Blogger beta: labels, categories, tags, further thoughtsSunday, August 20, 2006
Further to my initial review of Blogger's new beta service, announced recently by Blogger, I've had a further look and a few other thoughts on it.
Blogger Beta: labels (categories), tags and TechnoratiThe new labels do get your posts picked up and displayed on the blogosphere search engine Technorati's tag pages (although you might want to ping Technorati with the blog URL to make sure the blog is on their radar).
The link for a label when clicked does a search for the label within your blog, e.g. in my test Blogger beta blog the URL for the label "motor bikes" is http://improbulusbloggerbetatest.blogspot.com/search?label=motor+bikes. As mentioned in my previous post, clicking that link searches for all posts in the http://improbulusbloggerbetatest.blogspot.com/ blog which has the label "motor bikes".
When Technorati indexes the blog, which it does by looking at the content of the blog feed, it picks up labels as tags for its tag pages. So my test post labelled "motor bikes" is on their motor bikes tag page (though it might be on page 2 or 3 etc by the time you read this!):
This is all very good stuff, of course. Blogger labels are clearly treated by Technorati in the same way as e.g. Wordpress categories are, and picked up by Technorati (but remember their general problems affecting tags might affect labels too).
However, I couldn't get the Icerocket blog search engine to pick up the Blogger Beta labels despite pinging them too. Though to be honest I've given up on Icerocket because I've found it has even more problems than Technorati - at least Technorati still indexes the content of my posts even if it's a bit iffy about picking up the tags; many of my posts haven't even got indexed on Icerocket at all.
Blogger Beta and feeds: categories, autodiscoveryAnother good thing is that labels you add to your Blogger Beta posts are shown as "Author's labels" in Google Reader (see the bottom of the screenshot) and other feed readers that can display categories:
Clearly Blogger are converting labels into the proper category elements when generating the atom.xml feed file for beta blogs.
[UPDATE: autodiscovery has now been added.] However, one negative point is that, while at least they've automatically added links to the feeds ("Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)") at the bottom of the blog page, Blogger haven't automatically enabled auto-discovery of the feed - not as far as I can see from my own test blog anyway (which I deliberately left on one of the standard non-customised templates). Still, it's early days yet, and no doubt that will come.