My favorite new nerdy site is called Cool OS X Apps. It’s one of those in-between places, that is, in between a personal blog and a just a site to find software (though, versiontracker.com is an essential for all you Mac folks).
On one of their recent entries, they talked about blogging tools. There’s a text macro-expansion utility, a text editor, a clipboard extender/manager, an FTP client and a handy utility edit/effects tool.
While each of those apps in their own rights seem to be—or, with ones I’ve used before, actually are—fine applications, I rarely need more than ecto.
I’ve never ever been a fan of editing anything inside of a web page—at least nothing that can’t be reproduced with a few mouse-clicks. So Movable Type’s editor is there, in the admin pages, but I never use it except in a pinch.
So my kit for blogging is this:
- there is no 2nd item
The Book list on the left here, is done by embedding another blog, and that blog is written by using ecto’s Amazon Tool: I type in the name of the book, choose the right one from a list, and the right HTML (with links, including info to get credit for a purchase made, if you have an associate ID). Same with iTunes links. Same with browsing your iPhoto library to drop in images.
And speaking of images, you can embed or thumbnail an image, set borders and bufferspace, alignment, whatever.
Ecto also automatically handles adding the right HTML for technorati tags, and for pinging all the proper places to let them know your blog changed.
So my routine in writing a blog entry is just that. Write it, publish it. No uploading of files, no generating my own links, nothing. It’s like writing in Text Edit and saving it to disk.
All of this goes back to one of the primary goals of User Experience: know what the user wants to accomplish and then take as much out of the way as you can, as a software developer. Also one of the big differences between Mac folks and Windows folks: Windows folks pride themselves on knowing the steps it takes to carry out a task; Mac folks tend to just to know what they want to accomplish and set out to do it.
Two different null hypotheses, two different approaches.
So this is a meme, of sorts, that I’m starting: how do you do what you do when you blog?