Nov 24, 2016

Blogger Dashboard

I have fun creating science fiction stories about strange aliens who secretly visit Earth. When I return from my flights of fantasy to the real world, I get to deal with the folks at Google who "maintain" much of the online software that I use every day for my story telling play. Many times, dealing with Google feels like dealing with aliens, and I am inspired to blog about those experiences.

old dashboard
A few days ago there was an update to the Blogger dashboard, the interface that I use for most of my blogging. Supposedly, they wanted to make it easier for bloggers to find things in the blogging interface.

new dashboard
As shown to the right, they changed the colors for the listed blog posts as displayed in the dashboard. I can't really believe that anyone thinks this kind of change helps users find things. Maybe their programmer is color blind?
pallet of buttons for the editing tools

The most intriguing change to the dashboard is a new button on Blogger's "what you see is not what you get" editing window. The new button (shown to the left) allows access to a system for inserting special characters and symbols into blog posts. Here are some of these special characters that I can now insert into blog posts: ⅋ & ♂

phantom blog posts
Currently, the most annoying "feature" of Blogger is that about 50% of the time when I edit an existing blog post, after completing the edit, Blogger creates a new empty blog post that I then have to delete from the list of blog posts.
my Gallery of Book & Magazine Covers

Google Photos
I've never really made much use of Google+. When Google pushed the old Picasa image curating system into Google+, I was forced to start dealing with Google+ so that I could continue using my collection of book and magazine covers. I keep getting warnings that soon I will be forced to use "the new Google+", but I keep delaying that transition.

There are AmAzInG© new features in "the new Google+" such as having a black background for my image galleries rather than a gray background. I am reluctant to switch over (several times already the "the new Google+" has been activated and I've had to manually switch back to the old version) because when I use the new version of Google+, I see no way to add new images to my image galleries (they are called "albums" by the good folks at Google Photos).

AmAzInGlY slow sorting
I guess I will have to learn to use Google Photos to edit my online photo albums since the album editing features are being removed from the Google+ interface. As usual, I'll keep using the system that I'm familiar with until the day when it is terminated and no longer available. When I've tried to use Google Photos for things like sorting the order of images in an album it seems to take forever to re-sort, a task that happens very quickly with the old Google+ interface. Maybe some of these "new features" would work better if I used Chrome?

Google "search"
I put a large number of hypertext links into my blog posts. Sometimes I need to search for an old blog post and I almost always use Google's internet search engine for such tasks. I have a blog post from 2015 called "Pek" which almost never comes up in a Google search. I really don't understand how Google's search engine can be so bad. Maybe the search algorithm is designed to hide search results about aliens.

Next: proto-science fiction in 1891

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