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Testing Blogo…

So I recent­ly re-ran across Blo­go, a blog­ging app for OS X. The last time I looked at it, a year ago or so, I wasn’t impressed. In that time, the app has been sig­nif­i­cant­ly improved. There are a lot of aspects that I like bet­ter than MarsEd­it (and I LOVE MarsEd­it), but ulti­mate­ly, I’m unsure that the app is good enough for me to plunk down $25 for.

For instance, as cool as it is to have the abil­i­ty to “ping” Twit­ter or Friend­feed or Face­book or what­ev­er as soon as I post (negat­ing using a Word­Press plu­g­in — and I have to use two, since Twit­ter Tools stopped tweet­ing my blog updates like, 6 months ago), I found out the hard way that it tweet­ed (or it trig­gered the tweet-func­tion of one of the plu­g­ins) just by insti­tut­ing a post pre­view. Ulti­mate fail.

The pros:

  • The inter­face is slick — though I don’t absolute­ly love it, it is nice for stuff like drag­ging and drop­ping pic­tures (instant crop and what­not)
  • The blog-pre­view mech­a­nism, though quirky with Twit­ter, auto­mat­i­cal­ly gets my tem­plate stuff intact. It isn’t a big deal to have to man­u­al­ly edit MarsEd­it, but doing it instant­ly is cer­tain­ly nicer.
  • The sup­port for Expres­sio­nEngine is pret­ty hawt. I know MarsEd­it does it, but it does it in kind of a kludgy way (and that’s the fault of mul­ti­ple fields rather than ME itself, IMHO).
  • Works as a Twit­ter or Microblog client too.
  • Book­marklet works with Vimeo, Flickr, YouTube, etc. for Tum­blr like sup­port.
  • Built-in ping sup­port for lots of oth­er ser­vices.

Now the cons:

  • The inter­face, while clean, is way more kludgy than it should be.
  • Copied links aren’t auto-filled and chang­ing a link is more dif­fi­cult than it should be.
  • The list mode, while attrac­tive to look at, is annoy­ing to use as you have to dou­ble return to get a new bul­let and press the but­ton to tog­gle between ordered, unordered and off.
  • No excerpt field. That sucks
  • Tags and key­words are on the same line and can be hard to dif­fer­en­ti­ate.
  • Said Twit­ter issues/conflict with oth­er plu­g­in.
  • Doesn’t feel com­plete.

So ulti­mate­ly, I think I’m going to give this a pass. I’ll try it again in the com­ing days, but right now, it isn’t as good as MarsEd­it, even if some aspects have a lit­tle more exte­ri­or pol­ish.


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3 people have left comments

Joseph Hol­lak - Gravatar

Joseph Hol­lak said:

I just picked up a copy of blo­go today as well.

So far, so good but I appre­ci­at­ed your cons to the app. Gives me a list to watch out for as I test it out.

You have one of the only reviews of blo­go out there that I’ve found so con­grats and thanks.

Posted on: January 1, 2009 at 2:15 amQuote this Comment
Ben Jack­son - Gravatar

Ben Jack­son said:

Hi Christi­na,

Thanks for your review. We’re glad you had a bet­ter expe­ri­ence this time around. To address some of your points:

Links: Not sure what hap­pened for you. How was it dif­fi­cult to change the link? You should be able to click it and have an edit sheet appear in the win­dow.

Pre­view: There is a very explic­it warn­ing when gen­er­at­ing the pre­view which advis­es the user to watch out for plu­g­ins which take action on new posts. If you have a plu­g­in which tweets new arti­cles, it would have to be turned off first. Unfor­tu­nate­ly there’s not much more we can do to help pre­vent these kinds of things from hap­pen­ing.

Lists: This is how lists work in Apple’s WebKit brows­er. Two line breaks are need­ed to cre­ate a new bul­let so that the user can add a line break with­in a list item if desired. As for hav­ing to tap the but­ton three times, we decid­ed that ordered and unordered lists did not mer­it sep­a­rate but­tons in the inter­face (advanced users can use the short­cuts in the For­mat menu to jump to tog­gle the two types direct­ly).

Excerpt field: You can define the excerpt by choos­ing For­mat > Insert > Con­tent sep­a­ra­tor (also in the con­text menu) or just putting three hash marks (#) on their own line.

Posted on: January 1, 2009 at 12:27 pmQuote this Comment
Tor­ley - Gravatar

Tor­ley said:

I’ve been dis­ap­point­ed by every Mac blog­ging client I’ve used so far — and that’s not because they’re poor tools, they just don’t work for my flow, which is very mul­ti­me­dia-rich. In addi­tion to hav­ing a WYSIWYG mode (even show­ing your post close to how it’ll appear pub­licly), it has clean code. That’s a rare dual strength.

Kudos to Ben for the many won­der­ful, sup­port­ive com­ments he’s made in response to posts about Blo­go. I have to give BIG thumbs-up for that!

I con­tin­ue to use Win­dows Live Writer via vir­tu­al­iza­tion, because it sup­ports copy­ing and past­ing of embed­ded videos (and Flash) right into the post bod­ies, and show­ing them as-is.

Have you used WLW, Christi­na?

Posted on: January 2, 2009 at 1:09 pmQuote this Comment