Friday, 2 May 2008

Blogger scheduled posts: postpone or delay blog post to future date







Blogger have, as they earlier heralded, finally rolled out the ability for Blogger users to post-date their posts, i.e. write a post and then schedule it for publishing at a future date and time of your choosing.

The ability to postpone or delay blog posts written in advance has been in demand for years. This facility is great for holidays, spacing out your blog posts more evenly over the week, etc. (I admit I don't use it much myself, I'm too paranoid about my post having content that may be out of date when it's published, so I check things first and publish live.)

Previously the best workaround I knew to produce future-dated posts on Blogger was to post via email using Emailschedule.

The new Blogger scheduling facility, which also uses email via Blogsend, has been available via Blogger in Draft (the new features' test playground for Blogger users) since February, with subsequent bug fixes for permalinks and the ability to use scheduling with FTP blogs, before it finally went live for non-Draft users yesterday.

Now, when you draft a post even on the non-Draft version of Blogger, once you've finished it (and saved it, of course) all you have to do is change the date and time after the end of your post to the future date / time when you want it published, then hit Publish (you may need to click the Post Options link to make the Post date and time visible first; it used to be, I wish Blogger hadn't hid it, it doesn't take up much space and is useful). See below, outlined red on the right.


(If you use the Keep Current Time script to ensure your draft posts aren't dated when you first created them but when you publish them, you'll of course have to untick the box first, outlined red on the left above, before you try to change the date and time to your desired future date of posting.)

Full howto (including how to unschedule a previously-scheduled post) is in the Blogger Buzz post on the release of the scheduling posts feature, so I won't go into detail here. I'd just mention that you can view and edit your Scheduled Posts via the usual Edit Posts tab - there's a new "Scheduled" link now, so you can view just your Scheduled Posts:


One trap to watch for - if you're using the Keep Current Time script, you may be forgiven for thinking that "Blogger time" is the same as your time, because the script always makes the Blogger post editor show, at the end of your post, your local time. But that's not necessarily the case. When you untick the Keep current time box, and manually change the time and date (to say 10 am 10 May 2008) and hit Publish, Blogger will publish your post at the date and time you've set - but only at the moment which is that exact time in the timezone shown in your Settings, Formatting tab. If that timezone is set to a different one from your own (it defaults to US Pacific time), then it will only publish the post when it gets to 10 am on 10 May 2008 in California - not 10 am 10 May in London!

So here's a tip: if you're using Keep Current Time and want to use scheduled posting, hie ye over forthwith to Settings, Formatting and ensure your Formatting timezone is set to your own timezone (saving the change of course), to avoid possible future confusion.

I don't normally blog about straightforward stuff on Blogger these days, but I really thought this new feature was worth highlighting. Now if only Blogger will fix it pretty please so that draft posts are published bearing the date/time you click Publish, and not the original date/time when you created or last saved the post, I won't need Keep Current Time!

3 comments:

Lalo said...

I would like protest against scheduled posting method.

So, the idea of scheduled posting is great, but the realisation is poor.

The simpler and maybe the best way to do this is to insert a new scheduling date field next to the date field.

Now the date field functionality is too complicate:

a) dating
b) scheduling
c) URL generating
d) sorting
e) archiving

For example, if someone (like me) want to add a post with future date, can't do it correctly.

If I publish it (as blogger team suggests) with current date and then repost it with a new date, then the URL of the post (and archive date) remain unchanged.

So the date of the post and the date in the link (and the archive) are different, and this mismatch is a problem for the blogger and the readers too.

Mo Money said...

Really useful post - wasn't aware of this, so thanks.

Could you do a post on how to prevent content appearing in the sidebar archive?

Lalo said...

Really useful response - wasn't aware of this, so thanks.

If there would be a new scheduling date field next to the date field, then everyone could use the advantages both of the old and new scheme.

So there are no problems at all, including the sidebar archive.