Blogger

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Blogger is a blog content hosting silo owned by Google.

"Blogger" used to be the name of (one of?) the first blogging application services (SaaS) that used your own domain and your own hosting provider for the storage of your blog, and FTP as an API to edit your site. If the Blogger application went down, your site still worked (to serve your posts) - the only thing you couldn't do was use the application to edit or publish new posts. In this way, the original Blogger was quite an IndieWeb-enabling tool - you still fully owned and controlled your content, as it was all stored on your own web host.

Google shutdown the Blogger application on 2010-05-01.[1]

The Blogger team created "Blogspot.com" as a hosted version (silo) of the Blogger application, which was later served from blogger.com and then renamed to "Blogger", thus replacing the original meaning and web application functionality with a silo.

Domain Hosting

It is possible to setup Blogger to serve your blog on your own domain for free to get started on the IndieWeb.

See in particular this tutorial:

Issues

Issues folks have run into with Blogger's custom domain support.

  • Blogger defaults to dynamic templates, which create pages without HTML content (they are dynamically generated by JavaScript API calls). Example: lizasperling.com (fetching lizasperling.com?m=1 will get the mobile version, which does contain HTML).
  • Blogger adds a rel="me" link to your Google+ profile URL, but it uses the long form (21 digit number), not the human readable name, thus confusing IndieAuth.

webmention

Blogger doesn't have built in support for webmentions, but Bridgy can send, receive, and display webmentions for Blogger blogs. You can also receive webmentions with webmention.io and webmention.herokuapp.com.

Users own their content

Google's TOS (which cover Blogger directly; checked 2014-07-21) assert that users retain ownership and copyright over all content and intellectual property they post. From Your Content in Our Services:

Some of our Services allow you to upload, submit, store, send or receive content. You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours.

Data Export

You can export Blogspot-hosted content by logging into blogger.com and going to Settings, then Other for each blog, then choosing Back up content. This will generate an XML file with your site's content and template. You can also manage videos from the same settings view. The backup does not include any images.

Google Takeout for Blogger will export both your content and your activity such as commenting on other blogs. Your blog content will be in ATOM format, while other information like followers and settings are in CSV. Your comments are provided in ATOM format. While videos should be included, again images are not.

Other options:

Micropub

It is possible to use Micropub clients like Quill to post to Blogger sites using Feverdream as a bridge.

PubSubHubbub

Uses PubSubHubbub to publish Atom feeds since 2009-08-17

Criticism

blogs disappeared

  • 2016-07-24 The New Yorker: Why Did Google Erase Dennis Cooper’s Beloved Literary Blog?
  • 2016-07-29 NYT: The Blog That Disappeared(via @edsu #indieweb)
    On June 27, Mr. Cooper’s Google account was deactivated, he has said. He lost 14 years of his blog archives, creative work, email and contacts.
    Google has not responded beyond saying there was a violation of the Terms of Service agreement. It has neither identified the specific violation nor indicated why it also deleted Mr. Cooper’s email account. It has not provided Mr. Cooper with the ability to download his personal information so he might rebuild his blog and email account elsewhere.
    Mr. Cooper’s is not the only blog that has been deleted over the years. There are reports here and there across the internet about blogs, mostly, being deleted for violations of Terms of Service. What is happening to Mr. Cooper, though, in terms of lack of an explanation, seems to be unprecedented, and he has, as of yet, the highest profile of those who have experienced this measure of data loss.
    The idea of a cloud benevolently storing our personal information, our work, our photos, our music, so much of our lives, is also really nice, but as users, we have no control over the cloud.

templates use XML

Blogger templates still require use of their custom XML, which has inconveniences like:

blogger templates are still xml, so I have to CDATA escape the javascript ... [3]

See Also