Thursday, June 21, 2007

Windows Live Writer: first impressions

I've been using Live writer for a very short time, but I feel that I have posted enough to actually write something of a review about it.

In short, I like it.  I is a stable and useful way to create blog entries.  I especially was satisfied when I realized the many different useful plug-ins that were available.  I have currently installed a grand total of 3.  First, the DiggThis plug-in that allows an easy addition of a Digg button to a post.  Next, I added the Ink Blogging plug-in, although I doubt I'll ever use it.  I just added it because I have a tablet.  Last, and most useful, I added a Flickr Image inserter.  The Flickr plug-in will probably be the most useful.  I'm able to search Flickr, including my personal pictures, and insert them without having to make a big deal of copying and pasting the correct size picture and everything.  It will save some time when it comes to posting.  The only down side is there is no way to automatically upload imported pictures to anything other than an FTP server.

I'm not sure if it is because I have a slight drop in the amount of homework right now, but I have been blogging more since I started using Live Writer.  I really like how I'm not forced to go to Blogger and log in and start writing.  Launching an application is faster and it more convenient.

I am glad there is a useful integrated Spell Checker.  I would only blog in Firefox specifically because it had an integrated spell check.  Other features I like are the automatic draft saving.  I turned the frequency up to 1 minute just so I won't lose any of my hard work.  I also was excited (and am testing out in this post) the built in PING feature.  So far I've added FeedBurner and Technorati, but I might have a few more places to PING as as well.

I haven't found any quirks that annoy me enough to mention.  I am still a little confused on how to edit old posts, but that is because I am not familiar with that feature yet.  The categories tool is much more powerful than any web based interface I have seen.  I'll continue to use Windows Live Writer for all of my blogging.  On an interesting but unimportant side note, unlike Blogger, the time that the Publish button is clicked is when the post is published (time stamp wise), rather than when it was first started. 

Hopefully Live Writer only improves my blogging habits.  It is really a quality piece of software.  Way to go Microsoft.

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