Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Blog Viewing Formats

Blogger (i.e. Google) has created some new ways of viewing Blogger blogs, this first one being the Mosaic view of LFD, which shows posts roughly in time order from left to right, and then down the page apparently forever or as long as your browser can stand adding pictures and information. If you put your cursor over one of the blocks, like I've done over the Where it All Began II block, that enlarges; clicking takes you to a white-background version of the post. This is the Flipcard view: moving your cursor around will cause the smaller postblocks to flip (see fourth block from the left, top row); clicking gets you to a similar white-background version of the chosen post. These first two viewing options are the best, IMO. The Snapshot view isn't too bad: it shows all the pictures I've uploaded to the blog, but doesn't show posts without photos. Not so good, or best for true photo blogs, although it appears to make copying photos a little too easy, and my copyright statement isn't shown anywhere in any of these new views. Nor can my own personal blog sidebar be reached via any of these views. The Timeslide view isn't too bad, but is a little confusing as to actual timeline, presenting more of a general timeline. Some of the views, including Flipcard, Snapshot, and Timeline, move sideways to show you the white-background view of my blog. I find the sideways motion annoying and potentially migraine triggering. This Sidebar view is nearly useless in my opinion. Stick to my artistically formatted blog instead of this. It is, however, fairly fast in showing a blog post, which comes up just to the right of the post list.

These views can [no longer] be reached by adding "/view" without the quotes to the end of my blog URL. [Though you can try views on other Blogger blogs that haven't turned the option off like I just did.] You won't be able to reach them in IE unless you switch to Windows 7 and download IE 9. I didn't find them at all viable in Firefox, mostly way too slow. They are designed — surprise! — to work in Chrome: designed by Google to work in Google's browser. [And as noted by Chris Rowan in the comments, they work in Safari.]

For now [no longer - see update info below], these new views will be available here at LFD. I can turn off the new views in my formatting settings, but haven't decided whether or not to do that. I might like to choose one or two or three views to be available, but as of now, it's all or none. I think the views are interesting, but they take away from my own personal formatting and make everything look a little like a Picasa photo album (surprise, again). Only the first one, Mosaic, looks at all artistic to me.

/semi-rant

UPDATE 1April2011: These views are now turned off and are no longer available. I can't pick and choose, it's all or nothing, so therefore nada.

9 comments:

Dana Hunter said...

My gosh. Formats by Google for Google Chrome. I am so shocked. Be still my heart.

And yeah, they take all the artistry out of it. Although that's not such a bad thing when it comes to white text on a black background...

glacialtill said...

I'm not sure how I feel about those changes. It all feels "apple" like to me. Don't get me wrong, I like some of the look, but the homogenization is kinda worrisome.

I say keep one of the views, label it "fun house mirror" for shits and giggles, but keep your default view. I think it suits your blog better.

CJR said...

They work in Safari, too. While I can appreciate the cleverness, I don't see how any of these views actually present your blog's content in a more coherent, informative or accessible way. But maybe that's just me....

helena.heliotrope said...

It seems like things like that would be good for blogs that don't have a lot of in-depth content, and lots of pictures. (Like lifestyle or fitness or fashion blogs or webcomics.)
But for a blog with actual information, these seem vaguely pointless.
Either way, it seems to depersonalize the content.

Matt Hall said...

Cool idea for a post.

I don't mind them as much as most people. I agree they're a bit bland and potentially depersonalizing - all blogs could look a bit samey (if that's a word), or can you customize them?

I quite like the idea of offering readers different views of a blog. I guess readers already do that, and those are mostly out of your control. Choice is good. I think iPad started this trend of repackaging web content.

Full disclosure: I like Macs. And I don't use Blogspot.

Gaelyn said...

Somehow lacks personal preferences.

Silver Fox said...

Thanks for all your comments. I've now turned off the /view option. I might choose for the mosaic option to be available if I could pick and choose, but Blogger has these settings set to "Yes" or "No" - so I've turned them off. Fun to play with, but I prefer for readers to see my blog, not some Googleized version chosen by someone else.

I hadn't really thought about the missing comment aspect, which makes most views look like the view-all version of Posterous. I don't like that my sidebar and pages are missing (About and others), and don't like the lack of formatting options.

Silver Fox said...

Gaelyn, Dana, Helena, and other Blogger users: be aware that the default setting for these new views is set to "Yes" and that they are active unless you change them in Settings/Formatting.

Silver Fox said...

Matt, the last time I checked Wordpress, it didn't have as many formatting options as Blogger has (colors - I can choose from a complete range, and have many layout options; colors are important to me). I can type my posts in html or text, and usually do both. From what I've read, there are advantages and disadvantages to both platforms. And both allow having your own website or non-Blogger, non-Wordpress URL. So, sticking here for now. :)