Saturday, March 03, 2007

Anyone familiar with the new Blogger?

After being forced in some mysterious way to use my google email account as a login (which I hate to do, since it's not the quiddity alias), I can make posts to this blog. However, on the Dashboard, there is this message:
This blog is still on the old version of Blogger.
Along with a warning graphic to the left. Clicking on the Learn More link associated with the warning doesn't help. All it talks about is Blog Owners, Team Blogs, Team Members, and Moving Accounts to the new version, without defining what those terms mean. Nor is there any way for the user to find out if his blog is a Team Blog. The implication is that until the (impossible to discern) Blog Owner moves his account over, some new features will be unavailable.

Tip to all you s/w developers out there: Have a competent UI person who knows how not to assume things evaluate your new product roll out.

A decision tree, helpful for users, might run something like this:
Is this a Team Blog? Here's how to find out: do X, Y, Z
  • No - minimal action required, everything switches over when you do X, Y, Z.
  • Yes. NOTE: There are steps the Blog Owner must take and steps for other users.
    Who is the owner? Find out who the owner is by doing X, Y, Z.
    • If you are the owner, do X, Y, Z.
    • If you are not the owner, do X, Y, Z.
Something like that. A step-wise instruction set with clear branch points that can be understood and acted upon. Fat chance of that, these days. (And it's not just Google/Blogger, everybody is lazy in this regard.)

Whatever. It would seem to me:
That there is an old and a new version of your blog.

Accounts should have absolutely nothing to do with the versions. Why is a user asked to "switches their account to the new version of Blogger"? An account is an account. If an application changes (e.g. Yahoo email), you select (or it's forced on you) the new application, and login as before. What's this about "switching accounts"?
Any helpful observation in comments will be most appreciated (and please, no links to Blogger Help pages!)


I resisted New Blogger for as long as possible. One day last week I tried to log into Old Blogger and I was redirected to a page that praised the value of NB. I clicked on the link that shamed me, but indicated it would let me log into OB. I was again redirected to a page that told me I'd need to upgrade. Great. Don't have a Google account? Create one now! So, I used my Yahoo email address out of spite and rebellion. I had no choice but to upgrade. Now, I have NB, but it semi-sucks. For eg. if I have a photo that I originally took sideways, NB will always upload it that way even if I’ve turned it and saved it. Also, I'm currently locked out of my blog because NB suspects it's spam. I can't post until a human looks at it and determines that I'm not interested in selling anything. I wish that Blogger had just told me a month ago that I'd upgrade no matter what. The illusion of a choice just made it all the more bitter.
Sorry, no good observation, just a rant.
You will be assimilated!

By Blogger Frances Goodman فرانسيس, at 3/04/2007 12:30 AM  

Here's a google blog post that should answer your questions.

I think that for users, the thing they are most interested in is labels, while for Google, I think they are most interested in migrating people over to a Google Account. I think that they held off on a lot of improvements to the software so that releasing them would coincide with moving everyone over to Google accounts. It's not so much switching accounts as it is merging Blogger accounts with Google accounts and forcing people without Google accounts to open one.

So far, it's been annoying primarily because BlogThis takes much longer to open. Otherwise, I have no problem, even if I don't use labels on my blog.

Frances, I thought the implication that everyone would be migrated over eventually was obvious when they called it Blogger Beta.

By Blogger Anthony, at 3/04/2007 4:19 AM  

Frances: You have my sympathy. I too, was fooled into following through with the upgrade (with whatever default conversions that implied), without having a fully informed view of what it was all about. I appears that if you have a Gmail email account, the software uses that as the Must Login way for the blog, even if you'd prefer to keep that clearly separate from your blog activity.

Anthony: You are correct that one of the goals is to migrate people over to Google accounts. But, as mentioned above, I'd like some control over that process. Try and create a new Google account for a blog if you already have a gmail account. It doesn't appear to be possible.

Combining an upgrade of an application along with a forced migration of accounts is just going to confuse everybody. If migrating to new accounts is a goal, then make that the only thing you have to do while you still use the old Blogger. After that's been cleared up, then a distinct second step of upgrading to Beta can be performed. But to combine account migrations and application upgrades along with unclear instructions for Team Blogs (!?) is a great way to screw up what should be a simple transition.

What's weird is that on this blog, even though I'm logging in with my gmail account, when I look at the member list (only 1 entry), it's got a username that's the old simple string ("quiddity-----"). That single entry is, presumably, the Blog Owner, but I can't come in as that person because when I log in using that hame, I get switched to a page that says, "No, you must login with your Google account", and it does so.

I created a new Google account, for "" and that then forced me to create a blog as well (!), so there's uggabugga2 just haning out there. And trying to invite this new person/account to the original uggabugga didn't seem to work even when the invite went out and I accepted it.

There is probably some simple set-theory logic that explains what's going on (all blogs contain Google-accounts, Google-accounts consist of gmail and other google accounts, etc), but presenting that to the users in a clarifying manner is not part of the plan, apparently.

(After writing this comment - and saving a copy of the text! - I tried logging in using the old-style name, but then got the now-familiar, you must use your Google account, logged in, the comment was lost, went here to leave comment again, and now I'm somehow Quiddity - but I don't know why!)

By Blogger Quiddity, at 3/04/2007 7:18 AM  

It seems fairly obvious to me that Google is trying to encourage Blogger to be the default blogging website for people with gmail addresses. In the long run, I think that Google wants to be the single log-in and authentication that proponents of OpenID want.

I think that what happened is that Google wanted to move everyone to Google accounts. I'm not a computer programmer, but I think that they rebuilt Blogger from the ground up. One feature of the new blogger was using Google accounts as the log-in. From a programming perspective, I think it is easier to do all of these transitions at once.

I think I can clarify something. You have a log-in name which is private, and a profile name linked to that log-in name, which is public. Moving to the New Blogger merely changes your log-in name. It doesn't change your public profile name. This is supposed to be safer security-wise. With Yahoo, if someone knows your screen name such as found in your email address, they know your log-in name and only have to guess your password. With Google/Blogger, if someone wants to get at the person who is publishing a blog, they have to figure out two pieces of information, the log-in name and the password.

Did you have a team blog before? If not, that single member name should be the profile name that is linked to your Google email address. I'm not sure what your problem is. Are you trying to have two different accounts with the same public profile name in the same blog?

By Blogger Anthony, at 3/04/2007 12:32 PM  

Anthony: Good points all around.

I am currently the only user associated with this blog, but there had been a second username (as a test) also in the Members pool. That was deleted after I switched over. So I guess it was a Team Blog during the switch over. But it's a single user blog now. But I'm having trouble finding out how to be the Blog Owner and make whatever final transition take effect.

I've thrown a couple of questions out in Blogger Help-land, and have some leads to follow. But I've already got a blog at WordPress just in case I get totally stuck (that would be if somehow the entire blog 'locks up', perhaps when Blogger finally discards the Old Blog U/I, which I am currently using for posts.

Again, thanks.

By Blogger Quiddity, at 3/04/2007 1:17 PM  

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