June 09, 2009

Blogger Read More/Post Summaries - The Best News Yet!

One of the functions most voted for in Blogger's recent Product Ideas forum was the ability to summarize blog posts on non-item pages.

I've written about a few different approaches to this, but these methods were never so easy to implement.

Luckily I came across this tutorial from Quite Random which offers the simplest - and most useful - method of displaying post summaries automatically for our Blogger posts, complete with a thumbnail from images used in our posts.

This customization is very easy to implement (there are literally only two steps) with very little editing of the template required. I installed with immediate success on several templates to test it out, and with only a little tweaking on one of my most customized designs.

In short, this is a fabulous implementation of post summaries for Blogger. Be sure to pop over to Quite Random to check out this post and learn how to install this hack for your own Blogger blogs.

However... This is not my only source of good news regarding post summaries for Blogger!

The Blogger team are in the process of implementing this function in Blogger! Or at least, I'm pretty certain they are.

Take a look at this screenshot which was taken from a clean installation of Minima (a default Blogger template) on a new blog (click the image for a larger version):

These tags look suspiciously like tags which could be used for implementation of post summaries. What's more, it seems we can choose whether or not to summarize our posts, and also the text used for the link to read the full article.

I can't say for sure when this implementation will become available, though I believe this will first be rolled out into Blogger in Draft so any issues can be resolved before the summaries become available to us all.

There's not yet been any mention about this on the Blogger in Draft blog, Blogger Buzz or even by the team on Twitter, but since this code is now appearing in new templates I'd guess this will become available in the very near future.

Stay tuned, I'll get more news about this as it happens and will (of course) explain how to use summaries in customized templates too.

This is a feature I'm very excited to know is in progress, so if anyone does have any news to share, please let me know!

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