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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