Is it blogging war?

Recently I noticed that on Blogger blogs, a commenter has three options:

use a Google or Blogger account;

stay anonymous;

or choose something called ‘Nickname’ whatever that means.

Notice something? There is no more the possibility to provide a link to the commenter’s own blog unless he/ she has a Blogger-hosted blog.

In practice, this just means that those with blogs on WordPress, Typepad, Vox etc cannot cross-promote their blogs while commenting on Blogger-hosted blogs.

Is it fair? Probably not but free services are not warranted and EULA conditions change all the time, so nobody can complain and Google/ Blogger is within their rights to do this.

Does it matter? Probably it does, to those whose Technorati ranking matters to them. Also because it may stifle some debate in the blogosphere.

Does anyone care? This is a tougher one. You tell me. Do you?

50 Replies to “Is it blogging war?”

  1. I find it really annoying. I have a blogger account, and on the profile page you can link to a blog elsewhere, but it’s much nicer if people can just click on your name under the comment and go straight there.

    What all this means- I’m a lot less likely to fall in love with a blog on blogger, than somewhere more independent. Ho hum.

  2. I find it really annoying. I have a blogger account, and on the profile page you can link to a blog elsewhere, but it’s much nicer if people can just click on your name under the comment and go straight there.

    What all this means- I’m a lot less likely to fall in love with a blog on blogger, than somewhere more independent. Ho hum.

  3. Hey Shefaly.. long break? been busy?

    As far as the question goes, I dont think it really matters to me, as long as I can trace back the commenter’s blog I am ok I guess.

  4. Hey Shefaly.. long break? been busy?

    As far as the question goes, I dont think it really matters to me, as long as I can trace back the commenter’s blog I am ok I guess.

  5. I don’t visit Blogger that often — most of my friends and favorites are here (or on their own domains). But that does sound annoying. I do know that if commenting is too difficult (like if I have to fully register on a new site) I’m unlikely to comment — and I don’t really like being anonymous — it sounds like I’m trying to hide something. If I am somewhere where I have to be anonymous, then I usually put my name in the comment anyway.

  6. I don’t visit Blogger that often — most of my friends and favorites are here (or on their own domains). But that does sound annoying. I do know that if commenting is too difficult (like if I have to fully register on a new site) I’m unlikely to comment — and I don’t really like being anonymous — it sounds like I’m trying to hide something. If I am somewhere where I have to be anonymous, then I usually put my name in the comment anyway.

  7. I noticed this too and first thought that there is a technical glitch. But it didn’t go away! This is an out and out war that’s been declared by Google. It annoys me because I don’t want to use my Google Account and since I use WP, I can only use a nickname and not provide a link. It’s another way of getting the rankings of non-Blogger blogs to go down!

  8. I noticed this too and first thought that there is a technical glitch. But it didn’t go away! This is an out and out war that’s been declared by Google. It annoys me because I don’t want to use my Google Account and since I use WP, I can only use a nickname and not provide a link. It’s another way of getting the rankings of non-Blogger blogs to go down!

  9. If I was on blogger I wouldn’t like it much but I guess it’s a personal thing. But it certainly takes away control and it doesn’t seem fair to commentators. Maybe it is a technical glitch and Blogger will fix it!
    btw, I guess you know that Paul shifted to wordpress for this very reason? Well, this was one of the reasons I think!

  10. If I was on blogger I wouldn’t like it much but I guess it’s a personal thing. But it certainly takes away control and it doesn’t seem fair to commentators. Maybe it is a technical glitch and Blogger will fix it!
    btw, I guess you know that Paul shifted to wordpress for this very reason? Well, this was one of the reasons I think!

  11. Thanks, all, for your views.

    Frankly my view is although it is a pain to remember many passwords, I do not want Google to be a single repository or to have a singular consolidated view of me and my activity on the web. That is my reason for finding this new development rather odd.

    This is no scientific poll nor is the base of 6 (7, if you count me) statistically significant. But it appears that those who dislike this change outnumber those who are in the DK/ CS (don’t know/ can’t say in market research lingo) camp.

    I will exhort those who write blogs on Blogger to move to WordPress. I moved my Obesity blog here from Blogger and am very happy with features and dashboard in WordPress. Customer evangelism makes a difference. So go ahead, do your bit for your readers (most of my reader-bloggers are WordPress bloggers).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  12. Thanks, all, for your views.

    Frankly my view is although it is a pain to remember many passwords, I do not want Google to be a single repository or to have a singular consolidated view of me and my activity on the web. That is my reason for finding this new development rather odd.

    This is no scientific poll nor is the base of 6 (7, if you count me) statistically significant. But it appears that those who dislike this change outnumber those who are in the DK/ CS (don’t know/ can’t say in market research lingo) camp.

    I will exhort those who write blogs on Blogger to move to WordPress. I moved my Obesity blog here from Blogger and am very happy with features and dashboard in WordPress. Customer evangelism makes a difference. So go ahead, do your bit for your readers (most of my reader-bloggers are WordPress bloggers).

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  13. Have developed a healthy distaste for Blogger now, especially because of this irritating deal. On top of that, I have had some incredible experiences with commenting (almost worth a blog post). Okay, will do that….
    πŸ™‚

  14. Have developed a healthy distaste for Blogger now, especially because of this irritating deal. On top of that, I have had some incredible experiences with commenting (almost worth a blog post). Okay, will do that….
    πŸ™‚

  15. Shefaly,

    There’s more to this story. While not having a link to the commenter’s website is a pain, I suspect this is a temporary arrangement.

    News is that Blogger may support OpenId, which will allow a user just one login across several domains (including WordPress, LiveJournal, etc.)

    Quoting: “This means that users of OpenID-enabled services β€” such as LiveJournal and WordPress β€” can comment on your blog using their accounts from those sites, rather than with Blogger/Google accounts.”

    See..
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/11/30/google-trialling-openid-with-blogger-may-offer-openids-to-users/

    http://bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/2007/11/new-feature-openid-commenting.html

    Blogger supporting OpenID will be a good thing largely speaking. No more need to remember different username/password combos (at least theoretically speaking).
    We shall see how the implementation goes..

  16. Shefaly,

    There’s more to this story. While not having a link to the commenter’s website is a pain, I suspect this is a temporary arrangement.

    News is that Blogger may support OpenId, which will allow a user just one login across several domains (including WordPress, LiveJournal, etc.)

    Quoting: “This means that users of OpenID-enabled services β€” such as LiveJournal and WordPress β€” can comment on your blog using their accounts from those sites, rather than with Blogger/Google accounts.”

    See..
    http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/11/30/google-trialling-openid-with-blogger-may-offer-openids-to-users/

    http://bloggerindraft.blogspot.com/2007/11/new-feature-openid-commenting.html

    Blogger supporting OpenID will be a good thing largely speaking. No more need to remember different username/password combos (at least theoretically speaking).
    We shall see how the implementation goes..

  17. @ Atul: Thanks for your note.

    You and I have been discussing single sign-on for at least 8 years, haven’t we? OpenID is just its latest avatar in my view and implementation, as you rightly identify, is where the crux is. Meanwhile I am moving away from Google, except for search, as fast as I can, thus at least in part illustrating the biases that make implementation difficult.

    WordPress I know has not resolved the issue of multiple blogs. When I leave a comment on a health blog, I want the link back to my Obesity blog, not La Vie Quotidienne. As far as I can tell, WordPress has not untwined the strands of that particular string yet.

    @ Poonam: Thanks for your note and welcome to my blog.

    I have just moved away from Blogger and as many in my reader-blogger community go, many are moving away from Blogger or not starting there at all (two of them – Nita and Ruhi – you have interviewed, of course). I have also stopped commenting on Blogger hosted blogs, however temporary, as Atul suggests, the problem might be.

    Too bad about strategic transition experiments being conducted in public, in real time…

  18. @ Atul: Thanks for your note.

    You and I have been discussing single sign-on for at least 8 years, haven’t we? OpenID is just its latest avatar in my view and implementation, as you rightly identify, is where the crux is. Meanwhile I am moving away from Google, except for search, as fast as I can, thus at least in part illustrating the biases that make implementation difficult.

    WordPress I know has not resolved the issue of multiple blogs. When I leave a comment on a health blog, I want the link back to my Obesity blog, not La Vie Quotidienne. As far as I can tell, WordPress has not untwined the strands of that particular string yet.

    @ Poonam: Thanks for your note and welcome to my blog.

    I have just moved away from Blogger and as many in my reader-blogger community go, many are moving away from Blogger or not starting there at all (two of them – Nita and Ruhi – you have interviewed, of course). I have also stopped commenting on Blogger hosted blogs, however temporary, as Atul suggests, the problem might be.

    Too bad about strategic transition experiments being conducted in public, in real time…

  19. Poonam: Thanks for your note.

    Atul suggests in # 9. that Google is trialling OpenID and the 3 options available meanwhile may be a temporary measure. If that is indeed the case, then the transition, going by comments here, is upsetting many people. That is the strategic transition experiment that I referred to. πŸ™‚

  20. Poonam: Thanks for your note.

    Atul suggests in # 9. that Google is trialling OpenID and the 3 options available meanwhile may be a temporary measure. If that is indeed the case, then the transition, going by comments here, is upsetting many people. That is the strategic transition experiment that I referred to. πŸ™‚

  21. Nita is right, Shefaly. The last straw for me on Blogger was when they pulled that nasty little change on us. I switched to WordPress the same day Nita told me about it. I’m already in love with the features I’ve discovered on WordPress.

  22. Nita is right, Shefaly. The last straw for me on Blogger was when they pulled that nasty little change on us. I switched to WordPress the same day Nita told me about it. I’m already in love with the features I’ve discovered on WordPress.

  23. Yes I noticed this as well… and I think this is blogger’s desperate attempt to ignore other more popular blogging platforms!! It is indeed threatened by WordPress, due to the latter’s increasing popularity with the junta!!

    But its sad! Really!

    Google, Come on! Better things are expected of you!!!

  24. Yes I noticed this as well… and I think this is blogger’s desperate attempt to ignore other more popular blogging platforms!! It is indeed threatened by WordPress, due to the latter’s increasing popularity with the junta!!

    But its sad! Really!

    Google, Come on! Better things are expected of you!!!

  25. The bloggers at blogspot do care. But then, I also notice a deliberate attempt by few not to disclose their identity. Yes the system at blogger is like that and so are the people. Are we forgetting Google search; you can find just about anyone anywhere.

  26. The bloggers at blogspot do care. But then, I also notice a deliberate attempt by few not to disclose their identity. Yes the system at blogger is like that and so are the people. Are we forgetting Google search; you can find just about anyone anywhere.

  27. @ Paul: Thanks. I had a similar experience although Blogger did have some great keyboard shortcuts which either WordPress does not have or I do not know of, yet.

    @ Nova: I would not ‘expect’ better things of Google. πŸ™‚ Who defines better in this case? They are seeking to maximise their value and there is nothing wrong with it, is there? If we do not like it, we leave. Which it seems many are doing.

    @ Kirit: I think not being allowed to cross-promote your blog, irrespective of whether you use your real identity or an assumed on, is a different cup of tea from the discussion on a deliberate attempt to hide one’s identity.

    Most readers here for instance are bloggers themselves and we do feed each other and off each other a lot. Pretty much everyone writes under their real identities, and where not, we know a lot about the person behind the ‘handle’.

    That still does not justify this random decision on Google’s part. The blogosphere feeds off content and if that cannot be promoted, there really is not much point, is there?

    Ruhi is running a boycott-Blogger campaign now and I am actively nudging my blogger-friends on Blogger to switch to WordPress. I am even helping some make the move. People vote with their keyboards and perhaps Google underestimates how many people dislike their attempts to recruit everyone to their portfolio of services in an under-handed manner.

  28. @ Paul: Thanks. I had a similar experience although Blogger did have some great keyboard shortcuts which either WordPress does not have or I do not know of, yet.

    @ Nova: I would not ‘expect’ better things of Google. πŸ™‚ Who defines better in this case? They are seeking to maximise their value and there is nothing wrong with it, is there? If we do not like it, we leave. Which it seems many are doing.

    @ Kirit: I think not being allowed to cross-promote your blog, irrespective of whether you use your real identity or an assumed on, is a different cup of tea from the discussion on a deliberate attempt to hide one’s identity.

    Most readers here for instance are bloggers themselves and we do feed each other and off each other a lot. Pretty much everyone writes under their real identities, and where not, we know a lot about the person behind the ‘handle’.

    That still does not justify this random decision on Google’s part. The blogosphere feeds off content and if that cannot be promoted, there really is not much point, is there?

    Ruhi is running a boycott-Blogger campaign now and I am actively nudging my blogger-friends on Blogger to switch to WordPress. I am even helping some make the move. People vote with their keyboards and perhaps Google underestimates how many people dislike their attempts to recruit everyone to their portfolio of services in an under-handed manner.

  29. I feel like stirring things up a little, so I’ll ask the question “why organize boycotts?” for this or anything else. Why drag others into something you personally have an issue with (not “you” Shefaly, but people in general)? Take action, leave Blogger, don’t visit Blogger blogs, spread the word, whatever, but why request that others do it too? I think that kind of grassroots “cause” easily leads to jumping onto bandwagons by people that aren’t really educated about the issue and its various angles. A case in point is a Fox News personality named Bill O’Reilly, who likes to incite his millions of viewers to boycott and/or harass entities that he doesn’t agree with, and the sad thing is that many of his viewers do just that, causing effects without ever really realizing exactly what or why they’re boycotting. As for Blogger, I have had a free blog hosted by them but I prefer to pay for TypePad for some reason. And for the record, it is VERY annoying when I can’t leave a Comment as myself. So my stance has nothing to do with Blogger, just the concept of organized boycotting in general.

  30. I feel like stirring things up a little, so I’ll ask the question “why organize boycotts?” for this or anything else. Why drag others into something you personally have an issue with (not “you” Shefaly, but people in general)? Take action, leave Blogger, don’t visit Blogger blogs, spread the word, whatever, but why request that others do it too? I think that kind of grassroots “cause” easily leads to jumping onto bandwagons by people that aren’t really educated about the issue and its various angles. A case in point is a Fox News personality named Bill O’Reilly, who likes to incite his millions of viewers to boycott and/or harass entities that he doesn’t agree with, and the sad thing is that many of his viewers do just that, causing effects without ever really realizing exactly what or why they’re boycotting. As for Blogger, I have had a free blog hosted by them but I prefer to pay for TypePad for some reason. And for the record, it is VERY annoying when I can’t leave a Comment as myself. So my stance has nothing to do with Blogger, just the concept of organized boycotting in general.

  31. @Worth, Nobody is forcing anyone to join the campaign. It can’t even be compared to all the propoganda that’s fed into the heads of the viewers without their knowledge.

    I’m not going around to other people’s blog or email them and “requesting” them. It’s just your opinion anyway.

  32. @Worth, Nobody is forcing anyone to join the campaign. It can’t even be compared to all the propoganda that’s fed into the heads of the viewers without their knowledge.

    I’m not going around to other people’s blog or email them and “requesting” them. It’s just your opinion anyway.

  33. @ Worth: Good to see you back.

    Why organise boycotts?

    For the same reason as students protested and sometimes rioted. They felt strongly about it. Grassroots action makes voices heard in an organised way. London had one of the largest anti-war marches in the you-are-with-us camp in February 2003. We eventually did support the USA in the Iraq war but Blair’s destiny was writ on that day.

    Why the Blogger thing?

    Ruhi, as far as I can see, is not soliciting people, merely asking her readers to consider the boycott. I think the wider community of bloggers is fairly well-educated in this respect; and it is not just her blog and my blog where we are seeing several people upset about this sneaky change in Blogger. Some of my blog readers and blog friends have moved on to WordPress, some others are actively corresponding with me and I am happy to hand-hold, yet others are happy to stay on but I have had to cut down my participation on those blogs.

    As an aside, I find the name Fox News rather hilarious. Is that what passes for news in some parts of the world, leave alone in a large democracy, that espouses the cause of empowerment through individual freedom? As the quote from Spiderman goes: With great power, comes great responsibility. Should educating oneself before signing on to a cause not be part of that responsibility?

    Just my tuppence πŸ™‚

  34. @ Worth: Good to see you back.

    Why organise boycotts?

    For the same reason as students protested and sometimes rioted. They felt strongly about it. Grassroots action makes voices heard in an organised way. London had one of the largest anti-war marches in the you-are-with-us camp in February 2003. We eventually did support the USA in the Iraq war but Blair’s destiny was writ on that day.

    Why the Blogger thing?

    Ruhi, as far as I can see, is not soliciting people, merely asking her readers to consider the boycott. I think the wider community of bloggers is fairly well-educated in this respect; and it is not just her blog and my blog where we are seeing several people upset about this sneaky change in Blogger. Some of my blog readers and blog friends have moved on to WordPress, some others are actively corresponding with me and I am happy to hand-hold, yet others are happy to stay on but I have had to cut down my participation on those blogs.

    As an aside, I find the name Fox News rather hilarious. Is that what passes for news in some parts of the world, leave alone in a large democracy, that espouses the cause of empowerment through individual freedom? As the quote from Spiderman goes: With great power, comes great responsibility. Should educating oneself before signing on to a cause not be part of that responsibility?

    Just my tuppence πŸ™‚

  35. I know WHY people boycott things, I just question the tactic itself. Personally, I prefer more active methods of organized dissent, such as the aforementioned protest movements and the act of writing publicly to voice displeasure as Ruhi has done. Merely choosing to not use a product in a category with a plethora of competitors doesn’t typically have much of an impact, unless done on a MASSIVE scale with an impact that is really felt by the offending party, which is just difficult to accomplish. And my opinion on this matter doesn’t mean that I don’t applaud you for doing something, which is more than almost anyone else does!

  36. I know WHY people boycott things, I just question the tactic itself. Personally, I prefer more active methods of organized dissent, such as the aforementioned protest movements and the act of writing publicly to voice displeasure as Ruhi has done. Merely choosing to not use a product in a category with a plethora of competitors doesn’t typically have much of an impact, unless done on a MASSIVE scale with an impact that is really felt by the offending party, which is just difficult to accomplish. And my opinion on this matter doesn’t mean that I don’t applaud you for doing something, which is more than almost anyone else does!

What do YOU think?