Google has updated its Blogger online self-publishing service, which now features an enhanced dashboard, the ability to post blogs via e-mail, a shared comments function, and author profiles.
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Google entered the blog business in 2003 through its acquisition of Pyra Labs. This is the first major upgrade of the free Blogger service since the acquisition.
The new Mail-to-Blogger function lets users publish blogs from any e-mail-enabled device, including mobile phones and PDAs. To post a blog via e-mail, users create a Mail-to-Blogger address in the Blogger e-mail settings and then compose a message. The new feature turns the message subject line into a headline and the e-mail body becomes the post.
On the new dashboard and design enhancements Google collaborated with Adaptive Path and visual design company Stopdesign. The result is a simplified sign-up process with tour pages that aim to explain blogging concepts in more detail.
Other new features include 26 new templates, a comments capability with various levels of privacy and permission control, and a profile feature that lets users post a page about themselves with links to other blogs and blogging stats.
Google has also added Post Pages, which give each blog post and any associated comments its own web page, and Conditional Tags, for customising templates.
Cathleen Moore writes for InfoWorld