2020: Blogger finally is introducing new features!

Updated on 3 Feb 2020:

Blogger, the blogging platform maintained by Google, is often criricized for being slow in introducing new features. While Wordpress has grown as the most used CMS and blogging platform, Blogger has lagged behind.

Starting mid-December 2019, Blogger is cleaning up some of its old stuff. It has changed the way Themes and Stats are offered, and promises to introduced modern-looking features in the days to come.

Hope, the changes being introduced by Blogger are not just minor tweaks to user interface for bloggers. My wishlist contains a few new themes, some features in post editors, some in-built SEO (search engine optimization) features. High time, Blogger rewards bloggers who have stayed with it despite the onslaught of Wordpress, with productive blogging features.

Changes noticed so far:

  • POST EDITOR: On the right column, The LINK option has been changed to include exposure link.
  • STATS: The looks have been changed, also now summary and the latest post data are shown on top.
  • COMMENTS: Looks have been changed.
  • PAGE EDITOR: Search description is available.
  • THEME: PREVIEW is not available now in the opening screen. The options to backup, HTML editing etc are hidden in the three dots on the right side. HTML EDITOR's buttons for saving/ preview are at the bottom.
  • In SETTINGS> OTHER, there is an option for VIDEO MANAGEMENT.
  • You can change the LANGUAGE of BLOGGER through SETTINGS> USER SETTINGS. But that will change the language for other Google products, e.g. Gmain also.

Is social media pushing you too much online? Try Pod and be social!

I as a user of social networking platforms have realized that most of my friends and followers on Whatsapp or Instagram are in fact inconsequential when it comes to actual real-life socialization. My Facebook friends (except for a few who are actual relatives and friends are also friends on Facebook too) would  hardly come to my help when I am under duress. I also do not feel satisfied enough when they 'like' something about me.

It is one bad thing that our busyness on social networking apps leaves little time for real-world socialization. Another related thing is that these apps have become a substitute for meeting and greeting because we use these apps also for sending greetings. Sometimes we don't hesitate in sending bulk messages or cut-and-paste gifs to all on our friend list/ address book.

App that encourages you to meet social media friends

What about an app that would encourage online friends to meet and share news and feelings?

Some early platforms looked at online socialization as an extension of real-life networks but they were annihilated by Facebook, Whatsapp etc. There were some attempts at having real-life engagement through social media platforms, but they remained localized and faded away. So, except for a few niche ones (e.g. WhatsApp groups of close family-members/ friends), you won't find social apps that encourage you to meet up.

Pod, a new social networking platform/ app that believes in putting people on real-world interactions, seems to be succeeding in its aim. It already has about 5 million users across 200 countries, making around 60 million connections. That is a big number, isn't it?

Pod utilizes location data and artificial intelligence to find people with similar interests who are in the geographical vicinity. It then tells them about such people, encouraging them to say hello and meet up.

location based social media

The app uses a map to show people around you. You can ping someone if you are interested in him as your hobbies or professional interests match or you would buy/ sell something from/ to him. Meeting is, of course, a desired action so that further socialization among a number of people in the neighborhood takes place.

Pod sums up its philosophy thus:
At Pod we believe in the power of real connections. The first generation of social media apps have encouraged us all to take our friends, put them online and communicate with them online. At Pod we are on a mission to do the opposite. We want to bring people together.

Connecting for professional purposes.

More than personal engagement, it appears that Pod would later focus on professional engagement. It is already making a pitch for professionals and businessmen to join the platform for exchange of information, ideas and transactions. 

Security and safety in engaging with strangers.

Meeting strangers without much background check, experts say, is not without risks to one's safety and security. The risk may extend further to one's family and professional life when people meet up and exchange information in good faith. Criminals may exploit this situation, especially if children use this app for real-life socialization.

Hope, Pod builds security features to take care of these concerns, but I did not find them on the app so far.