Dec 31, 2010

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At the call of a toast, surrounded by  the warm of company from family, friends and loved ones.  Looking at a sky full of lights and hearing the sounds of bells afar announcing the new year is here, I wish you all a great New Years Eve and a excellent 2011.

Cheers.

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Dec 24, 2010

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(2010 Christmas Tree in Buenavista, Mexico City )

 

Wish you all a Merry Christmas – Feliz Navidad from Mexico City and hope you have a great festive time with Family and Friends. 




Jan 3, 2010

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Cyclur is a feed widget generator. It lets you do everything from a well designed single page. The main hook of it is that it is iframe based so it will work everywhere while remaining light. The problem to this is that it is subject to fail to load more easily than a JavaScript widget.

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But the generator is simple and will let you customize and preview the results instantly as as you change things. For example i moved some details from the default preview Cyclur widget and 30 seconds later i had this widget (Photo below) with the code ready to go in the bottom of the page.

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The other problem so far is that either its feed validator is too picky, or there is something wrong with it. It failed to recognize feeds coming feedburner. I tried with several of them and some did worked so maybe it was just me. Cyclur is also promising a advanced version of this generator for later. I do like the simplicity of it. just hope it works right.

Installation

If you want to put it in your Blogger Blog, then you need to grad your generated code and follow these 4 simply steps:

  • 1.-Go to your Layout section.
  • 2.-Click Add Gadget in your desired sidebar section
  • 3.-Select the HTML/JS gadget
  • 4.-Paste your Cyclur Code
  • 5.-Save and Place accordingly.

Linkage

Cyclur

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Jan 1, 2010
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2009 was the year Blogger finally woke up from a neglect induced coma and it was put on a clear development path by Google. Maybe i should personally thank for that to the CEO’s of Six Apart, Tumblr and Posterous.  Others would say that it was Wordpress pressure but if that was the case Google would had reacted in 2008 and not in 2009.  I feel it was directly related to Six Apart trying to present themselves now as more consumer friendly but most of it all was a reaction to the rise of Fast Blogging Platforms like Tumblr, Posterous (Posterous CEO even told me that they never considered themselves in Microbloging and pretty much implied that they were indeed aiming for Blogger) and Soup.io. These are the ones that do represent a threat to Blogger dominance as they are also “Simple, Easy and Fun” like Blogger, They are hosted solutions and they also happen to be faster to set up and use.

Blogger archived many things in 2009 and released some seriously needed new features.

But even then they still fell short and maybe they would like to correct that in 2010.

1.-Pages

It was hinted very subtlety in the introduction of the “Read More” post breaks. It was also rumored that it was going to be released in December. It didn’t happened.

So now that Google have picked our curiosity, i hope they play nice and let us have that feature.

Pages (About, Contact, etc) would be a usability boost, a time saver and a feature that would bring more credibility to  Blogger against those that say  is not a serious enough Blogging Platform.

Prove them wrong Google.

2.-AJAX Contact Form

For this one we would need Pages. But it is something that Google already got set up via Google Docs. Adding it to Blogger would be trivial.

What a better way to demo a new pages feature?.

3.-Better Blogger Gadgets

There have been some nice ones, but Google could do better promoting them and encouraging their development by making some Demo ones and maybe even a contest.

4.-Better Blogger Page Elements

The same as with Blogger Gadgets, There have been some nice ones but they could do better and show some demos, better documentation and promotion.

5.-Better Google Gadget Integration

Google hinted at it over a year ago and it came down to very little. I do love the idea of taking iGoogle  or Google Web Gadgets and integrate them in a Blogger blog. Unfortunately that task so far is a pain. And there are no clear indicators on what Google Gadget will really work. Right now it is a find out for yourself game.

6.-Better Adsense Integration.

I.-Adsense in the bottom of post pages

Right now if you follow the Adsense rules (And you should), you only are allowed to have up to 2 adsense gadgets in a sidebar and 2 or 3 gadgets in the main content area of your blog.  Everything else is about seeing what is allowed or not.

A Adsense Ad in the header is allowed but will cost you one Adsense item from your main content area of your blog. The same for  a Adsense Ad in the footer.

A Adsense Ad in the bottom of a post page is cool, so it is one in the Comments area.

You need to add these yourself if you want them. But everything else is a violation of terms. So be aware of this.

But i seriously don’t see why Google don’t allows a ad, even if of a fixed size in the bottom of post pages.

II.-Adsense In Blogger Search

Another pain is that you don’t count with Adsense support for the Blogger AJAX Search Gadget. You are then forced to do a custom search solution that is not Asynchronous (iframe) or doing a advanced custom search solution that is in Ajax but that is not as elegant as the regular Blogger AJAX Search Gadget.

III.-Adsense in Feeds

It is not clear now and it is something that should be better executed as you can only have a fixed size of Ad and Google don’t does a good job promoting this either.

7.-The Return Of Blogger Plus And Maybe Also Blogger Pro

Before Blogger was bought by Google, a Blogger Plus version that offered you more options and features was available. While Google prefers to offer you Adsense integration as your way of saying thanks. I would like to pay Google money in exchange of better features integrated directly in Blogger instead of looking out for them myself.

It would be also a great idea if they also offered you a Blogger Pro account and it came with your Domain directly from a Google Partner too. I think a 9.99-14.99 for the Plus version and 29.99 to 99.99 for the Pro version (Depending what kind of features they would include) would be something i would like to see as a Option.

8.-More Blogger Navbar Colors And Options

Seriously Google, how hard is to give us a truly customizable Blogger Navbar?…

9.-Updated Profile System

Outdated and Obsolete go hand in hand when you think of Blogger Profile Pages. They have not been updated since the start of version 2.0 of Blogger (When Google bought and revamped Blogger)

What once was a really great current feature became in a years forgotten feature. Please Google, do something with it or let us do something with it.

10.-Improved Comment System And Management

Right now comment management from the Blogger dashboard is a awful as it lacks good user controls and any resemblance of a productive usability. The look of the Comment System and the Comment form is also a mess.  I would have ditched it already if it was not for the comment moderation improvements that were added.

I may still ditch it if there is no sign of life for it in the coming months.

This is the feature in Blogger that needs the most improvement given how drastically Comment Systems have changed with the Disqus vs JS-KIT vs Intense Debate (Now Echo) War that transformed blog commenting in 2008 and 2009.

It also happens to be the one that users complain about the most. Maybe it is time to improve it?

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I think it is not much to ask for Blogger in 2010. I made an effort to be as realistic by only thinking in the very essential. But if you got other requests or addendums to/apart what i point out. Please comment and tell me about it.

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