Whilst many blogging platforms come with excellent web-based administration interfaces, a variety of desktop tools can make the experience far more enjoyable. With a useful set of applications installed, managing a blog is a far simpler and more natural experience.
Today we’ll be looking at 60 applications for desktop blogging and tweeting, formatting images for your posts, recording screencasts, utilizing social media, communicating with other bloggers, and keeping track of statistics.
Looking for a few useful iPhone apps to help with your blogging? Check out our roundup of 100 free iPhone apps over at iPhone.AppStorm for some really useful budget-friendly software.
- MarsEdit – A powerful blog editing tool which can integrate with all manner of blog systems. It’s easy to upload images and write in your favorite local text editor.
- Ecto – Another widely popular app for writing posts locally. Integrates with Blogger, Blojsom, Drupal, MovableType, Nucleus, SquareSpace, TypePad, WordPress, and more.
- Blogo – Easily publish text, images, videos, slideshows and more. It’s remarkably simple, with a very straight forward interface.
- MacJournal – A great way to keep a local journal on your Mac, with the option to publish it to a blogging platform at the same time.
- Blog.Mac – Designed for blogging and podcasting, it’s another (albeit less popular) option for desktop blogging.
- iWeb – The full-featured Mac design tool bundled with iLife. Great for all manner of web design, including running a regular blog.
- RapidWeaver – An iWeb alternative, with a range of well designed templates and a simple publishing system.
- Tumblr Widger – Easy posting to your Tumblr account. Supports HTML formatting, spellchecking, and saves your username and password to speed up posting.
- Twitteriffic – The original desktop Twitter client, with a great interface and minimal footprint.
- Twhirl – Powered by Adobe Air, Twhirl is a multi-platform client. It can connect to multiple accounts, automatically shorten URLs.
- Tweetdeck – A famous multi-panel client, which supports groups and various advanced features. A favorite of Twitter pros.
- Twucket – A simple application, Twucket is designed to use minimum screen estate and runs in a normal OSX window.
- Tweetie – One of the newer competitors, Tweetie ports the iPhone experience to the desktop with great ease.
- Tweetr – Notable features include the ability to automatically upload and share files through drag and drop along with support for sharing photos taken with your iSight webcam.
Text & Notes
- TextExpander – Saves you countless keystrokes with customized abbreviations for your frequently-used text strings and images. Great for phrases used regularly in your blog.
- BlogAssist – Sits in your menu bar or services menu, and is a handy tool to make dealing with HTML markup on your blog easier.
- Scrivener – Outline and structure your ideas. Take notes. View research while you write. A great app for planning and drafting posts.
- WriteRoom – A distraction free writing environment that gets everything else out of the way, and allows you to focus on kocking out a killer post.
- YoJimbo – An information storage tool for keeping track of research, interesting bookmarks, and post ideas.
- Circus Notebook – Like a Moleskine, but for your desktop. A lovely interface, and a handy tool for taking notes and keeping track of post ideas.
Image Editing & Uploading
- ImageWell – An image editing application to resize, crop, watermark, edit your images, take screenshots and upload to the web. Also good for batch processing.
- Skitch – A quick and easy tool for sharing screenshots and images over the internet or pasting them onto your blog.
- Flickr Uploader – A great way to quickly upload photos directly to Flickr for sharing on your blog. Full categorization and tagging tools included.
- InstantShot – Offers a more comprehensive set of screenshot tools with multiple file type options. Great for sharing screenshots on your blog.
- Keynote – A presentation app from the iWork suite which works well for creating graphs and tables for your blog.
- ImageShack Uploader – Another uploading tool for those who use the ImageShack service.
Videos & Screencasting
- Captureit – A new product which was published recently. The developers concentrated on making it fast and easy to use and succeeded.
- ScreenFlow – The most expensive, but greatest, screen recording tool for the Mac. ScreenFlow has an incredible range of post-recording features.
- CaptureMe – A fairly basic application, but great for recording quick videos to post on your blog.
- ScreenRecord – With a simple interface and low price tag, it’s an appealing tool if you’re just experimenting with screencasting on your blog.
- iShowU – Another highly regarded option, with a slightly dated interface. Reliable and full-featured.
- ScreenFlick – Screenflick features similar functions to other tools, but assures smooth, fluid motion with up to 60 frames per second.
- Snapz Pro X – The app is supposedly “20 times faster” than any other screen recording software on the market. You be the judge!
- ScreenMinic – Screen Mimic is a recording application aimed at creating SWF Flash movies, FLV Flash videos or MOV Quicktime files.
- Digg Update – Useful for checking whether you’ve made the front page of Digg yet.
- Skimmer – A social networking client for OS X with a fantastic user interface and a range of supported services.
- FMenu – An easy way to display your latest Facebook messages and updates in the OS X menu bar.
- EventBox – An all-in-one solution for managing different social networks in one application – FaceBook, Twitter, Digg, Twitter, Flickr etc.
- Delibar – Quickly access your Delicious bookmarks through the OS X menu bar.
- Flock – The “social web browser”, with all manner of different social media and networking features built right in.
Syndicating Other Blogs
- NetNewsWire – A full-featured RSS reader for the desktop, iPhone and web with excellent syncing. Slightly under-developed in recent years.
- NewsFire – A good looking feed reader which was my app of choice for several years (before needing something to sync to my iPhone).
- Fever – You’ll need to host this on a web server, but it’s a browser-based reader with a host of new, innovative features. Throw feeds at the app, and it will determine what’s “hot”.
- OmniWeb – An advanced web browser, complete with fairly robust RSS functionality.
- Safari RSS – OS X’s default browser comes with RSS support built-in. A simple solution if you only need to keep track of a few feeds.
- Shrook – A next-gen reader that is not only easy to use, but offers advanced features not available to Mac users anywhere else. Looking a little dated now.
- Cyndicate – An easy-to-use, next-generation, RSS/Atom syndication feed reader that gives you command over your news.
- Vienna – Vienna is a freeware, open source RSS/Atom newsreader for the Mac OS X operating system. Was very popular before NetNewsWire and NewsFire became free solutions.
- RSS Menu – RSS Menu is a system wide menu bar app that allows you to read and organize your favourite feeds. Very minimal.
Local Testing & Development
- MAMP – A simple tool for setting up a local web server for testing a blog locally. It installs Apache, PHP and MySQL, so all you need to do is download your blogging platform of choice and hit install.
- VMware Fusion – A Windows virtualization app, for investigating how your blog looks for Windows users. Important to ensure no-one receives a bad experience.
- Parallels – Another popular app for running Windows on your Mac, with a handy coherence mode for seamless integration.
- Adium – Probably the most widely known IM client, Adium is a free application for Mac OS X that can connect to AIM, MSN, Jabber, Yahoo, and more.
- Skype – Free computer-to-computer audio, cheap international calls, instant messaging, video conferencing, file sharing – you name it.
- iChat – Bundled with OS X, iChat supports Mobile Me, AIM, ICQ and XMPP protocols. In typical Apple style it offers a fantastic interface and a colossal feature set.
- Proteus X – Proteus uses the same code framework as Adium. The feature set is similar, but it offers a different user experience.
Statistics & Tracking
- Dashalytics – A simple Dashboard widget for monitoring Google Analytics statistics of your blog, one of the most popular free stats tools available.
- WatchMouse – Allows you to monitor the uptime of your blog through the OS X Dashboard and ensure readers don’t miss out on your wonderful content.
- Junior Mint – If you use Mint as a blog stats package, this is a simple way to stay up-to-date through Dashboard.
- Reinvigorate (Beta) – Currently an invite-only beta, Reinvigorate allows desktop monitoring of blog visitors. Particularly useful to see the path visitors take through your site.
A huge selection of software is available for bloggers, whether you want to write posts using a desktop application, or have one central place to track social media. It’s always worth trying out a few options before settling on one in particular, as many application in the same area vary dramatically (RSS readers, for instance).
I’m intrigued to know which applications fit into your blogging workflow. Please feel free to share in the comments, and let me know any software I’ve missed!