Via a l's blog, I've been notified about the changes to Blogger, which now sports a new interface, redesigned by Doug Bowman and Adaptive Path. Not just a new prettier interface, but there are actually quite a few new extra features. Logged in with
my rarely used Blogger account, I am quite surprised by how much Pyra Google has changed Blogger. Some goodies that I have noticed:
- New interface! XHTML 1.0 Strict. Now we are talking web standards...
- Link Field, which allows you to bind one URL to each post. Very useful for weblogs.
- "Post Page", or individual archive in Movable Type terms. It also automatically generate search engine friendly file names from your post title. It is a much better permalink than what Blogger used to have.
- Mail to Blogger. It enables you to create new entries via email, using a secret email address.
- Templates! Lots of new default templates that you can choose from. From famous web designers as well. All 26 of them. Yum.
- Blogger profile. It is a place to describe yourself. It is certainly moving to the direction of having community, maybe in the same direction as Live Journal based blogsites.
- More template tags.
Here is Blogger's own press release on great blogger relaunch. Looks like they are also setting up extensive knowledge base to bootstrap newbie bloggers.
It has been obvious that Google/Pyra is going after the throne of the blogging tools. While it is probably no where near the complexity and flexibility of its arch rival TypePad, it does feel much more advanced than what it used to be before. I guess Google has been doing lots of good things with Pyra. Consider it is a free service, with banner ads that can be easily fooled, it is going to attract a new wave of bloggers moving on to their system. At the same time, Movable Type 3 beta has not been received well, due to centralised TypeKey, license issue, not much improvement over MT 2.6, etc.
I wonder what else has Google/Pyra planned for Blogger, and how does that fit into the overall strategy of Google portal. Interesting year ahead.