Spotlight: Cordless/WMG Music blogs The folks at Cordless/WMG recently launched three awesome Blogger-powered blogs for their bands Dangerous Muse, Throw the Fight and Die Mannequin. Aside from their fantastic designs, they've done a number of neat-o template integrations with other Google services like YouTube, Calendar, Picasa Web Albums and Reader. A bit from Wikipedia: "Dangerous Muse are an American electropop duo based in New York. The duo comprises vocalist Mike Furey and Keyboardist/Programmer Tom Napack, often depicted using a Keytar... The duo originally met in 2003 through a mutual friend during the production of The Who's Tommy at Fordham University in New York." "Die Mannequin is an Alternative rock / sleaze rock trio from Toronto, Canada fronted by 20 year old guitar player and singer Care Failure. Rising from the ashes of Failure's first four-piece band "The Bloody Mannequins", Die Mannequin started in the spring of 2006 when Failure recorded her first EP, How to Kill, on which she sang and played bass and guitar because she didn't have a permanent band at that time." ... and melodic.net on Throw the Fight: "Throw The Fight is an aggressively driven, five-piece rock band hailing from Minneapolis, MN. Always trying to define their identity in the "it´s already been done" world of music, the members of Throw The Fight are holding their heads high and are forging a name for themselves all across the country." Check 'em out! posted by Eric at 6:17 PM links to this post January 5, 2007 Blogger Custom Domains The new version of Blogger now supports using a custom domain for serving your blog. If you already own a domain named, say, mysite.com and want your blog to be served at that address instead of at a blogspot.com address, we can host your blog on that domain for you — for free. Your old Blog*Spot address will forward to your new custom domain, so the switch will be seamless for your readers. Of course, FTP publishing is still available if you'd like to do your own hosting, but using a custom domain gives you a ton of advantages: Simpler to set up. You don’t have to muck around with FTP paths and file names. Fast publishing. There’s no waiting for files to upload to a hosting provider. Drag-and-drop template editing. You can use the new Blogger’s new template features. Access control. If you'd like, only let people you choose read your blog. Using Blogger's custom domains is a simple way to start serving your blog on your own domain without having to deal with the hassle of transferring the files to a separate web host. posted by Lexi Baugher at 11:33 AM links to this post December 19, 2006 The New Version of Blogger The new version of Blogger in beta is dead! Long live the new version of Blogger! (P.S. The old version of Blogger is not dead, but it would like to retire for a little while... maybe go to Hawaii or play World of Warcraft all day? It begs you to let it play World of Warcraft all day.) I am overjoyed to announce that today we have o’ficially graduated the new version of Blogger from “in beta” to “.” Why is this significant? Allow me to explain via analogy: Battlestar Galactica with Lorne Greene : Battlestar Galactica with Edward James Olmos :: Old Blogger : New Blogger The new version of Blogger is metaphorically bursting with features, from the big guns like drag-and-drop template editing and post labels (which are perfect, by the way, for indexing the 131 historical figures you may have written about), to little polishes like a better-designed Dashboard or that you no longer need to solve a word verification CAPTCHA to post a comment on your own blog. We’re excited about the new version of Blogger, both for what it can do now (which also includes access control for blogs and better input fields for post dates) and what we’ll add to it in the future, now that we have a new, stable, powerful infrastructure to work with. We’re done with “beta,” but we’re far from done with the new Blogger. It’ll still take a bit more transition time to move everyone from the old version to the new, so for now we ask on our homepage which version of Blogger you use. If you’ve been using the beta, either because you switched or because you created your account after 10 November 2006, click “New Blogger” and sign in with your Google Account. If you haven’t yet switched, click “Old Blogger” and use the same Blogger account you’ve always used, or — and this is the better choice — click “Switch Now” button*. After you sign in with or sign up for a Google Account (free!), you’ll be switched over to the new Blogger, which is both reassuringly the same (your blogs will keep the same URLs, and your templates and profile will be the same too) and significantly better (see above sampling of new features and comparisons to a masterful science fiction television program). Finally, shouts out to all of the people and teams who have made this possible; the new Blogger is the combined effort of engineering, QA, support, management, product, marketing, PR, infrastructure, [music swells] design, partners, clients, users, hackers, Blog*Stars, cats, dogs, ferrets, and everyone and everything else that helped, assisted, or enabled. Thank you! * = Update, 12/20: If you don’t see the “Switch Now” button on the homepage, it’s because a ton of people are already switching to the new Blogger, and we only let so many run simultaneously in order to give everyone a good experience. Just log in to old Blogger for now, and we’ll give you a heads up on your Dashboard when we’re ready for you. posted by Pete at 5:30 PM links to this post December 13, 2006 Peace Corps Blogging A fellow Googler just let us know that her friend Aaron is currently blogging his Peace Corps experience from Togo, West Africa. In his own words: "Take a peak at the trials and tribulations of a techie in Togo at aaroninafrica.blogspot.com. It's the stories, pictures and videos of a Peace Corps computer geek trying to spread the good news of computers in a mid-sized city in Togo, West Africa. The blog is smart and funny, and offers fun cultural insights and tidbits. From reporting on moving, cross-cultural moments to describing the big to-do when a new traffic light was installed, to up-close and personal interactions with his Togolese friends and neighbors, Aaron's blog opens a window on the society and culture in which he has immersed himself. Read about the computer center he is setting up in "Project," in which he hopes to provide affordable computer access to his community. If you like the idea, he is looking for people to help fund it." posted by Eric at 4:34 PM links to this post December 11, 2006 Switching with team blogs and getting out of beta Just before the weekend we added the final piece to the transition from old Blogger to the new Blogger in beta: members of team blogs can now switch to the new Blogger. This is the last step before we take the new Blogger out of beta. Team blogs move when the blog’s original creator moves to the new Blogger. When that happens, team blog members will also have to move to the new Blogger in order to post. Team blog members don’t have to wait, though! If you move to the new Blogger, team blogs you didn’t create will still show up on your beta Dashboard. You’ll be able to post with them as before, though they won’t have the new features of the new Blogger. We wrote a help article to explain this all in a bit more depth. At this point, the pieces are in place: The new Blogger is feature complete All new accounts are created on the new version Known issues on the new Blogger are few and getting fewer (Almost*) all users are able to move their blogs to the new Blogger This all means that we’ll be removing the “beta” from the new Blogger very soon! At that time, we’ll begin the process of requiring that users of old Blogger move to new Blogger. * = From time to time we may limit switching in order to keep old and new Blogger functioning smoothly. Also, users with particularly large blogs may not switch right now. This latter restriction will be gradually lifted. posted by Pete at 9:30 AM links to this post December 6, 2006 News for Curious Cooks! If you happen to be a foodie, and enjoy reading foodie books, you've probably got a copy of On Food and Cooking somewhere on a nearby bookshelf. It's written by a wonderful man named Harold McGee, who just happens to hang out here at Google every now and then. (lots of food stuff goes on here, in addition to all the geeky stuff). A little while ago Harold was telling me about all the supplemental research and material he has, that just won't quite fit into revisions of his book or his New York Times pieces. I suggested that he start a blog using the beta, and soon News for Curious Cooks was born! He was particular interested in the beta's Label feature, which lets him categorize posts with labels like flavor, nutrition and vegetables. He's also even tweaked the layout himself with the beta's super easy-to-use Layouts feature. If you'd like to subscribe to Harold's blog in your favorite newsreader, here's the feed. Happy cooking and food-blogging! posted by Eric at 7:23 PM links to this post December 5, 2006 Eric Case talks Blogger Beta on videoblog Eric Case, of Blogger and Google Developer Relations, chatted with noted videobloggers Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson about videoblogging, the history and future of Blogger, and the “changing engines in midflight” that is moving to the new version of Blogger. 46 megs, QuickTime format If you’re interested in getting started with videoblogging, Ryanne and Michael Verdi have a series of video tutorials on how to create a free videoblog using Blogger at Freevlog.org.