by Helen Kang, Software Engineer, Blogger

Some of you must have wondered what the Next Blog link on the NavBar does, and clicked on the link once or twice. Next Blog used to take you to a random blog, written by a random blogger. Your fellow blogger could have been writing her blog in a language that you don't know how to read. Or you might be someone who likes to read about food and restaurants in Germany, but your randomly chosen next blog could have been focused on sports, and written in Tagalog.

We've made the Next Blog link more useful, by taking you to a blog that you might like. The new and improved Next Blog link will now take you to a blog with similar content, in a language that you understand. If you are reading a Spanish blog about food, the Next Blog link will likely take you to another blog about food. In Spanish!

You might discover a cool blogger who has hobbies similar to yours, has similar taste in electronic gadgets, likes sports that you're into, or has similar curiosities and interests. We will finish rolling out the new and improved Next Blog link over the next week and hope that you will enjoy discovering blogs that are likely to interest you.

This has been a fun, collaborative effort on the Blogger team and we've enjoyed the support we received from other Google teams. We really hope you enjoy the new, more relevant Next Blog as much as we do.


Last week we asked you for a few words to describe both the Blogger of the present and the Blogger you'd like to see in the future. You responded overwhelmingly, and now as promised we'd like to share the unedited results with you:

Blogger Today
(click for large version)

Blogger in the Future
(click for large version)

Thanks to everyone who pitched in their two cents; we're very excited to take your words and start writing the next chapter of Blogger.

(And of course thanks to Wordle for the awesome word clouds!)

By Eddie Kessler, Blogger Engineering Manager

After a recent service interruption, we started talking about how we could improve our communications about these (hopefully infrequent) issues. Going forward, in the case of significant service interruptions, we plan to publish a post mortem on the Blogger Status blog within 3 business days to provide details about what went wrong and what we're doing to help prevent similar problems in the future.

During any outage, we try to keep the Blogger Status blog updated once we know about an issue. Of course sometimes — as was the case on Saturday — affected users who cannot reach Blogger cannot reach the Status blog either. In such cases, we will try to post updates on the Blogger account on Twitter to keep users apprised of what we know and when we expect a resolution.

We don't like it when our users experience problems like what we saw on Saturday, but we hope the combination of transparency around these issues and our commitment to learn from our mistakes will help assure you that we're doing everything we can to keep Blogger a robust and reliable service for you. As always, thank you for using Blogger.