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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

New Blogger and the human response

Update: If you're reading this via RSS, that's because it appears Bloglines' engineers burned about two weekks of midnight oil and figured out their problem. I've received several e-mails and IMs to tell me the RER RSS feed is back up and running. And for that, I am quite happy.

So, I spent the day switching over to the new Blogger. It was either that or temperature test my testicles in the red beans and rice I made for dinner last night.

Let me start by saying I've been a loyal whipping boy for Blogger since 2001. I've typed my highest and lowest moments into this interface. I'd venture to say Blogger knows almost about me as much as my wife does. I use Blogger for personal and professional work. Back in the days before the Google revolution, working with Blogger was like working with a buddy--a buddy who drinks on the job, but a buddy nonetheless.

Further, I recognize, Blogger is free. Although I've paid in sweat and frutration over the years, I haven't paid a cent for this service. In fact, not only is it free, but I've made a tidy sum of money using the service.

See, I was with blogger back in the day before the boys had even tried to monetize it. I was grandfathered in and was never required to host ads or even have that ugly little navbar at the top. And when Blogger in Beta came out, I wasn't even sure I wanted to switch over. While I envied everbody's labels and tags and widgets, I didn't mind my clunky old html system.

But, this morning, work was light, the family was gone, and I fancied the idea of making my blog a little user friendly. And I wanted to use labels. So, I finally heeded all the pleas to make the switch over to the New Blogger. Suddenly, the taste of New Coke filled my mouth.

My precious little template was defile. The navbar popped up, the tables went all funky, and my archives disappeared. I was peeved.

Three hours later, I was deeply mired in a search for a new content publishing provider. I registered www.rapideyereality.com and got to work. I was keen to take a run at WordPress, primarily based on the recommendation of some trusted friends. I was about two seconds from pulling the trigger when I came to the realization that--because I'd switched over to the New Blogger--I had screwed my chances to use one-button importation of my Blogger content to WordPress. And that was a deal-breaker. While nothing I've written here will ever win me am award, I'm proud of this blog and what I've written here.

And so I went back to the New Blogger and tried to figure it out. After about an hour, I figured out how to restore my archives. Then I fixed the template. And then I started publishing to www.rapideyereality.com.

That's where I've stopped. I'm left with my old respect for Blogger, but a short list of concerns:

--The blog is now publishing to both www.rapideyereality.com and rapideyereality.blogspot.com. This gives me some Google concerns.

--Although I've changed all the settings to the new RSS feed, it appears my RSS feed isn't actually feeding.

Anyone who has dealt with any of the above, I'd appreciate your insight. Everybody can re-bookmark this site under www.rapideyereality.com. The blog will continue to be published there. As for the RSS feed, I'm still hoping it will feed under:


Any other advice is appreciated. Now, my testes have a date with some red beans.


Blogger Shelly said...

I'm now eligible for the switch to the new blogger, and I'm scared... scared to death. If I grow a pair and try it, I'll let you know if I learn any new tricks.

10:57 AM  
Blogger StB said...

Now I will look at red beans and rice twice before taking a spoonful.

Thanks for that image Otis!

2:08 PM  
Blogger ScurvyDog said...

It sounds like you're trying everything RSS-related that I know to try to get it to work, so no help there.

I wouldn't sweat the fact that it's publishing your content to two places. Google doesn't punish duplicate content in the strictest sense of the word, it just throws out what it deems to be the less valid "duplicate" and leaves the original to be indexed, just as normal.

If your page is at two locations but you don't care which one gets indexed and which one gets tossed as a duplicate (which sounds like your situation), then you don't need to sweat it at all.

If you're worried about incoming links potentially getting split between the two, over time, as people find your content and link to you, then that is a valid concern, and you might want to just bite the bullet and pick one spot to publish the content to. If you're not using a CMS like WordPress and are happy enough with the Blogger interface, I'd continue to publish content to the Blogger site and ditch rapideyereality.com, since all of your existing incoming links point to the Blogger version.

4:32 PM  
Blogger Otis said...

Scurvy, thanks for the advice.

5:29 PM  
Blogger Jen B said...

I feel your pain...I switched to the new Blogger and I have been pulling my hair out ever since. I was also given advice to switch to Word Press. I even signed up with a password and everything. I did this because I too was told I can pull all my content to the Word Press version....according to you New Blogger will keep me from that.

I am about a year old or so in this blogging world, so I figure I will continue to pull my hair out. Good luck.

2:00 PM  

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