Weblog posting tool: I chose BlogJet

After losing the "fruit of my labor" (blog posts) a couple of times because network or server errors, I decided to look for a Windows-based blog posting tool that would allow me to prepare posts offline, save my work locally and post at the first (network connection) opportunity. As I was packing for the holidays, and I knew that Internet access would be limited at least the first week, I started seeking the "perfect" tool – based on my requirements:

  • Ability to save posts locally, post drafts and final versions, modify previous posts
  • Support for standard blog features: categories, turning on/off comments and trackbacks, sending trackbacks, etc.
  • Ability to configure multiple blog accounts since I am now authoring two different blogs, and contributing to a few others, on different blogging platforms
  • Offering Wysiwyg editing  with direct access to HTML, spell checking with multiple dictionaries, etc.
  • Dealing with multimedia uploads automatically (i.e no need to pronounce dark incantations to add a picture to a post)

Looking around, I found 4 different products, some free, some licensed: Ecto, Qumana, w.bloggar, BlogJet. I was already familiar with the NewsGator Outlook plug-in that offers relatively basic editing capabilities for TypePad.While the latter is useful, it is too limited and does not offer the functionality I outlined.

I ultimately chose to go for BlogJet (4 weeks trial, $39 license), essentially because it offered the best coverage of my requirements. It does the job rather well, as an efficient KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) implementation of a blog posting tool.

What were the issues with the other tools, and things I liked in them ?

  • Ecto (2 weeks trial, $20 license): it is feature rich, and does include a very cool table creation/edition feature that might be of use. However I found the lack of a real Wysiwyg editor and easy picture upload to be problematic.
  • Qumana (free): has a great editor and user interface, but  does not give access to HTML editing and picture upload management. And setting a category seems to require online access to the blogging platform. Update: Unfortunately, Zoli seems to have faced “I lost my posts” issues with Qumana.
  • w.bloggar: is OK functionally but does not offer a Wysiwyg editor.

What else would I want to see in BlogJet ? The table functionality is useful (though I am not sure how often I would be using it). I have been having some stability problems, like getting error messages stating that a post could not be uploaded whereas it was. And I would like to be able to set an option for my comment/trackback default settings. Apart from these details, I am quite happy with my selection, having now used it quite a bit.

 


  • http://profile.typekey.com/zerdos/ Zoli Erdos

    Jeff, I tried Qumana and could post pictures, although there were not a lot of formatting options. All in all I found it easy to use, and liked it .. until I looked at the html code it produced. (Online, from my blog). Yuck! It’s so full of code, it really makes it difficult to edit your post once online… which is why I ended up unistalling it:-(

  • http://www.feld.com/blog Brad Feld

    Jeff – I’ve been using Blogjet for a while and love it. And – yes – I’ve tried them all.

  • http://www.acemakr.com Gary Potter

    I tried BlogJet some time ago and had trouble with it working in our proxy environment. Maybe I’ll revisit it. Thanks for the back of the napkin analysis.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/zerdos/ Zoli Erdos

    Qumana is out with a new release

  • http://www.techcrunch.com Michael Arrington

    Hi Jeff,
    We’ve used all of these too, and profiled Qumana a while back. We’ve like Quamana the best by far becasue of the price and features. FYI, when I was trying out Blogjet you could not add categories either. I believe Qumana now supports setting categories if they already exist. I also like that Qumana will auto-create technorati tags.
    All of these services desparately need to improve their ability to revise old posts, and get in and work with the html directly.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/dhollings/ Dan Hollings

    A phenomena many people, businesses and even celebrities are starting to employ is that of multi-blogging. Typically a multi-blogger does this because they want to focus on very different topics for a varied audience; or maintain ‘media type’ blogs where one might for text/content blogging while another is for podcasting and a third might be for photo-blogging. Yet the variety that will likely appeal to most, is multi-blogging ‘similar-topic’ original content to multiple target audiences. This variety allows a content publisher or author to compose one content stream (like perhaps, weekly articles on a topic of broad interest) and then have a ‘rules-based’ software help target and personalize that content stream for many different niche audiences.
    I used to run one blog that was a “one-size-fits-all” internet marketing tips blog. My challenge was that my potential audience came from many different companies and were not attracted by such a broad scoped ‘generic’ approach. Bloggers want to read about marketing tips for ‘bloggers’, while web site owners want to explore internet marketing tips for ‘web site owners.’ Affiliate marketers want traffic, franchisees want traffic, network marketers want traffic, and woman business owners want traffic… but guess what, even though my articles could help all of them, they won’t read what’s not targeted to them!
    This challenge led me to create a specialized software (I call it Blog-zilla) specifically for true multi-blogging. Blog-zilla is a blog publishing system that takes a core article (blog content) and personalizes and customizes your content for each blog audience. It posts across many blog platforms and can even augment your content with matching RSS feeds (if desired).
    I now easily maintain 100 targeted blogs in about the same time it would take me to run 2 blogs the old fashion way. It would be interesting to know if others have had the same challenge (or need) and what solutions are out there to address this need.
    In the end, I think both blog publishers and the blog readers benefit. I expect multi-blogging to become as popular as podcasting; especially for online businesses and entrepreneurs.
    Heres a Yahoo news story on the Blog-zilla software I created:
    http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/prweb/20050712/bs_prweb/prweb260055_2
    I would love to hear from you and others.

  • http://www.zoliblog.com/blog/_archives/2005/8/1/1098787.html Zoli’s Blog

    This is Where My Post Would Appear …

    … had I not used Qumana:-(

    Two posts, to be exact.   A blogger’s worst nightmare scenario:  finish editing a fairly long post, hit “save” only to see all the work gone due to a momentary server outage.   Bummer.&nbsp…

  • http://www.techcrunch.com/?p=145 TechCrunch

    Update – Qumana (new feature)

    Company: Qumana
    Previous Profile: June 15, 2005
    Qumana Launches Update Feature
    Qumana (TechCrunch Profile) is a wysiwyg blog editor that works with virtually all blogging software. See our previous profile for more information, but you can drag an…