11 August 2007

[tech, design] Upside/Downside: Blogging with Adobe Contribute CS3



  • Posts in a visually pleasing WSYIYG environment
  • Allows visual styling in something approximating the actual content–works very much like a word processor
  • Works reasonably quickly
  • Blockquotes easily stylable without having to know any HTML.
  • Can copy and paste textual content from anywhere
  • Is essentially an instant preview
  • Works a lot like a word processor
  • Technorati tags can be applied through a toolbar input box
  • Blogger labels can be applied through a dropdown list


  • Operational paradigm (sorry) has a bit of a learning curve
  • Interface verbiage a little bit inscrutable (e.g., to insert a link you've copied from your address box, you need to do Insert>Link>Browse To Web Page... why not just "Create Link" or something like that)
  • Technorati tags appear at the top of the post and cannot be cut and pasted to the bottom (at least not obvously). It can be inserted though the Insert>HTML Snippet command
  • Blogger labels can only be chosen from; it is not obvious how they can be created, Additonally, the dropdown does not scroll automatically; it must be scrolled, only one line at a time, through leetle tiny scroll arrows at the bottom of the dropdown. Scroll wheel has no effect.
  • Biggest drawback: though you can drag and drop/copy and past/browse and select images into Blogger posts, they are not actually uploaded to Blogger and are considered local files, therefore a Blogger post with images will not publish with them.

The big downsides aren't exactly show-stoppers, but they do require an extra step, reducing effiency–to really facilitate blogging, the interface should allow the author, as nearly as possible, to just make thier moves naturally and simply, and by this, I mean if I want an image from my desktop to be published to my blog, I just move it in and it happens–SHIPOOPI! Same with labels and with Technorati tags.

Since I'm already making an extra move by insisting to use Safari to do my business (I have to either go to Firefox to make image uploading easier or use the HTML view in Blooger in Safari to style and paste text) it's something of a zero sum.

Perhaps Contribute is hackable (in the scripting/plugin way) and improvments can be added that way. That will be a further investigative path.

Update: One workaround found: the Technorati tags can be moved to the bottom of the post, and the prefix added, by a simple move in the Preferences.

Update to the Update: Since that's in the Preferences, it's not really a workaround, but just me figuring out how to do something correctly, wouldn't it be then?

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