Google Adds Dynamic Views to Blogger

This is a tool that the owner of a blog can set preferences for in Blogger’s Dashboard, under the Setting | Formatting tab.

Some caveats:

  1. The blog must be public; no password/login needed to read the blog.
  2. Your blog must have feeds/atom/rss enabled. In the Settings | Site feed tab of your Blogger Dashboard, you have clicked/turned on either Full or Jump Break for posts.

These views take the feed for your blog, and extract the text or image data to make it easier for readers to read and navigate your blog in different ways.

A reader can use one of the Dynamic views by adding /view/dynamicviewname to the end of your URL.

There are five Dynamic Views:

  • Flipcard: available at [blogURL]/view/flipcard
  • Mosaic: available at [blogURL]/view/mosaic
  • Sidebar: available at [blogURL]/view/sidebar
  • Snapshot: available at [blogURL]/view/snapshot
  • Timeslide: available at [blogURL]/view/timeslide

You can read Dynamic Views for Authors and Dynamic Views for Readers for more specific information.

This could be really cool, and visually stunning especially for blogs with lots of images, like food blogs, or art / photography blogs.

For instance: here’s my Blogger blog Something Pacific, about life in the Pacific Northwest.

Here’s the same blog in each of the new Dyanmic Views:

Flipcard
Mosaic
Sidebar
Snapshot
Timeslide

Google Buys Blogger

Well, at least it’s not AOL. Yes, it’s true, Google bought Pyra labs, makers of Blogger. Dan Gillmore got the scoop.

This might be OK; it sounds like Ev is still going to be around, and Google has been quite reasonable about the UseNet archive DejaNews, now known as Google Groups. They’ve enhanced the search interface, and allowed users to control the archive status of their own UseNet posts, or prohibit archiving of their posts. I’ve been worried that AOL would buy Blogger, and run it into the ground. Google might just be the kind of cash influx Blogger has been in need of.

Using .RSS in Blogger Pro

I’ve performed the requisite alchemical incantations in my Blogger Pro blog to create an.rss feed. If you want to do this yourself in Blogger Pro:

  1. Create the rss subdirectory in your blog directory using an FTP client.
  2. Log on to your Blogger Pro blog, and go to Settings, then click the Formatting tab.
  3. Set the Show Title Field to Yes. The URL field is optional. Click Save to save the Settings.
  4. You will need to modify your Blogger Template to use the Title tags, since the post “Title” data is required by .rss. Click Template.
  5. Copy your current Template code to an empty text file, just in case.
  6. Look for the <Blogger> tag that marks the start of the formatting for individual blog posts. Add
    <BlogItemTitle>
    <$BlogItemTitle$></BlogItemTitle>
    somewhere in that section, before the <Blogger/> tag that marks the end of the post formatting tags. Click Save. Be prepared to experiment a bit with placement.

The next time you post you’ll notice the Post form has a new Title field. Be sure to put something in the Title field if you want a post to show in your .rss feed; without a title, the post will be left blank in the feed.