As we said a few weeks ago when we launched a completely rebuilt, streamlined authoring and editing experience, we’re in the process of bringing you a much improved and modernized Blogger. The next phase of these updates starts today with seven new ways to display your blog, called Dynamic Views.

Built with the latest in web technology (AJAX, HTML5 and CSS3), Dynamic Views is a unique browsing experience that will inspire your readers to explore your blog in new ways. The interactive layouts make it easier for readers to enjoy and discover your posts, loading 40 percent faster than traditional templates and bringing older entries to the surface so they seem fresh again.

Dynamic Views is much more than just new templates. With just a couple clicks, you’ll get infinite scrolling (say goodbye to the “Older posts” link), images that load as you browse, integrated search, sorting by date, label and author, lightbox-style posts for easy viewing, keyboard shortcuts for quickly flipping through posts, and one-click sharing to Google+ and other social sites on every post.

No two blogs are the same, so you can choose from seven different views that display text and photos differently. For example, if you have lots of photos on your blog, you may prefer Flipcard or Snapshot. If your blog is more text-heavy, then Classic, Sidebar (what you’re seeing now on Blogger Buzz) or Timeslide may be preferable. Here’s a quick description of each of the new views, along with links to some of our favorite blogs where you can check each of them out in action.
  • Classic (Gmail): A modern twist on a traditional template, with infinite scrolling and images that load as you go
  • Flipcard (M loves M) - Your photos are tiled across the page and flip to reveal the post title
  • Magazine (Advanced Style) - A clean, elegant editorial style layout 
  • Mosaic (Crosby’s Kitchen) - A mosaic mix of different sized images and text
  • Sidebar (Blogger Buzz Blog) - An email inbox-like view with a reading page for quick scrolling and browsing
  • Snapshot (Canelle et Vanille) - An interactive pinboard of your posts 
  • Timeslide (The Bleary-Eyed Father) - A horizontal view of your posts by time period
Enter the name of your favorite Blogger blog below and click Preview to check it out with Dynamic Views.

Adding a Dynamic View to your blog is as easy as changing your template. Log in to Blogger, click on the Template tab on your dashboard, and select whichever view you want to set as your default. Note that readers can still choose to navigate your blog in a different view by selecting from the pulldown in the upper left of the screen.

If you want to add your own touch to any of these new views, you can upload a header image and customize the background colors. We’ll be adding more ways to customize Dynamic Views in the coming weeks.

We hope you enjoy the latest update to Blogger, and that, as always, you tell us what you think by completing this short survey.

Note: In addition to Blogger Buzz, several other official Google blogs will be featuring Dynamic Views through the weeks and months ahead, including the Gmail Blog, Google Voice Blog, and Docs Blog. We’re excited to bring Dynamic Views into the fold and we'll be looking at how to incorporate this new technology across Google’s blog network in the long term.

Update: Dynamic Views are now customizable! Add a custom header, change the background, colors, fonts, and more.

Editor’s Note: Rebecca is one of the bloggers we’ve featured on Blogs of Note. After she was Noted, Rebecca received many new followers and emails asking her about her tips for blogging, so she’s graciously written up this blog post for anyone looking for tips on how to get started. 

Hi everyone! I'm Rebecca Brown, a blogger and personal stylist in the Seattle area. When I started my blog nearly 2 years ago, it was to document my attempt to wear a different dress for every day of December (sounds super interesting, right? It proves you can write a blog about anything).

I had no idea that a blog about my clothing choices would grow and become such a fun hobby! And even though I’ve been blogging for a little while, I still feel like I have so much to learn, which is what keeps blogging interesting! So, while I'm definitely far from being an expert, here are a few things that have worked for me:

1) Find a community of bloggers with similar interests. Do you like to write about video games, fashion, cooking? There are lots of great blogs on those topics already. A quick Google search for “fashion blogs” helped me round out my reading list. I always check out the blog rolls of people whose blogs I enjoy, and I also visit the blogs of folks who comment on my blog. Bottom line: interact with bloggers whose blogs you enjoy. You'll learn so much, I promise. This leads me to my next point...

2) Leave insightful comments on blogs that you enjoy - especially blogs that are in the same niche as you. Instead of just saying, "hey, nice blog, follow me please”, call out something specific that you liked about the post. Pure "followback" requests don’t really make people want to follow you.

3) Don't underestimate the importance of good pictures on your posts. The basics: Use a tripod or get a friend to photograph you if the pictures are of you. Take pictures outdoors if possible because natural light always makes pictures look better. Use post-processing (I use Picnik) to adjust the exposure, add effects, and crop to keep the focus on what you want. You don’t need a fancy camera - I use my cell phone most of the time! I wrote about this in more depth here.

4) Think about quality, rather than quantity of posts. Readers would rather see an insightful (and spell-checked!) post with original content and good pictures 2-4 times a week than hastily-written thoughts on a daily basis. Most avid blog readers follow so many blogs that if you post too often, and especially if your posts aren't high quality, you'll get passed over in favor of the other blogs on their blogroll. Plus, a great, high-quality post can continue to get you traffic for a few days - don't truncate its effectiveness by posting again the very next day.

5) Schedule your posts. I typically have a chunk of time on the weekend where I can plan out and write my 2-4 posts for the week, or at least get a rough draft in place. Blogger allows you to schedule your posts and they will automatically publish at the date/time you specify. I typically set my posts to publish around 2am to capture folks in other time zones.

6) Lastly, don't apologize for not posting more often. A blog is a fun hobby - but once you start feeling beholden to it, it stops being fun! Plus, your readers will likely not notice if you don't post for a week unless you write a post about how sorry you are for not posting!

There are so many great resources out there for bloggers looking to hone their craft. Here are a few of my favorites: - 10 Things About Your Blog That Drive Me Crazy (via B at Beautifully Invisible) - Don't Be A Savage Blogger (Jamillah via Beautifully Invisible): - Build a Better Blog (via Vahni at Grit and Glamour).

I hope these tips are helpful! Blogging has been such a great part of my life - allowing me to express myself, build a community and make lifelong friends. And the great thing about it is that nearly anyone can do it. So have fun with it, don’t take yourself too seriously, and you’ll be a great blogger in no time!

Posted by Marcos Almeida, Software Engineer

Updated 09/21/11: After listening to your feedback we've decided to roll back and make improvements to the Lightbox feature. We will update this blog as soon as the feature relaunches.

Introducing Lightbox, the latest in a series of Blogger updates aimed at giving you an improved and modernized blogging experience. Lightbox is a whole new way to interact with photos. When clicked, images now expand into a shiny new overlay that displays them at their full size for optimal viewing.

Once an image is opened in the lightbox view, any other images from the same post will now appear as thumbnails along the bottom, which can be easily browsed by clicking the arrow keys on the left or right side of the lightbox.

If you’ve custom-coded your image HTML so that images function as hyperlinks, then the lightbox view will not display and your original image hyperlink will work as expected.

Your images never looked so good!

Today we’re excited to announce the new Blogger app for iOS. With the Blogger app, you can write a new blog post and publish it immediately or save it as a draft right from your iOS device. You can also open a blog post you've been working on from your computer and continue editing it while you're on-the-go. Your blog posts are automatically synced across devices, so you’ll always have access to the latest version.

Pictures are worth a thousand words, and the Blogger app makes it easy to add photos either by choosing from the gallery or taking a new photo right within the app. You can also add labels and location to provide more details about the post.

Download the Blogger app today for iOS versions 3.2 and above in the App Store. Although the user interface is only available in English at this time, the app supports blog posts written in all languages. If you’re using an Android-powered device, you can download the Blogger app for Android from the Android Market.

Posted by Chang Kim, Product Manager