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Blogger's sloppy stumble out of beta

Are holiday absences to blame?


Blogger's new makeover, launched in a selective beta back in August, was supposed to make the personal publishing software easier to use. After all, in order to remain a blogging platform for everyday users, the Google-owned service was going to have to do something. Its previous incarnation required a basic knowledge of HTML, which is practically prehistoric in today's world of Ajax-spiced platforms like Six Apart's Vox, which launched earlier this year. So Blogger released a new beta version that featured tags (or "labels" in Googlespeak), "friends-only" posts, and drag-and-drop capabilities. On Thursday, it left the beta phase for a full launch.

But things don't appear to have gone entirely smoothly. According to some Blogger readers, the software exited beta in the manner of an egg nog-filled guest leaving a Christmas party.

We received a tip this morning from a reader who claimed that her Blogger account had been more or less frozen: she could not post to her blog or read comments. "The Blogger Help Group is littered with increasingly desperate postings from people like myself," she added.

Indeed, other users on the Blogger Help Group were reporting similar problems. "I migrated to beta, as prompted, on Thursday," another Blogger member posted to the group. "I received the email to say it had gone through successfully but now [I] can't log in with either ID." And other problems appeared even messier, as another Blogger user related: "My wife's blog is in stuck between the new Blogger beta and the old blog. Whenever she tries to create a new post or manage existing posts she gets an error that says her blog is on the new Blogger, but her blog is inaccessible from the beta Blogger, and she can't access any portion of the old Blogger."

Numerous Blogger members are also reporting that neither Google nor Blogger has responded to their inquiries other than through occasional automated e-mails. It does not appear to be a universal problem, as one CNET reporter who has a Blogger account said that he did not experience any issues. But if the voices on the Blogger Help Group are to be believed, the revamped Blogger is not exactly off to a fantastic start. Maybe that's what happens when you launch a product four days before Christmas--I'm theorizing that a whole lot of Google and Blogger developers are probably out of the office.

UPDATE: Google's response to our inquiry--We know how important Blogger is to our users, so the team is working hard to ensure a smooth migration to the new and improved Blogger. We encourage anyone who is having technical difficulty to visit the Blogger Help Center and join the Blogger Help Group to ask questions and find answers.