VisualBlogger 2004 Feedback


So I just grabbed Visual Blogger from Robert Mclaws.  Good stuff that I’m confident it will only get cooler.  For some reason I dislike having to go through the web UI to make my posts, so this type of tool is right up my alley. Here are some suggestions I had while using it. 



  • Don’t just back up posts I make from Visual Blogger.  Use the .Text Web service to give me a back up of my blog locally. I’d love to have all most posts backed up on my machine incase something should happen to the server. 
  • The sideways menus take a bit to get used to. I don’t mind the concept. They should just be on the left hand side be default. Then I would see them.
  • For some reason I had to edit the config file manually because I couldn’t get the UI to save my blog information.  Not sure why just yet.
  • The main UI needs to let me know which blog I’m going to be posting to by default and which categories are selected by default.  I’m thinking rather than having a post options tab that it would be cooler to have some dropdowns from the menus with check boxes that expose post options. 
  • Not sure how I can activate the Add-In portion to blog from VS directly.  If anyone knows how let me know.
  • Spell check is busted
  • I can’t use the send feedback feature.  Hence the blog post.
  • It would be nice if the send feedback option remembered who I was so I didn’t have to enter the same information again and again.  Of course, ideally, I don’t have to use it. :-)
  • Status bars are needed when you click to submit and are waiting for an online connection.  I don’t know if anything is in process or how long I should wait or if I should click submit again. 
  • This is a big one.  If you are writing a client blogging app… enable a right click menu in windows that says “Blog This”.  I want to be browsing a web page, select some text to quote, right click to select “blog this”, and have the post started with the quote and the URL.  It shouldn’t just be IE enabled. I’d like to be looking at a text file, select some text, and say “blog this” with the post started. 
  • EDIT: VisualBlogger told me this post failed.  I found it to be posted, VB just neglected to select catagories.
  • EDIT 2: Ok, the timing is messed up.  My most recent post shows up second now. I wrote my commentary on Scoble’s experimental blog after this post. The only difference was that my commentary was posted through the web. 

Just my thoughts. 

Comments (5)

  1. J.P. says:

    Regarding a "blog this" feature. Moveable Type already adds this to IE for you. Its a button on the links bar which says "Pos to MT Weblog". You just select some text on the page, and then click the button. A popup appears with your blog entry page and the text you had selected at the top of the blog, at which point you can continue.

    It works something like this:

    Add a shortcut to the links bar in IE and call it what you want, then set the shortcut to this:

    javascript:d=document;t=d.selection?d.selection.createRange().text:d.getSelection();void(window.open(‘http://<insert mt site here>/mt.cgi?is_bm=1&bm_show=trackback,category,allow_comments,convert_breaks,excerpt&__mode=view&_type=entry&link_title=’+escape(d.title)+’&link_href=’+escape(d.location.href)+’&text=’+escape(t),’_blank’,’scrollbars=yes,width=400,height=700,status=yes,resizable=yes,scrollbars=yes’))

    (I hope that prints correctly in the comments)

    Basically its a block of javascript on one line which reads what you currently have selected and submits it as an argument to your blog webpage. I would imagine that anyone could easily create one of these for their blog as long as you can create a standard link for going to the blog entry page (and bonus if content is an argument to that). I have done this for my blog already, but then again I have more freedom to change the blog code (which I had to do a bit to accomodate the login mechanism).

    I saw on your trackback that this idea seemed to take on and I wanted to make sure others knew that its not new, and can be easily done.

    J.P.

  2. I tried it and it’s still severely unstable for a beta 3. I like the UI but so many things still don’t work. I may wait until version 1.5 and use Blogjet until then. If Blogjet could have a code formatter I’d be quite happy with it.