Today we’re releasing a new page element for Layouts blogs: Blog List. The Blog List improves on our Link List page element by using blogs’ RSS and Atom feeds to show update times, post titles, and snippets.

Use a Blog List to put a blogroll in your sidebar, or make a few to categorize the blogs you read. The Blog List works well for any page that has an RSS or Atom feed, so you can get creative: link to news sites, podcasts, Twitter streams, search results, or anything else with a feed.

Here’s a quick summary of the features that a Blog List gives you:
  • Link to blogs, web pages, and feeds from your blog’s sidebar, with an optional favicon
  • For pages with RSS and Atom feeds, Blog List can show last updated time, post title, and a snippet of the latest post
  • Sort links alphabetically or by last update time
  • Show all links, or hide some behind a “show all” link
  • Import subscriptions from Google Reader
  • Blog List links are visible to search engine crawlers, so your blog’s PageRank and reputation flow to those you link to
Want to see it in action? We made a help video to walk you through adding and configuring a Blog List:

Thanks go out to everyone who chimed in on the Blogger in draft blog while this feature was being developed. You helped us a lot!

Tip: Want to show more posts from a single blog? Use the Feed page element to put any RSS or Atom feed in your blog’s sidebar.

Today’s release brings a handful of tweaks and fixes, as well as the new Blog List page element. Here’s some of what we fixed:
  • If you delete a post or make a typo in a post URL, the resulting 404 page now says “page not found” instead of the incorrect “blog not found.”
  • <blockquote> tags no longer break the line height of later paragraphs in the Minima, Scribe, Harbor, Dots, 867/565, Moto, and Thisaway templates. If you’ve edited your CSS or blog widget template, you may not get this fix, or, worse, you’ll lose line spacing in your posts. For a fix, see the known issue on this bug. (We apologize for this one-time disruption.)
  • OpenID logins for comments now work when the OpenID URL redirects to another page.
  • Layouts blogs will now display on Blog*Spot even when the template has invalid data: tags, rather than showing a bX code page.
  • Performance improvements across and Blog*Spot.
Enjoy! We’ll have a bit more to say about Blog List later today, as well as some new fixes and features on Blogger in draft.