Blogger tools roundup

I have a few newly discovered blogging tools to share; I mostly posted them elsewhere to avoid boring my non-blogger readers to the point of drool. These all relate to Google's free blogging service, Blogger.com. Here's a recap.
1. If you blog for a while, eventually somebody will come along and comment on an old post, and you might never know it. You need some way of being notified of all comments that appear on your blog.

2. I used the new Pages feature to modify this site. Pages brings Blogger closer to being a general-purpose site tool. I may even move my simple personal site to Blogger pages - or to Google Sites. By the way, did you know you can buy a domain name and hosting services from Google, just like GoDaddy?

3. The template is a blog's color scheme, background, fonts etc. Over at the Lake Erie Moose Society Test Blog, I posted about a new Template Designer that's in beta. You can start using it by working in Blogger In Draft.

4. Wait a minute, you say, what is Blogger In Draft? It gives you access to features that are in development but haven't yet been released to all users. Here's where the Blogger In Draft team discusses ongoing work, and here's where the main Blogger team discusses the services available to all users.

5. The Test Blog, by the way, is a sort of guinea pig we use for playing with the appearance and settings of default Blogger blogs. I have posted a few things about templates over there.
I do plan to update this site's appearance (it's minimalist even by my standards, and probably would have looked simplistic in 1998) but I'll wait until I can use one of my own photos as a background image. Currently the Template Designer is restricted to the stock photos Google has made available. This morose gothy black theme no longer really suits me. On the other hand, I care a lot more about function than appearance, and I'm not willing to put a lot of effort into making things pretty. A blog is a content management system, and this one is doing its job.