In the last couple days, Google’s Blogger team added a new sidebar widget to Blogger In Draft for testing. It’s a “Blog List”, in essence a blogroll. It displays a list of blogs, and optionally titles of each blog’s latest post, snippets of the latest post, and how long it’s been since each blog was updated. Users can add sites either manually or by importing from Google Reader subscriptions.
In other news, a list of bugfixes and enhancements were added to mainstream Blogger, including fixes for the label counts bugs (which I have never suffered from, AFAIK) and comment pagination for posts with more than 200 comments. The post editor now loads faster, the “Template” tab for dynamically served blogs (the ones that don’t require republishing) is now the “Layout” tab, and the comment form now highlights identity options more clearly.
So, my take on all this is next.
First off, let me say that I want the comment pagination to be optional. Comment pagination drives me crazy on sites like Lifehacker, and comment-tracking services like Co.mments.com can’t deal with paginated comments. I would like to see Google add options to 1) adjust the pagination threshold and 2) turn pagination on and off both for the whole blog and for a specific post.
Next, I’d like to comment on the Blog List widget. I tried it last night, and couldn’t get it to save after importing my Google Reader list. That explains why I don’t have one of those widgets yet; I couldn’t get it to work. It would make my sidebar unbearably long anyway.
Finally, the improvements to the comment form, post editor loading time, and the labeling of the template/layout tab are all welcome improvements. Blogger’s starting to shape up and become a little more powerful. Now all I want is the ability to create static pages a la WordPress. An integration between Google Page Creator (or whatever they’re working on to replace it) and Blogger would be absolutely wonderful.
Update (02/29): There were a couple bugs with renaming and caching in the Blog List feature when it was first released; they are both now fixed.