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Is Google Neglecting Blogger?

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the it's-just-traffic dept.

Google 149

Ian Lamont writes "For years, I've been frustrated by Blogger's relatively limited functionality and other problems. For instance, we've heard about Blogger's security flaws since the beginning of this decade. Blogger's latest problem, which lets bots bypass CAPTCHAs in order to set up spam blogs, is not just a sign of Google's disregard for security — it's symptomatic of Google's neglect of its Blogger service. For instance, Blogger is just now rolling out a feature that lets writers publish in the future, years after similar functionality was released in Wordpress and Moveable Type. Is Blogger destined to be a sideshow as long as Google keeps acquiring and building more high-profile services, such as Google Maps and YouTube?"

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The interesting thing is... (-1, Troll)

Jack B. Nimple (1275372) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216482)

That they've been placing a ton of ads on their sites, and apparently making a ton of coin. [notlong.com] So they're reaping the rewards without putting the effort in. A nice little cash cow.

Don't click it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216598)

Everyone knows the drill by now, don't click the 40 year old virgin's link.

Re:Don't click it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216660)

Um, I'm 24 and I've stuck it to more pussies than you ever will. While I've only got seven notches on the bedpost, I mean "stick it to pussies" in that so many people have clicked my links. Thousands. I love the stats on notlong.

Re:Don't click it (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23218260)

Registrant Name:Andre Schneider
Registrant Organization:DomCollect Worldwide Intellectual Property AG
Registrant Street1:Zeughausgasse 9a
Registrant Street2:
Registrant Street3:
Registrant City:Zug
Registrant State/Province:CH
Registrant Postal Code:6300
Registrant Country:CH
Registrant Phone:+41.417109364
Registrant Phone Ext.:
Registrant FAX:+41.448334449
Registrant FAX Ext.:
Registrant Email:info@domcollect.com

Is Slashdot neglecting (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216486)

first posters?

Blogging is so 90s (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216782)

Get with the times. Besides, real men never blogged.

Re:Blogging is so 90s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216946)

Yeah and the internet is just a fad

Re:Blogging is so 90s (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23218216)

Ha!! Shows how much you know mr. slashdot expert on computer history. Blogging wasn't invented until 2000 when Al gore starting his "Bit logging" page for his campaign.

it's still in beta (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216490)

Give it another few years for Google to make it perfect, like everything they do

Re:it's still in beta (4, Insightful)

Lemmy Caution (8378) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216612)

Google is the Neal Stephenson of companies. Promising starts, interesting ideas, and a chronic failure to finish.

Re:it's still in beta (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216632)

Promising starts, interesting ideas, and a chronic failure to finish.

That's funny, I had a girlfriend that made the same comparison with me.

Re:it's still in beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217598)

You had a girlfriend? Lucky bastard.

Re:it's still in beta (1)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217628)


Promising starts, interesting ideas, and a chronic failure to finish.

That's funny, every girlfriend I had made the same comparison with me.

There, fixed that for you ;)

Re:it's still in beta (5, Funny)

Dannkape (1195229) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217676)

This is slashdot, what makes you think he ever had more than 1 girlfriend?

Re:it's still in beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23218146)

Don't worry, we all get to hear that from our girls when it ends.

Re:it's still in beta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216650)

If only 99.9% of their crap was EVER refined past inception....

Re:it's still in beta (2, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217010)

I don't think we'll see blogger improving. Just like it happened when they bought Writely, they may not care that much about the product the company is selling, but the team that does it. Blogger seems to be in "mainteinance mode", they may have a small team working on maintaining and keeping it up to date while the rest of the people works on a "blogger killer". They haven't even tried to integrate blogger with the rest of Google apps (blogger interrupts the service some times for "mainteinance", something that would never happen in a google app)

If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (5, Insightful)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216564)

Then why are all the people still using it regardless?

It's not as if the other mentioned services (such as Wordpress) don't have free alternatives.
If you're serious about it all, you would buy your own domain, and use (and customize) any CMS to your liking.

I find it very funny to see these complaints (definitely "They've been neglecting it for years" ; Then why are you still blogging on there?

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216822)

If you're serious about it all, you would buy your own domain, and use (and customize) any CMS to your liking.
Better yet, build your own. That's what I'm doing. Wyther or not people use it, well, that's another question.

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217006)

I did that too. Looks like we are a lot doing that lately :)

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (4, Informative)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216980)

Blogger is not without utility. However, a bit of a "feature War" has sprung up between it and Wordpress, and Wordpress's abilities have expanded far beyond that of Blogger's.

Google hasn't been neglecting Blogger so much as Blogger has been getting PWNED by faster-developing companies who can roll out more / better features faster.

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217696)

The question is whether or not these features matter to the majority of users. Too often you see companies adding new features that appeal to the 20% and confuse and annoy the remaining 80%.

Great, Wordpress lets users write and publish articles in the future; now Suzie Q can tell us what her cat did tonight before it even happens!

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1)

Rachel Lucid (964267) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218730)

Wordpress has some features I still wish blogger had. For example, I'd like to be able to show my freaking comment count in my RSS feed so my RSS readers can see if actual discussion is going on.

Features may not always be useful, but Blogger's missing some fairly obvious ones if that's any indication!

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217078)

"Then why are you still blogging on there?"

I blogged there as late as 2003. It sucked then, it still sucks now. There is no support - period. It's pure anarchy. Others who don't know any better stay there and put up with it.

But even if I've left, Blogger's suckiness still affects the entire web. Spamblogs still come up in search results, spamblogs still jam my server logs with bogus referrer hits, half the social bookmark sites link to trashblogs that crash after 10 hits, and furthermore it gives a bad name to all bloggers on any platform.

For everybody's information: ditch the free zoos and get your own domain. Ten bucks a month buys you a lot of relief!

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217216)

The fact that it doesn't meet all of one's needs doesn't mean that it doesn't hold utility. I use Blogger despite it's stagnant feature development because (a) I got in at the ground floor and find it easy and familiar, and (b) am very busy and too lazy to find, and then migrate all of my posts to, another service/provider/CMS. Momentum is a powerful force.

Besides, I feel that I should be able to criticize a service/product with my words rather than my (lack of) business. Somehow that seems more constructive to me.

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1)

devilspgd (652955) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217536)

This is Google's "thing", they buy or build a service, it's the darling child for a few months, then it gets left to rot. People stay because they're too stupid to go elsewhere, or because they get stuck using a specific provider's name and can't easily change.

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1)

Cairnarvon (901868) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218358)

At one point (pre-Google) Blogger was one of the best free blogging services available (which, granted, said more about the availability than about Blogger), and once you've had a blog for a few years, it becomes very inconvenient to switch. WordPress does have a thing where you can import posts and users from Blogger (and other services), but there's also the issue of having a new URL, converting your blog's skin (since your readers will be familiar with the old one), getting search engines to realise your old blog doesn't exist anymore, &c.

I'm not sure when a failure to understand switching costs became Insightful.

Re:If Google is neglecting Blogger.... (1)

MatB (845512) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218442)

Then why are all the people still using it regardless?
Simple, a lot of the people using Blogger either a) don't know of the alternatives or b) don't know they can switch. When I first met with a British MP to discuss blogging and similar, he was thinking of getting "a blogspot", because that's what he knew of and had seen. When I pointed out a lot of other sites he looked at were actually blogs, he was impressed.

why are you still blogging on there?
I speak to a lot of Blogger users who have a lot of incoming links and similar that they've built up, the hassle of leaving is too much for them, it works, why jump when what you jump to might not actually suit you?

Making progress on this is hard work, but I keep at it.

Google does seem to have NIHS (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216568)

Not Invented Here Syndrome. YouTube is still a fairly new purchase, so it's hard to tell what'll happen there, but we've heard similar complaints about other things they've purchased like GrandCentral, Dodgeball, Jaiku, JotSpot, Urchin, etc.

Re:Google does seem to have NIHS (3, Informative)

Btarlinian (922732) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216750)

Not Invented Here Syndrome. YouTube is still a fairly new purchase, so it's hard to tell what'll happen there, but we've heard similar complaints about other things they've purchased like GrandCentral, Dodgeball, Jaiku, JotSpot, Urchin, etc.
You do know that Google Maps and Google Earth, two of their most popular non-search products were the result of acquisitions, right?

Re:Google does seem to have NIHS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216824)

Google maps wasn't.

usenet spam from gmail accounts (5, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216576)

On a related topic, the usenet groups I subscribe to are getting a ridiculous amount of spam recently from gmail accounts. On a given day, you'll get, say, 10 new posts, each with its own distinct subject line, trying to sell watches or running shoes. They're all from the same gmail account. It doesn't do you any good to plonk that gmail account, because the next day it's 10 new spams from some new gmail account. It's gotten to the point where I'm considering just filtering out all posts that come from gmail accounts. I'm guessing this is happening because google has relaxed their conditions for getting a gmail account, and at the same time the spammers are getting more sophisticated about solving captchas. The impression I get is that google is starting to feel the need to grow into their ridiculously large market capitalization, and they can only do that by bringing in lots of new users. If that means letting in lots of spambots too, well ...

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216788)

You realize that 'from' headers in emails and usenet posts aren't authenticated in any way, right? People can put whatever address/domain they want in there... gmail, slashdot, nasa etc.

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216862)

Do you think the posters in comp.lang.python (which is also bridged to a python.org mailing list) are faking these headers:

Original-X-Trace: posting.google.com 1209302397 21110 127.0.0.1 (27 Apr 2008 13:19:57
GMT)
Original-X-Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
Original-NNTP-Posting-Date: Sun, 27 Apr 2008 13:19:57 +0000 (UTC)
Complaints-To: groups-abuse@google.com
Injection-Info: m36g2000hse.googlegroups.com; posting-host=91.197.18.35;
posting-account=43WFKAoAAACZ0P8milfUZEohmId2hTvY
User-Agent: G2/1.0

The spam is coming out of Google Groups.

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (5, Interesting)

Niten (201835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217008)

Absolutely! I just came in here to say this.

For my part, I eventually did cave in and block Google Groups-originating posts entirely. I've seen, possibly, five spam messages on any of my favorite newsgroups during the three weeks that I've been blocking Google.

The company has, in point of fact, exhibited a tendency to neglect some of its services over time. This is bad enough when it comes to Blogger -- people put in many hours to become established there, although let's face it, it's not as though they have a service-level agreement with Google. But neglecting Google Groups and refusing to act upon numerous spam reports, to the extent that groups like comp.lang.python and rec.bicycles.tech become absolutely useless you block all GG-originating posts? That's inexcusable. If this were anyone other than Google they would have been issued the UDP a long time ago.

So yes, by all means, block Google Groups, because they have chronically and increasingly failed to fulfill their responsibilities to the Usenet community. And put a message in your signature to this effect, so that Google Groups posters will know why you are ignoring their articles; and so that they will consider moving to a different service.

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217566)

wait.. what? People still use Usenet? I used to be a regular, but I quit when it became unusable due to the noise... that was like eight or nine years ago.

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (3, Insightful)

daeley (126313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218192)

that was like eight or nine years ago.

September 1993. Forever and ever.

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (3, Informative)

Niten (201835) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218452)

It's had its ups and downs since then with respect to the volume of spam. (Thanks to Google, the present timeframe is definitely one of the "downs".) But yeah, Usenet is still around, and it's not going away any time soon.

Many programming and other technology-related groups are still very active. Usenet is one of the best places to go for advice on the C programming language (comp.lang.c), information about PICs (sci.electronics.design), Linux advice (comp.os.linux.misc), or even cooking tips (rec.food.cooking).

Usenet has its weaknesses, but it also has some unique strengths versus Web-based discussion forums: everything is organized (more or less) hierarchically; the user interface is whatever you want it to be; and it's easy to download and archive interesting posts. These features appeal to enough people, apparently, to keep it going...

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1)

lysse (516445) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218024)

Some quote is springing to mind, something jwz said about a bunch of kids with ADD being in charge of development... I'd go find it, shear it of original context and lob it in here, but I'd have lost interest by the time I got back...

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217080)

On a related topic, the usenet groups I subscribe to...
I'm sorry, you've lost me. What is this "usenet" you speak of?

Re:usenet spam from gmail accounts (1)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217176)

The funny thing is I've been contemplating banning Gmail from my server and having an auto-reply to the tune of

"Gmail is full of spammers, and Google isn't doing anything about it. If you really want to contact me, please use an alternative mail provider."


Seriously, a huge portion of my spam, and IMHO the far worse bounce spam, comes from Gmail. Google never acts upon spam reports, nor can they be asked to crack down on splogs even when users are doing all the sleuthing work. If they want to continue printing money from the internets, they'd better start cleaning out their front lawn. Until that day comes, I say fuck em!

It's from Google Groups servers (1)

Skapare (16644) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217432)

The email address the Usenet post claims to be from is not authenticated in most Usenet servers. Maybe Google Groups now limits these to be Gmail addresses; or maybe not. But what I have found is that virtually all of this recent dramatic rise in spam on Usenet is from the actual Google Groups servers, with googlegroups.com in the Message-ID header (not gmail.com). I could not see any means for a Google Groups user to override the message ID, so I blocked all posts based on the message ID. Since the message ID is part of the index data, these posts can be blocked before their contents is obtained. So this works and gains the efficiency of not pulling the blocked post contents at all. This is with the tin news reader. It has nearly completely eliminated the spam with only a small amount of collateral damage (which is mostly people that think Google Groups is just some big web forum). This still lets people who post at other Usenet servers to use their gmail.com email address as the sender address without being blocked.

Unfortunately, Google decided to require using Gmail addresses for all new signups of Google services, and push users of other email addresses to use Gmail addresses. They could not have easily done that without opening Gmail addresses to anyone to sign up for. That is most unfortunate, because the old method of requiring an invitation provided a way to backtrack where spammer signups were coming from. Under the old method, if a Gmail user is determined to be a spammer, the other Gmail user that invited the spammer could at least have invitation credits revoked, and other accounts invited by that user could be closed as well. Without the invitation system, there is no longer any tracking like this. IMHO, what Google should have done was set up another separate domain name for non-invited email users.

Check the header-id (1)

evilninjax (930108) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218044)

Those posts are probably coming from GoogleGroups. If you just filter out GoogleGroup posts, you'll reduce your spam by a great deal.

Here's a site on the subject: improve usenet [improve-usenet.org]

Just like Google Page Creator (1)

jjh37997 (456473) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216592)

Google has a long history in buying companies and letting the fruit rot on the vine. Look at Google Pages..... at first it seems like a great idea for Google.... free web hosting that's integrated with all of Google's services. Unfortunately, the only way to create pages is with Google's Page Creator, which sucks.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216696)

Why don't include GrandCentral too?
It had a long downtime recently (despite the high redundancy google has) and no new features were included since the purchase from Google.
The service is also lacking quality, as many times my phones ring but I don't hear the voice "press 1 to receive" (I already pushed the answer button, isn't that clear that *I* want to answer?), so the calls go on the voicemail.

I'm abandoning the service because of this.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216730)

Yeah, that has been the defining characteristic of Google since its IPO. It's too bad they are past the point of no return; it would be a breath of fresh air to see them just jettison all this crap and go back to providing a good web search service.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216742)

and go back to providing a good web search service.
What are you talking about? Google is still the best search service provider on the net. Who is better? MSN? Yahoo!? Baidu?

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217144)

I think he meant that they would go back to doing *only* that, not that they didn't currently have a decent search service.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217280)

Hmmm... then why should they? Their search engine is still the best we have, why should they not do other things as well if they have money to burn? :)

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217586)

I didn't say I thought they should do that :P Though personally I only use their search services and nothing else.. well, I use youtube sometimes but I don't really think that counts!

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (1)

croddy (659025) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217428)

haha. yeah, that. i put the "just" in the wrong place.

Sites (3, Interesting)

nguy (1207026) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216856)

Actually, Google has something much better than Pages, namely Google Sites. Unfortunately, you only get it with Google Apps, and you still get Pages for your domain's home page.

I think they should scrap Pages, replace it with Sites, and add subversion access, like they do with the Code Wiki.

Speaking of the Code Wiki, that should probably also be replaced with Google Sites...

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216880)

Yeah, what a piece of crap. It's like Geocities/Angelfire from ten years ago. It's OK for hosting media, though.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (2, Informative)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217382)

I call bullshit, to parent and all the responses.

Open page creator, look to the right at "uploaded stuff", click browse, select html file.
http://noglorp.googlepages.com/firefox.htm [googlepages.com]
- theres the firefox start page, saved and then uploaded to page creator. It looks all fucked because the image paths don't work, but the html itself it totally unmodified.

Re:Just like Google Page Creator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217592)

You fail. Try uploading your own index.html.

You can even sniff around the Google groups to find sad people discussing how to auto-redirect from their shitty mandated Page Creator index page to something real. It's an entirely stupid, arbitrary limitation that has never been removed.

I fail? Really? (1)

nog_lorp (896553) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218100)

You can upload your own index.html, you just can't set it as the default page to serve. Big fucking deal, you have to make your users type in an extra couple characters to get to your page. That wasn't even the issue I was responding to, much less a serious issue for a FREE host that doesn't allow any of the features necessary for a decent webpage anyways.

Blogger is fine... (3, Insightful)

rpp3po (641313) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216602)

Its audience are the masses, and for those it's a very easy to use and convenient tool. If you need pro features, because your blog is so sophisticated, choose a pro service provider instead and stop whining! Sounds like targeted fud. Why else would one cite a six year old story about a "security flaw"?

Re:Blogger is fine... (1)

e**(i pi)-1 (462311) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218798)

amen. The less features, the simpler it is to learn and the mor robust it is. Any feature change can be a nightmare for the support.

If you can publish in the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216620)

just publish your stuff in 2010, when Blogger will hopefully be fixed.

General problem of spam with Google/Gmail (4, Interesting)

shanen (462549) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216634)

Below is a general suggestion, but it is directly relevant to one of the main problems with Google's neglect of Blogger--several weeks ago (and several times in the past), the spammers have used Blogger as their reply channel for spam. Remember that the motivation of spamming is economic, and they need some way for their suckers to find them and send money. The suggestion below would be directly helpful in accelerating the response to this form of Blogger abuse--though it also applies to many other neglected systems that would more quickly receive the negative attention they deserve when they are abused by spammers.

Summary of Suggestion: How to make Gmail the spam target of absolute last resort.

The goal of this suggestion is to intelligently leverage and focus Google's expertise and credibility against the spammers and their accomplices. But where will the intelligence come from? From me, from you, from *ANYONE* who has a Gmail account and who wants to help oppose the annoying evil that is spam. Aggressively implemented, it could make Gmail into Spammer Heck--maybe to the point where only a fool would send spam to Gmail. (Yeah, there are plenty of fool spammers--but at least we'd get the laughs without the serious spammers.) Less spam = more value in Gmail.

So do you want to fight against spam? You, too, could become a WSF (wannabee spam fighter).

SpamSlam is my 'working draft' label. The idea is roughly based on other anti-spam systems--but with more smarts. Almost all email systems include one level of feedback in a Spam/NotSpam button. (For relative brevity and because it simplifies the draft implementation, I'm focusing on Web-based email here.) Think of SpamSlam as a report-spam-button on steroids. SpamSlam would report the spam, but also do much more. Essentially this Gmail feature would do some of the automatic analysis that any spam fighter has to do, get some intelligent feedback, and hopefully be able to act immediately against the spammer. Speed of action is actually crucial--cutting off the spammers' income is a key goal of this proposal.

Here is an approach to implementing it:

Clicking on SpamSlam would first trigger a low-cost automatic analysis of the email, including the headers. Let's call this Pass 0. Basically this is just using regular expressions to find things like email addresses, URLs, and phone numbers. The results would be used to generate a Pass 0 webform with comments and options (and explanations and links). This pass should also look for obfuscation and ask the wannabe spam fighter (WSF) to help break the spammers' attempts to evade the spam filters. (This is leveraging the spam's features against the spam--if a human can't figure out the spam, then the human can't send money to the spammer.) In many cases, this Pass 0 analysis may be able to suggest answers. If something like "drop@dead.com" appears in the header, then the WSF should just click the option 'fake email'. Perhaps the WSF would only need to click a check box to confirm that "V/1/A/6/R/A" is a drug and categorize the spam. Other times the WSF can actually type in the answer to the spammer's quasi-CAPTCHA, and then the SpamSlam function can do something. At the bottom of the 'exploded email' in Pass 0, there will be the usual submit button.

After the WSF submits that Pass 0 form, more analysis can begin. The data is no longer raw, but partly analyzed, and the system can start checking domains, registrars, relays, fancier types of header forgery, MX records, categories of crime, email routings, and even things like countries hosting the spammer. This kind of analysis will probably take a bit of time, but a new Pass 1 form will be prepared for the WSF to consider. Basically, this would mostly be a confirmation step for the obvious counteractions. That's stuff like complaining to identified senders and webhosts, but also things like reporting open relays and spambots. It also needs more flexibility and 'other' options in the responses at this point--we all know the spammers are constantly going to try to devise new tactics. Again there will be a submit option at the bottom for this Pass 1 form.

That will probably cover most of the responses, but in some cases there may still be a need for a Pass 2 form. I imagine that would be a kind of escalation system, mostly to address new forms of spam. There is no closure on spam, there will always be new kinds of spam, and the responses to spam need to be open and flexible, too--but fast. The spammer is trying to open millions of little windows of economic opportunity--and in an ideal world we should slam all of them before a nickel gets through.

Beyond that? I think Gmail should also rate the WSFs on their spam-fighting skills. Some people are going to be much better at fighting spam. I admit that I want to earn a "Spam Fighter First Class" merit badge. Come to think of it, I also want the system to keep records of the spam I've slammed and how it was dealt with. Maybe they'd even spot cases of lawsuits against "my" spammers? Gosh, I'd love to join in and personally help put a spammer in jail. I know we're supposed to hate the spam, not the spammers--but I confess. I hate the spammers, too.

An earlier version of this idea (SuperReport) had a somewhat different focus and more details, especially for the Pass 0 webform--but obviously none of this is set in stone. If you agree with these ideas--or have some better ones, I suggest you try to call them to Google's attention. Actually, in my pursuit of this idea, I have been surprised to encounter a lot of anti-Google sentiment--though not surprised that much of the ill will was spam-related. However, I think Google is still an innovative and responsive company--and they claim they want to fight evil, too. Will they try harder to fight spam if many people like you and I write to them? I hope so, but it doesn't really matter where ideas come from or who gets credit--what matters is annoying the spammers more than they annoy us.

By the way, thanks to the people who offered thoughtful comments on the earlier draft. I'd like to thank you more personally, but you basically got lost in the flood of hopeless fools and sock puppets. That's a separate SNR problem.

As SMTP exists, we can never eliminate spam or spammers--but we can give them heck. If this suggestion is aggressively implemented, then spam sent to Gmail would almost immediately result in a flood of highly focused and thoughtful complaints against the spammer--before the spammer can get *ANY* money from the spam. Hit the spammer in his wallet *BEFORE* he can pocket anything.

A financial footnote: Google's main value is connecting people to valuable information--and selling valuable advertising. Spam attacks their economic model both because it is free (and worthless) and because creates noise of no value. Google has real economic reasons to oppose spam, in contrast to the backbone people and ISPs who are glad to deliver the spam--as long as we pay for the resources and packets.

The summary: Do you hate spam? Do you want to help fight the spammers? Yes, we can. If Gmail was the spam target of last choice, then it should be our email service of first choice!

Holy crap! (5, Funny)

gazbo (517111) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216642)

A blogger is upset about some software that allows them to blog?!

Batten down the handles - this teacup's in for a stormy night!

Just buy your own domain (0, Redundant)

Simon (S2) (600188) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216664)

If blogger sucks, why don't you just buy your own domain and start blogging on that? I am sure it does it's job for most people who are using it. btw I think most people stopped blogging when myspace came along, and the other, more serious bloggers, have their own host or got a better service.

G-Integration (3, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216666)

I have had a Blogger page for some time and always found it odd how poorly the integration was between blogger and other Google services was. For example, I wanted to add Adsense ads to my blog. I found there was a handy 'adsense' element that I could add so I gave it a try. But it was so limited (minimal formatting available, inability to center the ads) I just ended up using the generic 'javascript' element and pasting my own code.

Re:G-Integration (1)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217146)

I agree completely. Feature-wise, Blogger mostly does what I need it to do for my blog. But I'm using other Google products in conjunction with Blogger (photo albums, gmail), and it surprised me how non-integrated they all are. Had to create accounts on each of them separately, then link them together. One one hand, it's nice that they don't *force* Blogger users to use only Google products, but one definitely gets the impression that Blogger is off in it's own little half-neglected world.

Grating Blogger problem... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216672)

Long ago, I set up a blogger account and blog. Arguments that it was high in pretension and low in substance would be met with nods of sheepish agreement. I forgot about the blog. I did.

Then, one day, motivation won the arm-wrestle, temporarily usurping from its throne the long-reigning King Lethargicus. I was to blog again. My Remo Williams-inspired finger board had my tiny-typers in full prep. I attempt to log on. Bad user/pass combo. A quick grep through my password-only usb-thumb-drive would confirm the user/pass I was entering were correct - but I quickly learned that confirmation != access. Now I have an orphaned blog to whom I cannot authenticate.

Any ideas as to how a mere mortal would prove to the Donoevillains (trade marked) that the blog is mine to solve this puzzler?

Re:Grating Blogger problem... (1)

Grimbleton (1034446) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216840)

I just e-mailed their customer support with a basic "Here is my real name I signed up with, this is the e-mail account I used, I'm locked out, here is every piece of data I have that isn't public on the account, this is my old password, etc." Two days later, I had my account info forwarded to me at the address I e-mailed them from. It probably helped that I used a non-free address (my university e-mail) too

What? (1)

Vlijmen Fileer (120268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216674)

Ehrm, what /is/ "Blogger"? I know of a lot of Google services, but this one I don't. Perhaps it's just not interesting enough a service to put much effort into.

Re:What? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216784)

You don't even know about Google's main service: Search [google.com]

Google is neglecting more than just blogger (5, Informative)

bjd145 (99489) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216694)

IMO they are also neglecting Picasa, especially the Picasaweb. Adobe and Flickr are doing a much better job of updating their online photo sharing sites. What about Google Finance, Google Talk, and even Google Docs. All things that seen to be lagging in development.

Re:Google is neglecting more than just blogger (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216990)

There is an updated version of Google Talk at http://www.google.com/talk/labsedition/ [google.com] - the new features shown on that page are: emoticons, group chat and notifications from Gmail, Google Calendar and Orkut.

I do agree with your other points, though. One thing I really would like to see in Docs would be... offline support.

Re:Google is neglecting more than just blogger (1, Troll)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217268)

What developments are there for picasa?
its a photo organiser, it organises photos, it can upload them to picasaweb
what developemnts are missing from picasaweb?
its a web album, its shows pictures, they can be uploaded from picasa

Ive not used either extensively, as i came across this ancient concept of folders in a unix handbook, its really wierd shit, but they both seam to do what they say on the tin, without featurism.

You Get What You Think You Pay For (4, Insightful)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216760)

> Is Blogger destined to be a sideshow...?

Could well be. I'd demand a refund.

There are plenty of examples of other companies that are behind the curve in some respect or another. In most cases people do the rational thing -- they vote with their feet. Er, fingers. So why is this a story? Because it's Google.

People tend to tip over the tallest ivory towers, and shorter ones get left alone. This tendency is so strong that people fail to recognize when they're complaining about something that's not only free, but intended to be a billboard for their host's advertising, something which in other situations would be the focus of their complaints.

Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.

The nature of the beast here is cognitive dissonance and perceived value. Biggest gets equated with best. Best carries the same weight as monetary investment, in that it's a perceived value, the association with the biggest name being the source of that. But when there is no actual investment the fact of the lack of actual investment fact starts to come to mind. The contradiction produces cognitive dissonance. To suppress that, the complaining becomes more vehement in this situation than in equally problematic situations with products or services of less perceived value garnering fewer complaints. So strong is this tendency that even when there is actual value in terms of money spent, the amount of complaints is out of proportion with the number of problems compared to other products or services that can even cost less or nothing.

Evidence to support the above assertion? Simple: it continues to occur even when those suffering from the contradiction are made aware of it. Even when told they are wearing Don Quixote's hat, they will still tilt at that largest windmill. Just watch.

Re:You Get What You Think You Pay For (4, Insightful)

analog_line (465182) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217150)

Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.


Post hoc predictions earn no points, at least if you're just looking at competition among Linux distributions. Remember Red Hat Linux? I was inside the E-Trade offices the day of the Red Hat IPO, and the people I was there with and I were just staring at the TVs watching it rocket up and up and up, and we were all exstatic that maybe now the time had come for "real" computing to get out there and put the smackdown on Microsoft. It was the darling for a bit, then the floodgates of criticism opened from all quarters in the Linux community about issues with RHL, both technical and political, and they were pulled down from that perch in short order thanks to a fractured community it had lost support from. I saw people going berserk over Red Hat's adoption of Gnome over KDE, even some people claiming that it was anti-Europe bias, as one example of how Red Hat, in short order, could do no right.

Fast forward to today, and Ubuntu is making huge strides in usability and popularity, introducing Linux into more homes and onto more desks than any other Linux distribution yet released. Coincident with that is a rising hue and cry against it from many corners, for being too simplistic and taking options away form the users, for cutting too many corners, for making it easier to install proprietary software like Nvidia's drivers, and other such complaints. It gets derided as candy-coated Linux that coddles stupid people.

The future is now, and was not too long ago as well, I guess.

Re:You Get What You Think You Pay For (1)

DynaSoar (714234) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217830)

Fast forward to today, and Ubuntu is making huge strides in usability and popularity, introducing Linux into more homes and onto more desks than any other Linux distribution yet released. Coincident with that is a rising hue and cry against it from many corners, for being too simplistic and taking options away form the users, for cutting too many corners, for making it easier to install proprietary software like Nvidia's drivers, and other such complaints. It gets derided as candy-coated Linux that coddles stupid people.

The future is now, and was not too long ago as well, I guess.
You and the next respondent make pretty much the same observations. I disagree with you both only in terms of magnitude. RH and U(D) are indeed 'big' Linux distros, and RH is on the Big Board. And the effect I note is seen somewhat. But these are only biggest within the Linux community, and so far.

I'm think more along the lines of a distro that becomes so big that it rivals MacOS and the both are biting more and more into Microsoft's stranglehold. When people are picking up that distro who would not otherwise have been Linux users the effect will become as extreme as it is now with respect to MS's stuff. Yes, for all the problems with Win*, I think the complaints and negative attitudes towards it are out of proportion, for the reasons stated.

Still, point taken from both of you. It's started.

BTW, the concepts I present are not my own. They are right out of social psychology's most successful area: marketing. This effect is something marketoids have to work on constantly to overcome, or at least keep up with. This is why there's often 'upgrades' which are different from, incompatible with, but objectively no better than the previous version(s). Think planned obsolescence. Think Vista. The only real need for it was in MS's drive to maintain market superiority, not by producing a superior product, but by making their new product perceived as superior and their previous perceived as inferior. Again, the problems with Vista are real. That doesn't contradict the assertion. The amount of complaint vs. the amount of actual problems is the point. The effect becomes so powerful that people who don't even have the product, or do but don't have the problems, complain. And rather than fix the problem, the marketoids' response is the same: Yet Another (Non-)Upgrade.

An exercise for the reader is to note this effect in other venues. To start you off, an example -- way more complaints about the government party in power despite the fact that neither part is that much worse than any other. You can use The Daily Show with Jon Stewart as an objective score keeping system (objective scoring, not objective complaints). The other party(ies) get poked at too, but not in proportion with the pokes at the top party. And the pokes are pointed more at the top position (president) than they are at the majority party in congress, even though the congresscritters outnumber the president and each has their own problems, making their sum of complaints far greater.

Re:You Get What You Think You Pay For (2, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217220)

Mark my prophecy: Someday some company is going to produce a desktop Linux so good that it's going to catch on and become if not a major competitor in the OS market, then at least the major distro of Linux. And they will suffer the same fate, becoming the punching bag of the Linux community, while lesser distros have no fewer problems and gather fewer complaints. And of those complaining, many will have obtained the free version of the distro. They will be out nothing, but will feel somehow justified because of the stature of their target, and will do so with gusto despite the fact that equally good distros are available to which they could switch. This irrationality will escape them, as it does the author of TFA.
Too late, I think UbuntuDupe [slashdot.org] already fulfilled your prophecy!!

Re:You Get What You Think You Pay For (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23218106)

man, stfu you boring fuck... you really like yourself, and fancy yourself being smart, don't you? truth is that you are a complete bore.

Re:You Get What You Think You Pay For (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23218300)

Don Quixote
The quickest way to earn karma: drop "Don Quixote" in your post and people will automatically think you're intelligent. ;)

Blogposts from the future? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216762)

What good are they? The only reason why a blogger would need to post something in the future is if it's a suicide note. Oh right.. blogs.. emos.. I forgot.

Mood: Brooding and Mysterious. (And anonymous to avoid the fire ;)

Re:Blogposts from the future? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217240)

I thought the exact same thing when I read about the future post capability.. great way to leave a suicide note :)

Re:Blogposts from the future? (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217668)

What I would do is, write up a year's worth of blog entries for the future first. Just to freak people out as my blog stays active long after I'm gone.

Why care for just one more fish? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23216776)

There are _dozens_ of decent, free to use blogging software packages out there. Anyone with "hello world" experience in PHP or Ruby could make one in about an hour anyway. If Blogger isn't keeping up with features then why care? I mean really... why? Better software has died an untimely firey death than Blogger (Amiga Workbench, I mourn you still...)

Orkut (2, Insightful)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216804)

Perhaps they prefer Orkut? Then again I don't use Orkut so I don't know if it's in a better situation.

I would imagine Blogger is better and more well know so they should drop Orkut and focus on one but if Blogger is really popular already they may feel they don't have to waste the resources.

Its simple (4, Insightful)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216820)

Google will just acquire some other company that already developed all these new Blog features and then just implement them into their own. Same goes with the Captcha security issue.

Re:Its simple (1)

MagdJTK (1275470) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218150)

This is something I've never understood. Google's best selling point is that it can take something that has been done before (search engines weren't new, NASA WorldWind existed before Google Earth, etc), yet it came along and made them usable, likeable and popular.

Now they seem to just buy something and put very little effort into improving it (Blogger, YouTube, etc). Maybe it's because the engineers at Google are isolated from those at the purchased site, but it doesn't help consumers.

other things neglected too (3, Interesting)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216952)

Blogger is odd. It was one the first things out of beta but curiously felt (to me anyway) more beta than many of the other products still in beta. It still does. It's seriously lagging behind Wordpress in most everything.

However, in the face of little to no competition, the biggest area of neglect-concern is that of Search. It's far from perfect. In fact becoming less so with time due to the ever-higher number of people figuring out new ways to game Google search. Does it really take another couple of guys working in a garage somewhere to come up with the new search paradigm -- or could Google develop it themselves if they concentrated on their core business, and left blogging etc to others who specialize?

Google seriously needs competition - it's good for everyone, including Google.

Re:other things neglected too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217316)

Google has competition, from a little site called Wikipedia. Nearly every search I do at Google returns Wikipedia as the top result or very near the top. If this happens enough, people will just go to Wikipedia to search and skip over using Google.

Of course. Where's the revenue? (4, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23216994)

Google offers a number of services that don't make money. Why should they put more effort into them?

Even ads on the "Google Content Network" aren't worth much to actual advertisers. There's a class action lawsuit against Google [searchenginewatch.com] over this. AdWords customers are complaining that it's hard to opt out of running, and paying for, ads on the "Google Content Network". Ads on search result pages are valuable, but there's a growing opinion, backed up by ROI measurements, that putting vaguely relevant ads on random sites is just a money drain on advertisers.

Here's a step by step guide [searchenginewatch.com] to what you have to do, as an AdWords customer, to turn off the running of your ads on the "Google Content Network". (After you've finished the setup phase, during which you're not offered an opportunity to opt out, click on "Edit Campaign Settings" and un-check the "Content Network" box).

For Google, Blogger is just a way to generate cheap pages for the "Google Content Network".

Re:Of course. Where's the revenue? (2, Interesting)

FsG (648587) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217416)

This class-action suit is ridiculous. They're making it sound like it's almost impossible to opt out of the content network, whereas the truth is that anyone savvy enough to run a profit-creating site, buy advertising, and analyze ROI measurements should be savvy enough to click on "edit campaign settings" for his advertising campaign and uncheck the plainly visible "content network" box.

Re:Of course. Where's the revenue? (2, Insightful)

Animats (122034) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218312)

They're making it sound like it's almost impossible to opt out of the content network

No, they're saying that Google made the "content network" opt-in by default, in a way that's misleading and deceptive. It's like having an order form with some item you probably don't want stuck on the form with an empty "Quantity" blank. If you don't explicitly put 0 in the blank, you're billed for the unwanted product.

Add Google Reader to the list (1)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217084)

Add Google Reader (RSS feed agregator) to the list of neglected applications.

I use it solely because it works with some high-volume feeds - and other clients even with tight refresh timeouts missing messages (especially when my PC is not connected). But then with the high volume feeds you get literally no service: search and tagging in Google Reader is probably poorest search and tagging in whole set of Google applications.

Forums are filled with simple requests - yet for the past two years none of them were heard/ fixed/implemented in Reader.

Surprise Surprise.. (1)

Chineseyes (691744) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217356)

Google puts their resources behind their big money makers, how shocking. It is a free service that isn't a huge revenue source for the company, why are people complaining? If blogging is that big of a deal to you then pay the cash necessary to get what you want instead of relying on Google.

Its free, folks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217474)

Blogger is free. How do you gripe to this extent about a free service? Host your own damn blog.

They are losing their fan base (1)

Kirktav (1280232) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217490)

People keep coming back to its beta, but there is a level of trust that they are breaking with the beta users. Blogger is one example another one is Grand Central, heck they havn't done anything over there except to completly ignore their users and not make any progress on the technology. I think they are starting to spread themselves to thin and losing site of providing a great tools and great customer service. It feels like another Microsoft in the making.

why stick with blogger if it sucks? (1)

kris.montpetit (1265946) | more than 6 years ago | (#23217506)

get wordpress and use one of the many free wordpress servers listed on its website and you can give blogger the laugh. If its a piece of junk, why use it?

Google neglects javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217588)

Have you ever noticed that any site with javascript shows up as blank on a google search?

It truly amazes me that there are so many web monkeys who are absolutely clueless about this. One would think that this would be pretty embarassing.

The same holds true with Flash-based sites. But hey, who cares if your site doesn't show up on a Google search, right?

Of course, Google could actually start caching the javascript and flash stuff. But that would expose them to some absolutely delicious security hacks.

I guess it all boils down to the Google foks knowing what they are doing, and the typical web-monkey not having a concern or a clue.

Which of course gives a serious competitive advantage to the sites which do understand what's going on.

The moral of the story is you get what you pay for in the Website creation biz.

What the hell is your problem, loser? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23217708)

Sitting around whining that something has been broken "for years?" Get a freaking life. If it sucks so bad, move on. Picturing you steaming in some dark basement about the inadequacies of an irrelevant web site makes me crack up.

um (1)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218190)

yes

Stop adding new crap, and fix what you've got (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218232)

I think Google have a wide enough base of things they either developed in-house or bought from elsewhere to stop adding new stuff, sit back, take a good hard look at what they've got, and start refining and integrating things.

I've got a Gmail account and a YouTube account. Start rolling those up. Ditch the Google Video interface entirely and forward it all to YouTube. Make GrandCentral tie in to Google Chat. Make the Google Homepage thing connect better with stuff like Bookmarks.

Google is becoming a huge, sprawling mass which may contain all the worlds' information, but doesn't put any of it at my fingertips. Why do I have loads of distinct search boxes for emails, calendar, contacts, RSS feeds, groups, chats etc when they could be one single search box for "My Stuff".

It just needs a group of people to look over everything and force every single development team to make it all work together, make the UIs consistent and so on. It's a lot of work, but it's something that has to be done every so often to stop things falling apart. Google's grown quickly and messily enough that it now needs a serious spring clean, and they sure could afford it instead of spending $500 million on a small company with a slightly cool technology which will languish at the bottom of the "other things we do" list.

Works for me (3, Interesting)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 6 years ago | (#23218564)

Blogger is easy. It allows Javascript (unlike Wordpress). Its newest templates are pathetically easy to set up--maybe two minutes. Automatic RSS feed built in. I have a standing offer to help newbies set up a blog. I'll set it up, populate it with appropriate widgets, make them an author and even an admin, and butt out of their lives. I can stick a blog roll on there in 30 seconds flat. If they want something else, they just email me. Google allows me as many blogs as I want. I know it sounds impossible, but some people can't do it. I use blogger because it really takes no time at all, but the newbie thinks I'm God. So what else is new? It doesn't do everything, but it doesn't NEED to. Remember the saying: Good, fast, cheap. Pick any two. Well, blogger is fast and cheap. And frankly, I think it is pretty good, too. I know it's not as good as vi, but Hey! Some of us have a life--and a girlfriend.
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