The end of Blogger?

New Links has finally jumped ship and moved off Blogger — three months after all the cool people did it. Their new site is at http://www.new-links.info/. I personally preferred the newlinks.nu idea, but I couldn’t be arsed waiting for the comments to load! Will Howells is also thinking of shifting off Blogger.

It seems as though Blogger has been having a lot of problems lately. I dread commenting using the Blogger commenting system — luckily most Blogger users now seem to use Haloscan. The problem Blogger have now is that they are always feature-light. Blogger’s blogs got comments years after everybody else — I remember it! And every time they add new features, Blogger just seems to break even more. Blogger still lacks commonplace features like trackback and categories.

There does seem to be quite a bit of sneering about Blogger. Of course when I used Blogger I didn’t see what the fuss was. And of course, now that I don’t use Blogger I’ve become a critic aswell. It’s as though people pay more attention to you if you don’t use Blogger though — it’s a sign that you’re serious about blogging; that you’re not just another blogger; somebody to pay a bit more attention to. Check out how many more visitors this blog gets now! I moved on to WordPress in early December, and since then the stats have absolutely shot through the roof.

I thought New Links was the best example of how to exploit the potential of Blogger to the fullest, without spending one penny. The fact that even New Links has moved over is a sign of Blogger’s future destiny — a bunch of nobodies writing to nobody, but posting lots of pictures of dancing bananas. Just click ‘next blog’ on Blogger — it won’t take long to find the sort of thing I just described. A bit like LiveJournal, except with much less of a community spirit. Blogger has had a huge part to play in blogs, but the future is WordPress!

New Links have opted not to go for WordPress though, and are using Drupal instead. New Links was the first time I’d ever heard of Drupal, but I’ve since read more about it from somebody moving away from Drupal. Apparently it’s the Swiss army knife of blogging.

The problem I have with Drupal is that’s it is overkill for blogs. Drupal contains functionality to support not only blogs, but also community sites, portals, intranet, etc. The core system of Drupal can be customized and configured to meet a wide variety of uses. And therein lies the problem. Typically, a multi-function tool is not as useful as one that has been designed for a specific function. Drupal was not designed from day one as a blog publishing tool. These capabilities were added on as the need arose for blogs on users’ Drupal sites.

The best analogy I can give is that Drupal is like a Swiss army knife. Great tool, multiple functionality. You can certainly use a Swiss army knife to open a can of beans, but a standalone, motorized can opener does a better job, much faster. In the case of blogging, Drupal is the Swiss army knife. The motorized can opener from my research is WordPress.

I would say that the new New Links site does look a bit messy, and not exactly user-friendly. But New Links has only just moved over so hopefully the New Links chaps will be able to improve it to suit their needs better. It seems like they were desperate to get away from Blogger in the end! I know little about Drupal, but it could well be that New Links suits these extra non-blog things. We’ll see.

Personally, I wouldn’t want to use anything other than WordPress at the moment. It is so liberating, as though we are taking control of our blogs. You seem to have almost complete control over everything. And if you can’t do what you want, there’s probably a plugin or a hack that can sort it out. That’s the thing — you don’t have to wait for WordPress to update, because the people update WordPress for you. If you’ve got a problem, just post in the support section – an entire WordPress community is at your disposal.

While we’re on that subject, what do people think of my blog at the moment? I just moved categories and tags away from the main page and they now appear on single post pages only now — what do you think? Is there anything you think I need to change? I never feel like I’ve got it just right.

14 comments

  1. (though most people aren’t looking to do one of those anyhow), if for no other reason than the age of the bulk of its users. People who are into serious blog tools may use Blogspot/Blogger or any of several competing sites (e.g. here’s an entry on ” the end of Blogger “), because they integrate more fully with other software and sites (after all, Google own them). Both Xanga and Blogspot allow for a lot of individual customization, though Xanga’s defaults may be more cluttered.

  2. according to the report. We need this guy living in America full-time. Also, I was researching how to transfer my blog to another domain name and software because I’m rapidly getting sick of blogger. I foundthis site, which was informative and had some good points. One section about people who use Blogger jumped out at me and gave me pause: There does seem to be quite a bit of sneering about Blogger. Of course when I used Blogger I didn’t see what the fuss

  3. The End Of Blogger

    DoctorVee has written a piece about Blogger dying, people leaving and New Links moving to Drupal.
    I thought New Links was the best example of how to exploit the

  4. Hello. I’m part of the NewLinks team and thanks for the kind words.
    Re Stats:
    “It’s as though people pay more attention to you if you don’t use Blogger though — it’s a sign that you’re serious about blogging; that you’re not just another blogger; somebody to pay a bit more attention to.”

    My main blog is still with Blogger even though Blogger is rubbish I’m getting 40-60000 visitors a month. I must be worth listening to.

  5. That’s probably because you blog more interesting stuff than me though. I didn’t suddenly become a better blogger in December; I don’t think the sudden surge in visits is a coincidence.

  6. Still sounds like snobbery.

    There has never been a problem with people seeing your page in Blogger the problems have been in commenting and posting. Any half-decent blogger’s stats should rise slowly anyway, regardless of what they publish, as more people find out about you.

  7. I do not see how I am being snobby about Blogspot. I never said that I disliked Blogspot blogs just because they use Blogger. Take a look at the top ten percent blogroll – seven of them use Blogspot addresses, another one still uses Blogspot hosting. A few months ago, eleven of them used Blogger, including New Links.

    I don’t dislike Blogspot blogs. But obviously people are moving away from it, and I don’t think downtime is the only reason. It’s obviously the major reason. But it is surely also true that somebody who goes out of their way to buy webspace and a domain name and grapple with weblog software for a bit probably, in general, will attract a bit more attention than just another Blogspot blogger?

  8. The main reason people move away from Blogger is a lack of functuality(because it is free) and people may want to do more with their site than Blogger lets them, not because its not been working very well lately.

    We are going to have to agree to diagree about your quote
    “It’s as though people pay more attention to you if you don’t use Blogger though — it’s a sign that you’re serious about blogging; that you’re not just another blogger; somebody to pay a bit more attention to.”

    You can’t tell me sites like Bacon and Eh’s and PCL LinkDump are “not serious about blogging” and are “just another blogger”

  9. Oh and btw, moving from Blogspot never improved the time it takes to post a commenton your site. Yours are just as crap. 🙂

  10. You can’t tell me sites like Bacon and Eh’s and PCL LinkDump are “not serious about blogging” and are “just another blogger”

    Err no, but that’s not what I said. With most Blogspot bloggers, you can say that they’re not as serious about blogging — certainly moreso than with other blogging systems.

    Regarding comments, at least my ones load up eventually!

    The main reason people move away from Blogger is a lack of functuality(because it is free) and people may want to do more with their site than Blogger lets them, not because its not been working very well lately.

    Strange of you to say that aswell, because according to the last post on Old New Links, timeouts were precisely the reason why New Links moved to Drupal.

  11. Incidentally, comments could be faster, but I prefer to give the benefit of the doubt to commenters. It would be a lot easier to just get rid of any comment that had the word ‘poker’ in it, but I don’t want any legitimate comments to disappear just because of spammers.

  12. I had been thinking of moving New Links for extra features (threaded comments and trackbacks for starters) for ages – but it was it’s total cackness at publishing that actually prodded me into action.

    So it was a bit of both with New Links. ILN still has his blog on Blogspot – he hasn’t actually moved. He just got dragged across as part of New Links. 😉

  13. Migration from Drupal to WordPress complete

    Well, I finally made the move and migrated the site from Drupal to WordPress. I finished everything up yesterday and I’m now only finding some time to write about how the process went. I saw some commentary and references (doctorvee, brianpuccio.net, …

  14. […] Migration from Drupal to WordPress complete Well, I finally made the move and migrated the site from Drupal to WordPress. I finished everything up yesterday and I’m now only finding some time to write about how the process went. I saw some commentary and references (doctorvee, brianpuccio.net, Thought Patterns, Weblog Tools Collection, New Links) to the ideas I placed forth in a previous post (The Drupal Dilemma) and it was interesting to read the feedback. Its nice to see that I wasn’t the only one that didn’t like Drupal as a blog publishing tool. I didn’t actually write a script to perform the migration as I found a lot of little tweaks to the process needed to be made the entire way through.Before starting I did find two sites that discussed their migration efforts from Drupal to WordPress (Panayotis Vryonis and Travis Bradshaw). Unfortunately, even the SQL statements Panayotis listed on his site did not match the Drupal db structure I had. I’m assuming that we were migrating from different versions of Drupal. So, I ended up writing SQL to do the transfer. Then it was a matter of making some minor adjustments. OK, let me amend that statement. Making many minor adjustments. […]