Safari has found a new user

This weekend, I began playing around with Safari. I’ve had it installed on both my computers for months but I’ve never used it for anything more than to check the usability of my websites in the browser. Friday, I decided to really give it a test run, and I was very surprised to find that I really liked the way it made websites and fonts look.

I’ve been using Firefox for years and for a while, I was using a lot of plugins. That isn’t the case these days, though, so there isn’t really much I’m missing from just the basic install of the Safari browser as compared to Firefox. 

Now, I admit, my decision to keep using Safari is at the moment based entirely on how things look. :) Maybe that’s not the best reason to switch browsers, but it works for me right now.

Have you used Safari lately? What do you think of it? Is there anything I should know about it?

Update: One problem I’ve discovered is the inability to right-click on an image and see the properties for it. Is there some other way easy way to find that info in Safari?I actually use this quite a lot with bookcovers I get from publishers!

Looking for a blogging application for my Palm OS phone

I don’t have cell phone service at my home. I have service about a mile in either direction from my home, but I sit in a lovely little dead zone that refuses to disappear as phones get fancier. However, I do love my new data service for accessing my websites and email when I’m away from home. I would love to be able to blog while I’m out and about too, but so far I haven’t found a blogging application that I’m comfortable using to actually post to my blog, not just create drafts–although drafts are nice!

If you know of a good blogging application I can use with my Palm OS device, I would love to know about it. Just leave a comment here and I thank you greatly for your help!

Testing ScribeFire because someone recommended it to me

ScribeFire is an in-browser blogging tool that lets you write posts, edit posts, and post posts to your blog. Too many posts? Maybe so, but the tool seems promising. I’ve installed it in the past, but never did get round to really using it. At that time I had only a few blogs. I still had a lot of domains, but I hadn’t discovered what a perfect combination blogging was for me. Writing, designing, coding—I get to do it all with blogs, and much quicker than with my static websites.

I’m going to try out many more of the features of ScribeFire before I decide if I want to make it my blogging tool of choice. Although I really liked Windows Live Writer, which I previously blogged about, I haven’t found myself favoring it over the plain ol’ administrator interface in WordPress. WordPress’s admin interface is good—really good and about the only thing I can complain about in it is how not-easy it is to work with images.

See the screenshot? That’s me writing this post. The interface splits the browser window with whatever you happen to have open in the window. Any links you make will default to the address of the open page, although you can overwrite that link.

Truthfully, though, adding that image wasn’t really any easier than doing it in the admin interface, and the image editing capabilities of ScribeFire don’t seem to be even as nice as those in the WordPress admin.

So, back to WordPress for my posts!

Islands and links

I’m always on the lookout for new and interesting ideas I can work with. Today I ran across this post on reader engagement and linking out. The article, interestingly enough, touched on something I’ve been thinking about lately–or maybe that’s simply why the article caught my attention.

I have several older websites that still get email. Those emails are usually nice comments about the usefulness of the site and I always smile a little when I get one. I wonder too, why some of my newer sites don’t see those kinds of comments.

The differences between these sites is simply this: The older site has tons of links that link out to other useful sites I’ve found over the years. The newer sites have fewer links out, and are more heavily populated with my own “original” content. Now, I realize original content is important, but sometimes I know there’s someone out there that’s better able to say what it is I want said. These are the times when link outs make the most sense and when I should be linking out.

Come to think of it, many of the sites I visit aren’t spectacular in and of themselves, but they are able to pull together stuff on the web and make it useful in a way that it wasn’t before.

That’s why I like social bookmark sites. Articles and blogs are all pulled together by tags. It makes browsing easier and more useful.

Aggregators are important tools when it comes to the web, because there’s just so much data available and that makes for some serious information overload. I use up a lot of time online.

I’ve been thinking of doing more aggregation sites like those older sites I still have. I love them and I’ve always thought they served a great purpose. These days you see fewer and fewer niche aggregators–or maybe I’m just not looking in the right places!–but there’s a bigger need than ever for them. Even the small social bookmark sites get overrun with so much content that narrowing it down to a very specific topic is difficult.

In essence I’ve created my own aggregated links within Google Reader. But I’ve still ended up with so much stuff to sift through that I feel a little like I’m going to go crazy sometimes with the speed reading that I have to practice to get through all the headlines.

I’ve also noticed how stingy some sites are about linking out, and I admit I’ve caught myself being that way too sometimes.  Is this really the way I want to be?

I can make this stuff easier for others to digest by pulling it together on some of my sites. Frankly, I’m tired of trying to be an island of content. I’ve said before I have too many domain names and I might have just found a better use for some of them.

If my site is good enough, any visitors I send away will eventually make their way back.

Testing Windows Live Writer Because I Love Trying Software

Live Writer Screenshot I’ve decided I would like to try out a couple of different programs that might help me spend more time writing on my blog and less time logging in to the different admin panels. One of my favorite pieces of software was w.bloggar, but I stopped using it when I couldn’t add tags and stuff with it. Maybe I just didn’t know all the tricks but the software seemed to limit what I could do in a way that the WordPress admin interface didn’t.

I still like the idea of a consolidated area for my writing. I feel the same about my fiction. I tried out lots of different software, even writing a couple of books with different programs, but ultimately, I settled on one and imported all my fiction into it.

I’ve tried Live Writer before and I liked it, but I had a couple of weird issues with the particular blog I used it on. The categories disappeared from the WP admin where you add them to a post. They didn’t reappear until I upgraded to a new version after a complete deletion of the old files. Previous upgrades where I just overwrote the old files didn’t do anything to fix the problem.

Anyway, I’m being brave here and giving it another shot. :-) So, there you go. This post is coming directly from Live Writer.

This is my life…

I spend a lot of time working on websites. I enjoy the work so that makes it all right. That’s the thing about doing something I love. When I’m working the hardest at it, I just enjoy it more.

This site is simply a compendium of my total works. Yes, I know I have too many websites. It’s like telling a reader she has too many books. So what. I have that problem too and I am always reminded of this when I need shelf space that’s already taken.

I’m not sure how serious I am about these sites, if they’re simply something to keep my creative side alive, giving me an outlet for my opinion and obsessions, or if they’re the beginnings of a career that I might want to chase down when I have the free time for it.

But for the moment, this is it.

This is my life…