Tuesday Sep 04, 2007

My Blog Client: Mars Edit

I saw Charles Beckham's entry on Mac blogging clients and felt I needed to send some love to my current blog editor of choice: Mars Edit. I used to be a Ecto fan, but the development on it has really slowed over the past two years (i.e. almost stopped). And while I really like the rich text WSYWIG mode, as often as not, it has some problem that makes me create my entry in HTML anyway. I have bought it, so I still hold out hope that the long awaited version 3 ships this year. Long story short, I've moved over to Mars Edit and use it extensively. Things I like about it include:
  • It's very mac-like in that follows most of the Apple human interface rules.
  • What is does, it does without surprise. This isn't always the case with visual editing in Ecto.
  • Supports a large number of blogs (although not Roller, except through the MetaWeb compatibility mode). I've posted most of my entries with Mars Edit.
  • It has very good image uploading tools. And now with Flickr integration.
  • Updates come pretty frequently. Version 2.0 just shipped yesterday.
Overall, Mars Edit just seems to flow better for me.
Picture 2.png
Hopefully, we'll see some movement on Ecto soon.

Monday Jul 09, 2007

Pownce Invites

Picture 1.png

Over the long July 4th weekend here in the States, an invite from new social website Pownce appeared in my Inbox. And since I am on every other web 2.0 social website, I scooted over to their site to signup and nab the client software.

For those of you on the twitter-train, Pownce extends the async IM broadcast beyond simple text to new data types like URLs, files and events. And instead of the normal all private or all public security stance, Pownce lets you send /IM|Tweets|WhateverKevinRoseDubsThem/ to all your friends, a specific friend or the public. It also includes client software, built on Adobe Integrated Runtime (AIR, which was formerly Apollo).

While I was not dazzled like the folks at Mashable, I did think it is a credible beta effort at extending what Jaiku, Twitter and IM have started. I especially liked the default client (say what you like about Adobe's technologies, they do make some good interface tools), the baby steps of inclusion of structured data and the more structured broadcasting security. I have often wanted to be able to cast some of my twitters to specific groups without maintaining several twitter accounts. They have also built this on some interesting technologies.

pownces_air.png

This isn't to say that I was completely enamored by the service. I believe that their are some substantial gaps in the initial offering. Among them:

  • The client software is only Mac or Windows (due to AIR only have Mac and Windows runtimes). While Linux and Solaris aren't mainstream client OSes, they are early adopter environments.
  • There are no public APIs (yet). This makes the preceding problem even more of a problem. I think the Twitter folks would trace a large uptick in their traffic to Twitterrific's release. I'm not alone here.
  • So they make some "pownces" look like structured data .. . but they aren't. Why can't the events be in hCal (or even iCal) ? Yeah, I could send people the actual iCal file . . . but seriously.
  • Lack of mobile client and SMS gateway. Crucial. Major, major deficiency.

While this isn't everything, it certainly raises the bar for Twitter (the guys with the US community behind them) and Jaiku (which has a sizeable Euro following and richer features).

Anyhoo, if you've made it all the way through this post and still want to join Pownce, drop me an email or comment and I'll try to wing one of my TEN invites to you posthaste.

About

Ken Pepple is Chief Technologist for Sun Microsystem's Systems Line of Business

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