LifeHacker ran a reader poll last week on what desktop blog editors bloggers are using. The results showed that just over 60% don’t use any. It was a close race after that with Performancing’s Firefox extension winning out with 11.7% and coming in second at 10.2%. Ecto, Qumana (I reviewed an early version of Qumana here) and Zoundry were the others but got only between 8.4% and 3.2%.
Another one that I know some people use is Thingamablog (although it’s been a while since they updated). There’s also Blog Desk, Post2Blog and Mars Edit. There are others – feel free to let us know what you use in comments below).
Do you use a blog editing tool outside of your blog’s platform?
Why would you use a Blog Desktop Editor?
Here’s why I use ecto (for Mac) and can’t imagine blogging without it (the reasons I mention here would be similar to why most bloggers use different editors):
- One Click Blogging – most blog editors have a way of publishing to your blog with one or two clicks from your browser. Ecto for instance has a bookmarklet that allows me to highlight text on a web page, click the bookmarklet and have what I’ve highlighted come up as a quote with a link back to the page. I can format how the quote and link looks as a default – add my own comments and then post publish.
- Manage Multiple Blogs from One Point – at one point (a year back) I was blogging on up to 20 blogs each week. Many blog editors allow you to set them up to blog to them all without having to log into the back end of the blogs. It will also allow you to have multiple blogs on multiple platforms, so if you have TypePad, WordPress and Movable Type blogs you can edit them all from one spot. This speeds up your blogging. Many editors will let you set each blog up differently with it’s own defaults and settings.
- Image Management – drag and drop images into the editor, resize them like you would a Word document, rename them, create thumbnails etc. While many blog platforms now allow this from within them I find editors slightly more functional.
- WYSIWYG – again, blog platforms are headed in this direction but I find they they can be a little buggy in this mode. Of course you can always go into HTML mode also if you’d prefer to edit your posts that way.
- Offline Blogging – one thing I especially love about using ecto is that I can head to my local cafe (where there’s no WiFi) and blog away to my hearts content in ecto. Then when I come home or hit a WiFi area I can simply publish my posts. Previously I had to type things up in a text file, copy them across, format them and then publish.
- Backed Up Content – another reason I like to have a desktop editor is that it means I have a copy of my posts on my desktop for easy reference or backup purposes. I’ve never needed it as a backup but regularly look in ecto for old posts rather than search for them on my actual blog. ecto has a ‘search’ feature that will scan old posts if you’re looking for a word or phrase – very handy to see what you’ve previously written or if you’re on the road speaking somewhere and want to use an old post in your presentation
- Spell Check – again, it’s built in to many blog platforms but having an as you go spell check is very handy – especially for me who is spilling challinged. If it could only do grammar too!!!
- Integration – I can’t speak for other editors but ecto integrates with delicious, has tagging of entries built in, automatically pings different services and has a range of other automated features that make blogging a breeze.
Each editor will have it’s own feature set but in all I find desktop blogging editors to be an essential part of my daily blogging rhythm. They are especially useful for busy bloggers or bloggers who are managing multiple blogs.
Do you use an editor? Which one? Why? What features would you like to see in your ‘dream desktop blog editor?’