It’s with great sadness…ummm…ok, frustration…that I say goodbye to our blogging client of the last few years: Zoundry Raven. I’ve searched MANY times for free and paid blogging clients for Windows and never found a reason to replace it. I only searched back then when I found something perhaps missing or not fully developed yet in Raven. Now, however, I’ve had to resume the search and this time…I think it’s for keeps.
Well, it stopped working! I’ve had Windows 7 Pro x64 for almost a year now and Raven was working fine for most of that time. About 2 months ago, it started having a problem. I don’t blog that often so I can be sure just what changed. In recommencing my search for blog clients, I was very disappointed in what I found so I thought I’d take a look at perhaps trying “fix” Raven. Raven went “open source” a little while ago and unfortunately, it’s not gathered a development community, so development basically stopped at the version that stopped working for me. I’ve never coded in Python but it looked interesting (still does) and I’d love to learn it. One must be realistic from time to time however, and diving into a complex piece of software like Raven and trying to find the “bug” when you don’t know the language at all…well, let’s just say that I had my tiny pen knife and I was out to kill the elephant and eat it in one big bite…not gonna happen!
Each month we write newsletters that we post on our site using WordPress and send out as emails using phplist. So, even if I don’t blog that often, each month comes around and I fire up the blog client and write something. Well, it’s that time again and I’ve got to figure out how to make something work. I’ve got an old XP laptop on its last legs where Raven is still working, but for me, I concede defeat. I’ve got to make a change now. So, yesterday I went looking again and was both semi-encouraged and frustrated.
First of all, I was, for the first time, open to the idea of buying a piece of software. For most things, I’m really a freeware/open source (can we say cheap!) kind of guy so this was somewhat of a departure! Anyway, after having looked over the options out there, I think I can safely say that paid blog clients are NOT any better than free ones! Freeware can often come with a “price”: you get what you pay for. Not in this case. What I think I can say is that each blog client caters to a different type of usage and the paid ones are no different. That’s why I liked Raven so much…it catered to what I do when I write blog posts and newsletters…at least it did so more than other clients. I’ll admit that I’m pretty particular and there are features that are important to me that simply are not to others.
I’m also a “feature-hound” in general. I’d much rather have “too much” functionality than “not enough.”
So, I’m down to three choices now:
I may have to pick more than one depending on what I’m doing. Obviously Windows Live Writer is getting more and more capable all the time, building a good user base and will probably not be let go any time soon. Post2Blog is already declared “unsupported” by its creators. It’s got good potential functionality but definite buggy-ness that, of course, is not going to go away with time. BlogDesk look really promising, but looking at their forums, I wonder how much more will be put into it.
I’ll try the newsletter today and see how it works for me in these three clients. I’ll post a follow-up to this to state my choice(s) and why.