Several readers have emailed me comments on some recent posts. They can't post comments; they've upgraded to the new Blogger beta, and now they can't leave comments on any non-beta blogs. Apparently you're not informed of this before making the switch, which seems like a serious glitch.

This gives me pause about making the upgrade. I'd hate to be cut off from older blogs.

I suppose beta users could open a new, separate, non-beta account, just for commenting. If anyone wants to do that, and report on the advantages of Blogger beta, that would be cool. I have an email about it from a reader, which I'll post if I get permission.

I'm not sure if this person implied that on Blogger beta, comments will now use Haloscan? I certainly hope not. I really dislike Haloscan comments. The way Blogger handles comments is one of the reasons I want to stay with it in the first place.

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It's been very quiet here. Statcounter says you are all still there, but since my 9/11-related posts, discussion has died down. I imagine (hope) we're just in a lull and will return to our normal comment-discussions soon.

Meanwhile, Allan's blog has become a community hang-out, much as wmtc has been. Just as well, since our baseball season disintegrated. His link to his 9/11 post at wmtc got a lot of good support.

I'm going to get some work done, and post more later today. Bye for now.

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Update. Friend of wmtc Amateur says:
The main "under-the-hood" thing that comes with the upgrade is that all your pages are no longer static HTML. I don't get all the technical details but from a practical perspective it means that when you publish a post (or change your template) you don't have to wait for that little timer to run up to 100% while your whole blog is "republished." Things happen more or less instantaneously.

The Blogger dashboard interface is slightly improved, which is nice.

There is a graphical control facility for your template, changing colors and fonts, and adding stuff. In particular there's a widget for managing link lists -- makes things easier to manage, but if you switch you need to reconstruct your lists, and that might take some time.

Then there are also a bunch of pretty neat widgets that they've added. The new post archive is pretty neat -- it's effectively a full index to all of your posts. Actually there are several different versions available, but you can see one of them on my sidebar.

You can label your posts, and then add the list of labels to your template so that people can sort them by category. My labels are still a bit messed up and I haven't done all of the historical posts, but you can see the tool on my sidebar.

You can add the RSS feed from anything into your blog. I'm not sure how useful that would be, but for example you could load RedSock's RSS into your sidebar to provide people a quick summary of what he's been writing about, automatically updated whenever he publishes. Again, I've taken advantage of this -- I actually created a new blog just to use its RSS feed.

And there is an "older/newer/home" pager that makes it easier to browse through historical posts.

Also the new Blogger takes advantage of the Google "pages that link here" function to provide backlinks for your posts. These appear on the post pages if you enable them -- sometimes you have to wait a little while for them to appear, but it's neat for a couple of reasons. It shows who else has been linking to your posts, and also shows a sort of cross-reference list for your blog. Pretty neat.

Oh yeah -- people can subscribe to an RSS feed for your blogger comments as well as your posts. I'm not using that because I don't use Blogger comments, but it could be really great for your blog! [True!]

I'm pretty keen on what they've done, although I will say that I struggled quite a bit with adding the HaloScan Comments. It's still possible to do tricky stuff by editing the template HTML, but I'd say that the learning curve is pretty steep.
Amateur also clarifies that you can use Blogger beta and still use Blogger comments.
You can stick with Blogger's comments, and in fact that will make your life much easier during the transition -- being one of the first Haloscan users to switch made it pretty challenging. (I switched to Haloscan because my posts are cross-posted on cansport.com and I wanted readers at both sites to be able to comment. I later realized that I probably could have stayed with Blogger anyway, but I don't think I'll switch back now.)
Many, many thanks to Amateur for this very useful info. Opinions and suggestions about my upgrade and redesign are most welcome.

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