When we were making the switch over to this Six Pixels of Separation Blog, one of the Integrators over at Twist Image let me know that it would be best if I stopped using Microsoft Word to create my Blog postings. Apparently, when I transfer the text over to our MovableType platform, the text can get a little funky. In an effect to put my worries to rest, I called on the power of the CAPOW email list (Communications And Podcasters Of The World - it's just a bunch of us Podcasters on an email list) to help me figure out the best solution. Shel Holtz (of For Immediate Release and A Shel Of My Former Self) recommended NoteTab along with an amazing application called, Clippy, that strips out all of the funky code in a text file. I didn't mind NoteTab, but then Bryan Person from New Comm Road recommend Windows Live Writer. I had heard about Windows Live Writer on an earlier episode of the Podcast, For Immediate Release. FIR was discussing the value and functionality of these Blogging software platforms, and I could not wrap my head around why anyone would use a Blogging software versus a word processing program.
I have seen the error in my ways.
Windows Live Writer rocks. It does so many things to make my life (and Blogging) that much easier.
Upon installation, it grabs the API for your Blog so you can publish with one click once you're done (before I had to cut and paste my copy from Word into MovableType and then add in links, etc...). I can do instant (and offline) previews of how my post will look in Web Layout, Web Preview and even HTML - another huge time saver (it actually grabs the CSS of my Blog - designs and all). Plus, with Windows Live Writer, I don't have to be online to Blog - it enables me to save a draft copy on my local hard drive.
That's just the beginning.
There is a ton of functionality for tags, categories, adding images, etc... I have not even touched this stuff (yet).
Marketers need to know about these tools and how they work. I spend enough time reading the Marketing and Advertising trades and Blogs to know that, as an industry, we're beginning to sing from the same songbook on the power of Blogging, Podcasting, Social Media, etc... but our next evolution is also having clear solutions in terms of the tools our clients will need to get them into these conversations.
Windows Live Writer (thus far) seems to be one of the tools that every Marketer should have in their toolbox.
You can grab it (it's free - oh yeah, that's another salient point... it's free!) over here: Windows Live Writer.