Monday, February 02, 2009

Blogs I follow

I was recently asked why I haven't utilized that "blogs I follow" feature Blogger added to their layouts. Since others might be wondering the same thing, I figured I'd answer that question here. This will also explain why it's so easy for me to change my blog and how I have 3 columns as opposed to just two (a couple of other questions I get asked often).

Despite what Blogger and many of its users might think, I do not find the current "layout" format Blogger switched to a year or two ago, user friendly. Blogger even makes the claim:

Give your blog a whole new look!

We've introduced a new tool for customizing the appearance of your blog. Before you can use this tool, you'll need to upgrade your template.

But I find that the "layout" format isn't all it's cracked up to be and actually makes it far more difficult to customize your page. The problem lies in the ability to edit the html coding. The "layout" format does allow you to edit the html of your page, but it is much more involved and much more difficult to do than in the "template" format Blogger used to use, and the format that I'm still using on this blog.

When I click on my template button, the html code of my entire page is laid out before me, ready and waiting to be manipulated however I want:

In the "layout" format, when you click on the layout button, it brings up the click & drag screen and then you have to dig further to find the html code:

Through a lot of trial and error over the past four & a half years, I've learned how to manipulate the html code in the "template" format to make my page appear exactly as I want it to. I can add as many columns as I want, change fonts and colors, add images where I want them, change margins, add features, etc. I tried to do all that once with my newer blog and it was a monumental failure. So I'll just stick with what I know works for me.

As for the "blogs I follow" feature...I have my own, it's that list in the right hand column that says "must read blogs". Sorry if that doesn't automatically link back and show up in the list of people that follow your blog and makes you feel like you have less readership than you actually do. I don't see blogging as a popularity contest and all that feature does is remind me of the friend whores on MySpace and Facebook that judge their value by how many "friends" it shows they have on their page.

If by chance you read my blog and have one of your own that isn't listed, feel free to let me know and I'll add it. I don't comment often on other people's blogs, but do try to keep up with them.


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