Friday, May 4, 2007

Old Blogger is dead! Long live Blogger!

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Blogger Buzz: Old Blogger is dead! Long live Blogger!

Today at Blogger HQ we accomplished one of our most significant milestones ever: we changed old Blogger's monitoring from "page us when it goes down" to "page us if it comes back to life in a horrifying, zombie state."

Most of you probably haven't noticed, since you've been happily (we hope) using new Blogger for several weeks or months now. But we're excited to be done with it, since now we can focus 100% on the new Blogger and all we want to add to it.

While old Blogger totters off to realize its dream of getting to level 70 in the Burning Crusade, let's take some time to remember what it took to replace the old Blogger with the new.

14 August 2006: The new version of Blogger launches as a public beta
23 August 2006: Blogger's 7th birthday
30 August 2006: Edit HTML added to beta's Layouts
2 September 2006: Login box fiasco solved
5 September 2006: Beta Known Issues blog launched
21 September 2006: Mobile posting added
4 October 2006: Picasa support added
26 October 2006: Week of Old Blogger meltdowns
2 November 2006: Beta declared "feature complete" with FTP support
10 November 2006: All new accounts created on Blogger in beta
12 November 2006: New mobile accounts created on Blogger in beta
11 December 2006: Team blogs allowed to switch to Blogger in beta
19 December 2006: New Blogger taken out of beta
4 January 2007: BlogThis! added
24 January 2007: Percentage of users required to switch to new Blogger
15 February 2007: All users required to switch to new Blogger on login
21 February 2007: FTP publishing reliability improved
4 March 2007: Performance problems with especially busy blogs resolved
28 March 2007: Offline process to move blogs from old to new Blogger begins
16 April 2007: 1000th Blog of Note
24 April 2007: All blogs moved off old Blogger, save [this] one
26 April 2007: Blogger Buzz moves to new Blogger, turns off lights on its way out
27 April 2007: DNS change to point to new Blogger
4 May 2007: Old Blogger physically dismantled

And that's how it happened. Enjoy the Blogger! (Exciting times are ahead.)

Oh, and due propers to everyone who made this possible. You know who you are, probably.


The more the merrier

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Official Google Docs & Spreadsheets Blog: The more the merrier

Last week, I volunteered at the public library with my buddy Clark. We were cataloging donated books, so I shared a spreadsheet with him at Little did I know, he was already into Docs & Spreadsheets, but typically used his other email address,, to log in. Luckily, with the new invitation system, it worked seamlessly. He could see the book sale spreadsheet right next to the documents he'd already been working with.

Many of you shared your concerns about the old invitation system: needing to invite people on a mailing list, or having problems inviting users who had multiple addresses and multiple Google Accounts. So we've simplified our invitations to work better in those cases. Now, if you set the "Invitations may be used by anyone" option, the people you invite can get into the doc from whichever Google account they prefer - even if they aren't trying to hide a secret identity ;)


Google Analytics Integrations

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Google Analytics Integrations

A few days ago, an email marketing company by the name of Listrak announced an integration with Google Analytics that allows their customers to track the conversion rate of their email campaigns. Many other companies have also integrated their shopping carts and other products with Google Analytics, and we'd like to share this with you. We also want to hear about any integrations that you have created or heard about, and share these with other users. So today we are introducing a new area on our Google Group site for others to add their integrations. Take a look and post your own integrations!


Thursday, May 3, 2007

[G] New Improved Desktop Gadget Designer

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Inside Google Desktop: New Improved Desktop Gadget Designer

If you're starting to create desktop gadgets, be sure to try out the new and improved Google Desktop Gadget Designer, included with the latest Google Desktop SDK. It makes creating that great gadget idea of yours a breeze, with drag & drop elements, property editors, and built-in script editing. I spent my internship here working with the amazing people on the Desktop team and adding some of the most requested features to the designer.

Here are some of the new features and fixes in the latest version:
  • Additions to the API, such as listbox and progressbar, are supported.

  • The designer UI is more configurable, with variable-size panes and retained window position/size.

  • You can find and replace text and go to a specific line.

  • The properties list is sorted in alphabetical order.

  • The designer tabs have tool tips and can be closed with a middle-click.

  • You can choose whether to see a web page at startup; the new default home page lets you search Google Desktop documentation or all Google Desktop websites (including this blog).

  • New project files are UTF-8 encoded.

  • You can specify preferences, such as whether to load the most recent project at startup.
For your learning enjoyment, this version of the Google Desktop SDK also includes new samples demonstrating scrolling elements and the XML details view. And if you have requests for the designer or questions about desktop gadget development, check out the Google Desktop Developer Group and the Developer Knowledge Base -- and don't forget to read our online gadget documentation for tutorials, guidelines, and the API reference doc.


Wednesday, May 2, 2007

There are people who don't use feed readers?

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There are people who don't use feed readers?

Email screenshot

It's fun to share interesting items with your friends and coworkers. Google Reader has a "Share" button and a public page to go along with it, and some people have been putting that to great use. Once you start sharing, others can subscribe to your shared items and see what you see (when you want them to).

This works great for your feed-savvy friends. But, what if you want to share something you find in Reader with someone who doesn't use a feed reader at all?

To the rescue comes a greatly improved email feature we're releasing today. Even Marge Simpson has email, so interesting feed items you come across can now reach almost anyone.

Now, clicking the "Email" link at the bottom of an item gives you the ability to:

  • send email from within Reader -- no more second window for sending email.
  • send the entire item as it appears in Reader, including formatting and images.
  • use your Gmail address book (if you have one) to add contacts with auto-complete.

So, there you have it. Now you can share the great content from your feeds with anyone. Give it a try and let us know how you like it.