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Better Offline Blogging Clients – Please

Are you a hotshot C#, Java, Python, etc programmer looking to make a mark? Have I got an opportunity for you: offline blogging content authoring tools. Throw your lot in with existing projects like BloGTK or go your own way and start from scratch. Either way, the area could use some more attention, IMO.

Not to knock any of the existing clients (I’m writing this from BloGTK 1.0) but they could all use a lot of improvement (ecto and w.bloggar included). The blog authoring experience to me is still woefully poor in comparison with generating office documents. Half the time I end up using our MT browser based template, and that’s just not right. It’s not really shocking, of course, given that word processing’s been around for better than 20 years and blogging tools maybe 2.

But with the sophistication of modern authoring environments, why can’t I get solid WSYIWYG functionality? Why are the interfaces with the server-side XML-RPC stacks so kluge? Why am I limited to just a few formatting options? Why is including inline images such a hideous experience? And so on.

If you want to build the next, better mousetrap, I’d start there. And do me a favor while you’re at it – make it Linux compatible ;)

Categories: Trends & Observations.

  • http://blog.atariboy.com atariboy

    Offline indeed. What I would like though is more support of sites like bloglines and syncing with PDA's from bloglines.

    feeddemon recently added bloglines sync: http://nick.typepad.com/blog/2004/09/ann_feeddemo

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    yup. i've ranted on just that topic before. we need to do a better job overall of breaking down the boundaries between client and web applications. the bl/fd example is a great step.

    but the thing that kills me, since i do a fair amount of blogging, is the lack of a kick ass client.

  • http://blog.atariboy.com atariboy

    ECTO on OS X is Kick ass. Pity it is so buggy on windows but it is kinda early days for it.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    i have heard very good things about ecto on its native platform, but don't have a mac to test it out. i've used it on XP, and it was a bit flaky. The fact that that's one of the better clients available, however, i think speaks volumes.

    but as you say, it's early days.

  • http://davextreme.com David Ely

    I also really like MarsEdit [1], but it's also MacOS X-only. It's in beta right now, so there are some features that still need some attention, but it works very well.

    [1]: http://ranchero.com/marsedit/

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    interesting. that one i haven’t seen. next time i hit my brother’s place, i’ll have to dl that and give it a whirl.

  • http://blog.atariboy.com atariboy

    Looks like Blogjet (http://blogjet.com/) is the best bet at the moment.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    that *does* look pretty sweet. i've got my crack Windows tester (aka my colleague, James) on the case. i'll also give it a whirl on the Win box here when i get a chance.

    i LOVE the "what are you listening to" feature – been looking for something like that for a while, though i didn't know it.

  • http://www.edbrill.com Ed Brill

    Umm, Lotus Notes?
    I blog offline all the time, and it's a full, rich, blogging environment– not an add-on to blogger or whatever.
    Check http;//www.dominoblog.com for an example (or my own site for how it works in the real world). Note my use of the "location" field for my blogging — a lot of it happens offline (or is "held" for future publishing).

  • http://www.edbrill.com Ed Brill

    We've done some already –
    See this article: http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/lotus/libra

    there will also likely be a session at Lotusphere on Domino blogging.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    interesting. i was actually aware that Notes *can* be used that way (as i’m a regular reader of your blog), but it somehow manages to slip off the radar for me given that most of the Notes people i speak with are some distance away yet from blogging.

    more could be made of this as an Exchange/Outlook differentiator, i think. might be something to message more heavily.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    understood, but i think more needs to be done. i took a look at a few MT reviews, for example, and Lotus wasn't mentioned in the same shortlist (e.g. http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1646414,00.a….

    also of note is that in some sense it's apples to bread, b/c notes is clearly far more than a blogging toool, while ecto's aims, on the other hand, are a bit more modest.

    but i do think that Lotus blogging could use more evangelizing.

  • http://www.qumana.com Fred

    I just ran accross your post above looking for a better blogging client. I would recommend you take a look at Qumana. Qumana is a Windows blogging client currently in beta that compares favorably to w.blogger, ecto and blogjet. But then I’m biased.

    Please try it out. I would like to hear your feedback.

  • http://www.redmonk.com/sogrady sogrady

    will give it a whirl when i get back to the office and to my Windows box.