Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Out with BlogJet, in with Live Writer

I've been using BlogJet as my blog editor since April 2005 and  needed something like it for a couple of reasons:

  1. I needed an offline blog editor.  The Internet in my adopted country isn't super fast and using an online editor, like the one built in to Blogger, isn't practical under those circumstances.
  2. I needed an editor which allowed me to post pictures easily and in one step.  BlogJet, for instance, allows you to select a picture from anywhere on your computer and add it to your post in nearly one easy step.  No separate resizing, formatting or uploading necessary.

BlogJet did both of these fantastically and I regularly encouraged others to give it a try.   Other editors I tried either didn't handle pictures well, or where priced out of reach or just didn't click with me.  To be honest, it took a long time to get BlogJet to upload my pictures properly.  For some reason it couldn't communicate to my FTP server and this was an issue for a number of people in BlogJet's support forums.  After about six months it was fixed and I purchased the program and haven't look back. 

Last week I upgraded from the old Blogger to the new Blogger.  The new Blogger has a lot of great features and I'm glad I made the change.  The downside is that BlogJet can't communicate with the new version.  One minute I'm posting a blog with no problems, the next I'm back to using Performancing or Blogger's built in web-based editor....yuck.

That will be fixed in the next version; Dmitry has been working on BlogJet 2.0 for quite a long time, and I know he wants to get the product right.  He's been very responsive to my own requests for technical help and he's made a great product.  The problem is that he's not been very forthcoming about a ship date for 2.0  He posted a screenshot of 2.0 and talked about new instant search capabilities in August.  Then in November he clarified the upgrade pricing policy, which is very reasonable.

But Blogger Beta went live about a month ago and he's not responded to anyone's concern that the current BlogJet won't work with it.  I don't have any idea how many BlogJet users use Blogger, but I would guess that Dmitry's install base is fairly large.  I would think he would release a patch, or make the 2.0 beta public, or respond in some way.  But in one of the threads on the BlogJet support forum Dmitry simply says on November 3: "No dates yet, but it will be released soon."  When one forum member says that "soon" isn't good enough Dmitry simply replies:

 "Yep... But I promised not to make promises smile
But since this official announcement: … ube-demos/
you may not afraid of buying the current version wink"

Now, I actually applaud Dmitry's commitment to his product and desire to avoid endless Microsoft-like-slipped-ship-dates.  At the same time, its been two months since he's made mention of 2.0 and two months is an eternity when you're trying to blog daily.

So, while I love BlogJet and wish it and Dmitry all the best, I decided I needed another option. So this morning I downloaded Windows Live Writer and gave it a whirl again. 

Windows Live Writer was released last spring or summer and everyone raved about it for a while.  I downloaded it and tried it, but couldn't figure out the picture uploading scheme in the 90 seconds I tried it and went back to BlogJet. Until last week.

Now it's working great, supports plug-ins for things like ink and Flickr and is as easy to use as BlogJet. 

The problem really isn't so much that I can't use BlogJet with Blogger anymore.  The problem is that I have no idea when I'll be able to.


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J. Gary Ellison said...

Hello, Jeff. Thanks for your info on Live Writer. I was looking for help installing BlogJet as it was asking for info that I didn't have or know. WB Editor 2 had installed fine, but I wanted something that handled photos better. I am an old computer user, since 1985, but have just launched a blog and a website. This is not an advertisement! - My sites are in French.

I was particularly pleased to find your site for several reasons. The info you share is very helpful and motivating. Also, I am a missionary with the A/G, having served in Africa, Belgium and French Polynesia. And I had the privilege of visiting and ministering in the Balkans in 2001 when I was taking a course with Dr. Peter Kusmic of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. We were in Bosnia and Herzegoniva (Mostar), but visited Croatia and Montenegro. May the Lord bless you in your work there in Kosovo!

By the way, Live Writer looks real nice and installed without a hitch. Keep on blogging!

Jeff said...

Gary, thanks for the wonderful comment. I'm grateful that this is helpful to folks like yourself. I'm glad you enjoyed your time wtih Dr Kusmic and your time in Mostar. I have colleagues working in that city with the Mostar Bible School.

Thanks so much for dropping by and taking the time to comment.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for Blogjet updates or answers and found your blog. THANK YOU. I am aboutthe download the microsoft product. I hate that Bill Gates is slowly taking over the world, but what can you do?

I have my OLD blogs on Blogjet still, but new ones are going into the NEW Blogger, so Blogjet will be history soon.
Bob (bobsstuff in forums I visit)

Jeff said...

Bob, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. I'm glad the information here was helpful. I really enjoyed BlogJet and used it faithfully, but as you said, "what can you do?"
Blogger had been in beta for a long time so I would have hoped Dmitry would have made a .x upgrade to BlogJet or written a patch or something. I really want to support independent software developers too but, like you, I was stuck.

Good luck with Live Writer