10 Tools to Make Your Blog Smarter, Faster, Better

Tech writer and developer Gina Trapani was recently honored on Fast Company's, "The Most Influential Women in Tech: The Bloggers," list. The founding editor of Lifehacker.com, a daily weblog on software and personal productivity, Trapani authored a book based on the web site which is in its second edition: Upgrade Your Life: The Lifehacker Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, Better. In this post, Trapani and Barb Dybwad, director of production, Crowd Fusion, producer and editor, Obsessable, and senior editor emeritus, Engadget, share tools that help speed up and streamline blogging.

Blog From Firefox
ScribeFire is an add-on for Firefox that lets you seamlessly blog from any page you happen to be on. Easily drag and drop images from a web page into ScribeFire to republish; saves time switching to an external image editor and FTP client.

Blog From Your Desktop
Ecto is a full-featured blogging desktop client for both Mac and Windows. It makes posting to multiple blogs incredibly easy. It's compatible with Wordpress, Movable Type, Typepad, Blogger, Drupal, and more. A great way to compose blog posts while offline for easy upload later. Ecto also integrates with NetNewsWire so you can easily create a draft post from an item in your newsreader.

Easily Convert Text to HTML
Markdown is a text-to-html conversion tool that works similarly to TextExpander and Texter (and can be used in conjunction with these tools). It allows you to write more naturally and later convert your text to properly-formatted HTML. You can even use Markdown as a script within BBEdit or Textwrangler (Mac) to easily convert text to HTML, and Markdown filters are also available in the compose window of Wordpress and Movable Type.

Quickly Copy Web Links as HTML
CoLT adds two menu items to the browser's context menu when you right click a hyperlink. Right click a hyperlink on a Web page, and the menu adds "Copy Link Text and Location As" to the menu enabling users to copy the text and its link in either HTML, plain text, BB Code, FuseTalk, or Wikipedia formats. Options can also be customized.

Automagically Create Roundup Posts
Lifehacker created this roundup maker to be used in conjunction with CoLT. Simply enter link and text from CoLT and add a description on the same line for each entry, then click "Generate Roundup," and you have a perfectly HTML-generated post.

Resize Images on the Fly
Photoshop, well CS3, too expensive? Gimp too complicated? If all you really need to do is resize and rotate your images, then ResizR is the tool for you. Browse. Upload. Convert.

Share Images Effortlessly
Using Skitch is super easy for quickly manipulating screenshots and found images to publish them elsewhere without resorting to using multiple applications. It also offers features like resizing and annotating.

Turn del.icio.us Bookmarks Into Daily Posts
Sign in to your del.icio.us account and select settings. In the section titled "Blogging," select "Blog Posting." Click, "Add a new job posting blog." Give it a "job name," like "Daily Link Blog," and then add your credentials for your del.icio.us account and your blog. Then set a time for your saved del.icio.us links to post to your blog every day.

Submit Your Posts to 20 Social Sites, All at Once
Onlywire is a tool that lets you easily submit any of your posts to about 20 social bookmarking sites for easy "social promotion." The plus, you can submit to all the sites simultaneously, which makes Onlywire different from other blog post sharing tools.

Add Super Search to Your Blog
Lijit is a tool that allows you to put a search widget on your blog that will search an aggregate of your created content from your blogs, Flickr, digg, del.icio.us, etc. It also gives you some nice result statistics about what your users are searching for.

[Reprinted with permission from Gina Trapani and Barb Dybwad; Image credit flattop341]

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