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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Picking the Right Tools

This blog is currently powered by Blogger. I don't have any plans of changing. But I've read about many corporate/professional bloggers who have moved to other platforms because of one reason or three. I'm grateful I haven't had to cross that river. That'd be a ton of work.

On the other hand, I have moved Sonlight's video content off our servers and onto Sonlight's YouTube channel. Again, it's not perfect--and I just ran into a limitation that's borked one of my projects... bah! But YouTube is the internet video site. And it is very nice to no longer worry about compatibility, servers, and quality options.

Needless to say: I love free tools that work and help me do my work better.

Of course, I gladly pay for other tools that make my life better as well. My cameras. My computers. My curriculum. I absolutely love finding a great deal, but I know I'm going to be shelling out some dough. And it's totally worth it.

There are also times--like this afternoon--when beating my head against a free option just doesn't seem worth it. In those moments I am tempted, sorely tempted, to start looking around for an option that works right.

What are some of your favorite tools?

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester


Karen Joy said...

Um, Wordpress. :)

It's pretty user-unfriendly, which doesn't work for a lot of bloggers, but since you know your blogging stuff, you might find that it suits your needs really well. In general, it's much more flexible than Blogger, and has a lot more plug-in/widget options.

I also really like TypeKit, which, again, assumes you know at least a wee bit of html, which I really don't, but I could finagle things enough to figure out how to get the fancy/readable/unique font I use on my blog.

(BTW, I feel like a blog-stalker or a yes-man or something, because it seems like I'm always commenting, and always agreeing with you. I'm not sucking up. I promise.)

Doug Hibbard said...

I've actually regressed all the way to using Windows Live's Blog Tool to do my posts for Blogger and Wordpress. I just have so many other things I need the brain power for than keeping up with the encoding.

Other free tools? I use blogger and Fileden to podcast sermons every week, so I like those.

Then there's my favorite tools: Crockpot, electric skillet, and I actually cooked dinner in the fireplace Saturday. Funtimes.


Jamie Jo said...

The only thing about Wordpress is that I can't figure out how to follow blogs. It's so simple to check my dashboard on Blogger and see when you've written something new. I'm glad you're not changing (yet).

Karen Joy said...

@Jamie Jo - it's easy to follow Wordpress blogs, if you have a .com account (not the downloaded software). Click "Subscribe" at the very top of the page. Then, when logged in to your own account, click "My Account" at the very top left of the page, and from the drop down, click "Read my subscriptions." Alternately, you can, from your Dashboard, click the Dashboard drop-down, on the upper LH side of the page, and click on "Subscriptions."

For my non-Wordpress blogs, I use the Sage plug-in for Firefox, but there are myriad other blog readers that others use.

Luke Holzmann said...

Karen, I've used Wordpress a bit. I like how Blogger is integrated with all my other Google stuff... but, I know that Wordpress is well loved <smile>. And, while we often agree, you definitely push me in ways that no yes-man would <smile>.

Doug, I haven't used Window's Live Blog Tool yet. I should check it out <smile>. I still have a functioning Hotmail account and I like that I have a Skydrive...

Jamie, I use Google Reader to read my blogs. It's really easy to add Wordpress blogs to it (just copy the URL and paste it into the "subscribe" box). But Karen is right: There are a ton of great RSS readers out there. My wife uses a Firefox plugin as well.

Thanks for sharing, friends!


The Reader said...

Well, when you said favorite tools my mind went to the SL IGs. I'm not a strict box-checker, we hardly ever read every single book scheduled, and I really took Sarita's "it's a thanksgiving buffet" analogy to heart. Still, I think that makes me love the IG *even more* as I can open it, find the book I want info on, pull that out, and use that to suit my needs.

Even though I rarely follow the schedule as written, even though I never use every single book, I sill will always buy the IG for whatever Core the books come from that I'm using, because it is that valuable a tool, even for one like me who picks and chooses what to do.

As for internet/bloggy tools, yea, I'm no help there.

Luke Holzmann said...

I'm always glad when Sonlight's Instructor's Guides prove helpful <smile>. Thanks, Reader!



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Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Empty Nester
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