Well that’s neat. Blogger’s post editor is now showing a visual makeover, much like the Pages and Stats sections.

Seems like the formatting and such is all still here, but it’s a refreshed design.

Shocking things: when you see Blogger UI refreshed with a small bit of Material coat, and wonder what when was the last time someone actually pushed a change to the “Main”, or heck, even the “Draft” version.

And there’s now a “Back to classic Blogger” under the menu. For some reason the default view has shifted to the Stats entry, which was the last thing to get a face lift. The Posts entry now has faster card like elements instead of a dense list of text, and there’s a floating + button; operations that were in the over the top Gmail-esque menu bar are either gone, or relegated to buttons over the card view.

If I didn’t know better, I would think someone at Google actually cared :-o.

Passing thoughts:

  1. Sometime this year, I’m liable to have 3,000 posts stored here.
  2. This totals all the journal entries when I used Livejournal, my migration to Blogger, and my return to it in the post-G+ life.
  3. I don’t think I want to know how many G+ posts are in my backup, but not here.
It does kind of perturb me that more than six years of my journal entries aren’t in the system. But at the same time, writing code to transbliterate my data dump into the a format Blogger supports, is not exactly convenient. But I probably should get around to it someday, ‘cuz Blogger’s export format is more widely accepted than G+’s.

Note to self

Google Photos show up in Blogger’s photos UI under “From your phone” regardless of source. Probably. Or at least when I use my tablet.

RSS updates

For quite a while now my RSS feed configuration was like this:

    G+ -> pluss.aiiane.com -> Feedburner

Since G+ is no longer, I have updated my feedburner back to pointing at the normal Blogger feed. Although I doubt anyone really still monitors that feed, if it makes your aggregator angry, I do apologize :P.

I expect that my Feedburner settings have been about the same since Google Plus and the pluss turner-arounder were young, or at least as far back as my journal’s migration to G+.

Rumblings of fhe Future

I find it curious. The last time I updated this blog was noting my journal would be moving to Google+.

With Google giving G+ the Swift kick, one of the things I’ve had on my mind of late is whether or not I would start using this place again or go all in on Diaspora. I suppose that only time will tell tell.

I have decided to in fact move my journal to Google Plus. I can be found HERE Those using RSS should be minimally impacted.

The address blog.spidey01.com may at sometime be made to link to a custom setup that pretty prints my Google Plus data via API, and perhaps other stuffs. As a side effect of the move over to Google Plus, this means those relying on my RSS news feed should review their feed next week. If you are using RSS, there should be no problem but if in doubt insure your reader is pointing directly to my feedburner.

Sometime after adapting Blogger, I had set things up with Feed Burner. My RSS feed via feed burner for this blog is here. Thus Blogger is setup to redirect spidey01.blogspot.com feed stuff to this address. Making it an alias of the feed burner. I assume that I should be able to keep this and point my feed burner to a new feed, completing the daisy chain. Soon I will try updating my feed burner to point through GPlusRSS pluss to my Google Plus entries. EDIT: Had an issue with GPlusRSS so I’ve used pluss—and the feed is active on feed burner!

Those who rely on my RSS feed being re-syndicated on my Facebook and Twitter accounts should see business as usual with the exception that it will direct you to Google Plus rather than Blogger, and it still stands that you’ll be silently ignored if you comment via Facebook instead of clicking through the link. This is an advantage of dereferencing the pointer’s in the right sequence lol.

Content that isn’t suitable for G+ will likely reside in cloud storage and be attached to the entry. This is actually an evolution, because in the past, I’ve usually made a document in text or an HTML’able markup in my ~/Documents/, and then posted it to Live Journal/Blogger as applicable. Now I won’t have to manually sync updates, hehehehehe.

Set course, second star to the right, and straight on till morning. Engage.

Well, updates to the previous; and a little numerical data:

G+ posts since my last Blogger post: 16.

In thinking more thoroughly about the subject, G+ has one large-scale lacking: no pre-formatted code blocks. While I can live with the available formatting capabilities otherwise, ahem, I tend to post a lot of formatted examples: source code, program output, etc. A fair bit of semi-formatted output such as quotations and lyrics as well.

The simple fact remains, however that my G+ is apart of my journal.

One possible solution:

  • Program blog.spidey01.com to point to a “Special” page.
    • Display posts from G+ and link to the entry for commenting/etc.
    • Display posts from Blogger and link to the entry for commenting/etc.
    • Similar technology could be used (and maybe marketed, hehe) for Twitter/Facebook crap, if people wanted to pay or write it.
  • Update spidey01.blogspot.com with a note to such effect.
    • Redirect tech might even be leveragable for this, given the domain stuff already in use.
  • Write a custom client for updating Blogger, with an automated reshare to G+ or a demon that auto-shares my blog posts.

That would achieve the same end goal, more or less.

My Journal (blogs) future

Lately I’ve been using Google+ more and more, and more, and unlike the times where Facebook was apart of my routine, things focus more on G+. In fact, I use G+ enough that I’m considering turning off commenting here and modifying things to direct people to Google+.

That leads me to also thinking about what directions I want to go in. For the short term, nothing will change, except people should probably look at my G+ more than here, perhaps.

Three possibilities for the future years:

  • Migration to G+ 
  • Retention of Blogger 
  • Migration to a custom solution hosted at Cyb3Web.

The Google Plus solution has some merits. It really is convenient for me, and it integrates well with my data flow. Because it meshes with other data, in my stream. It’s so neat. That’s one of the good things about Facebook too, even if their filtering stuff took to damn long. The primary concerns I have with the G+ solution is data access and navigation. It can be hard enough to find things again that I have posted on Blogger or Live Journal, because at best I need to do a site: search in Google or know approximately what time period I posted it in. Tagging has proven some use in narrowing the results down but is only as good as ones tagging discipline and yields to many results!

Pro’s for a switch to G+:

  • Convenience.
  • Even better and growing integration with Google services.
  • Much better privacy controls.
  • Search Plus Your World may make it easier to find things again.

Con’s for a switch to G+:

  • Commenter’s would need G+.
  • Finding crap again might not be fun +3 years later, even by the current standard of blogging.
  • I’m dependent on Google for features/data issues. They tend to do Good at releases but they tend to do Slow at making new features available. But hey, at least things are well tested…
  • Limited data access via API o/.

Those who would just say use Facebook, will have their heads beaten in. Yes, I mean it. Fuck you. Just like you may choose Facebook as a hub, I choose Google Plus.

Unlike Twitter but like Blogger, G+ handles larger, “Blog” style posts pretty well. I like it. Some gripes like the limited control over formatting but I can probably live with that, heck it already has more formatting than I strictly need.

Getting data out of Google Plus is not bad. Seems to offer HTML or JSON. I’ve just downloaded my Stream content in JSON format. Something that would be very good for data munging. I cannot exactly say that Facebook can win at control over my data here, and their track record not so good at the completeness part IMHO.

The Blogger solution is what I already am doing really. The only thing I have to complain about with Blogger, is API side effects. Blogger integrates into exterior services better than G+, and more importantly does so better than Blogger integrates into G+! I have to manually share things to Google Plus, where as the process of sending it to RSS, Twitter, and Facebook, is fairly good. Except that getting people to respond HERE instead of e.g. on Facebook, took some stern wall posts, on top of the whole signature saying so… lol

It is much easier to build up infrastructure around Blogger than G+ right now, even for custom shit. The problemo is integrating anything with G+ is a bitch at the automata level. Thanks to whoever wanted to protect us for all those shitty Facebook apps I guess. Don’t remember who posted it.

Some possibilities exist with custom client-side code perhaps but that is what I really am missng I guess. I love Blogger but it doesn’t mate with G+ good enough for me, nor does G+ really mesh with anything outside it yet.

Pro’s of Blogger:

  • Already in use, 85%-90% of my journal data is here in some form.
    • The rest is on G+ or in private text files.
  • Ease of integration with custom tools and third party services.
  • Nice formatting controls that blend ease of use and pure power, for those of us who know HTML :).

Con’s of Blogger:

  • Sharing to G+ is manual.
  • Can’t make “Comments” system just link to a G+ entry.
  • Have to change web pages to view other content that belongs in m y stream.

Notice that non of those cons are really Blogger’s fault! Google+ seriously needs better integration services, ffs!!!!

The custom solution has it’s merits. I’ve got the web setup and programming skills to cook up something, and I frequently do hack out tools to scratch itches. But I also know canned solutions have great value. Going custom, I get full control: over data, tools, etc. And I have a great web host :-). Doing some custom code isn’t a big issue here, so much as ROI of going Blogger -> Custom instead of Blogger -> G+.

Most of things contra for keeping Blogger, extent to rolling a custom solution. The only difference is the amount of control: if it’s humanly possible to achieve, I can. With Blogger, I have to rely on Google engineers and super system admins.

The real pro’s are also similar, but larger. Namely I can leverage the extra power to do things like automatically copy post data to an offsite data store: like Dropbox or BOX, on top of having backups with my web host.

Another possibility is that since there is an API for reading data out of G+, my “Custom” solution could really just be a way to pretty print my G+ content, and link back to allow commenting/resharing services. What I am not so sure of, is the affordability of that on my wallet. Maybe it’s a good thing that my site doesn’t get hundreds of thousands of views a month.

What I am going to do is experiment with the following issues with G+:

  • Finding things again.
    • result: beats Blogger to shit.
  • API access to G+.
  • Experiments with scripting G+.

Oh, and while I can see people might have issues about e.g. control over visual matters being a big blurb for something like what I am contemplating, it is not for me. I usually find Google has reasonable taste and I prefer content over wizbang themes.

Things will likely be odd for a bit with the site style as I transition my journal from a customized modern/traditional template to the new dynamic views.