As I was explaining to a colleague how I write my blog, I realized that I have not explained how this effort works to anyone and some might find it interesting (at the very least, the people who make the tools will).

This web site (or blog) is a Conversant site. That means it's backed up by a content management system per excellence (and I don't use even 5% of that functionality in this weblog--though others do) from Macrobyte Resources. Rather than a dedicated blogging system, Conversant is the super Swiss Army knife of web groupware and the tool I'm using is it's Weblog II tool. I don't write each web page, Conversant does. I don't write all the links, Conversant does. I don't organize things into subject-specific pages, Conversant does. I don't worry about creating a searchable database. Conversant does. Got it?

Posting to this weblog can be accomplished in many ways: WYSIWYG browser-based editor, e-mail (!), and an application that interacts with weblogging software via something called XML-RPC. In my case, I use MarsEditfor OS X from Ranchero Software.

It makes blogging, especially if you have multiple blogs as I do, exceedingly easy.

Ranchero also makes NetNewsWire Pro for OS X, my 'aggregator'. An aggregator goes to a list of sites you specify, requests a special kind of file (an RSS file) that lists any changes made to the site and displays them in a nice interface for the user to browse. It makes it easy to keep track of over 90 sites and what's being posted. Once I identify an item I want to add to my own blog and comment on, it's just one click to get it into MarsEdit. Within NetNewsWire, I've used the smart lists to alert me to posts and news items that relate to categories in this weblog for special attention.



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