Start blogging experience

Conclusion

  1. WordPress is the best choice for my blog vision.
  2. Pictures in your blog, you will need to resize them to the width of your blog.
  3. If you want to have a personal layout touch, you need to master newbie CSS.

The story.

Vision.

A month later! And a lot of adrenalin and frustration… I will try to save you all my troubles and just tell you what to do and why.

My vision was and is:

  1. I want to blog, and I want to do it to reach more than Swedish talking people.
  2. I want to be effective, using the right tools to make it happen.
  3. I need to use screenshots pics in my blog.
  4. I want my blog to have inspiring picture to make my boring text more interesting.
  5. I want it to be found and hopefully read and inspiring.
  6. I would like to see that I manage to reach out…

And that is about all… I think my vision could be shared by many, i.e. nothing strange at all. Though I had to invest a month to get going, my personal problem maybe…..

Reality – client tool.

I have tried three popular blog-places: Blogspot, MS Live and WordPress. After a long evaluation period I have made up my mind about what I hope is my optimal blog strategy. I will use all of them! If that is a correct decision, I DON’T KNOW!

I will use Word 2007 to create all posts. The primary reasons being: It is an editor where I feel comfortable, all the other I have tried make me feel inconvenient. I would like to have WYSIWYG and I need good spellchecking support. The standard tools offered at any of the three above mention places are good, but not good enough. They all offer a tiny spot in an IE window where I could enter my thoughts.

This is the interface in BlogSpot (Google).

This is the offer from Live Space (MS).

This is WordPress window for entering thoughts.

Word 2007 as blogging tool seems appealing… My preferences are space, spellchecking and if possible WSIWYG.

The interface of client tool MS Live Writer 1.0 (beta)

Life Space has no spellchecking what so ever. Blogspot and WordPress offers insulting spellchecking, you have a tool to active whenever you like to, that tells you what it think is wrong. I don’t want to be insulted, I just want to know the correct spelling!! Live Writer is far much better, a tool you active that give you suggestions, like MS Word ten years ago. The polite way of telling that I think is unique for MS Office, telling you when you type. There is just one choice!! What so ever if you need spellchecking like I do. I could of course use Word for spellchecking and then past it in the silly window offered, but then I will miss a lot of formatting to redo and the features of pictures inserted into the text. If you are interested in other client tools for your blogging you better do your own investigation.

What makes MS Live Writer great is the possibility to view your post and what it will look like. For both WordPress and Blogspot you get a nice way 99% WYSIWYG, but for MS Live Spaces it misses… This tool handles to load the CSS and then painting the HTML based on this information. It is a beta product released in September 2006 from MS. One could wander what their intention is and what the prize will be. The blog support entered into MS Word seems to be entered just before the release of Office 2007 – the only help I have been able to find is the webpage that gave me panic when I started.

New post or what?

Let’s for a while consider, what is a new post and what is a changed post? What type of model is built into Word 2007 to handle this? I had my vision on what a post is, but that was not what Word 2007 presented for me. My first problem was entering Word 2007 I only have the choice to create a new Blog Post, or if I create a new Word document I will have the choice to publish it as a blog post. Both these two actions creates a new post, at least at WordPress, on the other sites I guess it is similar. If you for safety reasons also save the post into a docx-file locally on your computer what will then happen? If you open that document and publish it you will have a duplicate post, i.e. two cousins. I do understand why this happens and now I think it is OK, but in the beginning I felt odd. The golden rule to remember is, if you have posted a post and wants to revise then you should open it with ‘Open existing’ after you have started Word 2007 and made the choice of creating a new blog post. A little strange but logical…, at least when you understand that this is the way it works.

When starting, I also felt very unhappy with all the duplicates of the pictures Word 2007 sent to my FTP-site. If Word figures out this to be a new post it will produce new picture files and send them to the place you asked for, which is fair enough I think. What was difficult to understand was why Word thought it was a new post. I also think Word 2007 handles the pictures OK, even if the names used are a little bit strange to make them unique. They are though good enough, you only have to maintain one folder on the FTP-site where you store them and the chance of getting collisions are small. I also found that if you delete one picture and replaces it with another, the old one will disappear from my FTP-site, good work! If I republish I think it will only sent the pictures changed since previous publish, which I also think is good working!

So far I have not used the ‘Draft’-functions but only used ‘Publish’ and save docx-file, so I guess there are more to be discovered in the future, when I probably have to use the Draft.

Pictures, pictures..

The biggest problem with my blog vision has been my idea of using pictures in the blog. I need support for screenshots and I want to use ‘rocky photos’. After much consideration I think the best solution for me is to store my picture files on my own FTP-site. If I ask Word 2007 to handle the pictures for me, I could do but often it will either fail or recopy them when I republish a post or publish the post it on another blog site. If I have had a descent preview before publishing I would not have needed to publish in theory, but in practice I always find errors in any reread, before or after publishing. After having experienced many failures with the picture support in Word I finally managed to figure out how to use it.

   

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