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Windows Live Writer April 25, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Microsoft, Uncategorized.
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Microsoft has actually released an excellent new application! Windows Live Writer is truly a powerful and useful tool for bloggers! It’s like Word for the Web 2.0!

I haven’t been this impressed from a Microsoft product in a very long time. Live Writer allows you to credit blog posts with amazing ease and spectacular results. It totally blows away another other blog editor that I’ve used before such as Google Docs, Zoho Writer, WordPress, Blogger, etc.

Any Blog, Anytime!
Live Writer has no problems working with just about any blog platform as well. I was able to open/edit and publish to Blogger and WordPress blogs without a hitch. What I liked best about the experience was its ability to open any existing blog post from any blog on the fly. You could then make any changes and re-publish it instantly. The results were almost always exactly what it looked like in Live Writer.

Insert This!
Inserting elements are also vastly improved on Live Writer. Simply click on the item you want to insert such as video, picture or link and Live Writer does all the dirty work for you. The options for manipulating the look and position of pictures is also very impressive.

Plug-in Mania!
One of the best features of Live Writer is the incredible amount of free add-on plug-ins!
Go to Live Writer Plug-ins and take a look at all of the things you can add to the experience! I instantly added a dozen must-have plug-ins! Plus, there are always new ones coming.

Here’s a visual rundown of the new Live Writer:

Preview before you post

Screen shot of Windows Live Writer view menu options

Know what your blog post will look like before you post it, including photos and other rich media. Writer detects your blog theme automatically, including fonts, and displays it while you compose and edit.

Works with your blog service

Screen shot of Windows Live Writer choose weblog options

Writer works with most major blog providers, including Windows Live Spaces, SharePoint, WordPress, Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, Moveable Type, Community Server, and many others. Get started with your blog in minutes, thanks to automatic blog configuration. Post to multiple blogs: themes are automatically detected for each.

Rich media made easy

Screen shot of Live Search Maps page

Turn your blog into a story with photos, videos, maps, tags and other rich media.  Writer publishes all of it automatically when post.  Quickly link to previous blog posts and other Web pages.

Powerful editing tools

Screen shot of Windows Live Writer spell check feature

Insert and edit tables directly in your entry. Inline spell checker helps you polish your text. Easy hyperlink support lets you link your blog to the online world. Use the HTML view to edit directly in HTML.

More rich content with easy plug-ins

Screen shot of Windows Live Gallery plug-ins

Use plug-ins from Windows Live Gallery to add more rich content to your blog like music feeds, emoticons and quotes of the day. Can’t find the plug-in you want? Make your own and upload it to Gallery for the whole world to share.

Final Thoughts

The only thing missing from the Live Writer experience is the ability to save drafts to online storage accounts such as Microsoft Workspace Office Live, Google Docs, Zoho Writer, or any others. I have no doubt that it will come someday, so we’ll just have to settle for saving drafts to the local drive until then.

Good Links

Download Live Writer here
Live Writer Blog offer useful information about Live Writer.
Windows Live Writer Group is a discussion forum for Live Writer users.

Here’s a good screencast on Live Writer:

I.T. Happens! No.8 April 17, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, Comedy, Comic Strips, IT Happens.
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Here’s an interesting sidenote about this comic strip. I showed it to Darren Rowse, A.K.A ProBlogger
to get his opinion of it since he was the original name that I used in this comic and I wanted to make sure that it wasn’t offensive to him in any manner. Well, he confirmed that it was fine and that it didn’t bother him in the least. However, he made an interesting comment when he said “You know, he kinda looks more like Seth Godin”. Well, shoot, I thought. Of course it does! So, off I went to double-check and here’s what I found.

First, here’s Darren Rowse A.K.A ProBlogger.

and here’s Seth Godin A.K.A The Marketing Guru (as advertised on his website) next to the comic Seth

By George, I think ProBlogger was right!

View all 8 comic strips of the I.T. Happens series here

TwitterClouds April 9, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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DaCort has done it again. He’s taken an already cool twitter tool, TweetSTATS and made it even cooler and more useful by giving us our very own TweetCloud!

Not only can we view all kinds of cool statistics about our Twitter usage but now we can see what we and others tweets the most about! Some of this data will be surprising so be prepared.

It’s very easy to access as well. Just click the Tweet Cloud link located next to the Tweet Stats link:

The quickest way to get there is to save your personal URL: http://www.tweetstats.com/graphs/TwitterName .

The popularity of studying Tag Clouds on blogs has naturally given birth to TweetClouds. Check it out and learn a thing or two about yourself and your friends.

More Twitter Cloud services have appeared out of the blue (ha ha):




Twitter 101 January 9, 2008

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs.
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Unless you were living under a rock the last year or actually had one of them there things they call a life, then you know all about Twitter.

In any event, whether you are new to Twitter or a seasoned veteran, here are some cool and hopefully useful links to checkout:

www.Twitter.com is grand central so no whoop-ti-do there.

http://twitter.com/public_timeline is where you see everyone’s public tweet every four minutes.

http://twittervision.com is more fun than the public timeline because it shows a map of the world and all new tweets and where they are coming from.

http://www.twitterholic.com is the leaderboard that tracks who has the most followers on Twitter and who follows the most people. The leader changes all the time but the core top 25 are pretty static. Justine and Robert Scoble duke it out for the most followed humans on Twitter. Interesting to note, Where as Justine rarely follows anyone (7,000 vs 200 est.), Scoble actually follows more people than follow him! There are always debates about following on twitter. Is it better to follow as many people as possible or to be selective?

Twitter fan wiki http://twitter.pbwiki.com

Twitter Apps: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Apps

Twitter Direct Message Bots: http://twitter.pbwiki.com/Direct+Message+Bots

Twitter tips http://twitter.com/help/lingo

ReadWriteWeb’s Top 10 Twitter apps http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/top_10_twitter_apps.php

Twitter Karma examines everyone you follow and those that follow you and reveals interesting results.

10th Anniversary of Blogging December 29, 2007

Posted by Doriano "Paisano" Carta in Blogs, News.
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NPR has an excellent segment on the 10th Anniversary of the term Blog on their site. People were “blogging” more than ten years ago, but it just wasn’t called blogging back then. I called what I was documenting online a personal journal because I refused to call it a diary. 🙂 I remember using LiveJournal as far back as 1999. The times sure have changed, huh?

In honor of this milestone, I updated a popular image called the History of Blogging that has been floating around a while. It ended with twitter and I wanted to bring it more up to date and perhaps beyond a tad so I added the audio micro-blogging service Utterz and then the so-called video twitter, seesmic. So here it is.

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