Blogger have been busy working on some new features and updates to the system. Most notably, those logging in to Blogger in Draft (the testing area for new features) will notice a whole new look to the Blogger dashboard:
Using this dashboard allows us to see most of the features we need at a glance, including any news of scheduled outages and other service announcements.
The two blogs we have posted to most recently have their links displayed beside our profile images, offering easy access to post, layout and settings pages for these individual blogs.
In the center, you can see the “My Reading List” section, which currently displays recent posts from the Blogger Buzz blog. More likely than not, we will soon be able to add more feeds to this area and have access to read our favorite blogs all in one place. If this is a feature you would like to see rolled in to Blogger soon, you can vote for this (and other suggestions too) using Blogger’s Wishlist.
Towards the bottom of the new dashboard, there is a section for “Other Stuff”: useful links and tools which are helpful to have at hand when working on our blogs.
In the bottom left section, for example, you can see your settings for posting to your blog by mobile phone (or choose to set this up if you haven’t already done so). The center column links to other useful tools, while the right hooks us up with resources for using Blogger to it’s full potential.
Star Ratings for your Blogger Posts
Another feature which should soon be available to Blogger users is the “Star Ratings” system. This optional feature will enable authors to add a star ratings widget beneath their Blogger posts which readers can use to vote for the content they like (or dislike) the most.
The Blogger team have suggested this will become available in Blogger in Draft over the next few weeks (though I suspect there may be some embarrassment over the recent accident which caused this to be displayed in blogs which hadn’t opted in!).
I would hope that the Blogger team may build upon this idea further to create a “Popular Posts” widget based on the star ratings for each Blogger post. This is a feature which many Blogger users have requested, and while it is currently possible to achieve based on the number of comments a post receives (top commenters widget), this is hardly an ideal solution.
What Features would You Like to Use?
Bloggers wishlist allows us to vote for the features we would most like to see, or suggest a new feature which isn’t already on the list.
If you could choose a new feature (or update an existing feature) for Blogger, what would this be?
Please share your thoughts on this by leaving a comment below.