July 29, 2008
Let the conversations begin!
In lurking around the SLJ’s “All Together Now” Netvibes page, I’ve discovered many new blogs by school librarians to follow. Quite obviously some are rather experienced, but many others are very experienced. The new bloggers are using a variety of platforms to test the waters, and I’ve seen many Edublogs, WordPress, and Blogger blogs. I have always had a strong dislike to the Google Platform known as Blogger or Blogspot.
One reason for this dislike is of this particular platform is it seems to be blocked a lot by k12 schools, more than likely due to the bar that rides across the top and includes a link to the “next blog” which is randomly loaded. The issue here, I imagine, is the chance that the next blog will be significantly less than educational. I initially tried blogger, but when I decided it was risky due to that little feature, moved over to Edublogs, which I’ve grown quite comfortable with, and must say the behind the scenes helpers have been immensely nice and generously helpful with any issues I have had. (thanks Sue!!)
Another issue I had with Google’s Blogger platform was the feed. While it behaved like a blog, allowing comments and feed I could subscribe to in my reader, it lacked a feature I liked in WordPress and Edublogs–>a comment feed. The comments feed allows one to read blogs in their reader as if they are a conversation. When people asked me what platform they should try, I would suggest first Edublogs, then WordPress, and then strongly steer them away from Blogger, no matter how easy it was reported as being. Why? No comments feed available. Well, I guess Google got wind of this complaint (surely not from little ol’ unimportant me). They have made the fix and made it possible for Blogger users to add in their subscription feeds to their side bars–both for all posts and all comments. (How? Simply go into the dashboard, find layout, add a page element, and select subscription feeds.)
What does this mean? It means now I can subscribe to their posts and comments, and really feel a part of a conversation happening in a blog. As it was, if I followed a blogger user, I had to leave my aggregator to read comments. Now they will come to me in my reader. W00T.
No, I’m not going back to Blogger. But I will stop steering newbies away from it. I will recommend it AFTER Edublogs, and then only as a last resort. Sorry Google–lose the risky and totally unecessary “next blog” feature. Make that an optional feature instead.