I’m surprised — dumbfounded might be a better word — that Google won’t let me embed thumbnails in a Blogger blog, the way Flickr does, the way WordPress and Tumblr do.
This seems to be the best Google can do right now: a horribly ugly link to a Google+ gallery of photos. No thumbs that I want, and all that extra Google+ packaging garbage that I don’t want. Compare this post to my previous one embedding a Flickr gallery.
In addition to mentioning how ugly this looks in published form and how useless it is, I have to add that it looks even worse in the Blogger editor because the link isn’t visible at all. It’s just an html link and doesn’t render in the editor while I’m composing my post. Which means it’s hard for me, while I’m writing, to keep track of where the embedded object is.
I draw two lessons from this.
First, Blogger simply isn’t an up-to-date blogging platform. Pains me more than you know to say this, but this realization has been growing on me for a while. I don’t know why, but Google doesn’t seem even a little interested in Blogger. I might be able to sort this out on the Blogger end by simply embedding Flickr galleries instead of Google+ galleries. But the possibility of returning to WordPress is growing. I’ve noticed that my old WordPress posts get more comments than my Blogger posts. Why? Presumably because WordPress has a great system for touting fresh content to its readership. With Google, each new post seems to drop into the ocean of Google+ “content” and get lost immediately.
The other lesson is, Google+ just isn’t as good a place to share photos as I had hoped. When it was new, there was a lot of talk about how superior it was to Facebook. Well, yeah. Facebook may be the biggest photo-sharing service in the world (in terms of the number of photos stored on its servers) but it has always stunk in this department. So being better than Facebook isn’t much of a boast. Flickr and 500px (to name just two) do it right.
All in all, total fail for Google. And yes, I’m disappointed.