Essential Blogger Tools

Via the 901am blog, I came across a post on Kineda outlining the tools every blogger should have:

You’ve started your blog and you’re up and running, but do you have the
essential tools necessary to be a blogging pro? Here’s a list of tools
I personally use that will improve your blogging experience and
productivity. Being well equipped will make you a better blogger, and
being a better blogger means gaining the respect and affection among
your weird and fuzzy blogging peers and readers.

Let’s have a look at some of the stuff recommended. Photoshop CS2. Dreamweaver. Mint. MacBook Pro. Hmmm – beyond the ability of this blogger to afford that kind of stuff, and many others too. Fair enough, WordPress (obviously!), Thunderbird and Firefox are also mentioned, so it’s not all a proprietary free for all.

Still, this got me thinking, and here’s my list. It’s my view that the democratising nature of blogging and social media should be reflected in the tools that can be used. So, my list is comprised of software and services with no charge, and open source where possible.

WordPress – the best blogging platform there is. And it’s free.

The GIMP
– incredibly powerful open source image editor. Will do everything (and more) that a blogger could want to do.

Audacity – want to have audio on your blog? Edit it with ease and feel good that the software you are using is free as in speech as well as beer.

Ubuntu – why shell out for a Mac when an easy to use , quick and ultra secure alternative is available for use for nothing? Breath new life into your PC.

gFTP – an FTP client for Ubuntu. No frills and a very quick way of getting files online. Windows users can use FileZilla.

Firefox – the only sensible browser option. Use IE only for checking how your blog is rendered.

Gmail – I’m yet to see a better interface for webmail. Masses of storage mean you can sign up to as many mailing lists and email RSS feeds as you like. Spam filtering top notch, so you can leave your email address on your blog at will. Why accept the limitations of a desktop client?

Google Reader – suddenly the best RSS aggregator  around. Takes your feeds wherever you go.

These are the tools I use on a regular basis, and they serve me well enough. I personally don’t think having wish lists of expensive gear helps anyone – if anything, the thought of having to shell out on stuff for blogging is going to put people off.

It’s better to keep things free.

[tags]blogger tools, kineda, 901am[/tags]

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