The set up – blogging

by veilwar

I’m trying out a new blogging tool for the iPad, Blogsy. So far, I’m liking it.

Up until now, my primary blog tool whilst on the go has been the free WordPress app. It’s adequate in most respects and actually as good or better than most of the paid apps I’d tried, like BlogPress and others. A key feature is that it allows me to manage comments and check stats easily. Where it falls down is in what one might imagine to be a core competency – ease of actually writing and posting. The interface for composing and editing posts is unintuitive and aesthetically lacking. And it makes many things that should be easy… not so easy.

Having played with it all morning, I think this app will be a clear improvement in the posting and writing department. The writing interface is clean and simple, and all the nifty tools for simple formatting, link-adding and media search are arrayed in two menu bars across the top and right.

One nifty thing about this app is a slick built-in media adder thingy.  For example, you can pull up Google image search or a Flickr account from within the app and drag images and whatnot right into your post.  Say I’d like to have a picture of a pretty unicorn.

Boom. That took two seconds. Trust me. It’s a lot easier than copying and pasting image code or other, more frustrating techniques of getting images into posts. There’s also a bookmarklet for sending an image link to Blogsy, but I haven’t tried that yet. Might could be useful. And apologies to Indigo R. Wake for copying, altering and redistributing his pretty unicorn image. Lighten up, Francis.

The big downside is that Blogsy entirely lacks the ability to check stats or manage comments. Which means I either keep the WordPress app for those things, or else do them in Safari or use WordPress on my phone. Or I can download more apps… I know there are stats apps, but is there a comment management app? Probably.

If I ever need to post from my phone, which is actually fairly unlikely, I’ll just continue to use WordPress. There’s no Blogsy for iPhone and probably that is a good thing. Cramming all that into the iPhone’s limited screen real estate would likely be a disaster.

That covers mobile. As for the big computer at home, I’ve tried desktop blogging tools at various times. But really, the browser interface for WordPress is pretty slick in most regards and paying $40 or more to get the same functionality from MarsEdit just doesn’t make sense and the free blogging applications have generally sucked.

One useful thing, if you’re a Mac user, is Fluid. This is a nifty app – a browser wrapper that allows you to make an app out of a web page. I’ve used Fluid to make a gmail app in the past (though now I use Sparrow – a wonderful gmail client) and now I have a veilwar app in my dock with a custom icon. Having a web page behaving as an app is useful because you don’t have something crucial buried among thousands of tabs. Best thing, it’s free.

I apologize if you’re a windows user and/or Apple hater. This post won’t be very helpful to you. But I’ve been a mac user for about four years now – which started about a year after I spent two weekends rebuilding every machine in my home from the ground up after a pretty nasty virus/rootkit incident. My loathing for windows solidified somewhere around the third time I reformatted, reinstalled XP, set up the security software, reinstalled all my programs, and re-migrated all the essential data. The next computer I bought was a MacBook.

Now I think I’ll have to go look at stats apps…