I have been using Blogo ($25) for a while now. Actually scrub that!! I have been trying to use Blogo for a while now …………
Let me take you back a bit in time – sort of a blogging Time Machine if you like. I used to be huge user of Mars Edit ($29.95). I loved it. Thought it was the best thing since …… well you get the picture, I thought it did a really good job. Then a couple of things happened – I started using the Mini Posts Plugin on my sites and Mars Edit couldn’t handle this, so I stopped using it. That made me use TextMate ($48.75) to draft and create my posts.
A typical post for me will include several reference links, a image or two, and very often (on the Almerimar Life site) imbedded code for video, podcast, advertisers images etc. I have found that over time I have used Text Expander ($29.95)along with the Text Mate more and more and that combined they work really well.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, when by coincidence on the same day I upgraded the sites to WordPress 2.5.1, I received Blogo ($25) to review.
On the surface I should love Blogo. “Blogging Made Easy” is their strap line, and the application certainly has a load of neat features:
- Intuitive Interface – designed to take your mind off the details and just write
- Post Images Effortlessly – including custom thumbnail cropping
- No Hassle Preview – 100% accuracy with the actual post to be posted
- Post Videos, Widgets and More – allows snippets from the web to be posted
- Update All Your Blogs – supports multiple accounts and multiple blog types
- Twitter >Support – shrinks URL’s and updates your status
- Ping New Sites
- Full Screen Mode
As I mentioned earlier Blogo arrived the same day as I upgraded to 2.5.1 and herein lies the first of the ‘issues’ that I have. 2.5.1 is so sexy and so user friendly that if you only had to use it and nothing else I don’t think you would have cause to complain. Images and inserting media are so much better, and the preview is good enough. Add a couple of plugins for Twitter for example and you have pretty much everything that Blogo offers. OK it isn’t as nice an interface, but it hasn’t cost you $25 either.
That may seem a bit harsh, but to be honest I am unclear as to who exactly Blogo are targeting. I like to think of myself as an Advanced blogger – not an expert – but I have been blogging for a couple of years now and know my way around a bit. As I have said before I have a work flow that includes TextMate and TextExpander. As an ‘advanced’ blogger I have a number of options for my images ranging from Photoshop ($599) to ImageWell ($19.95), iWatermark ($20), and Picturesque ($34.95).
As such for me there is no value in an application like Blogo (remember I have stopped using Mars Edit as well), so for the sake of the argument lets assume that the established and advanced user will have moved beyond the ‘all in one’ type application that Blogo is (and does well). That leaves the newbie blogger and inexperienced blogger.
Now, the beginner blogger may as well stay with 2.5.1 (assuming they are using WordPress of course) as that will give them more than enough for what they need initially. The inexperienced blogger would love Blogo, but how long do they intend to stay inexperienced? I think that despite the excellent interface, design and thought that has gone into Blogo, even the inexperienced blogger will quickly outgrow it.
All of which is a shame as I like Blogo. I found that it took an age to open up (even on a Mac Pro), but once it was open I found the interface pleasant and intuitive.
To be honest I found it a little prescriptive and cumbersome as the work flow is sort of pre determined for you, and didn’t feel right for me. For example the whole Full Screen thing. What is the point of that? When I blog I have numerous windows open. I want to be able to see stuff that I have researched and am writing about – for example as I write this in TextMate I have a browser window open with the Blogo site open so I can refer to that, and I also have another browser open with another application site open that I have mentioned above as I needed to check something out. I reckon that most experienced bloggers are multi tasking, pulling in data from a variety of sources, editing images etc and don’t want to be ‘restricted’ by one full screen of text.
Maybe it is a case of old dog and new tricks, but every time I used Blogo I found myself wishing I was using my existing process. If you are new to blogging or thinking about blogging it is well worth a look, but don’t be surprised (or upset) if you find that in 6 months to a year it is gathering dust in your applications folder.