Just came across a very interesting application called BlogJet. Basically, it’s an easy to use Windows program that acts as a front-end for posting to your blog from the BlogJet client instead of from your blog software’s own interface (usually your browser).
From their website: Works with all leading weblog services:
Right now I’m using it to post to my ‘How to Blog’ blog on TypePad (the post you’re reading right now, actually). You can download a free trial copy of BlogJet here.
I’m only just starting to tool around with it, but my first impression is a good one! Make that great, actually. Because I think it may provide me with the best of all worlds interface-wise. For example, one of my gripes about TypePad is that you have to pop open a new window when you want to select multiple categories for your post (which, for me, is all the time). WordPress, on the other hand, has a bunch of checkboxes and you can check as many as you want w/o having to open another page (it’s just faster, and hey, doing things inefficiently is a pet peeve of mine..). Well, using BlogJet to compose this post, I notice there’s a drop-down box which – surprise – provides checkboxes next to a list of all my categories. One less TypePad gripe. Make that three – I can now change fonts mid post (except it’s a little buggy because I actually changed fonts and switched to BOLD, and clearly this text isn’t bolded when viewed from my actual TypePad site)
and I can(NOT) modify the alignment of the post (or a part of the post) w/o editing the html, so for example, this paragraph happens to be centered – at least in BlogJet, but as you’ll notice when this gets posted (meaning, as you read it), this sure isn’t centered – it’s aligned left just like the rest of the post. Darn. And while I’m bitching, how come there’s no ‘strikethrough’ option for text?
On the flip side, one of my gripes with WordPress is that they don’t have a rich text editor – you can’t just copy something from your browser and paste it into WordPress’ edit post textbox and expect it to preserve it’s formatting (and linking) structure. But BlogJet does have this funcationality – and so now you could have rich text editing and a WYSIWYG display for your WordPress posts. Which might sway me towards choosing WordPress as the ultimate blogging tool (when used in conjunction with BlogJet) because the features, plug-ins and customizability of WordPress are the best I’ve seen thus far.
Initially I though BlogJet had a huge drawback – no place to enter URIs for sites you want to send a trackback ping to. And a search through their online help (at the BlogJetWiki) for ‘trackback’ came up blank. But on a lark I clicked the ‘Properties’ tab at the bottom of the window, and lo and behold, there are all of my advanced post options, including Trackbacks! It’ll be interesting to see if and for how long I’ll actually be using BlogJet to create my posts. As always, I’ll keep ya updated (oh yeah – BlogJet’s got tons of built-in smiley’s, if emoticons are your thing…)
It will also be interesting to see how BlogJet compares with it’s competition – w.blogger, which calls itself “The best interface between you and your blog” and is Freeware (vs. the free 30 day trial I’m using of BlogJet). Oh, so much to do, so little time!
Update 3/22 – I’ve done all of my latest posting using BlogJet, and one of the things I’m really liking about it is that I’m not limited to a small edit box for creating/designing my post. Hell, I can go full screen if I want to. On the other hand, I’ve noticed yet another bug in the product — my posts are appearing in the reverse order of when I’ve created them for each particular date. In other words, I publish Post 1, then later I publish Post 2, and then even later that same day I publish Post 3. In the blogosphere, posts that are archived by date should be displayed in the following order: Post 3, Post 2, followed by Post 1. For all of my posts created on 3/22, they’re showing up in the reverse order of when they are published – Post 1, Post 2, Post 3. So my newest post isn’t at the top. That’s no good… Hopefully w.blogger won’t have this little glitch… (I still haven’t had a chance to try it)
Update 3/31 – Inconsistent behavior when dragging and dropping from IE 6 pages – sometimes is retains formatting from original site (and linking), other time not. Sometimes crashes (I was trying to retrieve my list of posts and got the following error, “Access violation at address 00435113 in module ‘BlogJet.exe’. Read of address 00000000 Class: EAccessViolation” — note that this has only happened once in the entire time I’ve been using the software, and shutting it down and relaunching solved the problem..). Can’t create new categories from w/in their interface – must log into your blogs control panel to do so.