Live Writer: Word+Social media, for bloggers
I just started using Windows Live Writer to update my blogs*. I'm thoroughly impressed with what I see, both from the practical sense and just how much cool seems to surround this thing.
Software+Services is Microsoft's answer to the debate about where the future of computing is going in the near future. My take on what this means is a badass WinForms interface with a sexy back-end built around some Web 2.0-ish stuff. That's the technical explanation.
Live Writer epitomizes all of this. It's a lightweight, feature- and graphics-rich editing environment, and it's very closely integrated with a bunch of "Web 2.0" sites, including a pile of blog packages and social media sites.
There are some neat plug-ins "out of the box", including one that took me exactly 12 seconds to show you an image of my apartment building (see image 1).
Plus, there seems to be an active plug-in community developing things to better pretty up source code, integrate with Flickr, Facebook and other sites. Some of em are crap, but the architecture seems like it must be easy enough to be accessible. One cool one is the Amazon Book Lookup plugin (see example below)
Some of the interface features I'm falling in love with include the ability to match the style to the blog's style (so I can switch between the three blogs and see how it'll look in each one), and the ability to pull up old posts from the "Open" menu.
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* My blogs: