Life in Hollywood, below-the-line

Life in Hollywood, below-the-line
Work gloves at the end of the 2006/2007 television season (photo by Richard Blair)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Something's Rotten at Blogger

This post has nothing to do with the Industry, but rather the host of this blog -- which has allowed many thousands of us to put up blogs for free. Under the circumstances, it seems churlish to complain, but lately things seem to be going a bit sideways at Blogger -- particularly when including photos with a blog post.

My latest post ("Adventures in Grip Land: Cranes") took forever to put up -- and by forever, I mean several hours. I'm not talking about the actual writing, but just trying to get the post -- and photo -- up on the blog in the format I wanted. Apparently, there's something about the addition of a photo that mucks things up, compressing the formatting of any text below. I put the damned thing up half a dozen times, trying every variation I could think of, but never could get it right.

For me, writing is about many things -- voice, pacing, and rhythm, among others, each of which contributes to the final post. Other than the occasional photo, all we've got here are words on paper (okay, words-on-screen...), so formatting -- spacing, essentially -- can be a crucial tool for controlling pace and rhythm. Losing the ability to control the format makes the process all that much harder.

In the end, I gave up, and you can see the results below. The best I could do was putting those huge gaps between paragraphs -- much larger gaps than I wanted. Every time I tried to make those gaps smaller, I ended up with giant run-on paragraphs that made no sense at all.

I settled for the lesser of two evils.

It wasn't always like this. Until very recently, adding a photo to a post presented no problems whatsoever -- I'd cut and paste the text into the blog, format the text as desired, then add the photo and hit the "publish" button. Everything came out fine. Now, I'm going back and forth between the "view" and "compose" sections, and finding that what I put up there doesn't necessarily match that which appears on the blog. The frustration and extra time wasted trying to fix all this adds up.

I understand that all this technology/software is constantly evolving, and that such evolution often comes with rough edges -- it too remains a work in progress. Change is inevitable, but maybe Blogger should work a little harder to ensure that "progress" doesn't actually make life worse for the end users of their services.

I don't know -- my knowledge of computers and the digital arena is sketchy at best, and maybe I'm just doing something wrong. If anybody out there has any ideas or suggestions how to avoid these problems, please let me know.



Burbanked said...

I'd make a suggestion, but I'm a blueblood WordPress-o-phile, and at the very least my best suggestion would require a certain amount of content migration, blog theme rejiggering, potentially lost readers on redirected URLs, and other potential headaches.

So even though at the end of all that you'd be much, MUCH happier with the ease, beauty and dynamic capabilities of WordPress, I would be doing you a disservice by suggesting such a thing.


Nathan said...


Every once in a while, I find that Blogger is doing something I don't want it to. When that happens, I switch to looking at the HTML coding and invariably, I see a tag repeating itself or enclosing something I didn't want in the tags.

You can just move the cursor out of the tags, start typing on the HTML window and then switch back to the "compose" window if you're more comfortable there.

I'm betting if you look at the HTML for that post, you'll find some tags repeating for no reason.