It's so hard to find good help these days

I actually already have a blog. This is blog 2.0. The reason for blog 2.0 is an epic tale. Since I have nothing to post, I guess I'll post that tale here and now.

It all started a number of months back when my sister first introduced me to blogger. Now, I'm a web developer by trade, specialising in communications software. I had heard of blogs before but I'd always found them to be too confusing. Somewhere inside me was a little C++ programmer that demanded that I understand everything down to the binary, or I don't use it. It's an annoying personality trait, and one which I try and keep a fairly tight leash on it.

Anyway, so I started a blog and for the first few weeks everything was fine. I had fun posting about random rubbish. I even conducted, what I believe, was likely the first internet seance by summoning Richard Giles to my sisters blog just by mentioning his name.

But then the inevitable happened. Work caught up to me, I got snowed under, and I stopped for a little while. Then a little while became a long while. Then I posted and promised that I would be back more frequently. Of course, blogging fell to the wayside again pretty quickly.

The problem was not that I didn't enjoy it, I truly did (and still do). The problem was (and still is) that in order for me to write a post I need to think about what to write, and then log into a website and mess about for a while, and then I can post. This is of course, all wrong. I don't know what it is about web sites but they just don't do it for me. Maybe I've become disillusioned by writing ASP.NET apps.

The only way to blog is to make it so easy that you don't even think about not blogging. It should be unobtrusive. It should be fun. This is a medium where the broswer is no longer working for me at all. I use an aggregator to read other people's blogs, why should I dust off IE to post something of my own. I want to be able to "blog on the go", wherever I might be. Connected or not. Essentially, I wanted a blogging desktop application.

After 30 seconds of googling (is that actualy a term yet), I discovered that there are literally hundreds of people with the same views as me, and some of them have already built the tools I need. Even better, some of them are free. I don't have a philosophical problem with purchasing software, just a fiscal one.

And so began THE EXPERIENCE(TM). This is the point where the frustration begins. I downloaded 2 apps written in java and they both crashed (I won't mention names here). I downloaded another 2 and they couldn't connect to my blog. I asked a friend and he highly recommended Windows Live Writer. I hadn't looked too far into it because I thought it was for Live Spaces only.

So I downloaded it, installed it, downloaded the SDK in anticipation (there goes that tiny C++ guy again). Start->All Programs->Windows Live Writer. So far, so good. It asks me to enter my blog address and my username and password. I do so and wait.

It doesn't work. Hmmmm. Maybe my password is wrong, try typing it in again. Nope, nothing. I recently upgraded my blogger account to use my gmail id, and this is what I've been using, so maybe if I try my old details. Nope, it says "This stuff is old, use your new stuff" (I'm paraphrasing).

Okay, bring up the blogger site and log in. Works fine. Back to WLW. Nope. Check my proxy settings. Nope. Absolutely no-one seems to have had this problem before. Or if they have then Microsoft and Google are doing a fine job of sweeping it under the rug. So I thought to myslef, "create a new blog and see if that works".

Apparently not. So now I have a new blog. It needed a post in it so I thought I'd tell my tale of woe. When I figure it out I'll post about it but I have to say, I am incredibly dissappointed in my foray into desktop-based blogging tools. Perhaps I'll have to fork out the money for BlogJet. If Scott Hanselman likes it it's probably good right?
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Posted by: Mike Minutillo
Last revised: 27 May, 2011 02:42 PM History

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31 May, 2011 02:52 AM

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