On a bad press day for Blogger.com, Google magically appears on the scene to offer an AutoSave feature (something all platforms should offer). Cool (and thank you), that’s one less Blogger issue to deal with. Now about those availability, stability and aging competitive feature set issues…
[Aside: This post was written over 18 hours ago… the last time Blogger.com was working semi-properly. After 18 hours of downtime, corrupted cookies, FTP timesouts and innane Customer Support responses, the service is finally functional. Also, having looked deeper into AutoSave, it appears to be cookie-based (vs. server based — yes I understand the tech challenges) making it significantly less useful, and more a kludge to cover up the constant stability issues customers face with the service.]
In somewhat related news, MSN has rev’ed Spaces. Digging through the feature set, it looks like the notable changes include:
1. Support for pinging a few Feed search engines (vs. creating an open ‘registry’ so that any company can subscribe — disappointing). Notably, this breaks the Weblogs.com chokepoint, which is a good thing (architecturally speaking); all publishing platforms will eventually follow suit.
2. Your profile picture is now part of your Feed, and, the header of your Posts includes a count of the comments on that Post. Incremental improvements add up; nicely done.
3. Space’s built-in statistics/reporting feature now includes some RSS measurement (a first for a hosted blog publishing app so far as I’m aware), but doesn’t seem to include many basics, e.g., number of subscribers.
Like Yahoo 360, Spaces remains an offering for the hands-off set… but according to MSFT, they’ve found 4.5MM of those folks, so their closed-stack approach will likely continue. (I’d like to be wrong about this last point.)
Tony – number of total subscribers via RSS is impossible to determine from a service provider standpoint. All anyone can do is guess based on hits/page views.
Mike, thanks for dropping by. I understand that given that we don’t have a reliable per-user GUID, we have to infer circulation/subscriber-base a bit more indirectly (ala FeedBurner).
So long as the publisher understands this, these approximations are still quite valuable. (Though as usual, that may not be true for the segment[s] you’re pursuing with the Spaces offering.)
As an aside… I haven’t forgotten our other thread; I’ve simply been buried in client work. I’d love to continue the discussion, preferrably by email. Hit me at moreinfo -at- buzzhit -dot- com if you’re game. No worries if not.