There are many blogging tools to use; over at LITGM we use “Blogger” which is owned by Google (and free) and over at Chicago Boyz and at other sites we use Word Press. Many of the up and coming sites are now on Tumblr, which looks pretty much like another blogging platform to me.
There was a Louis CK sketch where he talks about how amazing it is to fly on an airplane and connect to the Internet and all the things we take for granted while everyone whines about it. I felt the same way as I started to look at some of the new technologies available under Blogger.
Blogger just rolled out “dynamic views”. I am not a blogging technical expert but in laymans’ terms, you get a lot of real estate back that is taken up with static page elements like the blogroll on the side and post categories and comments. When you hover your cursor over these items, they “pop up” (dynamically) and then you can click on them if you wish else they don’t take up space otherwise.
Another advantage is that they load up your blog when you turn it on (you see the Blogger “gears” running) and then you can view it a bunch of different ways, from a “classic” view to a “magazine” view or “flip card” which is cool if you have a lot of photos because you can see them at a glance and click to get at the post underneath.
Like everything else, they are trying to get the bugs out at Blogger. When they initially rolled it out, you couldn’t see items like your blogroll / links because those “widgets” didn’t work with dynamic views. Some super-technical web nerds could make it work but the average person wouldn’t unless they wanted to hack html code. There are sites and message boards out there with many comments bemoaning the new technology and what is lacking but of course Google has added many of these widgets back so that they now work with dynamic views and at least you can see comments and labels (basically their version of tags or categories).
I turned “the most important site on the internet” Drunk Bear Fans into a dynamic views site and it is pretty cool. Since there is more page real estate (the tabs on the side only pop out when you hover over them) I was able to make the pictures bigger and I also did some other housecleaning. This is more of a test bed than LITGM so I will keep working over there until it is ready for “prime time” and then maybe we will kick over LITGM, too. For now we are looking at the header because you still have to work on that in html to get the great pictures up there that Gerry inserts but I am sure one of the tech guys at Google is working on that in a frenzy and that will be in some upcoming version.
It is simply amazing how far the technology has come on blogging and web development FOR FREE. Dan was chuckling at how much just the hard drive would have cost back when we were in college 20+ years ago to store the pictures, movies and other elements associated with a site like LITGM, which also is free along with all the development time Google has put into this platform (plus the fact that they bought the company that made the original technology in the first place).
I was in the dot.com “boom” era in the early 2000’s in the middle of all the companies that imploded. I can tell you first-hand that building a site that a 10 year old could do with dynamic views would have cost millions and millions of dollars, and it would have crawled. The cloud based infrastructure that these sites use and the power of the tools that they give developers and non-developers alike FOR FREE is amazing. For a couple of minutes it is worth stepping back and reflecting on that. Then back to complaining about everything, just like Louis CK says.
Cross posted at LITGM