What Happened To Blogger?

When it comes to blogging, there’s one site that always comes to mind: Blogger. My earliest blogs were hosted there with a blogspot address. Believe it or not, Blogger is still around, but it seems to have languished under Google’s passive watch. In fact, I’m surprised it has not already ended up in the Google graveyard, outliving even Google+. So what’s up with Blogger?

The Blog Spot

Recently, I tried to follow the Blogger account on Twitter, @Blogger. I wanted to be in touch with the platform that I once enjoyed. But for some reason, I can’t follow Blogger’s Twitter account. I was told my “follow” was pending. I’m pretty sure the tweets were public before, but now the account is private. So why the change?

No Blogger Buzz

When you look at the updates on the Official Blogger Blog, what you find is saddening. The last update was over a year ago, in 2019. Then you’ll see there was only one update in 2018, and one in 2017.

In the last three years, there have been only three official updates for Blogger. That is very little activity; not a good sign.

The last hopeful news for Blogger was in May 2018. It promised “exciting updates coming soon…” We are now nearing the two year mark, and I can’t tell what those updates are or were. The only official announcement since that 2018 promise was about a feature deprecation (no more Google+ stuff). I hardly think that sparse update is exciting.

The single update in 2017 was about new themes! Now that is exciting, but that sort of change seems like it should be normal as part of staying fresh and moving the platform ever forward. Nonetheless, it was a sign of life. I can’t say I see any signs of life at Blogger in 2020.

The most encouraging blog post had to be the one in November 2016. It started out with hyping the popularity of Blogger as a publishing platform. But over three years later, it seems neglected or vacant now. How do you explain that? The post was hopeful, stating its overall purpose was:

“to bring you a faster, easier to use and more beautiful Blogger.”

Not Blogger Bashing

I’m not hating on Blogger. I’m asking these questions because I care. As a blogger with fond memories of the platform, and with a continued interest and appreciation for the simplicity of the Blogger interface and it being a Google product, I’m sad to see Blogger appear destined to follow Google+ to the Trash Folder.

Google is full of resources and experience, tools and talent. Surely it can make Blogger thrive, if it wanted to. That’s what bothers me about this. Blogger could be so much better. Imagine if it became more integrated into the Google ecosystem. For example, I love to use Google Keep for notes, and one of its best features is how integrated it is within other Google web-apps like Calendar, Gmail, and Docs.

Blogger is a writing and publishing platform. What if Google weaved it into Docs and Keep, two other places where you write within the Google ecosystem. There could be ways to write drafts within Docs and from there auto-publish to Blogger, similar to the WordPress Add-On I use!

And what if Blogger was tied into Google Calendar. I would love to see something like my scheduled posts on Blogger appear on my Calendar as a Reminder or Event.

A Few More Bits

I did end up finding a bit of new info about the ongoing support of Blogger. A story on 9to5Google in October 2019 reported that something new happened with Blogger (which was curiously not blogged about on the Official Blogger Blog). The Android app for Blogger got updated for the first time in 3 years! Well, that’s something.

This news also includes some updated info about the Blogger web app. A good place to check for Blogger updates outside the Official Blogger Blog is the Community Help Forum. So these updates are a few rays of hope that Blogger has not become abandon-ware.

Bleak Blogger Future?

I know not to get my hopes up though. Blogger overall looks defunct, neglected. And Google has a history of killing great things despite being used by many: Google+, Google Reader, and Inbox to name a few. Although many bloggers are likely concerned over the state of Blogger. Another interesting article detailed a few reasons why Google is not (yet) shutting down Blogger.

Here’s my theory as to what is going on. Two major things have caused Google to ignore Blogger and let it flounder. First, Google+. The company was all-in on their major social network, weaving it into every other Google product. The resources expended on it left little room for much else. Then it slowly declined into oblivion. Meanwhile, Blogger was tossed around in that maelstrom.

The other thing is that while social media took over the internet, publishing and media as we knew it fundamentally changed. The paradigm shift left blogging upended, thus Blogger became less important.

Somehow, after all this, Blogger still exists. It has survived; I’d love to see it thrive. But at this point, even if it dies, I just want to know one way or the other. What’s up with Blogger these days, does it have a future or not?

So what do you think is up with Blogger?