Tuesday, August 25, 2009


THE PRINCE OF PYRA: Evan Williams,
the bashful boy who built blogging into a big biz.

(CNS) - - As the online juggernaut known as Blogger celebrates its big 10th anniversary this week, many people still ask when it all started. Well, here's most of the story:

Blogger is a blog-publishing service that allows private or multi-user blogs with time-stamped entries. It was created by Pyra Labs in 1999, which was bought by Google in 2003.

Generally, the blogs are hosted by Google at that domains of and, which Pyra had already been using before Google got the helm. (Up until May 1, 2010 Blogger allowed users to publish blogs on other hosts, via FTP. All such blogs had - or still have - to be moved to Google's own servers, with domains other than allowed via Custom URLs.)

Ancient History

Blogger's first decade was launched on August 23, 1999, by Pyra Labs. It was one of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools, credited for being the main site popularizing the entire format. On February 17 2003, Google announced its acquisition of Pyra Labs, under undisclosed terms. This acquisition allowed premium features (for which Pyra had charged) to now become free.

In October 2004, Pyra Labs' co-founder, Evan Williams, left Google. In 2004, Google purchased Picasa; it integrated Picasa and its photo sharing utility Hello into Blogger, allowing users to post photos to their blogs. But of course, users are also allowed to post photos from other sites.

On May 9, 2004, Blogger introduced a major redesign, adding features such as web standards-compliant templates, individual archive pages for posts, comments, and posting by email.

On August 14, 2006, Blogger launched its latest version in beta, codenamed "Invader", alongside the gold release. This migrated users to Google servers and included some new features.

In December 2006, this new version of Blogger was taken out of beta. By May 2007, Blogger had completely moved over to Google operated servers. Blogger was ranked 16 on the list of top 50 domains in terms of number of unique visitors in 2007.


As part of the Blogger redesign in 2006, all blogs associated with a user's Google Account were migrated to Google servers. Blogger claims that the service is now more reliable because of the quality of the servers.

Along with the migration to Google servers, several new features were introduced, including label organization, a drag-and-drop template editing interface, reading permissions (to create private blogs) and new Web feed options. Furthermore, blogs are updated dynamically, as opposed to rewriting HTML files.

In a version of the service called Blogger in Draft, new features are tested before being released to all users. New features are discussed in the service's official blog.

In September 2009, Google introduced new features into Blogger as part of its tenth anniversary celebration. The features included a new interface for post editing, improved image handling, Raw HTML Conversion, and other Google Docs-based implementations, including:

* Adding location to posts via geotagging.
* Post time-stamping at publication, not at original creation.
* Vertical re-sizing of the post editor. The size is saved in a per-user, per-blog preference.
* Link editing in Compose mode.
* Full Safari 3 support and fidelity on both Windows and Mac OS.
* New Preview dialog that shows posts in a width and font size approximating what is seen in the published view.
* Placeholder image for tags so that embeds are movable in Compose mode.
* New toolbar with Google aesthetics, faster loading time, and "undo" and "redo" buttons. Also added was the full justification button, a strike-through button, and an expanded color palette.

Next year Blogger will be introducing new templates, and redesigning its website. But users who don't want all the newer stuff will still be able to use the old templates.

Well, that's about it, Blogger buds - now blog on!