Blogger: A Web Novice's Design Tool

SAN FRANCISCO (08/31/2000) - Updating a Web site is no picnic. To ease the pain, an oddly named Web site called Blogger can help you publish fresh information on your site simply, no matter where the new material resides.

Unlike other Web-based publishing tools, Ltd.'s Blogger concentrates on updating just one page. And it lets you publish updates anywhere you have permission to do so, rather than forcing you to create a site on the Blogger servers. That means your site has its own Web address and can maintain the look and feel you choose.

Getting Ready to Blog

Setting up Blogger is easy. First, enter your login information so that you can publish to your Web site using FTP. (Your Web service provider should be able to provide your login info.) Then enter the text you want to upload to your Web site, typing or uploading it into a text box at the Blogger Web site. Click the Publish button, and Blogger formats your text, uploads it to your site, and time-stamps it. Then your site's visitors can read your latest update and see when it was posted.

The first person who signs up at Blogger becomes the administrator of that update page (or collaborative blog). If you're that person, you can sign up other participants, who can also add time-stamped messages to the update page. These could be news items for a media site, a public diary, or updates among team members on a project at work. And, of course, you can create multiple blogs on one site or on several.

A Little HTML Goes a Long Way

While using Blogger is uncomplicated, it doesn't hurt to know a little HTML. For example, I asked the company if there was a way to double-space text. To do so, you need to add the HTML tag after each paragraph. That's no big deal, but it's not obvious to novice Web site designers.

Most Web tools can be set up quickly and are relatively easy to use. Blogger offers an elegant tool to address a common question: How do you keep folks coming back to your Web site? By publishing often.

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