MetaBlog: making the case for blog-through-the-mail

ScribeFire has turned out to be quite unreliable, at least for long term storage of notes. At work I left my computer on for about 10 days, with Firefox (and Scribefire) open. When I came back, a memory leak (I think) had rendered the computer unstable and I had to force quite Firefox, and reboot the machine. When it came back up, Scribefire informed me that my notes file had become "corrupted".

Not good. I had a lot of work stored in those notes - mainly research, links, and a rather large idea bin.

There are other problems with Scribefire, such as it's inability to consume the Tab key for increasing indent (a problem which just recently arose). This is a critical problem for someone like me that uses nested lists alot.

I've come to a few realizations, in no particular order: Blogging through email is the key. This allows you to store 3 copies of your work, even in draft: a local copy, a draft copy on the email server, and a draft copy on your blog. Now that's a backup strategy. In addition, if you have multiple blogs, keeping track of where you're blogging to can be tricky - Scribefire was never very good at keeping all that straight. Finally, a single source of posts is easily searchable, and that's quite nice. Some difficulties that arise include tagging (some blogs are better than others - I still haven't found a way to indicate categories or tags in a blogger email). But of course a huge benefit is that the data remains in easily re-published form - you could publish your work to a different location if need be.)

On occasion you may want to post through the web or even with a tool like Ecto or Scribefire. The solution here is to funnel the post back into your email, with email notifications.

Now, this is all well and good, but Scribefire has a few really compelling features worth emulating - browser embedding foremost among them. An email client with strong composition tools embedded in the browser? What exists? A search reveals "not much".

Another feature that I would like to see in Scribefire is a "post to multiple blogs". This feature would either publish a copy to many blogs (not optimal) or publish to one, then publish a link to the others. This would be handy for those "globally interesting" entries that also have more specific applicability.

No comments: