Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Blogger Blunders – The Hubris of Google

It seems that companies lose their way when then get large. They just can’t seem to help thinking that they know better than their customers. Look at the recent debacles with the Facebook Privacy Policy and Net Flicks flip-flopping on movie formats and pricing.
Now, perhaps at a smaller scale, Google is venturing into the realm of forcing the customer into change that is good for Google, but not for the customer.

Blogger is the blog interface for Google based blogs on blogspot.com. It is the basis of this blog. Over the years, it has been a really good thing. It has been easy to use on a small platform that allows easy inclusion of pictures, links, and video. They allow uploading of pictures at pretty high quality and haven’t required advertising so far.
Recently, they offered what they thought was an upgraded interface. I looked at it, didn’t find any advantage over the current interface, and decided to stay with the old interface that I knew. Apparently, so did a lot of others. So last week, Blogger decided to force us onto the new format.

I was open. I gave it a try. I found that the new interface was large, slow, and clunky. It required a separate window to “preview” a post. That window required me to wait while the post saved before it would let me look at the preview. This took a very long time because I don’t have a fast connection. Sometimes the buttons didn’t work. Sometimes the preview wouldn’t update and I would have to go back and try again. Editing text was slow and jerky. I found that I couldn’t cut and paste pictures to reformat without new crap showing up in the field. I have yet to figure out how to control the space around text and pictures. Overall, I hated it. I want the old interface back.

So I went to Blogger and found that I was not alone. Hundreds of bloggers had posted how much they hate the new interface and all the things wrong with it. Google’s response was, in sum, “Get over it. The old interface is going away and you are going to have to get used to the new one.”

It feels to me that the Google people need to get out of San Francisco Bay area and learn what the internet is like in the middle of the country. My take is that the people that developed the new interface are used to having really fast computers and really fast internet connections, so they don’t see all these issues and developed a program that runs very poorly on an average computer and an average internet connection. They need to realize that most of their customers don’t have a choice but to live in a much slower lane than they do.

They also need to realize that they don’t necessarily know better than their customers. When the customer tells them it doesn’t work, they need to listen or lose the customer.

If you write a blog on blogspot and feel the same way, I would encourage you to use your blog to post your complaints. The only chance we have of making things right is to make some noise and your blog may be the best tool available to communicate with Google. After all, the reason they let us write these blogs is so that they can spy on us. OK, I'll be realistic, Google goes its own way, but I've got to try.

1 comment:

  1. I sue Blogger as the posting platform only. I always hated their 'production' capability and so have been happily using Windows Live Writer to create and edit the posts.
    But your point is very valid. Most of the propeller-heads work for these companies out of offices with ultra-high-speed connections and have absolutely no concept of what it's like to work their apps with a DSL or wireless link.