Using a web-based blogging platform like BlogHarbor has taught me the advantage of having an offline blog editing/publishing tool, such as the just-released QumanaLE, which is a free download at the Qumana site and which I am using to compose this post.
One of the definite advantages of using an offline editor is that you have a backup of your post on your computer, should anything happen to the published version. I’ve had more than one experience of spending 20-30 minutes composing a longer than usual post and then losing it – hitting the wrong button on the keyboard, an ISP outage, Murphy’s Law.
You can use a basic text editor, such as Microsoft’s Word Pad (I wouldn’t use MS Word because, as I understand and express in my non-techie language, it can carry too much code with it and potentially mess up your blog post), but a purpose-designed blog editing and publishing tool has to be in principle a better way to go.
As well as using Word Pad from time to time and then pasting the work into the online editor for BlogHarbor, I’ve tried Blogjet and found it in many ways very good (you can download Blogjet for a free trial). But I had a few problems with using Blogjet to publish to BlogHarbor (a workaround was advised by I have limited patience with workarounds) and did not go ahead with purchasing it, although it is very reasonably priced.
The toolbar for Qumana provides lots of editing features: tabs, bullets, numbering, text justification, fonts, insert image etc.
One of the advantages of a product like Qumana is that it is not just an editing product but a publishing one. In other words, once I’ve composed my post, I can either save it as a draft or publish it directly to my blog. And it has a spellcheck – amusingly (I’m often easily amused) it did not recognise ‘blog’or ‘blogs’ :).
The Qumana website says I can also use QumanaLE to publish to several blogs, which could be very handy. I’m testing that with this post – publishing to two blogs at once, one on BlogHarbor – Thinking Home Business, and one on Typepad – Original Thinking Home Business (which I must get a better name for soon).
One thing I don’t like is that there is a big Qumana button – mini-banner rather – which at 2.25 x 1 inch takes up more of my notebook screenspace than I like. Sure it ‘fades’ behind the text, but does it have to be so obtrusive? No, I can’t see where I can minimise it.
I plan to do a more detailed review once I’ve used the program for a while.
[20 minutes later: in fact I had to do a bit of tweaking in the BlogHarbor online editor to get this post the way I wanted it here – including arranging it to post with only the excerpt on the main page, and inserting keywords and categories although I had already done them in QumanaLE. And the multiple posting function didn’t work as the post is still not up on Original Thinking Home Business – my Typepad site. Early days.]