The Sunday Salon: Digital Tools of the Trade

I have to admit, I’m fairly new at blogging regularly. It’s still a weird thing for me to realize I have to put up two posts every Tuesday. But it’s extremely rewarding. But I’m not going to talk about the more esoteric virtues of book blogging this morning; I’m going to talk about the technical aspects of blogging.

We really can’t talk about blogging without talking about web browser. I use Firefox. I had a brief flirtation with Flock for a while, but that was long before The Literary Omnivore started. (If you’re curious, you can actually publish a post directly from Flock’s interface to WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, and LiveJournal.) However, I stopped using it because I was frustrated with the lack of add-ons available for Flock, which, I’m sure, has probably improved since my abandonment.

Add-ons are really why I love Firefox so much–it’s easy to customize it to your needs and wants. They’re also supremely useful in blogging, I find.

First and foremost among the add-ons I use for blogging is Brief. It allows you to read all your RSS Feeds directly from Firefox itself, including a very helpful button in the status bar that tells you how many posts you have unread at any given time. It’s something so simple that I didn’t even think of it when I started writing this post–it’s so essential to not only my blogging, but my web browsing.

Equally, if not more, useful is Read It Later, which functions as a batch of temporary bookmarks. In my weekday schedule, I set aside an hour strictly for book blogging, which includes commenting on other book bloggers’ posts. But those posts go up in the morning, which is definitely not when my book blogging hour is. So I cheerfully add these to Read It Later, which bookmarks them until I need them. When I visit the page again, it’s automatically removed off of the list. It’s seriously amazing.

Offline, I use Journler, a freeware Mac notebook application, to write posts. It’s a lovely program, and one that I’ve been using religiously for two years for all of my notes and posts. I was quite saddened to learn that the gentleman who created the program decided to halt development last September due to personal issues. The website is still up, however, and I highly recommend the program to anyone with a Mac.

In other news, I’m happy to announce that this coming week on The Literary Omnivore will be Eric Van Lustbader Week. This means reviews of his work and a surprise on Friday. I’m going to quickly finish up The Two Towers in the next few days- I can’t believe the readalong is going to be over next month! I have to register for classes soon, but I’ve stupidly misplaced my password to do so… so this ought to be interesting, at the very least. Today is going to be all about finishing the first part of a costume design project for my theater class.

What tools do you use for blogging?

2 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon: Digital Tools of the Trade

  1. I have to admit I’m pretty basic when it comes to blogging. I do have Firefox, but I didn’t really know about all the add-ons. I use Google Reader for my subscriptions and I use the star feature there for Read it Later. I type my posts using Blogger. I’m not technologically illiterate, but I’m certainly not a master of it.

    My only new feature that I haven’t quite figured out how I’m going to use is Delicious. Technically I joined up thinking I would use it for my classes as a way to share online articles with my students. But I’m thinking it would be a great tool to keep track of posts and articles I want to reference on my blog. Do you use anything like Delicious?

    • I do use delicious for my permanent bookmarking, but mostly for fannish purposes. It sounds wonderful for class use- instead of constant e-mails, just a class delicious account that they can check or even add to their RSS Feeds. You could definitely use it to keep track of posts and articles for blogging purposes, but I would personally look into maybe using Read It Later, which saves you the pain of deleting those posts and articles from your delicious once you’re done with it. But hey, whatever works!

      Add-ons are supremely easy to install and the good ones are easy to use- I highly encourage tooling around and seeing what works for you!

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