Save Time with BlogDesk

Teli Adlam —  December 11, 2006

Blogging takes time. Sometimes it takes a lot of time, especially if you have more than one blog to manage. You can, however, save some time by using an external blog editor (preferably one that supports multiple blogs).

I’ve decided to focus on BlogDesk because it’s the only one that’s been able to pull my attention away from w.bloggar — I still think if Marcielo added a WYSIWYG editor and some image editing tweaks, it would as close to perfect as possible — for more than a few days.

BlogDesk is free software, developed by Johannes Oppermann, that allows you to write blog entries and publish them without needing to open your blog admin panel.

It comes complete with a WYSIWYG editor, image wizard that allows you to do basic image editing before publishing them (you can even use images from your clipboard), easily add tags to your entries, and a number of other great features.

BlogDesk even has one of the features I loved from w.bloggar (that many other editors lack) — it allows you to create custom HTML tags and text. It even goes a step further allowing you to create custom post templates and keep notes.

As great as BlogDesk is, there are still a few things I’d love to see added. Inline spell checking support, word and character count, heading quick tags and font styling (with inline styles, of course), and the ability to add class and id details to images and links when inserting them.

These shortcomings aren’t deal breakers, so take some time out of your day to download BlogDesk, then set up each of your blogs, configure the FTP (for uploading images), and you’ll be well on your way to blogging up a storm.

(By the way, this post was written and published with BlogDesk.)

[tags]blogdesk, wbloggar, desktop blog editor, productive blogging, desktop blog client, desktop blogging application[/tags]

Teli Adlam

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25 responses to Save Time with BlogDesk

  1. Teli,

    I’ve tried Ecto ( not worthy of my time ), Qumana ( not worthy of my time ) and Live Writer ( not worthy of my time ).

    Is this the one that will finally work and not wonk my blog or the post ?

    Please say it is.

    One big question – Where does it upload the photos to ? What folder ? Do I want it to go there ? can I change where they go ? Where do you store yours ? What folder ?

    Please let this be the one. We have 20+ blogs and they are all original content and we need an editor that works … and works right.

  2. Nothing beats windows live writer ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Hi Mike,
    Believe me, I’ve had my rounds with all of those desktop blog editors. You name it, I’ve probably tried it and just about all of them disappointed me. Because of that, I’ve stayed with w.bloggar (am even contemplating writing a user guide b/c I’m so familiar with it) although it didn’t have a WYSIWYG editor.

    After testing out BlogDesk for a few weeks, I’m pleased with it. So far, I’ve only added about 10 of my blogs to it, but after my testing, will probably take some time to add the rest.

    There are some things I don’t like (mentioned in the entry) and I also don’t care that it adds paragraph tags when it publishes an entry; I’d do just as fine with carriage returns and line breaks. It’s also very plain jane (not necessarily a bad thing), so wish it could be customized a little more in that regard — i.e. display fonts, adding/removing menu buttons.

    Aside from that, it works swell. No wonks so far. Keep your fingers crossed. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Teli

    UPDATE (12/27/06): I’ve just learned to read and then re-read the manual. It seems that you can have it publish without the paragraph tags (however, you have to go in and manually set that up for each blog after you’ve added the blog), and I also learned about some other great customizations I can make.

  4. Oh, I forgot to answer your other question, sorry. LOL

    The image folder can be set up when you set up the FTP client and it can be different for each blog. For instance, this blog is set to upload images to the /images/blog/ directory, but on my other blogs I set it to upload to the /images/ directory.

    If you have a special image folder like /wp-content/images/ or whatnot, you can have them uploaded there.

    Hope that helps,
    ~ Teli

  5. @scribez,
    Unfortunately, Windows Live Writer lacks at least half of the features I need when blogging. If I only had one blog to maintain, it might be okay, but I have more than that.

    But if it works for you and helps with the productivity, great. ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Teli

  6. Thanks Teli,

    I put all of my images into a /wp-images folder and wanted to make sure I can continue to do that.

    I need an image thumbnail option of anywhere from 100 pix wide to 450 pix wide that can be clicked on to see it fullscreen size for 4 corporate blogs that we do. Sounds like it can do that okay.

    I’ll give it a try in the next few days and appreciate you taking time to answer my questions.

    I’m going to print out the PDF, from the site and take it with me today to read thru and mark up … before I try to use it.

    Novel idea, huh. Reading the directions before you use it … it’ll never catch on.

  7. The software has good potential. Just at the moment seems a bit buggy. I was unable to go past the get blod-ID part.

    There is a thread on their forum about it, but no clear answer about how to resolve the problem.Thanks anyway for the tip ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Hi Monique,
    Thanks for stopping by and leaving your comments.

    If you don’t mind me asking, what blog platform are you using? Blogger, MT, WordPress, something else? And do you have the link to the thread?

    I haven’t had the problem with any of the 20 blogs I added (all using WordPress) and I’m curious about this. If it’s an issue with a specific blogging platform, I may add a note to the entry.

    Thanks,
    ~ Teli

  9. Hi Teli, I am using wordpress and I found what the problem is. My host is blocking access to my xmlrpc.php because there is vulnerabiliy as described here:

    http://www.kb.cert.org/vuls/id/442845

  10. Thanks for getting back to me Monique.

    You should let your host know that the vulnerability was addressed in version 1.5 of WordPress. There’s no threat unless you’re still running 1.2, which is not recommended, as WordPress is now on version 2.0.5 and preparing to ship 2.5.

    If users wish to blog offline or through another interface, blocking the XML-RPC file is certainly a hindrance.

    ~ Teli

  11. Also, you might want to refer your host to this addendum. Hope that helps out.

    ~ Teli

  12. Teli, thanks a lot for the links. I am emailing my host suport now to see if I can get them to unblock the xmlrpc file.

    When I was googling for answers to the problem, I found many posts in forums and blogs with people having the same issue. Nobody seemed to have a clue as to identify what the problem was.

    Hopefully more people can find this post and learn that the problem is created by the hosting companies and not the applications.

  13. Thanks for the EDIT Teli, I’m hoping to have time to set up BlogDesk and start using it over this long New Years holiday weekend.

    What other customizations did you find that might make us go ” Oooohhhh ! “

  14. Hey Teli,

    It was a bit of a battle, but I have it working for 2 of our 20+ blogs and have done one whole post with it so far.

    I liked it, but I wish I could figure out how to wrap text around an image with it.

    The help files, support and instructions leave a bit to be desired, too.

    But it is the first one I could get to work like it’s supposed to.

    Thanks for the heads-up.

  15. Hi Mike,
    I agree that the manual, support forum, and instructions do leave a lot to be desired. However, Johannes was kind enough to answer some of my questions via e-mail and get me pointed in the proper direction.

    If you wanted to have an image align left, right, or center, then there is an option in the image editor. What I don’t like about it is that it adds the align attribute; I prefer to use a class. IMO, that is one of the downsides, but you can add the class/ID in the code editor view once the image is inserted. (The text should wrap around the image if you select left or right align.)

    To answer the question in the comment above, I figured out how to back up a profile, and I figured out how to disable the posting of paragraph tags. That was the major plus for me. After I play around with it some more, I’ll probably publish a more in depth entry on how I actually use it. ๐Ÿ™‚

    In the mean time, if I can help you with anything, just let me know.

    ~ Teli

  16. Hi Teli,

    The class thang with images is my only real need, as of now.

    All I want to do is use like 3 images in a post-
    1 on top and centered, which is no problem.
    1 aligned left, which I can do
    1 aligned right, which I can do
    – the tough part is wrapping text around the two that are off center.

    Even being able to do one would make me all wiggly … for now.

    The ability to, “… add the class/ID in the code editor view once the image is inserted.” – is something that’s beyond my knowledge boundaries
    ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Hi Mike,
    Happy New Year’s Eve.

    If you align the image left, then the text should automatically wrap around it on the right side and vice versa. If it’s not already doing that, then there may be a problem elsewhere. (It’s also the reason I prefer using classes.)

    That said, here’s a quick crash course ๐Ÿ™‚
    1. In your stylesheet, add the following bit of code:
    img.centered {display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;}
    img.alignright {padding: 4px; margin: 0 0 2px 7px; display: inline;}
    img.alignleft {padding: 4px; margin: 0 7px 2px 0; display: inline;}
    .alignright {float: right;}
    .alignleft {float: left}

    2. Save and upload.

    Now, work some magic.
    1. Add image as you normally would in BlogDesk.
    2. Select ‘View -> Source’ from the menu.
    3. Find the image and add class=”alignleft” (replace alignleft with centered or alignright depending on how you want the image to line up). Delete the align=”left”.
    4. Select ‘View -> Normal’ from the menu.

    And that’s it. Once you upload the post to the blog (assuming you’ve made the changes to the stylesheet) everything should display as anticipated with text wrapping and all.

    Hope that makes sense and I hope it helps ๐Ÿ™‚

    ~ Teli

  18. Thanks for going above and beyond for me Teli !

    I’ll give it a try tonight.

    I’ll report back with what I’m guessing will be a total success.

  19. I tried Blogdesk and really liked it, yet every time it launched it asked for my MS Office disk (several times). I haven’t used MS Office for many years, and don’t have any idea where the CD is. (This is mentioned in their forum.)

    It set up and worked with my custom WordPress blogs just fine, but I got tired of canceling the install dialog multiple times with each startup and post.

    Too bad, as I liked it better than Live writer.

  20. I’ve got it up and running and like it so far.

    I’d like to see a little better use of Technorati tags, but it has much simplified my use of images, which used to slow me down.

    Consideriing we have 20+ blogs and I write on 5 or 6, I don’t need any slowdowns.

  21. I have used Blogdesk for about a week updating various blog sites and I can tell you it is a great saving for me. The product really has potiential. if there is going to be a upgrade version. I hope the following can be improved

    1. The lack of other blog systems being supported. Hopefully Typepad, MovableType, TextPattern, Drupal, Blogger, etc can be seen soon. Esp blogger.com
    2. I would also like a feature to add categories from within BlogDesk and one that instantly enters โ€˜Bookmark This Post @ [Various Websites].
    3. One more idea is the uploading to Flickr/Zooomr. Instead of uploading to the blog service, if BlogDesk uploads to the image sharing sites, wouldnโ€™t that rock?

    But the thing is that BlogDesk is so great and full that I canโ€™t think of anything else.

    Audrey

  22. Hi Audrey,
    Glad to hear you’re enjoying BlogDesk, it can certainly be some a time saver.

    I agree that it could use some feature improvements, but it’s coming along.

    You may be happy to know that it already supports MovableType and Drupal. Don’t know about an ETA for Blogger and the other services though. If you’re curious, you could pop by the forum or drop Johannes an e-mail.

    ~ Teli

  23. Wow, I got caught here with your informative review.

    Currently, I am using Post2Blog which is also free and has many features. The main draw back is the lack of labels for Blogger which they told me would be included in the next version.

    To answer the ways of posting images, Post2Blog also allows images to be uploaded to the image hosting.

    PS: I would also like to hear your review of Post2Blog.

    Thx

  24. Affiliate Marketing November 29, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    I use Post2Blog. I have been using it for years now and wouldn’t change to anything else. I tried BlogJet. Wasnt bad and I tried Ecto but got hooked on Post2Blog. Eugene, the owner, has made it free now which is strange as I think its worth at least $30.

  25. Hi All,

    Nice post, I use blog desk and love it, nice and simple and means I can do lots of bloging at roughly the same time.

    And for free who can really complain.