May 3, 2008

Two years have passed from the time i started Bloggeratto with this post:

Introductions

And some months since i restarted it with this other one:

A New Start

I made quite a lot of screw ups and mistakes with this blog from that may in 2006 that i started Bloggeratto with the help of Aditya .

I started it and i was happy with the blog. i blogged in a regular basis and did it from May 1 of to Dec 31 of 2006 and then i stopped.

I never truly told the whole story on the why i stopped with this blog and would like to recapitulate just so it stays in the record even if just to amuse myself later:

I.-The Back Up incident.

Unfortunately i lost a template backup i never recovered and things were not the same. it was not the fact that the template got lost, it was the fact that the template got lost and it was both Blogger Fault but more than anything my fault because i didn`t had kept my periodic template back up.

That made me truly mad about it.

Most Bloggers would say:

What is the big deal?,

the thing was the kind of extensive code work Aditya and me had put into the Blog. it was modded to a point of no return where there was no going back and just going forward.

To this day, the features that Bloggeratto had at the moment i lost the template combined with the very few Aditya developed for me and for him at the very end of 2006 was and is stuff i still haven't seen in any blog at the same time or that it simply don`t exists for that matter.

That is quite shocking considering that it has passed well over a year from that point.

II.- The New Blogger A.K.A Blogger v3.0

It is not an accident that i was not the only one who left from Blogger with the arrival of new Blogger. almost everything of what i called the Blogger Elite (Bleet) went off with me or moved off to Wordpress and later to Tumblr.

1.-Categories were the hackers muse, the muse died

One big problem that the Blogger v3.0 took care of even if badly was of Categories. a problem that generated incredible amount of innovation and imaginative hackery from lots of Bloggers.

That problem was our big struggle. the big question mark. and i must say that once it was removed. the Blogger Hacking community dried off and leaved to greener pastures.

2.-Republishing sucked but actual previewing and template building ruled

The other big problem Blogger v3.0 solved was post publishing. it is now insane to remember how post publishing worked in Blogger v2.0-1.0.

While Blogger now has instant publication of posts without having the hurdles of republishing. the new model killed true previewing. something that was essential to picking into Blogger guts and developing hacks, mods and methods to do cool things.

What i mean is that Blogger used to show you a preview that was a TRUE preview of a post with the working code as it should show when finally published. the same goes for the template.

Having this was so incredibly important that we only noted what we had lost when we didn't had it anymore. now developing features in a active blog was not only hard but almost impossible thanks to a inherent problem that still exists to this day in the new Blogger. the cache of the blog jams, at some point your template is jammed and not showing the changes and resolving it is a pain.

Also is the fact that since there is no true preview, the only way to know if something worked out in a active blog or not is publishing it. if it didn't` your chances of messing up your blog are high.

Everything you now did/do from this point had to be very well tested elsewhere in a test blog or had to be able to obviate the rules of the new Blogger model. this scared away curiosity and experimentation. it is never the same dealing with a contentless blog than with a active one.

III-The new Template language, The Blog Reboot and the new restrictions.

Blogger v3.0 introduced variables and a new template language scheme against the simple but powerful and specific $BloggerTags$ that most now knew from memory, me included. this changed everything. this changed the game completely.

if you were a Old Blogger user you had to pretty much throw away close to 7 years of previous now given for granted knowledge and start over.

This was not only for what you knew but for your Blog too, imagine having worked on a Blog template for months and then to know you had to start over. that is equivalent of a tornado wrecking your house and being forced to build another one for most users.

That is not a easy thing to do. so is the case that even the most advanced in the Bleet bailed at the idea and if they didn`t leaved, they simply stopped trying like before because the effort was not worth it when the new cool stuff was about to arrive with the modern Social Networks and the plugin based model of Wordpress that made Blogging Platforms be able to keep up with the times as fast as it was needed, compared to the hosted solutions you have to conform with when you are in Blogger because of Google neglect.

Then you got the new restrictions in place supposedly to increase security and prevent spam. did it worked?. HELL NO. and thanks to those restrictions we lost some of the coolest previously trivial features archived in Blogger v2.0 .

IV.- The Labeled Mess

Beyond what i already said and beyond the feature neglect from Google. the New Blogger had a another huge Flaw introduced by Google:

Labels serving two functions at the same time.

Tagging got elemental as a way to specify the notion of a topic in a post and to make it findable outside your blog and in it.

Categories serve as a way to filter a theme/genre/main subject in a blog and classify the posts that way. that is the point of categorizing.

Labels, in the way Google uses them are pretty much a fake name for keywords and grouped keywords that do a query and are served as such.

This makes Blogger Labels neither Categories or Tags but simply shortcuts for keywords.

Why is this bad?. because it limits you beyond Google and it takes away the chance of having them separated like in pretty much all the other platforms where you don`t have a endless list of categories with a matching endless list of repeated tags.

This is of course solvable by using the Labels as well thought categories and then tagging directly into your posts without using Blogger for that. and tag to your heart content.

V.-The New Start, The New scene, The New New

1.-Walking the new road

So Bloggeratto got to Two whole years from being created and One of actual "continuous" content. that makes me feel as if the blog only has one year old even if the actual time passed is double than that.

A good fit to fix that would be to up the pace a lot and outpace my original output and also to re-write the year i was gone even if it takes me a full year to do so in time for the Third Anniversary.

2.-Saying Hi to the new Neighbors.

I have already identified the new stars of Blogger and i must say it is funny how it turned into developing customized Widgets for your Blogs, porting Templates from Wordpress and Tumblr into Blogger and also the new focus on having original themes with adjusted third party solutions that are mostly JS Widgets and JS Widgets-Apps.

I bet that if Phydeaux3 is not dead and still paying attention, even him must be amused by how things turned.

3.-More Cowbell

New content, and make it play it out hoping it works out.

At least i am now very used to blog and write daily. so it should not be a problem even if i am facing this alone for a change.

Nuff Said

Update *edited*




6 comments:

Aditya said...

You sure know how to bring out the nostalgia. That shot (I'm guessing from the first month; and I think I see a June there, so...) reminds me of so many of the hacks we cooked up together (I see Native Search, the fixed footer, previous posts, delicious categories?), and as you say, there were more.

Those were the good days! :)

AND, you got almost all those points correct as to why people moved away. Tough luck for Blogger then. You stuck around though (and I'll still push you to switch, but meh), so not all's lost ;)

I'd love to see who these 'new neighbours' are, and what they can do to bring Blogger back from 50 feet under the ground.

Belated Happy birthday :)

Avatar said...

@Aditya:

Oh yeah, of course there is more. i will do a list of all i can pick up from my archives just to compare those features with what there is out by default in general.

The points i made in the post. were the reasons i stopped at the time i did. which was a HUGE mistake and screw up.

But those points appeal to me first and they are meant that way as stated.

and glad to see you around here kiddo.

TonNet said...

Do you remember that the hacks for Blogger was what make us friends?

I still remind true to Blogger and even when I've thought to switch to Wordpress, I've taken my own shots and stay still.

Happy Birthday! Orale amigo!

Deepak said...

I couldn't agree more about the Label mishap.
Another thing I hate is the ugly looking Blogger commenting system, which we could do nothing about.

Good to see you back, Avatar. I really miss those good days where I used to enjoy the hacks coming from the bleet.

As for Kirk, you'll see about 20-30 comments on a single day once in 2 months. He wakes up, bulk moderates, then goes to sleep again. :)

Avatar said...

@Tonnet:

How could i forget buddy?. the whole Blogger Scene made me friends, good friends and got me in the know with lots of people.

And while Blogger is now a year outdated (in general), there is still the hope for this summer update to bring up something interesting.well, i hope so.

And glad you stayed with Blogger. now lets see what happens next.

Avatar said...

@Deepak:

Glad that you also agree and i also agree with you, the worst thing Blogger got now it is the Comment System.

Forget about it being ugly, the point it is HOW INCREDIBLY OUTDATED IT IS.

It is truly anachronic and a conversation killer.

I will be discussing the comment system in detail later among other things during the week.

yeah quite a nostalgia trip.

And i guess you didn`t got the memo, but i did came back to the blog the first day of the year. :P

Still kinda poetic to up the pace in the original date i opened the blog. so maybe that is what you mean.

Yeah, i know kirk, i have known him and known of him more that he would want to remember. he is a weird one.

Glad to have you around too.

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