This week, bloggers that use Blogger or Blogspot for their blogs were treated to three additional features to help make their blogging experiences more enjoyable. One of the new features is causing quite a stir, but the other two are quite welcomed and do indeed make the site easier to use.
The first new addition to the site came in the form of new software that could be added on to user's Microsoft Word in order to post straight from their word processing program to their blog. Blogger for Word is a free add-on that works with Microsoft Word 2000 and up. The program is a quick download and easy to install. It allows you to post new updates straight from your MS Word and edit the fifteen most recent entries in the blog itself. Since I already use another program to update my blog, I might not personally use this method, but for those looking for something or use MS Word to write their entries in the first place, this little add-on might be just the thing to look at it.
The second new feature is just coming to light in the last day or so, and the feature has created quite the stir through blog land already since bloggers began to take notice. The feature is flagging, and those that add new content or change their blog in anyway needing re-publishing will now find a button on their blog's navbar called Flag.
With this button, blog readers can mark blogs that carry illegal or objectionable content. Blogger will keep track of the blogs flagged, and when their is enough flags to warrant an inspection, Blogger will check the blog for content and take action necessary. That action at the moment looks to be only to remove objectionable blogs from their listings only, and not complete deletion.
Bloggers across blog land are talking about this feature because what might be objectionable to one person might not be objectionable to another. Someone that hates cats might object to a blog in which someone writes daily blogs with stories of their friendly felines. Some are screaming censorship, while even others are applauding the addition to the service.
Blogger added the new flag feature in hopes of cutting down on the number of splogs or spam blogs. Those spammers that do have blogs and spam users can then be flagged by those users. Enough flags can help Blogger find these blogs and take actions necessary.
Personally, I think if the flags work towards the ridding of the number of spam blogs out there, then I am all for it. Just this week, IceRocket.com and other search engines threatened to remove Blogspot blogs from their listings due to the high amount of spam blogs residing on the popular site.