Wednesday, April 6, 2011

WotW: New Blogger Feature -- Dynamic Views

Last week, Amy and Gwen asked about Blogger's new "dynamic views" -- five new viewing possibilities for your blog. So, happy to please my devoted readers, I hopped right on the dynamic views train to see where it would take me. Here's what I found out:

What are dynamic views?
Dynamic views are a new Blogger feature and they allow you to very easily change how your blog looks -- from the tradition view to a new view. They don't change the way you blog or do anything to all the work you've put in to getting your blog to look just-so. They just present your posts in a different layout that you and/or your readers can choose to view. Since that is probably as clear as mud, let's get visual (and clickable -- click on each view's image/title to go to that view and explore):

This is my blog (just Lu):

This is my blog on drugs:

Just kidding. My blog is always stone cold sober. 
Now, back to the dynamic views...

Access the dynamic views for your blog (or any Blogger blog) by appending /view to the blog's URL:

and using the drop-down menu to select the different views:

This is my blog in sidebar view:
left sidebar lists post titles with thumbnail and comment count

This is my blog in flipcard view:
chronological post thumbnails with post title and comment count on hover

This is my blog in mosaic view:
chronological post thumbnails with post title on hover

This is my blog in snapshot view:
all post images with snippet on hover

This is my blog in timeslide view:
three column view: photos/post titles/snippets, post titles/snippets, post titles
In each view, clicking on the title or thumbnail for a post will open the full post, either in the same window or a different window depending on the view. 

Read more about each of the views here, and learn more about dynamic views as a blog author here.

So... what's the point?
Honestly, that I can't quite figure out. Of all the things on my wishlist... dynamic views wasn't one of them. :) Apparently it was for other users, though, because Google has taken a ton of time to develop all of these different views. My best guess is that dynamic views are a step toward giving more versatility to Blogger blogs' homepages -- the view that you first see when you visit a Blogger blog -- in an effort to provide some Wordpress-esque features. Hurrah for versatility!

Should I use a dynamic view for my blog?
Actually, that choice isn't up to you -- the choice of using a dynamic view (and which dynamic view to use) lies solely with your readers. Your only author power is to disable dynamic views entirely (learn how here).

So far, at least, there is no option for making one particular dynamic view the home view for your blog. I imagine that this will become available at some point in the future, since dynamic views are brand-spanking new and still in a major feedback stage where Blogger's developers want to know what you think about the different views. Tell them by clicking the little arrow by the blog name in the top left corner of any dynamic view and then clicking Send Feedback. 

Tell me, Lorene -- what do YOU think about dynamic views?
I think many things -- thanks for asking. ;)
  • I think that dynamic views won't be a major Blogger staple as-is, except possibly in a few very specific circumstances, such as using the snapshot view for an all-photos blog. 
  • I think that dynamic views are a great sign that Blogger is trying to make up for some of the visual blah complaints that have many users switching to other blogging services.
  • I think that dynamic views are a fun new feature and that we should all spend some time exploring the dynamic views and submitting feedback so that the views become everything we want them to be!
 And now, dear readers -- what do YOU think about dynamic views? Love 'em? Hate 'em? Still confused by 'em?

Lu (or Lorene if you prefer) is the mom of one squirmy boy and the wife of a singing and dancing elementary teacher. She is the proud author of this weekly Wednesdays on the Web (WotW) segment here on Housewife Eclectic and spends the other days of the week blogging about crafts and whatever else comes up at just Lu.


Brandy@YDK said...

i don't really get the point.

Amy said...

Thank you for explaining it and for being honest about how it still doesn't make much sense. I appreciate having such a web-savvy friend.

Amy said...

OK, so I just went and played around with it and I can see how I might be able to use this. I have a large mailing list but many of those people are not regular blog or internet users. I could send them a link to the mosaic view, for instance, and they would be able to browse the thumbnails for whatever caught their eye. If I included a link for subscribing in that same email, the mosaic view might draw them in.

Stray Stitches said...

Thanks for the info. I think I'll stick with the way things are.

Tera said...

Interesting. And I also appreciate having such a web-savvy friend. :)

Tanya said...

Thanks Lu, I now feel normal again. I too thought "what is the point?" and thought I must have been tech-dumb and I figured there would be bigger picture stuff further down the developement line that I would get. I really don't have that many issues with blogger. I find it pretty user friendly...but then again haven't tried another service...I really do appreciate your de-mystifying posts. x

Cranberry Morning said...

I think the people at Blogger ran out of things to do. The only one of the 'dynamic views' that I found at all tolerable, when I tried it, was 'Sidebar.' I can't imagine wanting to view anyone's blog in any of the others. I see no need for any of them unless it was not having to lay off Blogger staff.

Debra said...

OK, I laughed outloud at the your blog on drugs photo. Just thought you should know. :)

Gwen @ Gwenny Penny said...

Thanks for the info, Lorene. I'm still confused, but only because I have no idea why anyone would ever want to do this. Now I know that I'm not missing out on anything. Thanks!