“The King is dead, long live the King!”
This is my second attempt at blogging. Eight years ago I created a blog with the intention of expressing myself through words on a Web page. The effort was a complete failure. At the time I lacked the discipline and focus to publish more than six or seven posts before I gave in to one distraction or another and eventually quit.
However, one positive memory from that experience was the tool I used to blog. It was a free Microsoft Windows add-on called Windows Live Writer. Just so perfect for my blogging needs which were, and remain, basic. It connected to my site directly, downloaded and displayed my blog template while I was composing, could be used off-line, had sufficient formatting with image and video embedding, saved drafts locally and provided a decent spell checker. It additionally made it easy to add tags, keywords and categories in order to create a rich blog taxonomy. Everything that I wanted in a Web publishing tool.
Fast forward to September of 2018 and I am ready for a redux. I’d like to think that I’ve grown as a person over the last eight years and that I’m prepared to talk about the changes I’ve experienced and so much more. I can also now abide the reality that very few if any folks will ever read what I write. I understand that I need to write for my sake. Should anyone else find value in my words, then so much the better.
So I settled on a vanity domain and got busy tweaking things a bit. Once I had what I considered to be a decent beta design for my site I went in search of Windows Live Writer and Googled the bad news. It no longer exists for Windows 10. Microsoft discontinued support and removed the download from their servers. I was, seriously, crushed. This was certain to be the end of my renewed attempts to crawl back out of my head and share with words. Writing my posts in one program then copying/pasting to another for a grammar/spelling check before finally copying the finished product into the post template seemed a very high barrier to entry. But just as I was considering digging into my blog settings and clicking the “Delete site” button I discovered a link to something called Open Live Writer. Could it be? An open-source fork for the WLW tool I’d cherished? Yes!
In addition to all of the original WLW toolset you can now reliably schedule posts to go live for future dates/times, download and edit published posts, watermark images, manage more than one blog site/blog type easily and, given that the entire project is open source, review the code and contribute to the project by either submitting pull requests or testing new features. In a word… fantastic!
Needless to say I’ll be using Open Live Writer for all of my blogging moving forward. If you have been thinking about blogging but feel it might be too technical please give the open-source (and free) blogging tool Open Live Writer a go. You will be happy that you did.