Image via CrunchBase
This is the next in a series of blog posts that I wanted to do, since I decided to change the focus of my blog to reviewing more software and web applications that I use in my classroom and personally, versus primarily focusing on Special Education issues. I wanted to get a baseline of the software and web applications that I am using right now and some of the rationales I have for using them, as I start down this new road.
So to start this project I have decided to write about the tools I am using in the following order:
1. Productivity suite (mail, calendar, contacts, todo):
2. Office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, slide show, notebook):
3. Social media
4. Internet browser
5. Blogging (blog host, blog writer)
These are not in-depth reviews of each product discussed, but simply a quick hit of my thoughts about the Software/Web Applications and how I use them right now. I have been blogging fairly regularly since October 2007, during that time I have been what I call a blog butterfly. I have gone from blog host to blog host and blog to blog far too often at least 12 different blogs. But during that time period I have had the opportunity to try a variety of hosts and blogging tools, some that I really liked, others which were not for me.
BLOGGING – ANOTHER FORM OF SOCIAL MEDIA
After all the experimentation I have come pretty much full circle and back to where I started blogging with Google’s Blogger.
Blog Host: Blogger, it simply does everything that I want from a Blog host. I can go into the HTML code to muck around and make tweaks to my theme if I want without having to pay extra. Fortunately, most of that is now taken care of by the Template Designer function, so I don’t have to get into the HTML (which I really don’t know what I am doing) and can make most changes through an application. Using that tool you can customize the look of your blog until it meets your requirements.
You can monetize and add advertisements, just in case your blog gets popular and makes enough to try to cover expenses. Blogger is free unless you decide to get a custom domain and that cost is very affordable $10.00 annually. There are no real limitations on what widgets you use and you control your blog. Blogger does what I want, is stable and with the template design feature easy to make your own.
Here is my returning to Blogger from WordPress post that gives information on my leaving WordPress type blogs MORE THAN A LITTLE DISAPPOINTED WITH WORDPRESS. Many of those complaints are the same complaints that I have had with other Blog Hosts also. I even have tried my own Self-Hosted blog site and found that the back end management was simply too much work and I didn’t want to deal with it. In reality that is probably the way to go if you are willing to do the site management and I am not, so here I am at Blogger, where I initially started back in 2007. I always seem to make it back to here.
Blog Writer: I have not found a blog writer that I truly like since I moved to the Mac. I have tried Qumana, Mars Edit, Ecto and bunch of others. To put it bluntly I just didn’t like the way they did things and wasn’t willing to pay money for something that I wasn’t 100% happy with. I did pay for Blogo last January, but I do not like the way it does its image management and that it does not integrate Zemanta when writing the blog – otherwise I would use it.
I initially started writing this post with ScribeFire, but am having a heck of a time putting a picture in the post from a file on my computer (I have cleared the cache and double-checkED the cookie setting, but still no luck) otherwise it seems to be doing really well. I gave up on ScribeFire for the night, I couldn’t get it to import pictures and didn’t feel like importing to Picassa to be able to use them on ScribeFire. I have used ScribeFire in the past and it seems like it is on its way to being something to reconsider, but the image management system for the Mac has to be fixed.
Blogger’s blog writer is okay, but it just doesn’t do isn’t native to the Mac and I have to pull images out of iPhoto and put them on the desktop to use them which is inconvenient, but it does work and it incorporates Zemanta easily. So I end up going back and editing my posts with Blogger’s blog writing software. However, lately (the past 6 months) I have been having some issues with paragraph spacing where Blogger’s blog writer adds extra spaces where there shouldn’t be any which makes the posts look unfinished.
I still really like Microsoft’s Live Writer and have not found another application or software that does everything I want as much as it did. When I use it on my wife’s laptop, I remember what I am missing and why I wish there was a similar product for the Mac.
The system that I have been using lately to write my blog is drafting the blog in Microsoft Word 2011 for Mac, then cutting and pasting the post to Blogger’s Blog Writer to add pictures or videos and finish it off with Zemanta. These are two steps too many and I should be able to do everything easily in one program.
The truth be told is that I love to blog, maybe I am a bit of (lot of) a blog butterfly, but I have learned a lot about myself and learned so much from others by blogging, not to mention what I have learned about the different software used by bloggers. I have been introduced to ideas, practices from people that I would never had met without blogging and been able to put my ideas out there for others to read if they chose to do so. Is blogging a bit narcissistic – yes it is…but I don’t really care (what does that say about me for all you amateur psychologists out there).
Where else would a “nobody” like me have the opportunity to have my words heard by more than a handful of people around me and every once in a while a post reaches more people than I could imagine before blogging.
I believe that I have finally settled into a stable blog here at One Foot In Reality. I have changed the theme a bit more than I wanted to, but lately the biggest thing that I have changed is the page background (which is a big improvement for me). I have finally decided on Coast Guard blue as my background for some reason or other :-).
And yes I do have to admit it, I am a Blogger. :-p
What have you done to make a difference today?