Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Google - more than one way to write a blog

I was reading the comparison between Microsoft's Live Writer Beta and Google's blogging tool at PC Magazine. As I read the details it struck me that there had been an oversight with the review of Google's blog publishing tools.

Microsoft's Live Writer Beta is a windows application and so is restricted to use on a Windows PC. Google's tool is a web based application that will work in Firefox or Internet Explorer. For Mac users you will find that Camino is supported but not Safari at the present time. As Davis Janowski points out in his analysis, the blogger tool only supports publishing to the blogger platform, and to the beta platform at that. What Davis overlooked is that Google now offers an alternative platform for blogging - Writely. As a demonstration I have written and posted this blog using Writely. The first step was to write the blog. After the writing the next step is to preview how it looks prior to posting.

Since I haven't posted to Blogger with Writely before the next step is to preview my publishing settings.

Take note: Writely not only supports Blogger and custom servers via the Blogger, MetaWeblog and MoveableType APIs but it also supports six hosted providers including LiveJournal and WordPress. The Writely editor lets you perform WYSIWYG editing as well as switching to HTML mode to tweak the underlying code. It is an impressive and easy to use cross-platform blogging tool. Take a look - you can sign up at www.writely.com. There appear to be some wrinkles to work out. I was using camino to generate the Writely document on OS X. The Post to Blogger worked - up to a point. The text was successfully uploaded and held in draft on blogger. However, I got an error message:
http://www.blogger.com/api?rnd2018659712=754212766 does not appear to be a valid url
The embedded images from the writely document were not posted to blogger but URL links were handled properly. I expect the problems to be worked out of this beta product quite soon, so For Mac OS X users it will be worth serious consideration even though support does not currently extend to OS X's native safari browser.

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