If you only work with one blog, you may find that you really don’t need to use client software; the web interface may very well be sufficient to meet your needs. If, on the other hand, you manage and/or contribute to multiple blogs, a blogging client can be a huge timesaver. It can be especially useful if you use blogs for course management.
Currently I need to post regularly to several different blogs, three of which are for this semester’s classes. A lot of the information posted to each of my class blogs is standard for all of my courses: office hours, how to contact me, general course policies, and the like. I also use the blogs to notify students of campus events I think might be of interest to them. These announcements likewise need to be posted to all of my class blogs.
To be sure this kind of information appears everywhere it needs to, I could open a browser tab for each blog, type the necessary information, copy it, and paste it into each blog’s editing window. I find it much faster, however, to use a blogging client that is capable of dealing with multiple blogs. Such a client allows me to write and publish a post (or a page). Once that’s done, if I need the same information on another of my blogs, all I need to do is grab hold of the post, drag it onto the name of the next blog I need to appear on, and hit the publish button. I find that it’s much quicker than working with the web interface.
Each of the clients I’m familiar works a little differently, but all support the major blogging platforms such as WordPress (including WordPress.com, Edublogs, and self-hosted installations), Blogger, MoveableType, and TypePad. There are multiple options, depending on whether you prefer a standalone client or something that integrates with a browser.
I’m aware of four standalone clients (there may very well be others):
- Ecto (a paid client for Mac; there’s a Windows version available, but it hasn’t been updated in over two years as far as I can tell)
- MarsEdit (a paid Mac client)
- Windows Live Writer (Windows only, free)
- Qumana (free; available for Windows, Mac, and Linux; it appears to be intended primarily for commercial bloggers)
ScribeFire is a FireFox extension, so it works wherever FireFox does: i.e., Windows, Mac, and Linux.
Flock is also available for Windows, Mac, and Linux. It’s a social media-oriented browser, with built-in blogging capabilities.
If you regularly work with multiple blogs, it may well be worth your while to experiment with one of these.