Posted:
Ever want to know what bloggers are saying about a web page but been too lazy to do anything more than watch slick animations? You clearly have a fever for which the only cure is Blogger Web Comments, our new extension for Firefox 1.5. Once it’s installed, you can see instant results from Blog Search showing you posts about the page you’re looking at. Plus, there’s a Blogger posting form built in, so you can immediately make a post on your own blog. Glen Murphy has a little story about making the extension in his announcement post on the Google Blog.

You’ll need the new Firefox 1.5 to use this, which makes the three to four minutes directly following your reading of this post the perfect time to try Firefox out, or upgrade if you’re still using Firefox 1.0. Download Firefox from http://www.mozilla.com/firefox/.

There are more nifty things you can install to make Firefox even more useful. There’s the Google Toolbar for Firefox (which includes a BlogThis! button for more Blogger posting possibilities) and the extensions described in the Wired News article, “The Firefox Hacks You Must Have.”

Posted:
Just wanted to remind everybody that the annual MacWorld SF blogger lunch is coming up in a few weeks, so mark your calendars!

Upcoming.org: Macworld SF bloggers lunch and schmoozefest at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (Tuesday, January 10, 2006)

A group photo from last year:

From the side
(originally uploaded by pinwheel, more here)

Update: Shellen posted a bit about it too.

Posted:
Last week the folks from Lovento wrote in, letting us know that their site now supports Blogger's API. You can see the functionality in action on their Venue pages.

Posted:
Like Blogger-powered Diary of a London Call Girl, a few months ago a Brazilian blogger (nsfw) landed a book deal, and apparently it's selling quite well:
"In just over a month, it has sold some 30,000 copies and is already in its third edition -- a huge success in a country where only a fraction of the population reads books. It also ranks third on Brazil's bestseller list for nonfiction books, neck and neck with international hits like "Freakonomics" by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner."
[Via Y! Odd News]

Posted:
Not quite, but according to the CBC, online journalists are now eligible for the Pulitzer Prize:
"Internet journalism received a leap in recognition Wednesday as the Pulitzer Prize Board widened its submission guidelines to include online material for all of its journalism categories."

"'The board believes it has taken a significant step in recognition of the widening role of online journalism at newspapers,' prize administrator Sig Gissler said in a statement. Online material will be considered beginning with the 2006 competition (which honours work done in 2005)."
You've still gotta write for a newspaper though:
"The eligibility guidelines 'will continue to be restricted to newspapers published daily, Sunday or at least once a week during the calendar year,' Gissler added, but will be widened to included the online editions of those newspapers."

Posted:
Can you tell it’s a bit of a slow Friday at Blogger? Anyway, here’s Prashant and me being happy and excited in our new Blogger hoodies, which just showed up in a big box of warm fuzziness.

You can be just as rockin’ by getting Blogger gear at the Google Store. When people ask, you can say the B stands for “B’awesome.” It’s a great way to make new friends.

In actual Blogger news, the site’s up, spam’s down, and, as always, we’re working on great new features. So all is right in the b’awesomeosphere.

Posted:
Darren Rowse, blogging at ProBlogger, posts 11 tips for increasing pageviews. This is mostly in the context of advertising on blogs (nothing wrong with that: How do I put AdSense on my blog?), but the tips are good even if you don’t sell ads on your blog. After all, if you can get readers to read more of your blog the first time they come, they’re more likely to find something they like and want to come back for more.

I think the best of Darren’s tips are those about linking your posts together: referring to posts you’ve made in the past, writing posts in series, or even just highlighting your best posts in a spot on the sidebar (or at the bottom). You may recall that last tip from Jacob Nielsen’s usability tips for weblogs, something I wrote about a few months back. (See! I’m doing it! Go go Blogger Buzz pageviews!)

Personally, I discourage tip #8, which says to include only summaries in your RSS feeds. I likes me my Google Reader, and get a bit annoyed by sites that only have the summaries instead of full posts. I think it’s better to include other ways to get your feed-reading readers to come to your site, perhaps with the aforementioned intra-blog links, or (ProBlogger tip #10) encouraging community in your comments.

Disclaimer: Pageview tips not effective during Blog*Spot outages.

[via Freshblog]

Posted:
You may have noticed a bit of an unplanned outage for Blog*Spot blogs yesterday afternoon. We’re really sorry about this. There was an unlikely problem with some of the Blog*Spot machines that took our engineers and operations folks a few hours of work to track down. In something of a Catch-22, both Buzz and Blogger Status are hosted on Blog*Spot, so we weren’t able to get the word out that things weren’t working properly and that we were fixing them.

We didn’t lose any posts because of this, but if you posted to your blog during the outage, there’s a chance that you’ll need to republish to see the changes. (How do I republish my blog?)

The good news is that, were this to ever happen again, we’d be able to diagnose and fix it in minutes, not hours, now that we’re aware of the potential problem. Also, we’ll be improving our outage indicator so that we’ll be able to communicate about unexpected things like this much more directly in the future.

Again, we apologize. We wanted to read blogs yesterday afternoon, too, so we totally understand any frustration you may have had.

Posted:
Because of the improvements we've made over the past several weeks, the amount of spam hosted on Blog*Spot has been significantly reduced. However, some of this improvement may not have been observed by third-party search services who rely on our Recently Updated list.

This week, we've pushed out improvements to this changes file such that we are filtering out suspected spammers. By relying on the updates in our Recently Updated list, other services that index our blogs can now take advantage of the spam classification on which we've been relying.