Saturday, April 16, 2011

Why Blogger might lose it's share in the blogging platform race

The day before drafting this article, I was simply wondering what made, a Google owned blogging service, lose it's share to newbie blogging services that germinated at the birth of web 2.0. And yes, I got a lot of reasons that highly favored the argument.

I hope the Blogger loyalists don't mistake me. I have no grudges against Blogger. I myself am a Blogger user and I love the service, but it's quite a fact and we ought to accept it that Blogger needs a boost to get back into the race.

The birth of the 2.0 era of the web marked the emergence of some of the most impressive blogging services such as Wordpress by Automattic, paralleled by Tumblr and Posterous recently. And Blogger, originally founded by PyraLabs, was the only dominant service then. Yet, it has either lost or has been losing it's share in the blogging space to other miniature services specified above. Why? In this article, we discuss each reason point by point towards the above argument.

1. Lack of Innovative Spree

As I said, at the birth of the 2.0 era, Blogger had been the only blogging facility on a skyrocketing growth on the web aiding users to create online weblogs. This led to Blogger monopolizing the blogging arena and hence probably, it's development team and management took things quite easy. While Wordpress came around drastically with features that pulled users into using and supporting it, thanks to Matt Mullinweg and his team at Automattic.

One such epic feature was being able to integrate numerous widgets directly into blog and posts, say, social sharing widgets. And the best thing about these widgets was that you never had to touch a bit of code to integrate them into your blog. Whereas, be it anything you need to integrate in your Blogger blog, things never come to an end for an amaturish end user till all hell breaks loose.

2. Lack of Customizability

Blogger, even though availed facilities to place widgets and edit the CSS of one's blog but it did not facilitate users to host the blog on their own servers like Self-Hosted Wordpress or like, and hence deprived users of their right to customize their blogs' access permissions and like according to their needs.

Similarly, Blogger brought in the Pages facility quite late down the timeline while Wordpress had it nearly since it's incarnation. While, in the past, where Blogger bloggers used to search for hacks and tweaks to create pages, Wordpress users created pages at the click of a button.

3. Lack of Social Interactivity

If you ask me one one reason for Tumblr's and Posterous's success, I would never mind saying the word- Social Interactivity.

The Reblog and Favorite button neatly integrated into Tumblr and the [nothing but] retweet button placed along the posts in Posterous blogs is one elegant feature that pulls users towards the respective services.

Though Blogger tried an optional Google Friend Connect integration into it's blogs, the service was a mere failure. The reason- people (not bloggers) did not want to join yet another network for merely liking a blog, as for real social networking they already used services like Facebook and Twitter.

4. Lack of an Official iPhone app

With a great number of people moving towards the mobile web, the development of good mobile device apps is the need of the hour. And there are, in fact, apps available officially for nearly every blogging platform up to date, be it Wordpress, Tumblr, Posterous or even LiveJournal, for primarily iOS and Android.

Android being a Google product becomes trivially eligible for getting a taste of the official blogger app. But what about iOS users? It is, in fact, quite senseless of Google not deploying a mobile app for Blogger as it is, by itself depriving it's users on Blogger in course of it's rivalry with Apple mobile devices.

All having been said, I have two wishes to convey. First, I wish Blogger had remained with PyraLabs because that way we could have seen Blogger growing up under the aegis of a core blogging oriented organization. Well, that's impossible as of now. So I move on to my second wish. And it is that may some great Google guy read this blog post someday and wake all the Blogger developers up and work them out like shooting stars (Brin, Page & Schmidt- I'm calling you guys out!).

That on my behalf for now. What do you say is pulling Blogger down in the eyes of bloggers? Post your comments below and share your views. Cheers! Stay connected. :)

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