree with your other points, though. One thing I really would like to see in Docs would be... offline support.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iMaple (769378) *

        There is an updated version of Google Talk at http://www.google.com/talk/labsedition/ [google.com] - the new features shown on that page are: emoticons, group chat and notifications from Gmail, Google Calendar and Orkut.

        Not really. Its just the desktop version of the talk gadget (which uses flash/html). It doesn't support voice chat/ voice mails. So its more of a parallel version rather than an updated version.

        One thing I really would like to see in Docs would be... offline support.

        And you have it. Download google gears and you will be all set (currently English users only, I think). I wouldn't mind offline gmail. Like a backup of the last 100 emails and all the starred emails offline for reference.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      What developments are there for picasa?
      its a photo organiser, it organises photos, it can upload them to picasaweb
      what developemnts are missing from picasaweb?
      its a web album, its shows pictures, they can be uploaded from picasa

      Ive not used either extensively, as i came across this ancient concept of folders in a unix handbook, its really wierd shit, but they both seam to do what they say on the tin, without featurism.
  • by DynaSoar (714234) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:24PM (#23216760) Journal
    > Is Blogger destined to be a sideshow...?

    Could well be. I'd demand a refund.

    There are plenty of examples of other companies that are behind the curve in some respect or another. In most cases people do the rational thing -- they vote with their feet. Er, fingers. So why is this a story? Because it's Google.

    People tend to tip over the tallest ivory towers, and shorter ones get left alone. This tendency is so strong that people fail to recognize when they're complaining about something that's not only free, but intended to be a billboard for their host's advertising, something which in other situations would be the focus of their complaints.

    Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.

    The nature of the beast here is cognitive dissonance and perceived value. Biggest gets equated with best. Best carries the same weight as monetary investment, in that it's a perceived value, the association with the biggest name being the source of that. But when there is no actual investment the fact of the lack of actual investment fact starts to come to mind. The contradiction produces cognitive dissonance. To suppress that, the complaining becomes more vehement in this situation than in equally problematic situations with products or services of less perceived value garnering fewer complaints. So strong is this tendency that even when there is actual value in terms of money spent, the amount of complaints is out of proportion with the number of problems compared to other products or services that can even cost less or nothing.

    Evidence to support the above assertion? Simple: it continues to occur even when those suffering from the contradiction are made aware of it. Even when told they are wearing Don Quixote's hat, they will still tilt at that largest windmill. Just watch.
    • by analog_line (465182) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @05:19PM (#23217150)

      Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.


      Post hoc predictions earn no points, at least if you're just looking at competition among Linux distributions. Remember Red Hat Linux? I was inside the E-Trade offices the day of the Red Hat IPO, and the people I was there with and I were just staring at the TVs watching it rocket up and up and up, and we were all exstatic that maybe now the time had come for "real" computing to get out there and put the smackdown on Microsoft. It was the darling for a bit, then the floodgates of criticism opened from all quarters in the Linux community about issues with RHL, both technical and political, and they were pulled down from that perch in short order thanks to a fractured community it had lost support from. I saw people going berserk over Red Hat's adoption of Gnome over KDE, even some people claiming that it was anti-Europe bias, as one example of how Red Hat, in short order, could do no right.

      Fast forward to today, and Ubuntu is making huge strides in usability and popularity, introducing Linux into more homes and onto more desks than any other Linux distribution yet released. Coincident with that is a rising hue and cry against it from many corners, for being too simplistic and taking options away form the users, for cutting too many corners, for making it easier to install proprietary software like Nvidia's drivers, and other such complaints. It gets derided as candy-coated Linux that coddles stupid people.

      The future is now, and was not too long ago as well, I guess.
      • by DynaSoar (714234)

        Fast forward to today, and Ubuntu is making huge strides in usability and popularity, introducing Linux into more homes and onto more desks than any other Linux distribution yet released. Coincident with that is a rising hue and cry against it from many corners, for being too simplistic and taking options away form the users, for cutting too many corners, for making it easier to install proprietary software like Nvidia's drivers, and other such complaints. It gets derided as candy-coated Linux that coddles stupid people.

        The future is now, and was not too long ago as well, I guess.

        You and the next respondent make pretty much the same observations. I disagree with you both only in terms of magnitude. RH and U(D) are indeed 'big' Linux distros, and RH is on the Big Board. And the effect I note is seen somewhat. But these are only biggest within the Linux community, and so far.

        I'm think more along the lines of a distro that becomes so big that it rivals MacOS and the both are biting more and more into Microsoft's stranglehold. When people are picking up that distro who would not otherw

        • Oh, I totally agree with the point. My response probably sounded harsher than I intended to, I just wanted to point out that it wasn't much of a prediction, since it's happened to some pretty high profile distros in the past. Red Hat and Ubuntu were just the biggest (Red Hat with its IPO) and most current (Ubuntu) incarnations of the phenomenon within the Linux community. You could make the same case for SuSE (with the Novell/Microsoft deal fiasco), Mandrake, Gentoo, but their ride on the top was compari
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by somersault (912633)

      Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.

      Too late, I think UbuntuDupe [slashdot.org] already fulfilled your prophecy!!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    What good are they? The only reason why a blogger would need to post something in the future is if it's a suicide note. Oh right.. blogs.. emos.. I forgot.

    Mood: Brooding and Mysterious. (And anonymous to avoid the fire ;)
    • I thought the exact same thing when I read about the future post capability.. great way to leave a suicide note :)
      • by osu-neko (2604)
        What I would do is, write up a year's worth of blog entries for the future first. Just to freak people out as my blog stays active long after I'm gone.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      What good are they?

      Great for spammers. They can load up posts promoting their viagra/penis enlargers/casinos/bestiality/stock scams/fake Rolexes to be released one per day for the next five years in one hit. So I'm not mussed that this "service" is not offered.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are _dozens_ of decent, free to use blogging software packages out there. Anyone with "hello world" experience in PHP or Ruby could make one in about an hour anyway. If Blogger isn't keeping up with features then why care? I mean really... why? Better software has died an untimely firey death than Blogger (Amiga Workbench, I mourn you still...)
  • Orkut (Score:2, Insightful)

    Perhaps they prefer Orkut? Then again I don't use Orkut so I don't know if it's in a better situation.

    I would imagine Blogger is better and more well know so they should drop Orkut and focus on one but if Blogger is really popular already they may feel they don't have to waste the resources.
  • Its simple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dunezone (899268) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:33PM (#23216820) Journal
    Google will just acquire some other company that already developed all these new Blog features and then just implement them into their own. Same goes with the Captcha security issue.
    • by MagdJTK (1275470)

      This is something I've never understood. Google's best selling point is that it can take something that has been done before (search engines weren't new, NASA WorldWind existed before Google Earth, etc), yet it came along and made them usable, likeable and popular.

      Now they seem to just buy something and put very little effort into improving it (Blogger, YouTube, etc). Maybe it's because the engineers at Google are isolated from those at the purchased site, but it doesn't help consumers.

      • by Phroggy (441)

        This is something I've never understood. Google's best selling point is that it can take something that has been done before (search engines weren't new, NASA WorldWind existed before Google Earth, etc), yet it came along and made them usable, likeable and popular.
        Apparently you're not aware that Google didn't create Google Earth, they bought it [wikipedia.org].
  • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @04:53PM (#23216952)
    Blogger is odd. It was one the first things out of beta but curiously felt (to me anyway) more beta than many of the other products still in beta. It still does. It's seriously lagging behind Wordpress in most everything.

    However, in the face of little to no competition, the biggest area of neglect-concern is that of Search. It's far from perfect. In fact becoming less so with time due to the ever-higher number of people figuring out new ways to game Google search. Does it really take another couple of guys working in a garage somewhere to come up with the new search paradigm -- or could Google develop it themselves if they concentrated on their core business, and left blogging etc to others who specialize?

    Google seriously needs competition - it's good for everyone, including Google.
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @05:00PM (#23216994) Homepage

    Google offers a number of services that don't make money. Why should they put more effort into them?

    Even ads on the "Google Content Network" aren't worth much to actual advertisers. There's a class action lawsuit against Google [searchenginewatch.com] over this. AdWords customers are complaining that it's hard to opt out of running, and paying for, ads on the "Google Content Network". Ads on search result pages are valuable, but there's a growing opinion, backed up by ROI measurements, that putting vaguely relevant ads on random sites is just a money drain on advertisers.

    Here's a step by step guide [searchenginewatch.com] to what you have to do, as an AdWords customer, to turn off the running of your ads on the "Google Content Network". (After you've finished the setup phase, during which you're not offered an opportunity to opt out, click on "Edit Campaign Settings" and un-check the "Content Network" box).

    For Google, Blogger is just a way to generate cheap pages for the "Google Content Network".

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FsG (648587)
      This class-action suit is ridiculous. They're making it sound like it's almost impossible to opt out of the content network, whereas the truth is that anyone savvy enough to run a profit-creating site, buy advertising, and analyze ROI measurements should be savvy enough to click on "edit campaign settings" for his advertising campaign and uncheck the plainly visible "content network" box.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Animats (122034)

        They're making it sound like it's almost impossible to opt out of the content network

        No, they're saying that Google made the "content network" opt-in by default, in a way that's misleading and deceptive. It's like having an order form with some item you probably don't want stuck on the form with an empty "Quantity" blank. If you don't explicitly put 0 in the blank, you're billed for the unwanted product.

  • Add Google Reader (RSS feed agregator) to the list of neglected applications.

    I use it solely because it works with some high-volume feeds - and other clients even with tight refresh timeouts missing messages (especially when my PC is not connected). But then with the high volume feeds you get literally no service: search and tagging in Google Reader is probably poorest search and tagging in whole set of Google applications.

    Forums are filled with simple requests - yet for the past two years none of th

  • Google puts their resources behind their big money makers, how shocking. It is a free service that isn't a huge revenue source for the company, why are people complaining? If blogging is that big of a deal to you then pay the cash necessary to get what you want instead of relying on Google.
  • People keep coming back to its beta, but there is a level of trust that they are breaking with the beta users. Blogger is one example another one is Grand Central, heck they havn't done anything over there except to completly ignore their users and not make any progress on the technology. I think they are starting to spread themselves to thin and losing site of providing a great tools and great customer service. It feels like another Microsoft in the making.
  • get wordpress and use one of the many free wordpress servers listed on its website and you can give blogger the laugh. If its a piece of junk, why use it?
  • by Larryish (1215510)
    yes
  • I think Google have a wide enough base of things they either developed in-house or bought from elsewhere to stop adding new stuff, sit back, take a good hard look at what they've got, and start refining and integrating things.

    I've got a Gmail account and a YouTube account. Start rolling those up. Ditch the Google Video interface entirely and forward it all to YouTube. Make GrandCentral tie in to Google Chat. Make the Google Homepage thing connect better with stuff like Bookmarks.

    Google is becoming a huge, s
  • Works for me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mschuyler (197441) on Sunday April 27, 2008 @09:00PM (#23218564) Homepage Journal
    Blogger is easy. It allows Javascript (unlike Wordpress). Its newest templates are pathetically easy to set up--maybe two minutes. Automatic RSS feed built in. I have a standing offer to help newbies set up a blog. I'll set it up, populate it with appropriate widgets, make them an author and even an admin, and butt out of their lives. I can stick a blog roll on there in 30 seconds flat. If they want something else, they just email me. Google allows me as many blogs as I want. I know it sounds impossible, but some people can't do it. I use blogger because it really takes no time at all, but the newbie thinks I'm God. So what else is new? It doesn't do everything, but it doesn't NEED to. Remember the saying: Good, fast, cheap. Pick any two. Well, blogger is fast and cheap. And frankly, I think it is pretty good, too. I know it's not as good as vi, but Hey! Some of us have a life--and a girlfriend.
  • U ever notice they never allowed embedded Youtube videos & Picasso images in GMail? Maybe it's too obvious a feature to get headlines in a time when the only thing getting hits is "Turtle synchronicity".

  • The whole phenomenon of blogging proves that a million monkeys with a million typewriters will not recreate the works of Shakespeare.
  • The last thing I want is for some poor, info-starved addict to enter a search and come across my meandering, opinionated bullshit... oops, I mean... My Blog. Because, believe me, I am sick of seeing half-assed blogs and techtalk from 4 years ago on the first page or two of Google results. Enough, Already!

    I read people's blogs. They are great, and I advocate for everyone having at least one. But, why not let us search blogs, specifically, and leave the general search for data that has been 'vetted' in the m
  • That one worries me a lot more, no word at all on FF3 support (yes, I know it's in beta - there's still been no word, despite a heap of attempts to contact them by people on the google firefox addons newsgroup.) :/
  • It should be noted that the Scheduled Posting mentioned in the summary is not available in "regular" Blogger, but only in Blogger In Draft, which is kind of like their beta site for Blogger. You still access all your same posts and everything, just have access to new features. So most normal Bloggers (capital B) will not even know this exists, I didn't until today and I use it regularly.

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