Blogging Tools

I've been with Bobi in Kazakhstan since the first of the month. She's adopting a baby, and I'm here to help :) You can find the full story at The Den Hartog Stork.

Up to now I've been keeping my notes on paper, and it looks like a hopeless task to get them all posted. There's just too much stuff! Besides, Bobi has things well covered in her blog.

Instead I'll just start keeping notes online from today. Or rather, from tonight. It's about 4:30 am just now, and I'm awake because this receding cold has given me a dry cough.

We're both using Blogger. It's free and easy, and it lets you include images in your posts with some control over the layout. But, watching Bobi compose a post, it seems a lot of time can be lost trying to control the flow of text around inline images. The only reliable technique seems to be to insert a bunch of blank lines and to hope that your content pane remains at a fixed width.

The point is that page layout can be pretty distracting when you're using Blogger. This is one reason I'd rather be using something like iWeb. If I could have brought the Powerbook on this trip (or if I'd sprung for a MacBook with Parallels) this would be a non-issue; we'd be producing pages with the layout we wanted -- and with whole swaths of text rendered as copy-unfriendly PNG images :)

In general it's a pain for me to be Mac-less. Never mind controlling how images are arranged in a post, how do I crop my poorly composed images for display in a blog post? With the Mac it's Command-Control-Shift-4 (or something like that -- it's burned into muscle memory) and a sweep of the mouse. With Windows it's probably something similar, but my ignorance makes for a lot of frustration. (Or maybe I should start downloading little utilities for Windows, e.g. MWSnap? Anyone have any recommendations? Anyone?)

There's still a big opportunity for somebody to produce a cross-platform blogging tool which makes it easy to control page layout and which renders content as plain old HTML.