capsule review

Blogo 1.3

At a Glance
  • Brainjuice Blogo 1.3

    Macworld Rating

Brainjuice’s Blogo 1.3 is a well-designed app and, while it does have some limitations and minor irritations, it’s one of the best designed blogging applications I've had the opportunity to use.

Blogo supports several popular blogging platforms including Blogger, TypePad ( ), and WordPress ( ) and can post to several additional blogging platforms using the Ping.fm service. Interestingly, while the documentation states that Tumblr ( ) is only supported via Ping.fm, I was able to connect and post to Tumblr without having to create a Ping.fm account. You can also use Blogo to post updates to Twitter and, if you choose, to keep track of Twitter updates, instead of using dedicated Twitter clients like Tweetie.

As a text editing tool, Blogo works quite well and offers a full screen, distraction-free writing mode similar to what you’ll find in Pages or applications like WriteRoom and Scrivener ( ). You can use every standard keyboard shortcut you’re familiar with for formatting text in your favorite word processing program. You’ll also discover other shortcuts that let you quickly create Last.fm links to the song you’re currently listening to in iTunes, links to the frontmost Web page in Safari, and footnotes. Also, like any good word processing program, Blogo can display word and character counts as you’re typing your post.

Blogo uses a kind of counterintuitive drag and drop interface for adding images to your blog posts. At the bottom right-hand side of the editing window is a small dropbox. Dragging an image from the Finder to this dropbox opens a small editing window from which you can crop and make other minor changes to the image. Alternatively, you can add images to your post by using the small window that lists all of the photos in your post. Unfortunately, there is no way to add photos to your post while using full screen mode. Blogo would be much better if it had a media browser for adding photos and other media, similar to iPhoto and other iApps.

Blogo offers you tools for tracking your Twitter feed and creating Twitter and blog posts all within one application.

The Blogo editor also lacks a way to keep more than one post active at a time. This ends up being a rather large problem when you use Blogo’s useful Post to Blogo browser shortcut while editing another post. An action that would normally create a new post containing a Web link instead inserts a link to that Web page wherever the cursor is in the post you’re currently editing. There is workaround, but it limits Blogo’s usefulness if you want to create posts to edit later as you browse the Web throughout the day.

As a tool for following friends and posting updates to Twitter, Blogo is a passable app, but it’s unlikely to replace your current favorite dedicated Twitter application. Blogo displays your Twitter feed in its Microblog Viewer, which has tabs for Friends, Mentions, Direct Messages, and your own posts. Control-clicking any Twitter post brings up a contextual menu that you can use to create a reply or direct message, all with a number of additional options.

Macworld's buying advice

Blogo 1.3 is a great, versatile blog editing application that goes the extra mile by offering features you won’t find in other similar applications. But that advantage comes with caveats. Tools for adding and editing photos, and limitations on the number of posts you can edit at one time may render Blogo inadequate for some users.

[Jeffery Battersby is an IT Consultant, Apple Certified Trainer, (very) smalltime actor, and regular contributor to Macworld. He writes about Macs and more at his blog .]

 

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Connects to all major blogging platforms.
    • True word processing for blogs.
    • Drag and drop addition of images to your blog posts.
    • Distraction-free full screen mode.

    Cons

    • Image tool is poorly implemented and does not work in full screen mode.
    • Can only edit one post at a time.
    • Script for creating posts from Web pages does not work well if you are already editing a post.
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