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So Blogger Has This Scheduled Post Feature…

Friday, February 12, 2010, 13:00 EST Leave a comment Go to comments

Blogger log-in screenI enjoy blogging, especially when I get into a regular habit of it, like I am now. Generally, I sit down to blog about five times a week. On weekdays, it’s usually in the evening, after work and supper. I sometimes blog on weekends, very seldom on my weekday lunch hour, and virtually never during my morning or afternoon work hours because, you know, that’s when I’m working. Some days, I don’t blog at all.

But Den Mother, I hear you saying, you post every day, often several times a day, and at all different times of day. I will reply by saying, as any number of conspiracy theorists would tell you, That’s what I want you to think. It’s actually Blogger.com that does the posting, or in blog parlance, publishing for me, when I tell it to.

When I write, as often as not I am writing several posts at once and in advance of when I intend for them to appear here. Usually scheduled posts are set to show up the next day, but you’d be surprised. At this moment, I have 14 posts already written and scheduled to be published here between now and the end of April. There is even one scheduled for all the way out in August.

I share this little trade secret in order to give a plug to Blogger, since it’s their feature that allows me to do this. I’ve been using Blogger for many years now, going back to when scheduled posting wasn’t available. But they have upgraded their service over the years and added lots of new features, and I thought it was time I gave them props for being a pretty good service, especially considering the cost, which is free. They have several pre-designed basic templates available for those who don’t know how to or don’t want to design their own, and the process for getting a basic blog set up is quite easy. The particulars of customization and posting are easy to learn and include different options for more or less advanced HTML writers (which is to say that even if all you know about HTML is how to spell it, you can probably still use this service). You can even add to your site a variety of cool plug-ins and utilities that are now available with just a few clicks. And you don’t have to have your own web domain (www.mysite.com) on which to host your blog; Blogger does it for you, hence the “blogspot.com” in the site address.

Many bloggers, especially the more serious ones, use other blogging software, such as Movable Type, WordPress, or TypePad, with more advanced features and tools. Each one has features and benefits that make it a good choice for certain users, and drawbacks that keep other users away. For what I do, which is essentially casual blogging, Blogger works just fine.

For a recreational blogger like me, it’s astounding to see the variety of people who wander in. I never hear from most of them; a few email me and even fewer post comments. But I know that on any given day, I have visitors from all over the world — or more accurately, from users whose servers are all over the world, since I can’t see where a visitor’s actual computer is. (For example, if I were surfing from my work computer, I would show up as a visitor from Portland, Maine, even though I would be using a computer in an office in Worcester, Massachusetts.) Individual visitors are anonymous to me, but I do know that this week’s visitors got here via servers in the United Kingdom, Libya, the Philippines, Spain, Canada, Germany, Ivory Coast, India, and more U.S. states than I have time to list. The visitor map at the right, a fairly recent addition to this site, also shows a couple visits from Australia and South America, which means my vast network of loyal readers reaches to every continent except Antarctica. Now there’s a goal…

Anyway, for those readers who may be thinking about starting a blog, even if it’s just a personal online journal that you wouldn’t mind the occasional visitor peeking at, Blogger is a good way to get up and running. Unless you’re a complete Luddite, you could probably pull it off. I’ll even offer to share my knowledge, such as it is, with any reader who might want to give it a try but needs a little personal assistance getting started. Email me or leave a comment and I’ll get back to you.

For the rest of you, consider this post as my long-overdue acknoweldgement of the nice folks at Blogger.com and the neat service they offer, which has made it possible for me to talk to all of your for all these years.

And the next time you see a post time stamped 7:00 a.m., you can wonder if I really posted then, or if I was still comfortably in bed.

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