Connect with us

Blogging

Most Requested Features for Blogger

Published

on

blogger-most-requested-featuresBack in April, the Blogger team created the Product Ideas for Blogger forum where Blogger users could offer their suggestions of the features and gadgets they would like to use.

The Product Ideas forum was open for a month and closed for new suggestions on the 14th of May. During the time it was open, the forum received over 1500 different suggestions and thousands of votes from enthusiastic Blogger users.

In today’s post, I’ll highlight some of the most popular suggestions, along with discussion of the likelihood that these suggestions could come to fruition and be integrated into the Blogger service.

An overview of the Product Ideas for Blogger forum

Product Ideas for Blogger was announced on Blogger Buzz in April, when Blogger users were invited to add their suggestions for:

  • Blogger features – general enhancements to the service
  • Blogs of Note – notable Blogger powered blogs which are acknowledged in the Blogs of Note blog and on Blogger’s home page
  • Gadgets – Blogger specific widgets which can be added to the layout in a few clicks, through the Page Elements section of the Blogger dashboard.

The forum was open for public viewing, though only those holding a Google account could log in to suggest a feature or add their votes to existing suggestions.

Voting on the Product Ideas forum was simply “For” or “Against” the ideas presented. There was no means to comment on suggestions or provide details about our degree of agreement/disagreement of an idea.

As there were no pre-existing suggestions, those who offered their suggestions were able to add any idea they liked. This meant that many ideas were duplicated due to different wording of the ideas presented, or the specifics of suggestions provided. Also, many ideas were submitted to both the Features and Gadgets sections of the forum. I suspect this caused some confusion among participants as to which ideas they should vote for or against.

However, despite these misgivings I believe that Blogger’s decision to open up the forum for suggestions to the Blogger interface will prove successful: by offering Blogger users the means of expressing their interest in certain features, the Blogger team have provided a sense of community participation and will hopefully implement some of the more popular suggestions in future enhancements to the system.

Let’s take a broad look at the more popular suggestions and consider the likelihood that these ideas will be considered.

Suggestions for new Blogger features

In this section of the forum, participants posted their ideas for general enhancements to the Blogger interface.

Improvements to the comments system

Suggestions for improvements of Blogger’s comments system appeared many times in the forum, and in many different formats.

Generally speaking, participants of the forum seem to feel Blogger’s existing comments system is too basic and suggest that comment avatars (particularly avatars), comment threading and integtation of a system like “CommentLuv” would vastly improve the system.

Furthermore, a better system for prevention of comment spam similar to Askimet would be much appreciated by the Blogger community. I was surprised that prevention of comment spam did not feature in the top tier of results once voting had closed for the Product Ideas forum, but when browsing through the hundreds of suggestions it was clear that this was suggested in so many different formats that a single clear suggestion was missed.

Will it happen? Based on recent integration of other Google services, I believe that any improvements to Blogger’s comment system may be based on Google Friend Connect. As some of you may already know, Friend Connect offers a means of commenting for any web page, including threaded comments and Google-based avatars; some creative Blogger users have already chosen to add this functionality to the comments section of their blogs. It is more likely that an adaptation of the Friend Connect comment box will be added than a stand-alone improvement specific to Blogger.

“WordPress style” pages for Blogger blogs

Participants of the Product Ideas forum voiced their opinion of this suggestion in many different ways, and I can attest from experience that this feature would be hugely appreciated by the Blogger community!

Rather than hide important pages of our blogs (such as an “About” page and contact details) in the archives, most Blogger users would relish the opportunity to add a selection of pages separately, without the date and year extention. As many have pointed out, this feature is available for those using WordPress and other blogging systems. Those who use Blogger create such “pages” by designing a post which is linked from the layout and hidden deep in the blog archives.

Will it happen? I suspect that great modifications to the Blogger engine would be required to accomodate this feature. Though I suspect it could be possible, I doubt this feature would come into effect in the near future. Yet with the demand from those using Blogger through the sheer number of votes for this feature..? We shall have to see!

New/Better Blogger Templates available through Blogger

The selection of default templates available from Blogger has not changed for the past 5 years when StopDesign was commissioned to design the templates with which we are all familiar. Although many designers have turned their talents towards designing “third party” templates for Blogger, many Blogger users would feel far happier if a new (or wider ranging) selection of designs could be chosen from Blogger itself.

Will it happen? I would hope there is the possibility of new designs in the pipline, though I strongly suspect that any new templates would offer new designs, but not improved functionality. Many recent third party templates offer functions which would be difficult to implement as default Blogger templates due to the nature of the code used to produce them. Default templates include code snippets and widget tags in specific places, enabling blog posts, widgetized sidebars and comment sections (to name a few aspects) in specific places in the template. It could be very difficult to manipulate functions for default templates for the millions of Blogger members who would use them.

Addition of a “Read More” feature (post summaries)

At present, when we publish a blog post with Blogger, the whole post is displayed on the home and archive pages of our blogs. There is no facility built in to Blogger which allows only post summaries to be displayed, and while there are several Blogger hacks to add this functionality, these can be complicated to implement.

Many suggestions on the Product Ideas for Blogger forum included the facility to summarize posts when required. If this was enabled through the Blogger interface itself (rather than by hacking our Blogger templates) this would prevent the need to selectively hide sections of our posts using JavaScript and CSS.

Will it happen? Again, I’m unsure of the implications for the Blogger engine, and how extensive modifications would need to be to support this feature. However, there is such demand for this feature to be added that I hope the Blogger team will certainly consider this.

Suggestions for new Blogger gadgets

In this section of the forum, participants suggested new Blogger specific gadgets which they would like to use for their blogs.

Visitor statistics (based on Google Analytics)

One of the most popular gadget suggestions was for a visitor statistics widget (to show page views) which is based on data from Google Analytics. This could prove useful for those who wish to display details of their readership.

Will it happen? I would think this is possible, since Blogger has integrated many of Google’s other services into the Blogger interface in recent months. More likely than this is the addition of Google Analytics data to the Blogger dashboard, as was hinted at in this post by WebProNews…

A popular posts widget

I suspect this gadget would be more popular among Blogger users if it was to come into action! At present, there is no reliable gadget or widget which Blogger users can add to link to their most popular posts. However, Blogger recently introduced the star ratings system which readers can use to rate posts. As yet a gadget to display the most popular posts based on these ratings has not been made available.

Will it happen? I believe that the Blogger team may already have looked into a solution to display the most popular posts based on this system. In fact it would be a natural progression of this widget, and I am surprised we have not already been able to use such a gadget for our blogs.

Another possibility may be to display popular posts based on Google Analytics data if (or when) this feature is added to our dashboards.

So… Will Blogger act upon our suggestions?

Last year, I asked Blogger Buster readers to suggest the features they would most like to use; among these was the addition of a comment form which – to our surprise and warm welcome – was implemented even before the poll had ended!

My thoughts are that the Blogger team do care a lot about how the system is perceived, and that the most popular (and attainable) suggestions will certainly be considered for future updates to the system. I was personally surprised to see the Product Ideas for Blogger forum opened for suggestions of new features as previously our suggestions were voiced through the Blogger help group, but I believe that the Blogger team created this forum to discover more about the opinions of the Blogger community so such suggestions can be acknowledged and acted upon.

What are your suggestions for new Blogger features or Gadgets?

Did you suggest a new feature/gadget or have a strong opinion about any of the suggestions posted on Product Ideas which would improve Blogger? Please feel free to let us know about your suggestions and opinions by leaving your comments below.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Amanda is a freelance blogger and web/blog designer. She writes about Blogger at www.BloggerBuster.com and maintains several other blogs on various subjects.

Continue Reading

Blogging

Beware Who You Trust for Advice

Published

on

Sometimes I ask questions on Quora.

I asked a question recently about shadow boxing while walking and if this practice burns calories.

Peep 2 answers.

 

I was a personal trainer and fitness nut for 20 years. I know shadow boxing does in fact burn calories and help you get more ripped because since doing it every single day during my walks, my arms are becoming as defined as ropes. True; shadow-boxing does not increase muscle mass. But the individual gave me a false, untrue answer because he fears what he looks like and cares about the opinions of others. He is not shadow boxing while walking or jogging because it is not effective; he fears people will look at him and believe he is a fruit loop, whatever that means.

Yikes.

Exhibit B.

 

This individual actually offers honest, truthful advice; shadow-boxing while walking burns more calories. If he ended it there, the advice would have been helpful. But he also fears criticism, aka, what people think about him, so his fears advise me not to do the extra calorie burning thing, because I would look like a Rocky wannabe jerk.

Yikes.

Two well-meaning guys who offer poor fitness advice because each guy deeply fears what people think about them. If I was not a fitness pro I’d have believed their inaccurate advice and would have cheated myself out of calorie burning. All because of the illusion of fear and its hold over most of humanity.

Blogging Advice

Before you trust blogging advice, check the source. Does the blogger:

  • radiate happiness?
  • radiate compassion?
  • exude success?
  • inspire you to succeed?
  • uplift bloggers?

If so, awesome. Trust the advice because you know the person offers advice from love, harmony and truth.

But if someone adds a fear-based element to the advice – like the fitness guys above who fear what people think about them and allowed their fears to become a projection on me – you know it’s bad advice because fear is not real, an illusion, and stepping into illusion moves you away from truth.

The Truth

If you burn more calories, you burn more fat and get ripped. This is truth. Shadow boxing while walking made me super ripped so the truth shines through. But if I stopped shadow-boxing while walking because I feared what people thought about me or what they’d say about me, I would step into the illusion of fear, away from truth, and would not be as ripped and cut as I am now.

Imagine if I listened to those 2 fear-fitness guys last month when I returned home? I’d look a lot more like Olive Oil and less like Bruce Lee.

Be careful about who you trust for blogging advice guys. Most people mean well – like the fitness dudes – but project their deep fears onto you and offer poor, or downright terrible, blogging advice. I have compassion for afraid bloggers but I won’t listen to their illusory advice.

One Such Example

Many top bloggers feel terror at losing email subscribers so offer advice based on the fear. Meanwhile, guys like me who have no such fear offer advice to help you bond deeply with your most rabid fans through email, exponentially increasing your success. Loss is impossible in a Universe of abundance.

Who do you think inspires you to live your dreams?

The blogger offering advice from the illusion of fear, pulling you away from truth, into smoke, mirrors, and appearances, not really there?

Or the blogger offering advice from truth and abundance.

Follow heart-centered bloggers.

Live your dreams.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Blogging

Do You Establish Work at Home Boundaries?

Published

on

Some people love attention.

I know a few who do their best to grab my attention. Phone calls, emails, cryptic Facebook Messages.

I ignore everything and every one outside of what I do in the moment since I set up work at home boundaries. I close the door and go into my office. No way I stop working for anything or anyone who starves for my attention. The house could burn down and I would scoot out at the last minute because work time is work time and I do nothing else save work during work time.

If you do not respect your time, people will not respect your time. If you give people your time whenever they want your time, for:

  • favors
  • gossip
  • small talk
  • chats
  • general BS

people will gladly ask for favors, engage in gossip, engage in small talk, chat you up and BS for hours, because you chose not to establish work at home boundaries.

100% of the time, if people appear to be using you or eating up your precious time, it is your fault. People treat you how you choose to treat yourself.

How a Happy and Successful Blogger Sets Up Work at Home Boundaries

Easy; I close the door, walk into the office and get to work. I do not leave the office until I complete my work. My phone? I turn it off. I check email rarely. I only check Messenger 2-3 times daily for 5 minutes at a clip.

I set up definite, clear, work at home boundaries to respect my time. People reflect my time-respecting back to me. Easy peasy.

If someone tries to grab my attention through Messenger, or the land line, or through email, or at the door, I completely ignore attempts made to grab my attention and time. Boundaries folks; you need to be clear and firm on your work at home boundaries to ensure everybody else respects your boundaries.

You Are Walking into a Word Office

Would a friend, family member or casual neighbor barge into your 9-5 job office asking for a favor? Would said folks barge into your 9-5 job office to spread the latest gossip? Nope. Then why allow said folks to barge into your work at home office to do similar things? Nope. Put up boundaries. Door closes. Enter office. You are busy. You are working. Even my 3 year old niece understands when Uncle Ryan goes to work in the home office. Everybody else can easily grasp this concept.

What About Impatient or Desperate Online Folks?

I completely ignore impatient, fear-filled, desperate folks who demand I answer Messenger or email requests in 1 minute, 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or in 24 hours. I respect my time and completely ignore people who do not respect my time.

I built my blogging business almost completely on a passive income model so nothing I do online is time sensitive. I have answered most questions 1,000 to 10,000 times through my courses, eBooks, blog posts and videos. It is up to these awesome but unclear folks to find and use the answers I created, to improve their lives.

I am generous daily, publishing a blog post and/or video. Plus I published about 800 posts on Blogging Tips, and over 2,000 posts on Blogging From Paradise. It is on the impatient folks screaming for my attention to follow my blog posts, guest posts, videos, eBooks and courses because I answered their questions many times.

People treat you exactly how you teach them to treat you. I have posture so I set up work at home boundaries for offline and online folks.

Respect your time and work schedule and other folks will do the same.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading

Blogging

Who Do You Surround Yourself with in Your Blogger Network?

Published

on

Some bloggers cannot see the forest for the trees, like the beautiful, lush, thriving national park I visited in New Jersey recently.

The masses tend to be caught up in fear, pain and struggle because they cannot see the big picture.

Birds of a feather flock together.

You have heard that one, right?

I circle the globe and change time zones like most folks breathe. Would I be wise to surround myself with people who tremble at leaving their home town or home neighborhood? Nope. Such people would teach me the world makes for a scary, dangerous place. I would get advice like play it safe, be comfortable, get a job, buy a home and take it easy, from such folks. Such folks also live a bland life because if you rarely or never leave your comfort zone, you cannot:

  • grow
  • thrive
  • face your fears
  • serve humanity
  • be a bright light for people to follow
  • live your deepest, wildest dreams

Obviously, I chose to surround myself with bloggers who happily circled the globe as successful bloggers. I also surrounded myself with happy, successful, home body bloggers too; to learn the basics of building a rocking blog effectively. I learned how to succeed from my blogger friend network, sponging up their knowledge, inspiration and insight.

Meanwhile, if you surround yourself with new, struggling or failing bloggers you will get advice on how to struggle, fail, or flounder through your blogging day.

Do bloggers around you complain about losing $50 on blogging? Lose these zero’s immediately and surround yourself with bloggers who invest thousands of dollars on their blogs. High rollers teach you to succeed. Broke jokes teach you how to fail.

Do bloggers around you see making $25 as being a huge amount of money? You better lose the low-aiming crowd to surround yourself with bloggers who see $1000 and $10,000 and more as making coin.

Do bloggers around you circle the globe as swash buckling travelers? Check out this photo from my trip to Vietnam. Kong: Skull Island was filmed here.

Time to ditch the comfort zone crowd to hang with adventurous types.

Don’t get me wrong; I celebrate every cent I make online. But if you think I’m placing a sponsored post for less than $1000, you are insane. Like a famous super model who said she didn’t get out of bed for anything less than $10,000 a day, you need to develop a prosperity consciousness that demands big money and ignores appearance of poverty, lack, limitation and fear.

Who Do You Hang With?

Who do you count as blogging buddies? Happy, highly successful, prospering bloggers? You better, to increase your success.

For example, observe my blogging paperback on profiting. The aftermarket price is $45 USD. If most or all bloggers in your network would feel uncomfortable receiving $45 in royalties for a paperback, you better lose that network and surround yourself with bloggers who believe in abundance. I know John Chow feels comfortable receiving $45 for anything he offers online. Who cares? It is just money. It is only money.

Surround yourself only with bloggers who:

  • have posture
  • have authority
  • charge top dollar
  • profit freely
  • prosper freely
  • exude confidence
  • have a highly developed prosperity consciousness

You learn from the best, gain inspiration from the best and become the best by surrounding yourself with the best bloggers on earth.

But you need to be honest in who you choose to hang with in your blogging circles. Be clear. Be truthful with yourself. Maybe you feel comfortable trading comments with struggling bloggers you befriended 10 years ago but nothing spectacular happens for you if you surround yourself with struggling bloggers, being firmly fixed in your comfort zone.

Release all bloggers who are not happy and prospering.

Fill your blogger friend network with empowered, inspired, happy, successful, prospering bloggers.

Nothing personal.

Just your blogging success at stake.

 

 

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Continue Reading










Trending