Way back in a past post , I wrote about my hesitation to implement features that wouldn’t be accessible via desktop blogging clients, which I find preferable to web-based editors.
Here are some of the benefits of a desktop blogging client:
It allows you to blog when you’re not online. This is actually much more worth then it sounds. When you’re online, tons of information are threatening to distract you. While this may give you new ideas for writing, it is usually a bad ally for turning those ideas into articles.
Smoother editing experience. You need quite some patience to wait for the browser to launch, your blog site to load, to log in, click your way through the blog admin area, to finally start writing. With a desktop blogging client, you just launch it and start writing. (In the past, there’s been some claim that blogging clients provide a richer editing experience, too. But with the rise of advanced web-based WYSIWYG editors, this no longer holds generally true.)
For the same reasons, a desktop bloggin client allows you to quickly capture ideas. Often, a great idea comes up while you are working on something entirely different. You don’t want that fresh idea to be gone by the time you can start typing it in. Neither you want your original mental flow totally disruppted meanwhile . The launch time of a tool is important – especially for creative people.
Publishing on multiple blogs. Most blogging clients support publishing to several blogs, and many of them allow you to post to several blogs in parallel.
Keeping local backups. The blogging client will allow you to save a local copy of your articles. In consequence, this enables:
Easier blog transition. If for some reason you decide to move your blog somewhere else (and I’m not talking about going to another host only, but changing the blog platform altogether – like moving from wordpress.com to blogger.com, or vice versa), you can just add the new account to you blogging client, and republish your articles from your local copies.
One drawback I see with these tools is that you cannot access the specific features of your blogging platform, or features provided by plug-ins to that platform. (Personally there’s just one feature I really miss, and that’s my Insights search1. But I use it for illustration / typesetting purposes only, and that’s the last step I do anyway, so…)
In the past, spell checking has been listed as one of the advantages of desktop blogging clients. This is no longer true, because IMO the browser-based spell-checking feature beats most other spell-checkers on this planet. At least I get that impression with Firefox.
I tried a lot of them and settled on BlogDesk as my personal favorite. It’s the one with probably the least features, but the features it has are all provided in the right way. It also is the one with the simplest and cleanest user interface. To me, it is the one with the smoothest operation and the least friction of all. And not to forget, it’s free.
At some later time, I’ll post about my blogging process.
So stay tuned, live long, and prosper.
- which I finally managed to get working here – but that’s another story [↩]