Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Blog Editor Blues

Riddle me this: Why is it so hard to find a blog editor that does everything most bloggers want in a single package? After fiddling for weeks with every editor out there I’m ready to pull my hair out by the roots. Some give you decent editing options but weak post management. Others are good at managing previous posts but don’t have nearly enough formatting options for new posts. Some are good at text, others at HTML. Do the people that develop these apps actually spend any time managing a blog? I’m thinking not.

Maybe I’m asking for too much. Here’s my list of requirements:

  1. Consistent formatting - A paragraph tag should be a paragraph tag no matter what. For some reason every editor handles tags differently; what looks right in one rich text designer looks terrible in Blogger and then gets even further garbled by Feedburner. Why can’t HTML just be HTML?

  2. Automatic Text Replacement - Is it really so hard to catch a less than/greather than symbol and replace it with properly encoded chracters while I’m typing or as soon as I cut and paste? We can figure out how to turn a computer into a virtual Bobby Fischer but we can’t get on-the-fly replacement to work? What the heck am I missing here?

  3. Post Status Handling - If I mark something draft that means I want it to be a draft when it’s uploaded not a regular post. When I switch it from draft to publish status it should post immediately without further action on my part.

  4. Outlook-Style View - I should be able to see previous posts in a pane on the left and the body of the post on the right. That way I can switch back and forth between posts without having a bunch of windows open.

  5. Search - I’m forever linking back to previous posts and looking for information. I should be able to search those posts to find what I want and link to it with a single click. Speaking of...

  6. Link URLs - Linking to posts should be easy; a single click and I’m done. The editor should insert the proper permalink from the blog address. This must be part of the same rocket science as text replacement because it doesn’t work right in any editor. I always seem to end up with some goofy address that has no bearing on reality. What gives?

  7. Tags and Keywords - I want to set up a list of keywords and have the editor automatically catch those words in my post and insert the proper Technorati tags. No further effort on my part required. When I tag a word manually, the editor should find subsequent instances of that word and insert the same tag on it’s own.

This post is being written in Anconia RocketPost, which does a fair job but won’t replace my text on the fly (even though it says it will), doesn’t have a split-pane view, doesn’t handle post status properly (even though the options are there) and still garbles up my HTML between editing and posting. I’ve also tried BlogJet, w.Bloggar, Quamana and Ecto, which all fall short in various areas.

So I’m putting out a plea to the community at large. What do you use? Have you found anything that meets all these requirements? Am I just in outer space or what? Leave a comment and steer me in the right direction...