Free.Pro.Blogger
September 10, 2003 1:31 PM   Subscribe

Free.Pro.Blogger. Bucking the Free to Fee trend, Blogger Pro is going Free, and sending refunds/t-shirts to current Pro subscribers. (more inside)
posted by brownpau (32 comments total)
 
I'm curious as to why this hasn't yet been announced on Blogger, Blogger Status, or Ev's site; I only found out about this now while browsing MacMinute. And how will this affect the [friendly] competition? (It's been a long way from the days of donationware, hasn't it? What do Blogger's own founding veterans think, while we're on the topic?)
posted by brownpau at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2003


Does that mean an advertisement side bar for my blog too?(added the one on top too)
posted by thomcatspike at 1:34 PM on September 10, 2003


I spoke too soon; the announcement is up.
posted by brownpau at 1:41 PM on September 10, 2003


Makes sense. I dealt with so many problems with Blogger that would only be answered weeks later with "switch to pro." When I finally switched to MT, I was so pissed at the shitty service Blogger gave me that I actually explained in their feedback forum that I switched to MT and it solved all the problems I was having.

I haven't had a single problem with MT since the day I installed it; Blogger's going to have to try really hard to beat that.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 1:53 PM on September 10, 2003


Too little, too late.

Like XQUZYPHYR, I've been having more problems with Blogger lately-- lost templates, downtime, etc. I finally switched to MT last week and I'll never switch back. Sorry, Ev.
posted by keswick at 2:00 PM on September 10, 2003


! neat.
posted by mcsweetie at 2:01 PM on September 10, 2003


For the freebie user like me this is a plus, but it came to late for my first site. My second site is/will pretty basic yet still may have some fun adding these features especially the uploading availability. Wonder if this will push more to post "a narrated post" which will make a blog not just a weekly news paper but also a mini NPR too?
posted by thomcatspike at 2:01 PM on September 10, 2003


odd, i never have any probs with free blogger. ok, the second year i was using it there were a few irritating down times, but for the last year it's been perfect. i'm glad to have the pro features; the file uploader will save me several clicks each time i want to add a new graphic.
posted by t r a c y at 2:08 PM on September 10, 2003


XQ - I enjoyed blogger and still use it for some group blogs I'm in, but I have to agree. Switched to MT a few days back, and like the customize-ability. They definitely have work to do over at Google, but since using Blogger and Pro for quite a while, I generally had good experiences with support.
posted by djspicerack at 2:09 PM on September 10, 2003


Now if only I could get a cool t-shirt from nullsoft, as I once paid for the now free winamp.
posted by woil at 2:17 PM on September 10, 2003


Man, y'alls bitchen like you paid hundereds of dollars for the service. I mean, unless you switched to Pro, (and now you're entitled to a refund) Blogger is free!
I've had my blog up for almost 3 years and haven't suffered more than an occasional annoyance...I don't write code. But as an artist and musician, I do know how hard it is to create something. And dissin' Ev & co. for birthing something A LOT of people use and enjoy is just foul, y'know?
posted by black8 at 2:18 PM on September 10, 2003


I hear Pyra Inc paid its employees in hoodies too.
posted by alan at 2:18 PM on September 10, 2003


though i'm a recent MT convert, i'm kind of hoping to see blogger put the hurt on some of MT's potential users... it'd be nice to see some competition.
posted by lotsofno at 2:18 PM on September 10, 2003


I use MT at work for an in-house blog because I run the server. My ISP doesn't offer MT and probably never will. I use Blogger Pro for my personal blog and I was happy to pay for it. I'm happy it's free too.

If Blogger supplied me with oxygen I'd be way more concerned about the quality of service.
posted by tommasz at 2:19 PM on September 10, 2003


I, for one, continue to worship our Notepad overlords. No other gods before Simpletext!
posted by Happydaz at 2:49 PM on September 10, 2003


Come on, Happydaz, you can find better free text/html editors than notepad. (To me, the free version of NoteTab is dangerously close to 'feature bloated', so I ignore the pay version)
posted by wendell at 3:03 PM on September 10, 2003


I'm sure if I were actually willing to do some research I could find the answers to these, but when Google bought Pyra, did they move the blogger/Blogger Pro systems to Google's servers?

I used Blogger Pro for the first three or four months it was out before doing the now ubiquitous switch to Moveable Type. My impression then was that the cost wasn't so much to turn a great deal of profit, but to defray the cost of maintaining the service. It stands to reason that if they're all moved in and cozy at Google, they may have a lower margin for keeping the service running.
posted by KnitWit at 3:22 PM on September 10, 2003


Blogger is still my choice when I am setting up a blog for someone else. It's just easier than hosting and configuring MT for them myself.

I've also seen some pretty non-technical people manage to get set up with Blogger and BlogSpot on their own, which I can't say for the cgi-based MT. I've stuck with Blogger because I started blogging way before I was ready to tackle an MT install. Even now, I've begun the process of installing MT a few times, only to abandon it. Too lazy.

That said, I only subscribed to pro.blogger when it came out to make a small donation to the cause. The features and "uptime" were never really worth it. Archives still suck, and we're still waiting for built-in commenting & search.

Refund? Great!
posted by scarabic at 3:33 PM on September 10, 2003


The one feature not being folded into Blogger free, which is a feature Blogger-reader users would want is the RSS feeds.
posted by benjh at 3:42 PM on September 10, 2003


I'm a Pro subscriber, and I'm getting a sweatshirt but not a refund.

However, the e-mail I got from them explained that not all features are available to free users, like post-by-email and RSS feeds.

I guess they will eventually become free too, I can't see them being reserved for the now fixed ex-Pro userbase.
posted by Mwongozi at 3:49 PM on September 10, 2003


I subscribed to BloggerPro within days of it being announced, not to get access to new feature candy but just to support the folks who had worked so long and hard on the free service I had already been using. I've been happy to watch them not only get their feet beneath them but find a firm footing and stand tall to do the Right Thing.

I wonder if they haven't been planning this move for some time. My one-year BloggerPro subscription was up about five months ago, yet I continued to have full access to BPro features. Whether or not I'm entitled to it, I don't need a refund or a sweatshirt; Blogger has more than held up their end of the deal.
posted by Inkslinger at 4:12 PM on September 10, 2003


I signed up for Blogger in 1999 and it was perfect for me, a non-programer. I was considering a switch to Moveable Type, but I wasn't willing to learn as much as was required to install it, let alone upgrade my hosting package to get the doohickeys I needed to do so.

I ended up switching to Typepad as soon as I heard there was even a free month to play and I can't even descibe the joy for someone like me--just wanting a place to keep my links and comments to my family and friends without clogging their email. BloggerPro just didn't have that crucial "comments" feature, otherwise I would have made the switch. I give them full props though. I found the whole blogging thing (and MeFi) because of a blurb on Blogger in a magazine.
posted by macadamiaranch at 5:48 PM on September 10, 2003


My one-year BloggerPro subscription was up about five months ago, yet I continued to have full access to BPro features. Whether or not I'm entitled to it, I don't need a refund or a sweatshirt; Blogger has more than held up their end of the deal.

Ditto for me. Whatever else happens to/from/because of Ev and his brainchild, and however many blogtools I use (Blogger, then GM, now MT), you *always* remember your First.

(blush)
posted by davidmsc at 6:03 PM on September 10, 2003


I subscribed to BloggerPro within days of it being announced, not to get access to new feature candy but just to support the folks who had worked so long and hard on the free service

Most of those "folks" who worked so "long and hard" were gone by the time blogger pro came out. I'm sure the new employees appreciate it though.

I do think the advertising in disguise of free hoodies/appeasement is a stroke of genius ;)

We are all walking billboards.
posted by justgary at 8:09 PM on September 10, 2003


I'm curious about whether this is a result of over-optimistic revenue projections, the recent launch of Typepad, Google's hunger for mindshare, just plain good-heartedness (yeah, right), or what-all else, and in what proportions.

The business decisions that have made them revert back to a free model are what's interesting to me, at least. Not likely we'll be privy to those, though.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:39 PM on September 10, 2003


I just realized that site statistics and image uploads are not Pro features but are BlogSpot Plus only....this service has been unavailable for months.....anyone have any insight on its future status??
posted by tdstone at 9:55 PM on September 10, 2003


I got stickers for my donation to the server fund and now I get more swag for paying for Pro? Cool, I guess. I have absolutely no problem with paying for a service but have abandoned Blogger for all but my least cared about blogs because of it's lack of dependability...MT absolutely rocks it's socks off.
posted by RevGreg at 10:23 PM on September 10, 2003


Wait, I seem to recall that we all have the right to know the details of every business decision surrounding Blogger.
posted by jjg at 10:50 PM on September 10, 2003


Nobody has suggested (at least in this thread) that we (or anyone outside the company itself) have any 'right to know the details of every business decision surrounding Blogger,' there, jjg, so step back a bit, yeah?

A little curiosity is natural, I'd think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:37 AM on September 11, 2003


jjg: I always thought our Pyra discussions were one of the weirdest things about MetaFilter. Thanks to this site, I know more about the office politics of Pyra than I do some of the places I've worked.
posted by rcade at 3:20 AM on September 11, 2003


What about the office politics of those TypePad people? Doesn't anyone care to be intrusive anymore?
posted by anildash at 11:28 AM on September 11, 2003


All I want to know, Anil, is when you are going to start dressing to match Ben and Mena. Until then, Blogger politics is more interesting...
posted by fooljay at 2:15 PM on September 11, 2003


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