I have lots of excuses for not maintaining this blog with some regularity. One of those excuses was an easy to use offline editing platform. I guess solutions existed for a long time, but I was reluctant to plop down cash. Well, I gave in when writing up a recent post and decided to search out for a tool. The two that seemed to get the most recommendations were Ecto and MarsEdit.
If you look at the homepage for Ecto, its not exactly inspiring. Looks like a page that was created in 1995. So they turned me off before I even tried it. The MarsEdit page looks like it was from this century and as a bonus, the product had been updated in the last 3 months. I downloaded it and gave it a shot.
I added my two blogs (technovangelist and chromagenic) and it recognized Squarespace right away. The first post was a new entry on my Chromagenic.com photoblog. These blog entries are a short paragraph followed by a picture that is hosted on Flickr. Without thinking about it, I went to the Flickr page for the next photo and copied the link. Now I had to figure out how to insert it in the right way to get the formatting correct.
When you edit a post in MarsEdit, there is a little Media icon in the toolbar so I clicked that. I was amazed to see an option for Flickr right there. So after authorizing, I was able to see my images.
I clicked one of them and had it inserted. But when the post published, it looked wrong. Looking at the source for this post and the previous one, I saw that the Squarespace editor inserted a special set of tags, while MarsEdit added a different set of tags. When I selected the picture to insert, one of the options was a dropdown called style. The four items in the dropdown weren't all that useful for me, but I was very happy to see an edit option. Selecting that opened a small edit window where I could add my own set of image tags. Perfect!
I have only been playing with this tool for a few minutes and keep finding neat little features like that. I am quite impressed so far and I can't think of any reason not to buy the software.