Testing LiveWriter for blogging

Wandering around Sharpreader today, I stopped off (as I usually do) at my old friend Tom Kyte’s blog and saw his entry about the new Windows LiveWriter, a free blogging tool. It sounded like it might help me get round some of the limitations and frustrations I’d found using the Community Server interface — so here I am, testing it out.

First impressions — I like it. Setting it up to publish directly to the CommunityServer blog was pretty painless. The interface gives you a lot more control over the layout and I particularly like the “Web Preview” mode that shows you *exactly* how the blog is going to look on your actual weblog.

One of the real limitations of CS blogs is the restriction to one image per blog post. As a workaround I opened a flickr account and linked to the images there. Initially, I simply copied the image URL from the RSS feed on my flickr Home page, navigated “Insert ¬ Picture from Web” in LiveWriter and pasted in the link. However, I subsequently learned that flickr’s terms of service require that the image links back to them. So instead I simply clicked on the photo in flickr, viewed the different sizes, selected “small” and then cut and paste the link that it gives you into the HTML Code view in LiveWriter.

As a test, here are a few photos from a recent walking break in Cornwall, the first depicting a section of our walk along the coast, past an old tin mine, and the second the beach where we surfed (OK, OK…belly-boarded) at the end of the walk:

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OK, let’s see if it works!