Sunday, September 2, 2007

Blogging Tools Are Very Immature and the Resulting Experience is Frustratingly Bad

Authoring blog entries over the last year has been a great experience…Except for the authoring part. What I mean is that blogger’s web app has consistently screwed up what I put in their editable text box. I am constantly going in and tweaking the HTML by hand. Do most bloggers know how to do this? Sometimes Blogger will even edit out a whole bunch of text for no good reason when you publish your blog entry. My workaround for this has been to work in Microsoft Word, use Notepad to tweak characters that won’t show up well on web pages, publish in Blogger, and then finally still have to tweak the HTML code every time. It’s 2007 and the term blog is ubiquitous these days. Shouldn’t this experience be a simpler one?

I’ve taken my frustration with Blogger to the next level and have made the decision to use a new authoring tool. Contribute CS3 and Windows Live are such better and smarter environments to work in. You get all the features of a Microsoft Word, but you are working directly in context to your Blog. Unfortunately, Blogger (owned by Google) doesn’t let you totally integrate these great tools with them. Contribute CS3 will sometimes post articles to Blogger such as this:

[User Experience Arts] ##TITLE## ##CONTENT##
Posted By Michael Grossman to User Experience Arts at 12/31/1969 07:00:00 PM

Posted on New Year’s Eve 1969? I don’t think blogging was around the same year that Zeppelin released their first album and John and Yoko married. It also has problems editing past entries. Both pieces of desktop software are incapable of letting you add images, because Blogger blocks them from doing so. Awful! Just testing all these things took me hours.

My next step is trying to migrate to WordPress. There is an import feature in WordPress that allows you to import your blog entries from Blogger. Of course, Blogger has blocked these efforts as well, and I wasted a couple dozen hours trying. Sigh.

Message To Blogger & Google: If you want to keep me as a customer, make the experience better. Don’t hold me hostage!

How nice it would have been to just have been blogging for all of these wasted hours. The fact that Microsoft Word 2003 still underlines “blog,” “blogging,” and “blogger” says it all.

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