What Blogger Needs,,, But Don't Have..
After having used blogger blogs for some time for various projects i have noticed a few things that let blogger down. Don't get me wrong, I love blogger, Having a free blog that not only has no adverts in it but also allows you to display your own adverts is an amazing gift that has let people who wouldn't usually be able to blog get their thoughts, rants and causes out to a wide audience and make a little beer money at the same time, So rest assured this isn't an anti-blogger rant, It's supposed to be a constructive brainstorming session that may kick start google into adding some new features to blogger blogs that would help people promote their blog and track it's performance.
Right, So let's get down to the nuts of the matter.
What i will first do is list here the things I think blogger should introduce, and later in the post i will explain why i think this should be the case.
- Traffic and visitor stats.
- Feed tracking.
- Allow readers to receive email notifications.
- Template generator
- Automatic blog-roll
- Ping other servers besides weblogs.com
- Create static pages - not blog posts
Traffic and visitor statsThe first item in the list was traffic and visitor stats for our blogs.
A lot of bloggers, myself included, Subscribe to or use third party visitor stats trackers
like SiteMeter.com. These services are quite good, and usually free, but it would be nice if blogger gave users access to statistics kept by blogger themselves. Sitemeter.com Have features like average visits, A world map that shows where your users come from and graphs showing traffic over a period of time.
If blogger were to provide their own statistics they could also allow a user to have a configurable controls panel to select what statistics are shown on the blog as well as showing the blog admin full stats. That way we could have a section on our blog that displays the world map of where visitors are coming from, the traffic graphs or even a simple hit counter that would be access by putting <$BLOGSTATS$> in our template where we want these statistics to appear.
Feed TrackingI love RSS feeds on my blogs. They allow people to syndicate my content on their site or subscribe to live bookmarks in firefox (subscribe now if you haven't already!). But what i would really like is to be able to see who has subscribed. I'd like to see how many people have loaded my feed in live bookmarks and i would like to see what sites are syndicating me. As it stands blogger has no option what so ever for tracking who is viewing a blogs feed..
Allow readers to receive email notificationsI, like a lot of bloggers, Use FeedBlitz to allow visitors to receive email notification of when i make new posts, But i can't believe blogger hasn't incorporated this feature into the blogs as standard. A simple button or input box is all that is needed for visitors to receive an email notification whenever a new post is made on the blog.
obviously this feature should be double opt-in and should not allow importing of an email list, this would make spam impossible.
Template GeneratorDownloading and importing a blogger skin is probably the easiest thing in the world. But for people who want a unique design but don't have the ability to create one a template generator would be handy. I'm pretty sure with all the experts google have at their disposal they could create an online WYSIWYG blogger template generator. Similar to the one geocities has.
Automatic blog-rollThis may be a brand new idea, So if they use it i want paying, I invented it, you read it here first :p..
Well, You know how at the top of blogger blogs we have the navigation bar. Well, wouldn't be nice to have a "request blog-roll" button on there? What would happen is if when you are browsing blogs you see one you like, you would click the "request blog-roll" and blogger would add that blog to your pending list and your site to that blog owners pending list. Then if that blog owner accepts your request your link will be put on his blog, and his link will be put on yours.
The blog-roll list would be accessed via a <$BLOGROLL$> variable in our templates.
Ping other servers besides weblogs.comARRGGHHH!!! Why does blogger only ping weblogs.com?!?! Come on guys! Get with the program!!
phew, i feel better now...
Create static pages - not blog postsIt would be nice if blogger allowed users too create a limited number of static pages.
I can understand that they don't really want people to turn their blog into a free website, It is afterall supposed to be a blog.
But if they limit the number of static pages to maybe 5 then people could have an "about us" page a "link to us" page or any other static pages they want that wouldn't show up as posts..
Anyway, those are my ideas, some are better than others, but all are beneficial.
Some of these ideas would mean bloggers users wouldn't be forced to use third party sites, which can only be good news for blogger, Other ideas are admin and reader related ideas that improve bloggers functionality.
If you have any other ideas, or comments on my ideas, please post them, I would love to extend this brainstorming and get some feedback.
Thanks for reading.