Blogger out of beta…. and into alpha

So blogger is no longer in beta. In launching their first non-beta version, however, Blogger has actually broken several things, several peoples’ blogs, and generally made a huge mess of things.

After being prompted by shiny-clicky things to upgrade to the new version of Blogger, a great many bloggers were greeted with error pages, wrong pages, blogs with the wrong profile displayed, blogs they couldn’t log into, blogs with missing or broken “new and improved” features, and in some cases, worse.

A friend of mine is on a “team blog”, where all of the authors are anonymous. Unfortunately for one of the authors, since he happened to be the first one to use the blog after the new blogger rollout, he happily clicked on all of the prompts to upgrade the blog, and then realized that things had gone horribly wrong. Two things, specifically, went bad:

1. The profile on his personal blog was replaced with the anonymous blog’s profile, and
2. He was now the permanent, unremovable owner of the team blog that he did not ever want his name affiliated with.

Sweet. So this guy was actually fearing for his job until he figured out how to remove the profile from all of the blogs he belonged to completely. He was never warned that clicking to upgrade could cause various sorts of failures, and he was never told that he would now be the permanent owner of the blog until he searched the help later trying to assess the damage that was done.

For my own blog, you’ll notice that my theme has changed. It changed, in fact, about 10 times over the past two weeks, because I was trying to figure out why the long-awaited “labels” feature was only half-working on my site. Turns out that it’s because the blogger folks did a half-ass job, and labels are only supported in a half-ass way by blogger unless your blog is published at blogspot.com. Namely, while I can label each post, I cannot present my readers with a list of available labels for them to use. Before you ask, the answer to your question is “yes, every other blog you can think of has done this, properly, forever”.

The big irony here, of course, is that I chose to use blogger in part because it made it easy to publish a blog at my own URL without having to maintain blogging software on my site myself. Now, it turns out that my blog is a second-class citizen because I decided to take advantage of that feature. What’s more, the blogger help on the issue of labels being unavailable says that it’s not likely that a sidebar labels menu will ever be available to blogs being published remotely.

Sweet. Thanks.