Monday, October 31, 2005

A Word for Blogger re:Blogger for Word

So, I just logged on to post and saw this link to a new plug-in called Blogger for Word that one can use to post to Blogger straight from Word. While it's probably natural evolution and nifty and expanding target audience reach and all that jazz, I find myself driving the other way of late (definitely has nothing to do with actually finding myself driving the wrong way on a road:)

I'm writing in Blogger and copying into Word.

Isn't that weird? Does anyone else do it? I started when I was writing my essays a few months ago, and again when I was trying to write up something for the newspaper, and now i'm doing it for school stuff. I've actually thought about why this is, and I dare say I kinda understand.

On the actual editing front, Blogger has font and size support, which means I can customize my interface to use Courier, which is what I'd do in Word. I also don't need any fancy formatting or anything, and I have bullets and lists and alignment etc. In short, this is an acceptable-feature editor. At another level, I like the Preview feature :-) I don't know, there is something about seeing what I'm writing without all the menu and drop-boxes around. It's like a little extra that I don't get in Word.

But, I think the real reason has nothing to do with the mechanics of editors. It's all about experiences. On Blogger, it's like I've found a comfortable space, a sort-of virtual neighborhood coffee-shop if you will, to write. This is where I've become accustomed to coming for the last two years to be creative, to write with abandon, to be myself. Word was where I did my work stuff - the documents, the reports, the memos. Today, when I need to write something that needs creative thinking, I find myself doing my best job going where these associations lead me - Blogger!

I think this is something for Google to consider as they think about their next steps in taking over the world. Along with investing in talent to work on OpenOffice, they should probably investigate editor usage behaviors.

Where do people find themselves most 'comfortable' writing? Is it in Word, Notes, Notepad? Is it in an IM chat window, Typepad, on a discussion board? Blogger? Their email client? Post-It notes?

And, leading from that, can they think of ways to take users back to those environments when they need to use editing software? Is there a set of users out there that could make this feasible? I suspect that, though it would be cool, I am not a market of one.

As an illustration, give me the option to 'Save to Disk' in addition to 'Save as Draft' and 'Publish Post' on Blogger. It'll codify what I'm doing by hand, and you've got yourself a customer. I may still want to save this thing as an MS Word file, but that's childsplay.

In stretching my imagination, I can see users being able to create a single(or a small set of connected) 'word processing environments' that they can use for all their - again, we're thinking out of the box here - needs. Make me something that I'll pull up whether it's having to IM or write a blogpost or a document.

What is Google/Blogger saying with this? They acknowledge that Word is where most people go today to write. That's their space. And they want to make sure that there is a link to Blogger from that environment. That's what I'm trying to say too. Except, I don't understand why someone needs to cede this to Word. The web is changing and so are (i don't know if i should say 'and along with it' or 'because of') usage patterns. I think it's time to take a look at this evolution and understand what the next generation of text editors may look like.

Am I making any sense, or am I just losing it?

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1 Comments:

Blogger PowerYogi said...

I think you're making sense, especially all that stuff about usage patterns. I use Word because I used to experience lag when I wrote in blogger using Firefox.

I've started using a free software called Evernote to takes notes for lots of different things, including job search and classes, and I really wish I could publish to blogger straight from there.
Mark | Homepage | 11.01.05 - 6:28 am | #

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Well PY, I don't think the functionality to write in Word and publish to blogger will cannibalize much on those who would normally just write in blogger, but I do think it will allow blogger to have a closer connection to those who do write in Word and copy and paste to blogger. And it might convince some people to start blogging because they can do it through what they're comfortable with- Word. And if Google is really smart, they can use this "tool" as a way to slowly infect one of Microsoft's biggest products, and possibly make the "Google Word Add-on" of the future a necessary staple of text-editing software, so much so that MS will have to pay them a licensing fee. Kind of a Toohey-esqe approach.
Redwolf056 | Homepage | 11.01.05 - 12:06 pm | #

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Diwali wishes to you, Yogi
Paa | Homepage | 11.01.05 - 1:48 pm | #

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Intersting! I never thought of this i.e. whether my creativity is affected by the text editor I use. I write screenplays, and for that I use Final Draft, primarily because it formats the text according to professional screenwriting rules. I tend to use application-specific editors instead of using Word for everything. For example, I type my emails directly into the message window (like most people), I type my blog directly into the blogger interface, I type my memos into Stickies, and I type my bschool essays into Word!

Maybe that is not optimum, maybe if I type my bscool essays into Stickies, they'll come out better!
qzoink | Homepage | 11.01.05 - 4:04 pm | #

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You make some interesting points. Overall though, I don't know if I agree about the "most prefered" blogging entry method to be Microsoft Word. As far as I'm concerned, it's just another Blogging entry format. Blogger always had the submission by e-mail format. So using any e-mail client software has been available to us. With Words Blogger entry, it seems that there may have been requests from people to use some offline word processor to enhance offline record keeping and backup. In short, I side more with the practical offline word processor utility of the Blogger plug-in vs the Word is the preferred word processor argument.

Another online word processer that has been gettin a lot of publicity lately is writely.com. It too provides a far more robust word processing environment.
daveformba | Homepage | 11.06.05 - 1:52 am | #
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hey rags you are 1 week behind on your blogs. im fiending for some more writing
Jonathan Goldsmith (Not Holdsm | Homepage | 11.07.05 - 8:14 am | #

19 November, 2005 02:57  

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