Google Drops Bomb On Blogspot Blogger Blogs

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Say that 3 times fast! Joking aside, I really feel for all the great people using Blogger, (Blogspot) to write in their blogs. It has always been a bit of a challenge to leave comments on some Blogspot blogs, but now Google has really done it! Google has become a huge internet portal/company and has now decided to take the Microsoft and Yahoo approach in flexing their muscle.

I paid a visit to Anna’s MyOnlyPhoto blog this morning and was surprised to find out I could not leave a comment using my normal identity. I use my real name, website, and email when commenting on all blogs. Although I understand that some people like to be anonymous, I feel my thoughts and opinions carry more validity if I speak as myself.

If I want to leave a comment on a Blogger Blog, now I have only 3 choices. I can be anonymous. I can fill in a generic name field that provides no way for anyone to find out more about the person, (me) writing the comment. The last choice is what Google really wants with this change and that is…… I can log in with a Google account and link to a Blogger ID. None of these is acceptable to me! Shame on you at Google for this terrible change.

This is not uncommon these days and can be very frustrating. Ever notice that to log in to a Flickr or MyBlogLog account, you don’t use a login for those services? You must use a Yahoo login. Needless to say I don’t use Flickr or MyBlogLog. I also do not use Blogspot, but I feel bad for those that do. If you are on Blogger and had been thinking about making a change, now might be the time to leave the sinking ship!

If you really don’t want leave Blogger, then digg and stumble this post using the buttons right below my signature. Do the same to any other posts you can find on the topic. Let Google know that their transparent attempt to gain more control over who posts on a Blogspot blog is not appreciated and maybe they will change their mind.

Update: Several month after this was written, Blogger implemented a Name/URL field that Blogspot users can put on their comment form.  Nice that Google listened to their users and changed this.   If you have a Blogger site you absolutely should add that field to your comment form.

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Will Sig
1 Mark Stoneman

There is another option you didn’t mention, because the blogger in question doesn’t know about it. Blogger has a beta version where we can enable not just the Blogger ID, but the ID of any major platform, or even OpenID. That’s not quite as bad, but I’m still unhappy. For one thing, even if I have a Blogger ID, I might want to enter specific blog information instead, because maybe one of my blogs is relevant and I want to make it accessible, not my Bogger Profile page. Anyway you cut it though, Google has stepped in it. Thanks for posting on this subject.

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2 Livingsword

Hi Will nice to meet you!

I noticed that you seem to dislike IE, I use both it and Firefox, both have issues in my experience. IE crashes now and then and FF is often very slow loading images and also crashes sometimes. On my blog the vast majority of guests use IE.

LOL Blogger/Google are very interesting in how they are doing things…it is my experience that most users of Blogger have friends that are also on Blogger….Wordpress and other systems are not as common in the loop.

When I visit other kinds of blogging systems outside of Blogger there are also inconveniences, I always have to give it my Blog address as there is no feature to “remember” it, also they lack the avatar that so many Bloggers like.

When you leave a comment on Blogger you can also leave your blog address in your comment, even some Bloggers do this! Of course on your web page I also have to independently enter my email address…I find Blogger very comfortable to use…

The vast majority of my guests are general web surfers (from Google) and not bloggers of any type and are therefore not as inclined to comment anyways.

I have all the kinds of accounts you spoke of and have no problem with them…

I have bookmarked your page for future visits….

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3 Alan

Thanks for posting about this Will. I really don’t want to migrate to Word Press but fear this may force my hand. I am frankly surprised at how relatively few blogspot bloggers are up in arms about this. Very perplexing.

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4 Will

Hi everyone and thanks for the comments. I’ll see if the power stays on long enough for me to do anything today. We are getting lots of strong wind here in Oregon and the power keeps dropping out. It was off much of last evening and some of this morning. Then when it comes back on, the cable internet is often out. It is a bit disturbing how dependent we have all become here on the grid of electricity and communication.

-Will

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5 Will

Mark – Those are good points. I tried the open ID thing yesterday, but it is not really what I like. Or maybe I should say what I am used to. I already often suggested to some on Blogger, ways to make their commenting more user friendly than the default. Now with the Google changes, some of that does not work the same.

And you are dead on with the specific information that sometimes is more relevant that just a link to the blog, profile or home page. We should have that choice.

They stepped in it indeed!

-Will

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6 Will

Hi Livingsword! Funny that you post here yesterday as I had seen a mention of your site, “Life on the Blade” at Anna’s blog and made a note to check it out. I especially wondered if you were a hockey player with a blog title like that? Probably not, but those of us who are tend to see hockey in more places than we probably should!

I think the only people who still use IE are those that have not tried Firefox! 😉 Seriously, I used to just prefer Firefox, but started to “dislike” IE when I started having to make a couple of web sites display correctly in it. Then I got mad at Microsoft for not following convention in how IE does things.

Those are good points, especially the part about having to fill in boxes on many different sites. I do use the form remembering ability in Firefox, so that makes it easier. But if I want to link my name specific page I do fill it in with a copy and paste. I don’t mind having to do that. I don’t even mind the different systems that the various blogging platforms use for comments. I just really object to Google trying to prevent me from linking my name to anything other than a Google account. I think that is their main thrust with this change. A lot of people, (me included) really object to the pop up comment systems, though.

The bottom line with comments is that I think it should be as easy as possible to make for the most diverse and inclusive conversations.

-Will

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7 Will

Hi Alan! I understand why a lot of people like Blogger and WordPress.com. they are much easier to maintain. With a stand alone WordPress installation there is always something that needs attention. Just this morning I noticed my BlogCatalog widget that displays the last 4 visitors from BC is no longer loading in my side bar. So I have to figure that out and see if it is me or BC causing the trouble. I also noticed that my site is loading a bit slower than normal and seems to spend a lot of time waiting for digg to load. So I need to figure that out also!

We just lost power again, but at least I am on my laptop and can use battery power to finish this and post it later when it comes back on.

I think that one of the reasons you might not see a lot of outrage from Blogger users is due to the different nature of the beast. I get riled up about things like this, but then that is probably one of the reasons I go to the trouble of maintaining a self hosted WordPress blog. People who use systems like Blogger are probably just more laid back and easy going than me. They are better able to just “go with the flow” and keep their blood pressure in check! 🙂

Just got power back, let’s see if I can sneak this in before it goes out again! No Luck. Now the internet connection is out. It may just be that I need to reset the power on the modem and router. I’ll try that and if it works, great. If it does not I’ll just give up and save this reply until tomorrow! I don’t know if I will survive two days without technology working correctly! LOL!

Ten minutes later and we are back online…. Better be quick!

-Will

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8 Will

Another thing I noticed as a follow up is this: I can no longer put a link in a post in the two Blogger sites I have commented on since this change. The link shows up, but is not clickable. I wonder if this is something else that has changed. I am pretty sure that at least on one of those, I have put in workable links before.

-Will

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9 Livingsword

Hi Will;

I understand where you’re coming from. To most people an internet browser is IE and the internet itself is Google. As I said I use both IE and Firefox both are good and both have issues from my experiences. In general they are fine but neither is as good as you would hope (like Vista and Leopard). Most people just want to get on it and have it work, like they are with their car.

Most Bloggers are not tech types they are people doing a networking friendship thing and Blogger does a great job of it, not perfect but still it is relatively easy to use and communicate with others, and it is free! Most people are not interested in the business-politics part of things. It seems the vast majority of Bloggers are female so that also seems to change the dynamics.

One of the fascinating thing I see as a Blogger is the difference between my fellow Bloggers or bloggers, and those who come by my blogs via search engines….very different “crowds”. The vast majority of none Bloggers do not leave comments so most Bloggers don’t even notice the difference. All the systems have little things that can bother you…when I post there I have no avatar, doesn’t bother me but I know that bothers some people when they post to other bloggs

By the way I am very into hockey, my article on the new Canucks jersey was number one on Google for hits when the new jersey came out, probably the most lame article I ever wrote!!!!!

I also have a fantasy hockey league for the guests on my blog thru Sportsnet fantasy hockey “Fantasy Hockey on the Blade” (Sprortsnet is a HUGE sports TV network here in Canada. Being from Canada is probably a bit of a tip that I am into hockey)

I am always willing (get it) to talk hockey if you like just visit my blog and start a conversation about it, don’t worry if it isn’t “on subject” 🙂

You could even join my Fantasy Hockey but you would be a bit behind in points 🙂

I should add that the Blade may not be quite what you are expecting 🙂

Great talking with you Will!

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10 Will

I guess, like most things in life, my favoritism of Firefox over IE is personal experience. Firefox has always worked perfectly for me and the rest of the family, IE has given us problems at times. Plus Firefox has some great add-ons!

You are right about the visitors. Most of the people who actually comment are other bloggers. I wish more people commented because that is the best part. But there a lot of blogs out there competing for everyone’s time! Just yesterday, I had 130 visits from stumbleuponon. I don’t think any of them left a comment, but they probably did read a post or two, which is also nice.

I am not a true sports fan in the normal sense. I do watch college hockey, the few times it is on TV. I see parts of the occasional NHL game also. But I am not a fan, really, just love to play the game!

-Will

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11 Anna

Oh Will sorry to hear about the whole thing. And thanks for giving me a link to my blog in your post. So I was thinking and thinking, and you are more than welcome, always include your link to your blog on my comments, it requires a little html knowledge, which you should have, and obviously extra work, but then I tell you I don’t think I can fight the giant Google yet, lol, but hopefully they will hear you and hear us, otherwise we just locking ourselves into groups, like blogger team against Wordpress team, and I don’t like the extra work for workaround. Thanks for this post, and I will Digg later to ensure more people are aware of this. Anna 🙂

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12 Anna

Hi Will again, see what you did, I just learned something new again, because of you, thanks. There is this option Blogger has, Blogger in Draft to which we can login and try new features. So looks like Google shut down this feature because of impersonation issues. They have option that can be set in our administration panel, called OpenID, and that allows to pick from list where WordPress is included and enter URL of your blog. I guess I wouldn’t know what’s right after, but eventually you will see. Well not sure when this feature will be available to all blogs, but that may sound like a bit of good news….Anna 🙂

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13 Will

Anna – Learning something new is a good thing, right? 🙂 Glad I could help! There has been a bunch of discussion about the open ID thing and it does not seem to be a good replacement for what Google took away from Blogger blogs. Also, WordPress dot com blogs sometimes get confused with sites like this one that just use WordPress on our own independent urls. The dropdown box that includes openID and WordPress as choices only allow a link to a profile on those anyway, not to a blog itself. In any case, it does not work with a site like mine. I just tried again on another blog and the only WordPress thing you seem to be able to link to is a profile page on WordPress dot com. Just like linking to your Blogger Profile instead of your actual blog.

As I have said, my real problem, besides feeling bad for you folks using the Google system, is this: I like to post everywhere with the same ID and a link to my site. Lots of people want this. I don’t really like the fragmented anonymous part of the web and feel if I am always “Will” and always link to my site, then I am a steady, recognizable, individual instead of just a handle or one of many different profiles. I don’t like having to use a Yahoo account to log in to Yahoo, Flicker, and MyBlogLog. Then a Google account to post on Blogger, etc. I just want to be the same old me, whatever site I visit. Kind of weird, huh?

Google has really messed it up for sites like yours by no longer allowing people to link their name to their blog. We just have to hope they clean up the mess they created.

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14 Anna

Will, yes learning is good! I know what you mean about Google and I hope on the end they will recognize it and fix it, otherwise the wordpress bloggers will be reluctant to visit blogger bloggers. You have been trying out on my blog, feel free to do that, it does not bother me. Just don’t bring my blog down, lol. Thanks again, Anna :0

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15 Will

Funny Anna! But no danger of bringing the blog down. Only inconvenience might be you having to delete a comment or two when I test. So far, no successful work around for non-Blogspot bloggers to post. It is not only a problem for WordPress users, but anyone who is not on Blogger

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16 Anna

Will check this post of mine from while ago, Tip 3. I know you last your identity when posting on blogspot, lol, but you can continue to leave a link on the bottom of your comments, just simple html code. I used to do that once, I kept a copy in Notepad and just cut and paste. Hope it helps. Anna 🙂 BTW I don’t mind to delete post there and there, but it have to be really really bad post, lol. Anna 🙂

http://myonlyphoto.blogspot.com/2007/08/navigation-tips-on-my-blog.html

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17 Will

Thanks for that link, Anna. That is the way I used to do it and can again just for Blogger Blogs if necessary. I have not given up just yet to find a way to make it work the way it should! But if we can’t find a way to get the name link to work and Google does not rescind their boo-boo, then we will have to go back to the html way.

The deletions I meant are only the couple where all my comment says is something like “Just another test”. Just don’t want the other commentators to get annoyed by them!

-Will

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18 Rick Williams

Here’s the simplest post to fix this problem yet:

HaloScan.com

I use it on my blogspot blog with awesome results: check it out!

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19 Will

Hi Rick. I don’t like the pop up box commenting systems. From what I have read, many others feel the same way. Some say they just automatically go away without commenting anytime a new little window without all of their browser controls pops up. I looked at the Halo site and it appears that this is the only way their system works. Do you know if it can be installed to work normally?

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20 Crafty Green Poet

As far as I know this problem with Blogger has now been fixed, there was a lot of comment on the blogger user forum and they changed it.

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21 Will

You are correct, Juliet. And I thanked them here. It is nice when the raised voices of the peasants get heeded!

-Will

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22 Matty Byloos

Will! I had noticed that about the flickr account — though I very much on purpose have avoided this site. Had to log in to see someone else’s pic at some point, and noted the yahoo element. I think people should be able to leave a comment using whatever ID they wish to — especially considering those individuals who are interested in being accountable and who identify themselves with their real info.

Matty Bylooss last blog post..Mitchell Says, Welcome to My Study

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23 Will

You know Matty, I have given in a bit in that as more and more companies consolidate. I just went to a Yahoo owned site and my password manager brought up six Yahoo login choices for me. It is almost impossible to avoid these days. Frustrating, but reality. Although more of these sites are allowing you do have a login just for the site. What I really did not like was having to use one main Yahoo login for any site owned by Yahoo. Or to have to login with a Google main identity anytime I went to any site owned by Google. They have gotten better lately about letting us avoid that.

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24 mothership

I am having NIGHTMARES trying to get my OpenID to link back to my blog – no idea why. I mainly got it as a way to try and comment on Blogger blogs but now it seems many of them only want a GoogleID (boring!) or even worse I get a constant error message the minute I click on the comment box
No idea what’s going on.

motherships last blog post..Guest Blogger

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25 Michael Roberts

You have raised some good points, my suspicion is that the primary objective with this change is to mitigate blogger spam.

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26 Laura S.

I have a google ID and it still won’t let me leave comments. I have tried repeatedly in explorer and in firefox. Nada. I found a few threads here and there about it but none of the suggestions have worked for me so far. It’s very frustrating.

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27 Stag

it’s still crap – why cant it be like wordpress?

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