Archive for the Blogging Category

Sheeple Of The Blogosphere

| October 7th, 2006

Sheeple is a term of disparagement, a portmanteau created by combining the words “sheep” and “people”; a reference to herd mentality. It is often used to denote persons who acquiesce to authority, and thus undermine their own human individuality.

Have we reduced to mere sheeples? Bloglines estimates a mere thousand feeds having greater than one subscriber. Quoting Eric Schmidt:

“The average blog has one reader: the blogger” [via]

When I glance through my Bloglines subscriptions I see the blogs of the biggies like Mike Arrington, John Battelle etc. Most of us view the blogosphere through this window (rather pin-hole), comprising of a few thousand popular blogs. Although their popularity speaks for their content, they restrict our perception of the blogosphere. There are numerous other bloggers who have a lot more valuable to say. But where is the audience?

There is no such service/app which gives us an unbiased view of whats happening and being said in the blogosphere. Its like the blogosphere has been virtually hijacked.

To get noticed, an anonymous blogger has to resort to either of the following:

  • Become a (Sheeple) frequent reader of these blogs and participate by commenting hoping that someone will clickthru and notice you.
  • Get featured in one of their posts (that is only if you are well connected).
  • Write something that might offend them (probably this post won’t go unnoticed :) ).

So sheeples, transform yourselves back into people. Stop looking through the pin-hole and broaden your vision. You probably have no clue of how interesting the actual blogosphere is.

After two years of loyalty to Blogger I seem to have broken free from its shackles. Although I have moved away from it, I will always remember the fabulous web service which introduced me to the magical blogosphere. As a wonderful blogging platform, it has all one needs for beginners but lacks certain features for advanced bloggers.

Over the past two years I have grown as a blogger and so have my needs from a blogging platform. Therefore I decided to switch to a privately hosted WordPress platform (Privately? Well thats another discussion altogether). And to tell you the truth, I haven’t looked back ever since, infact I’m loving it (-:.

What does the Blogger lack?

Blogger has always been the first choice due to its affiliation with Google, but although Google may be the God in search…not quite though here.

  • To speak of the UI, WordPress is fairly much cleaner and organized. Blogger is cluttered and less user friendly. With all the AJAX, movable divs, and coloured highlights thrown in WordPress definitely rocks.
  • One vital feature lacking in Blogger is the ability to create categories. I just so couldn’t do without this feature that I decided to write a hack for it.
  • WordPress always dynamically generates its pages, so you never have to regenerate pages unlike in Blogger.
  • Blogger is not open source, WordPress is. Open source means that everyone and anyone contributes. Just to illustrate, Blogger has become stale. It has not released any new features lately, the last I remember was the blog search. With Google around this was something expected. But yet nothing worthwhile to facilitate blogging. WordPress on the other hand has countless plugins with many more under development.
  • Blogger has no password protection for posts. A well thought feature of WordPress, which lets me password protect individual posts. Quite useful when you have a personal daily blog where certain posts are too personal for strangers to read.
  • Switching to WordPress from another platform is easy as hell. The import blog feature is definitely cool. I don’t remember Blogger having something like this.

Every blogger has his own reasons for sticking to a platform, but for all those still stuck onto Blogger try a switch. Trust me on this.

Google Hack: Blogger Categories

| February 4th, 2006

I’ve been using Blogger since a long time due to its association with Google. I’ve also tried out other blogging platforms like WordPress etc. But the most important feature I missed in Blogger was the categories. I have a whole bunch of posts each belonging to different topics It was all too messy and cumbersome to get them organized without categorization.

If theres a problem there has to be a solution to it. There are many solutions to this category problem but I’ll be explaining only one of the cleanest approaches.

First of all you need a main blog where you need categories to be implemented. Secondly you’ll need a mail account with good filtering features like in Gmail. Thirdly you’ll need to create a blog for every category that you want. You’ll need to the follwing set up as explained:
For example consider a main blog named ‘Da Tek ee‘. Set the ‘Mail-to-Blogger Address‘ to whatever you want like datekee.XXX@blogger.com. For every category blog like ‘Da Tek ee > Google‘ set the ‘BlogSend Address’ to the mail address you’re using for filtering purposes. In the mail account set up a filter to forward mails containing the subject “Da Tek ee > Google” to the main blogs ‘Mail-to-Blogger Address‘. You just finished setting up your first category. This can be done for as many categories you want.

Blogger Categories

So now whenever any post is published in the category blog it is forwarded to the email address provided. Due to the filter created in the mail account the post is in turn forwarded to the main blog where it is published. Each post has link to the blog where it was originally posted (link to the category blog in our case) e.g. ‘Posted by Anand to Da Tek ee > Google‘.

Happy blogging until Blogger eventually comes up with the category feature (-;.

I mailed Joshua regarding this and this is what he had to say:

Joshua: It’s in the next release of the blog-posting code and will be out soon.

Well till then you can workaround with the help of the previous post.