Functional Blogging

Feb 27, 2007 by

I am repeatedly asked about what tools I use in blogging, and for advice on how to do so more easily and effectively. The following is a rundown on useful web based tools that I use on a regular basis which I offer as a semi-comprehensive answer to these questions.

Flickr – Lets start with something colorful, like pictures. I use Flickr, and wholeheartedly recommend it. The free version is useful although limited. On the good side the paid version is only $25 a year. With a paid account you have 2 GB of upload for pictures and can store a near infinite number of them. My own account has over 10,000 images. It integrates a number of useful features, but the two most important for a blogger are the ability to blog an image directly from with Flickr and the ability to instantly generate source code for inserting images into posts in your normal editor.

Picnik – This is an online image editor which can pull an image directly out of your Flickr account and allow you to edit it. Its no Photshop, but its really good for basics like brightness, contrast, sepiatone, etc. When you are done you can either overwrite your original image or add it as a new one. Picnik fully supports image tagging and Flickr sets.

Flickr Toys – Another wonderful resource that ties directly into your Flickr Photostream. Its actually a collection of image manipulation toys thta allow you to do a number of things. You can make motivational posters, magazine covers, trading cards, and more. Tons of fun and terrific for those with a satirical bent.

Flock – Flock is a new browser, built on the Firefox core (if you are still using IE check out Flock and Firefox, you will switch I promise you!). It is a beautiful tool for a blogger. It has a built in feed reader which you can load up with feeds from sites you constantly refer to using a simple drag and drop interface. It also can integrate your Flickr or Photobucket pictures, showing them in a top bar where they can easily be dragged into posts. If you use del.icio.us (a social bookmarking service), the bookmarks can be configured to post to your online bookmarks. It also has a built in blog editor (which I do not use, see the write up on Performancing below).

Performancing – this is a blog editor extension for Firefox and Flock. It can be configured to post to multiple blogs on multiple platforms ranging from Blogger and LiveJournal to WordPress (there is even a MySpace plugin for it) While you’re in your browser just hit F8 and it opens in the lower half of your browser window. Using this in Flock with the photobar and the newsreader makes it extermely easy to craft a detailed post with pictures and attributed quotes. It is the only editor I use lately.

    Hopefully this will be useful to someone out there. If it is let me know. If you have something to add that I missed let me know.
    Now all you need is something to say…

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