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Gmail as a blog post editor


I'm very happy with my blog hosting service, but I don't care for the online post editor they provide.  It's a small, cramped window, doesn't even have a button for bulleted lists (a basic formatting element!), and is really slow to save changes (I'm getting spoiled by all these web apps that use AJAX!). 

I know there are several standalone blog post editors out there, but I don't need a lot of bells and whistles, and I'd rather not have yet another piece of software to manage.


I really like using Gmail to compose email, I've long been using it as my "thought pad" to write down quick ideas, so it was a natural next step to start using it to write blog posts too.


Gmail is a nice solution to my problem because it:

  • has a good rich-text editor (with bulleted lists!)  whose output pastes into my blog host's editor with no problems
  • auto-saves drafts, a great new feature
  • provides a large editing window
  • is fast - keyboard shortcuts!
  • is lightweight - I don't have to install any new software or wait for an application to load
  • is familiar - I use it for email
  • has spell-check, which I don't use much, but could come in handy
Yet another reason I'm happy to have switched to Gmail!

Update: 2006.01.13

I was happy to notice that the post editor has been released from "absolute size jail", and now scales in width according to the width (though not height) of the browser window!  I still prefer Gmail's rich-text editor for various other reasons, but this is certainly a step in the right direction!


I've been disappointed to see so much absolute sizing on the web in general and blog templates specifically; why not enable the reader to determine the best page dimensions?  This also has the benefit of improving usability among various devices.

Update: 2006.01.20

John, who works for BlogHarbor.com, emailed me: 



I saw your post here:


where you talked about the posting editor... I have an option for you...
Check out this post:


where I talked about a Firefox extension called "Xinha Here!" which you
might find more to your liking. I see you're a Firefox user already, so
this might be an extension you find useful.

Hope this helps,

John Keegan



As I said in my reply to John, I think it's cool that BlogHarbor support staff bothers to become informed about customer's comments, and does so using the technology they support!


Update: 2006.02.04 

John, who works at BlogHarbor.com, wrote: 

Did you know that you can post to your weblog by email? Use your favorite gmail editor to compost your articles, click send, and they will appear on your blog. Learn more about BlogHarbor's moblogging support.