Monday, September 24, 2007

Posting to my blog

There has to be an easy way to post to my blog....I mean, without going to the web page - that's just so old-fashioned, after all. Sure, it's fine and all, especially since I can have the posting entry open in a tab all by itself...but, I want more!

So I download some software and extensions (naturally!).

The first extension (really just a bookmarklet) is the 'BlogThis!' bookmarklet you can get from the blogger site. It just pops up a little Firefox window in which I can write my post. Unfortunately, it doesn't have the 'Labels for this post:' field, which is no good - I need my tags! And also, I don't always want to post about the page I'm currently looking at. BlogThis! will insert the current tab title and a link to the current tab in its window, and you have to turn on html editing so you can remove the link...

I then downloaded and installed ScribeFire - yes, a Firefox extension. The nice thing with it is that it runs on Firefox and is therefore available to those who don't use Windows. And yay! It has the blogger tags available for me to use.'s so hard to use! How do I add a post? I finally figured out that a right-click on the little icon it puts in the status bar will let me launch the little application in a new tab or window or browser...and the tabs on the right will allow me to add or delete blogs, tags, notes...but not posts. Clicking on a post will allow me to see my previous entries and edit them etc...but how do I add a new one. Puzzling. Perhaps I'm supposed to type over the top? So, I'm giving up on it and uninstalling.

I had already downloaded Windows Live Writer (WLW), back when I was looking into blogs for a different purpose altogether. Very nice application, and there's a Firefox extension for it (of course!) which works similarly to the BlogThis! bookmarklet, in that it opens a window for that application with title and link already included. Alas and alack! No labels! I mean, yeah, it has the Technorati tags and a few others that you can include, but I want the blogger labels feature so I can search my blog by labels later.

Another good thing about WLW is that you can retrieve all your blog entries that you have published, and store them on your PC. This is a very nice feature. Of course it works the other way too: whatever you post using WLW is stored on your PC in the first place. Hmmm. Even this entry which is still in draft form, is retrieved by WLW (albeit incomplete, since I'm still writing it!).

WLW also lets you install plug-ins. I installed the Picasa link (because that's where blogger stores any pictures I upload to the blog), and am looking at the tag/label situation...because I do like this application. Though the MS help is as useful as ever: i.e. not at all.

Ah! Looky-here! WLW has a new version. YAY! With Blogger Labels (tag) support! Download, install - hah! It wants to make Windows Live Search the default! Not. And it wants to install Mail and Photo Gallery. No, I'm quite happy with Picasa, thanks. Though I don't get a chance to refuse Messenger, the Toolbar and the Sign-in Assistant (whatever that may be). It takes a while, but whether this is because of the download speed or because it's so big, I don't know.

So after much investigation i.e. googling, it turns out the labels were there all along. I just didn't know that the categories at the bottom of the screen were my blogger labels. And the way the application was positioned on my screen, I couldn't see it anyway. Luckily someone spelt it out on their blog:

So now I have a pretty new version of Messenger (which I will need to get a hack for ASAP to kill the advertising) and the new version of WLW. Doesn't hurt, I guess.

Now to uninstall all that other rubbish...
ETA: WLW will also work happily with Live spaces blog, Livejournal and others.