Using Writely As Your Blog Editor

By: Danny Wirken

Internet giant Google has acquired Writely, an online web processor that also functions as a blog editor. Writely fits perfectly in Google's grand quest to host the world's content and adds innovative and easy to use program to Google's browser-based world of blogging. Writely makes it easy for users by allowing access from anywhere, anytime on any computer. Writely allows a user to write from home or office while using somebody else's computer.

Writely is built utilizing AJAX, Asynchronous Javascript and XML. This is a programming model supported by most browsers in use today. By using AJAX, earlier limitations of browsers such as the need to wait for pages to refresh and the absence of drag and drop features were eliminated.

For a fairly new product, Writely boasts of an amazing array of advanced features. First on the list is its very simple WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) simple interface. You can play around with the fonts, sizes, colors, styles and even add pictures without any effort. Writers will feel at home with the interface. You can create documents or upload them from most file formats. You can keep documents online and e-mail them from anywhere. You can edit a document and view the HTML version of the document as a web page. You can even tag or star your documents. You can even see at a glance who last edited a document.

You can publish the documents you created in Writely in the Internet or only to a few select people of your choice. You have complete control who can see your documents. Once you publish a document, you can make changes and it will not show up until you re-publish the document. While editing is done in HTML, Writely can convert documents from PDF, RDF or Word format. You can save these documents online or to your computer.

Writely allows multiple authors to work on a document via the Internet. In fact, its greatest come on is in its collaboration feature, the live document sharing. Writely is aptly described as a web-based collaborative document editor. To share a document, you simply log into the interface. Type in the e-mail addresses of the people you want to share the document with and then send them an e-mail message. They will then have access to the shared document via their own Writely menu once they sign in. Everyone can then edit the document in real time. An indicator at the bottom of the screen will display who else is looking at it too. You know who edits what and when. You can instantly see the changes your fellow collaborators made and when they made them by viewing the revision history. You can easily go back to a previous revision and compare two versions. It is a completely easy process. What is amazing is that multiple collaborators are working on a document in real time from different locations.

Writely can also be used as a blog editor. Writely provides a fairly advance text editor from which you can post your blog. You can create a document by clicking the "New" button. You can also upload a document from your computer or send documents by e-mail. To post a document to your blog, click on the active document. It will open in a new window. You can then see a "Blog" tab. Just click the "Blog" tab and a preview of how your document will appear when posted will be displayed. You can make the necessary changes. Configure the "Blog Site Settings" properly. You can tweak the previous templates and once you are ready to publish, just click the "Post to Blog" button. Then click "Done" and now you ready to check your blog.

You can also archive your posts. If you want to update or remove a post, there are buttons on the "Blog" tab to perform that function. You can use Writely to manage your posts. You can edit or re-publish a blog post from within Writely. You can post using categories by simply tagging the post in Writely and the tags will be sent as your blog categories.

Writely as a blog editor has a way of publishing to your blog with just one or two clicks from your browser. Writely can also manage multiple blogs from one place. If, for example, you are publishing fifteen blog posts each week, Writely will allow you to set them up in such a way that you can blog to all of them without having to log into the back end of the blogs. With Writely, you can have multiple blog platforms. If you use WordPress, MovableType or TypePad blogging software, you can still edit you blogs all from one spot. This saves time and accelerates your blogging. You can also set up each blog differently with its own defaults and settings.

Writely allows you to freely add and configure images. You can choose to drag and drop images into the editor. You can even resize them, rename them, etc. just like you would a Word document. While it is true that blogging softwares have this feature, a blog editor like Writely is more functional. Again Writely has a WYSIWYG interface. Writely is useful for blog posts since it generates HTML. With Writely, you can blog offline. This is very convenient especially if you are in an area not covered by broadband connection. You can continue blogging and when you reach a WiFi area then you can publish the blog posts. You do not have to go to such lengths as typing the posts in a text file, copying them across and then publishing them.

With Writely, you have a copy of your posts on your desktop for back-up or future references. There will be times when you need to go over some old posts. Writely has a feature that will scan old posts to help you find what you are looking for. Writely also has a spell checker that checks the spelling of a word as you type it. This is a very handy feature. With Writely, you can tag your posts. There is also a whole range of automated features that makes blogging seems effortless.

As a whole, Writely allows for easier blogging. The entire web-based word processor is clean, simple, functional and navigation- friendly. Writely supports posting to blog sites as well as to any blog that uses the Blogger, MetaBlog or MovableType blogging platform. Writely can be an essential part of the blogging process especially for bloggers who are managing multiple blogs.

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