27 July update: I noticed yesterday that Google have changed the process back, and that Blogger's help link now leads directly to the summary page which includes a Community button. I guess this means they listened - if not to me, then at least to everyone else who complained.
For as long as I have been using Blogger, Google have provided two types of support:
- A set of support articles - some of which aren't up to date - that describe how to do standard things
- A support forum, where people can ask questions, which are answered by other Blogger users. This forum has some people who are tagged as "Top Contributors" who have special rights, like being able to send questions to the Google staff who are also using the foru - but who obviously don't have the time to read all the posts.
Unlike some people, I don't have any problems with the peer-support model. It's 24x7. It supports lots of languages. It gives ordinary people a way to learn more about Blogger, by preparing answers to other people's questions. It let me build up reputation as a helpful person, and so encouraged other helpers to help me when I got stuck. It was also a place I could refer to in my own comment moderation policies: I would rather that people asked for help with their blogs on a public, peer reviewed forum than here on Blogger-HAT where there is not regular review process.
I wasn't to thrilled about the move to a Google-groups based help forum. I can see why using a standard tool is good, but the Group software just doesn't work so well on my small netbook.
And I'm less-than-happy about the way that Google seems to be making it ever-harder to find the forum: a few weeks back they added another click to the process (Gear-wheel > Blogger Help > Community), and now I see there's yet another one (Gear-wheel > Blogger Help > More (the down-arrow at the bottom of the page) Blogger).
So here's a quick link, which I'm going to keep up to date, and put on my sidebar too. Click it to go straight to the Blogger help/product forum: https://productforums.google.com/forum/#!forum/blogger