Wednesday, 25 August 2010

publishing to blogs from inside of google docs

Most of my posts are fairly short, and written quickly with a minimum of editing - as you can see from the frequent typos and occasional disjointed paragraphs.

But sometimes even I want to create and publish a longer post, something that needs more than the fsck-like default blogger editor. In the days when god was a boy and I had a linux machine on the desktop I used to use kwrite, nowadays I tend to use Windows live writer, which isn't quite so awesome an editor but still pretty good with nice push to publish and image import features.

However sometimes you want to work on a post over a day or so. And for that I've used google docs, after all if you've got a (recent) browser you can access docs, from whatever machine you're on, be it a machine at work, in an internet cafe in Thailand, on the oookygo, or from a machine at home, and you don't need to worry about format compatilities or not having a suitable editor on the machine you're using (I'm always surprised how many people don't have a decent text editor installed these days - instead they rely on word for just about everything).

Anyway I'm ranting and becoming unfocused in the process. My point is that because of it's pervasive qualities being able to use Google docs as an offline blog editor was really useful. And so, when I wrote a draft of a post on my other blog I was discomfited to discover that they'd removed the direct post to blog feature.

In fact I was seriously irritated, given that blog posts are a major way to communicate and I use google docs a lot for writing both professionally and personally. Googling shows that this feature seems to have disappeared around the end of July, which explains my not noticing it as I was working fairly intensively on something else and only writing posts at the weekends on live writer.

Let's just say the publish to blog feature was damn' useful, and I'd like it back. Please.


Vellum said...

I'm a gedit fan, myself. But only for coding. When it comes to writing prose, I'm an "openoffice writer, backup to gmail, cut-and-paste to blogger editor" kinda guy. ctrl-c and ctrl-v are two of my best friends. is that bad? :/

tenthmedieval said...

The more I hear about Blogger the more I wonder why people choose to use it now. Its preview function, its editor, I have heard lamented; its OpenID support I know myself is intermittent; its comment boxes occasionally silently eat things. What is its market hook that means a new blogger wouldn't automatically pick Wordpress or similar as I did? Wordpress also have their problems and blips and every now and then you log in to find the basic layout has changed overnight, but it almost always works. You have the big picture, Doug, am I seeing it wrongly?

Vellum said...

As far as I can tell, it's just us captive users. That and it's owned and run by google, so it's very google compatible. At least it should be. Dr. Crazy just switched to wordpress.

dgm said...

without a doubt wordpress is better as an application, and you can of course run your own instance or go hosted. It's also well supported, has a range of extra plugins etc., and integrating it with Drupal and other things is relatively easy. It's why when asked to choose a corporate blogging platform I chose wordpress over typepad.

Blogger is different - and I've been using it since 2006. It is reasonably responsive from most places in the world, blog creation is easy and it integrates nicely with the rest of the Google ecology, meaning that if one uses Google Apps seriously it all fits together nicely, which for the non-specialist is an advantage. It's exactly the same trick that Apple do - buy the shiny boxes, plug them together and it will work.

So - lone researcher, little technical backup, storing information in google docs and working in places with only basic internet access I'd go for blogger as a simple solution. Someone with a little more in the way of resources and technical skill I'd suggest a wordpress hosted account and the use of something like live writer for easy blog composition and offline writing

tenthmedieval said...

I figured that Google had to be the answer; fair enough. Surprising it doesn't work better, though, given it's theirs.