I just had a look at the Blogger upgrade launched only two days ago and it’s really cool. Though it still looks the same, using the same old templates, there’s been a fantastic change. It’s fast, easy to use and, just like WordPress and TypePad, allows posts to be tagged and sorted into various categories. Instead of “categories”, it calls them “labels”.
These will bring order to the blog. Posts can be tagged and archived under different categories, which could help them get picked up by search engines and other sites — and help the blogger too if he or she wants to refer back to an earlier post.
Bloggers know the importance of tags and categories. That is why some have been moving to WordPress.com, where one can set up free WordPress blogs as easily as one can post on Blogger. Now bloggers may have less reason to switch.
Blogger is releasing the new version only to a limited number of people but eventually everyone will be allowed to upgrade, it says.
After the upgrade, one will no longer have to crack heads over blog skins and templates. A blog can be created with just a few clicks of the mouse by dragging and dropping “elements” such as posts, titles, bookmarks and sidebars wherever one wants them to appear on the page.
One can do the same on TypePad, but Blogger is free. And posts can be published and templates changed as fast as on WordPress, which is faster than TypePad and Movable Type.
Google has finally woken up to the importance of Web 2.0 and the fact that people today want to create their own content and not just be the captive audience of the big media. BlogSpot users will no longer need to know HTML to keep their blogs anonymous. They can keep their blogs private like almost every other blogger or user of a Web 2.0 product like Flickr or de.licio.us.
And what does Google gain out of this? Intimate knowledge of its users. Anyone who wants to start using Blogger now will need a Google Account, an email address and a password which can also be used to access other Google services. Such as AdWords, Google Groups, Google Alerts, Froogle Shopping List, Personalised Search and a personalised home page. The search engine will end up knowing the searcher, Google will have the goods on us.