Wishing for a dream blog editor

by Lee Hopkins on October 18, 2006 · 8 comments

in Uncategorized

Okay, so here’s where I get all cranky…

I’m testing out Windows Live Writer (beta) and using it to post about an altogether different package.

Those who have long been meandering around my blog will remember that I was a huge devotee of RocketPost, until it started to do all sorts of weird things and eventually do nothing but crash.

So, frustrated, I searched for another blog editor; along the way I tried out ecto, Qumana and a host of others, including the latest, Bleezer, but eventually settled on Zoundry, although it is well recognised that the icons in Zoundry are appallingly small for old and tired eyes like mine.

[You can see the whole sorry series of posts by following the links back from these few: here and here and here and here]

My long-term and long-suffering colleague in the quest for a better offline blog editor, Dave Briggs, is sticking with BlogJet as his preferred option, although he too is trying out new engines.

I even tried to get the Word blog software to work in the Beta2 version of Office2007 but couldn’t. At least LiveWriter connects seamlessly.

What struck me as interesting is that the chap behind RocketPost, a product firstly loved then finally lambasted by myself and many other bloggers as a ‘great idea that failed because of terrible support’, has continued to work on it (obviously ignoring any pleas for ’help’ from clientele) and continually upgrade it.

I downloaded and installed the latest version two nights ago — it still does nothing but relentlessly crash (even on my brand new pc).

It’s latest version reads like a ‘Wish List Come True’ for offline blog editors, so I include parts of it here.

  • wysiwyg editing
  • full local editing
  • auto picture upload
  • in-document spell check
  • multiple word Auto-Correct
  • highlighter
  • save as draft
  • auto insertion of affiliate code (e.g. Amazon)
  • auto-linking to your related posts
  • full text search to allow for quick finding and linking to previous posts
  • web tags: technorati, delicious, flickr, etc
  • quote tracking and auto formatting
  • pull quotes, drop caps and spacers
  • auto formatting (curly quotes, for example)
  • auto list formatting (e.g. ‘*’ becomes a bullet, ’1′ becomes a numbered list)
  • insert videos from YouTube easily
  • auto thumbnail images
  • insert yahoo! maps
  • drag-and-drop text and images from web pages into a post
  • hyperlink tooltips (links to previous posts automatically have the date and title added into the link)
  • one-key shortcuts
  • multiple windows (create two or more posts at the same time, create one, view an old post, etc.,)
  • full picture editing (resize, position, margins, etc)
  • photo captions – automatically add captions to your inserted images
  • full table editing
  • word count
  • special characters (such as umlauts, etc.)
  • auto save and recover in event of computer crash
  • auto backup
  • comments and trackbacks

This is a ‘dream list’ of requirements, and RocketPost has them all and more besides.

If only the software actually worked… [sigh]

Which is why I’m not linking directly to it.

  • http://da.vebrig.gs/ Dave

    What do you make of Live Writer then, Lee? I haven’t used it properly, but my initial opinion, just looking at the interface, wasn’t especially good!

    I’m actually starting a new blog, to run alongside my usual one, that is dedicated just to blogging and the tools and tips that might help newbie, and maybe some experienced, bloggers. It’s called BlogSmart. I might call on you for some hints and tips in the future!

  • http://da.vebrig.gs Dave

    What do you make of Live Writer then, Lee? I haven’t used it properly, but my initial opinion, just looking at the interface, wasn’t especially good!

    I’m actually starting a new blog, to run alongside my usual one, that is dedicated just to blogging and the tools and tips that might help newbie, and maybe some experienced, bloggers. It’s called BlogSmart. I might call on you for some hints and tips in the future!

  • Patrick

    I gather that there are many different types of blogging editors, but what do they do besides edit? Do these editors come with a certain web-page style? I’m just a little hazy on the subject. Computers aren’t my forté. If I may be so bold, I think there should be only one blogging editor. What’s the big deal? Just throwing out those thoughts so that maybe people like me can have some things cleared up. But, hey, use whatever works, right?

  • Patrick

    I gather that there are many different types of blogging editors, but what do they do besides edit? Do these editors come with a certain web-page style? I’m just a little hazy on the subject. Computers aren’t my forté. If I may be so bold, I think there should be only one blogging editor. What’s the big deal? Just throwing out those thoughts so that maybe people like me can have some things cleared up. But, hey, use whatever works, right?

  • http://da.vebrig.gs/ Dave

    Patrick: most editors are free, so you can try them without having to spend anything. Just google for qumana or zoundry and you’ll find them.

    They all do different things better than the other. If they all clubbed together and made one super editor, that’d be great, but then that’s not how the market works.

    I do find though, that using a blog editor is easier than using the built in blog interface. What I don’t know is why. I expound on this a little in a post on my BlogSmart blog.

    Any thoughts on this, Lee? By the way I gave Zoundry a test run the other day. Well, I was going to, only when I tried to cancel a category I had mistakenly chosen, it crashed! Gah! I actually really like Live Writer though – shame about the tricksy image support.

  • http://da.vebrig.gs Dave

    Patrick: most editors are free, so you can try them without having to spend anything. Just google for qumana or zoundry and you’ll find them.

    They all do different things better than the other. If they all clubbed together and made one super editor, that’d be great, but then that’s not how the market works.

    I do find though, that using a blog editor is easier than using the built in blog interface. What I don’t know is why. I expound on this a little in a post on my BlogSmart blog.

    Any thoughts on this, Lee? By the way I gave Zoundry a test run the other day. Well, I was going to, only when I tried to cancel a category I had mistakenly chosen, it crashed! Gah! I actually really like Live Writer though – shame about the tricksy image support.

  • http://leehopkins.net/ Lee Hopkins

    Hey guys.

    My experience, for what it’s worth, is that Zoundry is what works best for me, Live Writer has a lovely interface but COMPLETELY stuffs images (witness: http://blog1.rspcasa.asn.au – the actual images are of a much higher quality), that RocketPost has the most perfect list of features I could ever hope for BUT DOESN’T BLOODY WORK and being able to create a post away from the internet is incredibly handy.

    Mind you, I could always set up the ‘post by email’ system on this blog but haven’t got around to it.

    I get my new Dell wireless PDA delivered today — if it has OneNote on it (I think it might) hopefully I can update it to the beta version so that I can blog from within OneNote (which ranks as the most useful bit of software I’d found in ages).

  • http://leehopkins.net Lee Hopkins

    Hey guys.

    My experience, for what it’s worth, is that Zoundry is what works best for me, Live Writer has a lovely interface but COMPLETELY stuffs images (witness: http://blog1.rspcasa.asn.au – the actual images are of a much higher quality), that RocketPost has the most perfect list of features I could ever hope for BUT DOESN’T BLOODY WORK and being able to create a post away from the internet is incredibly handy.

    Mind you, I could always set up the ‘post by email’ system on this blog but haven’t got around to it.

    I get my new Dell wireless PDA delivered today — if it has OneNote on it (I think it might) hopefully I can update it to the beta version so that I can blog from within OneNote (which ranks as the most useful bit of software I’d found in ages).

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