30 June 2010

Understanding Blogger, Blogger in Draft and Beta Releases


According to its Content Policy, Blogger is a "free service for communication, self-expression and freedom of speech for achieving increases in availability of information, healthy debate, and new connections between people." This is good as anyone can use the Blogger platform to express their opinions, no matter how skewed (unless it beaks Blogger's TOS), and get heard from anywhere in the world. This is the power of the internet. We now look at differences between Blogger and Blogger-in-draft.

Blogger - free weblog publishing platform

Blogger - the world's popular blogging platform

As you already know, Blogger (different from "a blogger" ie you and me) is a free weblog publishing tool. Initially privately owned, it is now bought over and owned by Google, the internet giant company. Users of the Blogger platform can share text, photos and video via the platform, and content is generally not censored.

Although users' content is not censored, the company demands that certain boundaries be kept, and sometimes can go to extreme measures to enforce them:
  • Adult Content: Allowed only if the user marks their blog as 'adult' (you can do this in 'Settings'), does not make money on the adult content and has no incest or bestiality content.
  • Child safety: Blogger has a zero tolerance policy towards content that exploits children, including child pornography and pedophilia.
  • Hate Speech: Includes promoting hate or violence towards groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status, or sexual orientation/gender identity.
  • Crude Content: Is posting content just to be shocking or graphic e.g. collections of close-up images of gunshot wounds or accident scenes without additional context or commentary.
  • Violence: Is threatening people e.g. death threats against people; or encouraging your readers to take violent action.
  • Copyright: Include all copyright infringements (more information here) or links to sites where readers can obtain unauthorized downloads of other people's content.
  • Personal and confidential information: Is publishing people's personal and confidential information e.g. credit card numbers, unlisted phone numbers, driver's license numbers, etc except if such information is already available elsewhere on the Internet or in public records.
  • Impersonating others: Is to mislead or confuse readers by pretending to be someone else or pretending to represent an organization, except parody or satires.
  • Illegal activities: Include all dangerous and illegal activities e.g. encouraging people to drink and drive.
  • Spam: Takes several forms on Blogger. Include blogs designed to drive traffic to sites or to move it up in search listings and posting comments on other people's blogs just to promote your site or product.
  • Malware and viruses: Include blogs that transmit viruses, cause pop-ups, attempt to install software without the reader's consent, or otherwise impact readers with malicious code.
All these are forbidden. In case of violation, available punishments by Blogger may be to:
  • Put the blog behind a 'mature content' interstitial
  • Put the blog behind an interstitial where only the blog author can access the content
  • Delete the blog
  • Disable the author's access to his/her Blogger account
  • Disable the author's access to his/her Google account
  • Report the user to law enforcement
Learn More: Blogger tutorials and General blogging tips

Blogger in Draft

Having taken a short look at Blogger, we now turn to Blogger-in-draft, which is a special version of Blogger where the company tries out new features before releasing them out to the public. In other words, Blogger-in-draft is a laboratory form of Blogger.

New features are constantly being developed for Blogger via Blogger-in-draft. To stay on top of all the latest additions and changes, see Blogger Buzz. To try out some of the experimental features, visit the Blogger in draft website.

Blogger-in-draft is, therefore, Blogger's resource center for testing out all sorts of new features that are in beta release amongst interested bloggers prior to a full release to everyone at www.blogger.com.

Alpha, Beta and Full release

Alpha is the first release of a software product that is usually tested only by the developers. In this case, the developers are the staff at Blogger.

Beta is a pre-release software that has received an alpha test but still has more bugs than a regular release. Beta software is usually available only to particular users who will test it. On Blogger, it is released to bloggers who are on Blogger in Draft (at draft.blogger.com).

A Full release is a complete and general release of the software to all end-users. At Blogger, this will now include all bloggers.

Keep on enjoying, Bloggers!

1 comment:

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