Rediscovering ScribeFire

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Matt Mullenweg waxed lyrical recently about Windows Live Writer, and recommended it as a quality blogging tool. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered ScribeFire, or what you may remember as Performancing For FireFox.

ScribeFire has evolved into quite a nice system, one you should certainly look at if you write for multiple blogs. I’ve played with it for the last few days, and while I originally hated PFF, I’m gradually coming around to ScribeFire. Here’s why:

  • Excellent browser integration: I can see the page that inspired me to write a blog post in the same window, which means I can easily copy information from the original post without flicking between different windows. Not having to log into my blog’s admin page means I can blog more spontaneously.
  • Follow The Conversation With Technorati: The built-in Page Tools allow you to see who else is writing about this topic, so you can reference other bloggers and create a more informed and informative blog post.This service would be nicer if other services like Google Blog Search or Sphere were included.
  • Easily Save Drafts: You can save any draft as a post and it goes into your Notes area. From the Notes tab, you can see all your draft posts. You can load up any draft post, finish it and choose which blog to publish it to.
  • Easy Tagging: With advanced publishing options in ScribeFire, you can easily add a list of Technorati tags and automatically bookmark your new post at del.icio.us using the same set of tags. I seem to remember talk of integrating ScribeFire with the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin which would be much more useful.
  • Better Focus: Sort of related to my first point above. How many times have you logged on to WordPress to blog and got distracted by your latest incoming links, new comments or your stats plugin? Because you’re cutting out this step, you’re more focused on the topic that got you fired up in the first place!
  • Easily Edit Your Recent Posts: ScribeFire imports a list of your most recent posts, so you can make easy edits where necessary without having to visit your blog.
  • Works Offline? I haven’t tested to be honest, but I’d imagine ScribeFire caches your drafts locally so that you can work on them even if you haven’t got an Internet connection. Useful if you’re working on a laptop in the middle of a field…

There are other features I haven’t looked at yet, like the ability to upload images to your blog through FTP or your blog’s API (if it’s supported).

I’ve found my WordPress accounts extremely easy to connect to. Drupal sites need to have the Blog API module switched on before they’ll accept connections from ScribeFire, but otherwise work just fine. And of course, this post has been written entirely using…you guessed it.

Anyone else using ScribeFire or Windows Live Writer for blogging? Why not share some tips and tricks here if you are.

Gerard McGarry is a music blogger for Unreality Music, web designer and all-round Web 2.0 enthusiast.

Author: gerardm

17 thoughts on “Rediscovering ScribeFire

  1. I could not find that option.

    In the formating menu I have following option visible

    => Use CSS for content style (other use HTML)
    => Make test ‘righ-to-left’
    => Template for ‘Blog This”

    I am using SF2.2.5 with firefox browser resolution of 1024 x768

    drop down option of h1-h6 tags is quite basic need of anyone and it helps for multiple reason.

    By following your suggested solution is it possible to have drop down option as I am thinking.

    At present I using Front Page to make content and than copy /paste to scribe fire

    Thanks & Regards
    Ajay
    http://www.obiztek.com

  2. Ajay: In the formatting menu at the very right (hidden on small screens) is a menu item ‘insert HTML tag’ which allows you to just type in i.e. h1 to create either an empty tag pair or a tag pair around marked text.

    I am talking about SF 2.2.5 and the feature request for header tags was initiated by me in February and discussed in “Custom HTML tag” button and “Clear formatting” button.

  3. Thanks Markus for your time & valuable comments.

    I could not understand “There is a menu point offering to type in every tag you want (!) to make it a tag pair ”

    I suppose that it for making custom tag pair.I search the various resource but could not find that how to make it.

    Say I want to use H1 tag on my post than how it can be done at present.I know that by going to the source view I can specify it manually but it would be comfortable to have visual drop down option for h1 /h2 /h3 etc.This is quite common option for any wysiwyg editors.

    Above user “rlaffers” has mentioned about the method for having h1 & h2 but provided link ( http://laffers.net/downloads/better-scribefire.zip ) there is no more working it seems.

    Regards,
    Ajay

  4. Ajay: Please check the ScribeFire homepage and esp. check in your feature requests to the Google codebase.

    Re. 1: There is a menu point offering to type in every tag you want (!) to make it a tag pair.

    Re. 2: AFAIK tables are on the roadmap and SF development is humming along.

    Re. 3: “Support for specify own title, description and keywords…”: I don’t know if the XML-RPC specifications have that feature.

  5. Hi,

    After trying out many bloggin client softwares I came across with scribefire.I have experimented with it and found a very good and extremly useful for blogging.It seems that I am not going to leave it now.Its firefox integration and compatibility with word press system makes it very flexible.

    I think following three things are missing in it and are very much required to make it a complete and world best blogging client

    [1] Support for header tags like H1 / H2/ H3 are required very much .For SEO and design purpose it is required very much.I have tried to download the suggested stuff ( http://laffers.net/downloads/better-scribefire.zip) but it is not working.Any help is appreciable.

    [2] Support Table management – This is also a basic requirements as almost every one uses tables in their design and ease of use.

    [3] Support for specify own title, description and keywords are required very much for SEO prpose.At present there is one SEO module for word press by name “All in One SEO Pack”.This or something else can be used and handled for making it a option in scribefire.

    I am happy to discover scribefire and thanks to its creators.

    Regards,
    Ajay
    Nashik, India

  6. Just curious – I don’t actually publish to a Microsoft Windows Live blog with livewriter, but what’s the deal with the privacy agreement anyhow?

    fyi I saw that an update just went through for Scribefire on Firefox today.

  7. I can’t get past the privacy agreements to use Windows live. I am not agreeing to those terms for my writings.

    let’s get closer to http://reasonableagreement.org/

    I hope that scribefire will incorporate more ideas and become better than windows live soon, the possibility of clipping and blogging to multiple blogs through firefox with tabs and such makes me happy.

    Steve

  8. I’m not familiar with Ultimate Tag Warrior. I looked it up online, but couldn’t tell from the description what it is supposed to do specifically although I had a few preconceptions. You can tag Technorati easily through WLW, but not much else that I’ve seen yet.

  9. I’m playing with Windows Live Writer tonight. Never let it be said that I don’t take the suggestions of other Performancing members on board! Actually, it’s quite straightforward to use, seems to work with Drupal and goes a few steps further than ScribeFire. The only thing I’m still missing is the ability to do free-tagging a la Ultimate Tag Warrior, although WLW allows you to post as a draft to your blog and open up the edit window automatically, where tags can then be added.

  10. You’ve get full rich text capability.

    also blockquote
    image tags
    more tag
    strikethrough
    tables
    lists

    all standard now in wlw

  11. Rich, that’s a really useful hack – I use heading tags quite a bit – one feature that was definitely missing. That should definitely be in the core ScribeFire installation.

  12. Scribefire would be even better if its rich text editor had buttons for inserting semantic HTML tags like p, h1-h2, cite, code, acronym, kbd, etc. Using “strong” over “b” is definitely recommended by SEO experts.
    They have at least added “strong” and “em” in the last version after I sent them my piece of code. If anybody is interested in having more semantic tags, download this, and copy the files packed therein over those installed in your Firefox profile folder (on Windows it is something similar to
    C:\Documents and Settings\{insert your username}\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\kvbo025t.default\extensions\{F807FACD-E46A-4793-B345-D58CB177673C}\chrome\content\
    )

    Note: I made it relatively easy to add whatever tag you wish. Take a look at the code (performancingMidas.doApplyTag(tag) function is the key) and see how it is done.
    Cheers,

    Rich

  13. WLW 2.0 now also provides you with the ability to add categories on the fly from WLW. That and the easy image upload capability, the option to view what a post will look like on your existing blog theme in WLW before you publish (tagging for technorati is available in WLW too) all make WLW my preferred choice.

    Now all that said WLW 2.0 has gone through some growing pains recently. It is still a beta and every now and then I run into beta like issues, but for range of capabilities it has been out performing Scribefire since it was called Performancing for Firefox version 1.3(that was that long extended period/version where Performancing for firefox didn’t get much support when things were rough here and going through the first failed buyout and everything.)

    Couple things about 2.0 verion of WLW

    1. You need to have WP 2.2 or higher to get the most out of the new functionality. Its worth it.
    2. Upgrade is relatively easy and all of your blog login settings migrate well from 1.0 to 2.0
    3. WLW also now supports tables, but if you have floating adsense boxes in your posts, this won’t work out so hot (the table will float under your adsense box.)
    4. Those crazy cat start up types at Microsoft are actually pretty responsive if you run into issue or questions.

    Bottom line, its got a ways to go, but it now has a huge headstart on scribefire. I’d like to see the hometown boys make good on scribefire, but once MS gets ahead of you, it takes a lot to catch up again. It is possible to catch up, but took the Mozilla guys about 10 years to do it.

  14. I can’t imagine blogging without Windows Live Writer. I’ve tried a handful of other publishing tools out there (including ScribeFire) and the newest release of WLW just solidifies, in my mind, that it’s *the* tool for blogging in Windows. Previewing your post in your blog’s style is critical for me and I’ve found submitting YouTube (and other flash-type embeddable videos) via WLW doesn’t break once it’s in WordPress (which I use exclusively).

    I would highly recommend checking out WLW if you haven’t. Even if you have before, their newest release has many UI enhancements and other things that are well worth the try. Give it a shot, I doubt you’ll be disappointed!

  15. There are very few offline tools I’d recommend Ryan, most of them are online. Analytics software, blog search engines, comment trackers, etc. Any more ideas?

  16. Hey Gerard. This gives me a great idea for a Perf post. Top 10 tools for bloggers. Do you have any other suggestions?

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