Thursday, October 26, 2006

Beta Baby, Beta!

As you have probably noticed, this blog has a new look and feel. I bit the bullet and upgraded to Blogger Beta.

Some new features that I hope you will like:
Labels - Posts will now have labels so you can browse them by categories such as Energy or Funny posts. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to properly label old posts without going through them manually. So, it will take me a bit of time to get all the old posts labeled and make the category listings really valuable.

Wider Page
- The new template I used is a "stretched" version, so you can read more on each page without having to scroll down.

Older Posts
- When you get to the end of a page, you can now click on "older posts" and get the 15 previous posts.

Expandable Posts
- On long posts, the main body of the text is hidden so you can easily scroll past it if you don't want to read it. When you click on the "Read More..." link, the rest of the text will show up and now this will happen on the same page (as opposed to my earlier version that took you to a new page). When you are done reading, you can collapse it by clicking "Summary Only..." at the bottom. Thanks to Hackosphere and Beautiful Beta for their work on this. There is currently a bug where if you click on the older posts link, all posts have the "Read More..." option rather than just the ones with expandable content. Hopefully this will be fixed soon.

Blog Archive
- The blog archive is now a tree version where you can see posts for each month.

Digg and links - Now you can save a post directly to your account or submit a post to digg. Thanks to Vivek Sanghi for work on this one.

Email Post to a Friend
- If you click on the envelope icon you can email the post to a friend.

RSS Feed for Post Comments - If you want to see if there are any responses to your comment, now you can subscribe to a feed on a per post basis.

This new beta version also appears more stable. After I converted, regular Blogger sites went down for an hour or so, but the beta versions were still accessible. Hopefully the new version will have less outages then the current one.

The new version is database driven and dynamically renders pages. There is no longer a need to republish an entire site when you change a layout. Probably doesn't mean much to readers, but to those of us that use Blogger this is a very nice addition.

For more reviews on Blogger Beta check A Consuming Experience, TechCrunch, or BlogHacker.

Hopefully you will like the changes. If you have any suggestions or thoughts on the changes, please leave a comment.

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