Blogging in luxury & style with Word 2007

Well, I’ve had my own blog for a couple weeks now. So far, I am loving Subtext. Comparing Subtext to WordPress is like comparing a Cadillac CTS-V to a BMW M3. The standard is the still the one to beat, although the race is much closer than you might think it should be. Although it doesn’t have the refinement of the BMW, it does have a close working relationship with the Corvette parts bin and has the potential to be a world beater.

However, during that time, I’ve discovered something even cooler than a V-series Cadillac sitting in my blogging garage and that’s the new Microsoft Word 2007. Think of it as the Lexus LS-460 of blogging sedans.

Anyway creating a blog post with pictures is as easy as using Word (and it creates clean HTML markup too). If you don’t believe me, the View Source command is just a mouse click away. That’s OK, I’ll wait…

Now that I have your attention, here’s a guided tour of how I created this blog post with Word 2007. First, you need put your keys in the ignition and start your engines (or just start winword.exe using your favorite command shell). After your hard drive is done doing its 0 – 60 MB sprint, you’ll see an empty document window.

Now you need to click on the “pearl” (aka the Office button), and select Publish – Blog from the menu. Now that you’ve created an empty blog post document, you need to configure Word 2007, so it’ll be able to post to your blog. If it’s your first time, Word 2007 will prompt you for a Blog Account, otherwise you’ll to click on the manage accounts button in the ribbon (aka where the toolbar used to be) to add your blog. For my demo, I’ll add my Rain City Guide account settings.

From the Blog Accounts dialog, click New and you’ll then see the New Blog Account dialog. Word 2007 has support for Windows Live Spaces, Blogger, SharePoint, Community Server, TypePad, WordPress, and other blogs that support the Atom or MetaWebLog APIs. Since RCG proudly uses WordPress, I selected that and proceeded to the next dialog. (FYI – Subtext uses MetaWebLog)

Then on the new WordPress Account dialog, you enter the blog post url and your account info, click OK and your ready to burn some rubber. Since I’m behind on my quota for my blog, I plan on writing a comprehensive review of what Word 2007 can do for your blog on my Caffeinated Blog this weekend.

Anyway, if you’re a blogging enthusiast, I highly recommend you take Word 2007 out for a test drive. I usually don’t impress easily, but Ecto and Blogjet has some formidable competition now.

Miss Independent

[photopress:Kelly_Clarkson.jpg,thumb,alignright]As you know, I’ve been pondering my own blog situation lately. After careful consideration, I decided to start my own blog and I decided to host it myself. Also, I decided against using WordPress and I picked SubText instead. I probably wouldn’t recommend this route for most Rain City Guide readers, but then again, I’m Miss independent. Miss self-sufficient. And ooh, I fell in love.

At any rate, I’ve created my first blog posting, I’ve added links to my sidebar, and I’m tweaking my theme (although folks in the / Subtext land, call them skins), but it’s probably only 70% there. Still, I’m looking forward to what I’ll do. I suspect my blog will be geeky, so if you’re into that kind of thing, by all means visit. And if you’re not, add my blog’s RSS feed to your reader and stay in touch. In case your curious, why I picked SubText, here’s my tale of the tape.


  • Managing multiple blogs seems easier than WordPress
  • FCK Editor that SubText uses is better than the HTML editor WordPress ships with
  • I liked image uploading handling better than WordPress
  • Can use the AylarSolutions plug-in for source code syntax coloring (very important if you are a blogging Software Engineer)
  • Doesn’t require PHP or MySQL, so SubText will use my server’s resources more efficiently than WordPress would (very important if you host paying customer’s IDX / MLS search web sites).
  • Open source / BSD License (better than GPL, not quite as good as WTFPL)
  • Source code is in a language I love & platform I know (C# / / Windows Server)
  • Cool code names like “Poseidon

Grasping for pebbles & listening for grasshoppers

[photopress:grasshopper.jpg,thumb,alignright]Gordon Stephenson of RPA asked me the other day for blog setup advice. Although I consider myself good friends with the master of real estate blogging, I am a blogging grasshopper compared to many folks. You see, I have never set up a blog before. Sure, I’m a contributor on RCG, I comment on popular real estate blogs, and I even write Virtual Earth based IDX/MLS systems (w/ geocoded RSS feeds) for fun and profit. However, I’m sure Dustin sets up more blogs before 10 AM in a typical day, than I do in a year. Hence, the reason for my post. Besides, as another real estate blogging master has pointed out to me, blogging about blogging is always a good topic.

Anyway, I essentially told Gordon the following…

  1. I’d pick up a copy of the Realty Blogging book and read it. It’s probably out of date, (like most technology related books are) but I suspect it’s as good a starting point as any.
  2. I’d recommend finding a good shared hosting company that sets up & hosts WordPress or Typepad blogs.
  3. Most importantly, I’d ask other bloggers what they think!

I feel that’s good advice, however my clients deserve superior advice, and I don’t feel qualified to give it. Besides, Master Dustin took his pebbles when he left Seattle. 😉

Anyway, I really don’t want to host their blog. Besides, Zillow hosts their blog on Typepad, Move hosts their WordPress blog with Inmotion Hosting, and ShackPrices hosts their WordPress blog with Dreamhost, so I know I’m not alone in my thinking that they are better off out-sourcing to a shared hosting company that does blogs. So I have the following questions for the blogging masters.

Real Estate Blogging Questions

  1. What value / features do Real Estate targeted blogging platforms (Blogging Systems, Ubertor, etc) provide over general purpose alternatives (WordPress, Typepad, Community Server, dasBlog, subText)?
  2. ActiveRain or Real Town Blogs – To join or not to join, that’s my question…
  3. Are free blogging platforms, such as Blogger or Live Spaces, considered the blogging equivalent of using or for your e-mail?

General Blogging Questions

  1. What blogging platforms do you like or dislike and why? I know most of the masters recommend WordPress, so I’m more interested in hearing from folks who use something else and are happy with it.
  2. What company would you recommend or avoid for blog hosting? There’s a million of them out there, everybody uses somebody different.
  3. Do these companies provide tools that make it easy to setup? What about analytics, back-up, comment spam blocking, and everything else you want to do?
  4. Any good books or blog posts you’d recommend?

Geek Blogging Questions

  1. If I were crazy enough to host my own blog, what’s the best blog platform if you want to host on IIS/SQL Server/Windows?
  2. What blog platforms or plug-ins do you recommend for code syntax highlighting?
  3. Is there a way to get WordPress to not mangle, HTML/Javascript in a blog post?

Thanks for your help,

Your humble grasshopper