Blogilo: KDE’s blogging client

Social media has taken over the Web in a very big way. It has even been argued that social media is the new Web or “new media”.  From social networking sites like Facebook to video sharing sites like YouTube, social media services occupy all of the top 20 most popular sites on Alexa.com, excluding search engines. Two of those popular social media sites are Blogger and WordPress, two sites that host free blogs for their users.

Although most blog services and blogging content management systems allow users to post directly on their websites, there are many advantages to using client software on a local computer, such as the ability to work offline. In past years, KDE had no full-featured blogging client.

Then, along came Kblogger, which was originally a panel applet and began to slowly morph into a full client. Another project called Bilbo finally emerged as a true full-featured client and working in conjunction with the Kblogger developers, managed to develop a blogging client that is now included in KDE releases.  Due to trademark issues, they changed the name to Blogilo, and will release it with KDE 4.4.

blogilo main window

Blogilo featurs a WYSIWIG editor and support for Blogger 1.0, MetaWeblog, MovableType, WordPress, and Google GData APIs. With it, users can create, modify, schedule, and delete posts. The right column is called the “toolbox” and includes tabs containing the most recent blog posts from a user’s blog, post categories, options such as whether to enable comments, and local entries not uploaded to the blog.

Because the main editing window is WYSIWYG, the toolbar includes typical word precessing-like features: bold, italics, font size and color, and spell check. Users can also add images directly from their computers (uploaded with the blog’s API) or from the the Web.

blogilo html editor

Despite the outstanding features, Blogilo does have its limitations. I could not find a way to use the graphical interface to set some styles, such as floating an image to the left or right. Its alignment tool seems to work on text, but those users who insist on following XHTML standards will find that Blogilo is a little loose in this area.  Fortunately, it also includes an HTML editor if users need to add styles rather than using the client’s own formatting tools.

Getting Started

Blogilo configuration window

Setup is very easy with Blogilo. Simply click “Blog” in the menu, followed by “Add Blog…” This will open a dialog asking you for four things: A title for the blog, your blog’s URL, your username, and your password.  If you click “Auto-configure” Blogilo will magically seek out your blog, login, fetch the latest posts and categories, and have you ready to start posting. You can also manually specify the settings and then click OK.

Typing a post is a pretty natural experience and normally goes without a hitch. If you need to stop in the middle of a post, you can click the “Save Locally” button or save a draft on the server by clicking submit and checking “save entry as draft”. Once you are finished, you can preview your post within Blogilo and view it using your blog’s own CSS styles.

Since Blogilo is a native KDE app, you can manipulate widgets like the Toolbox, moving it to the left side or even detaching it, forming its own separate window. It also supports KDE’s auto spell check to correct your spelling as you type. Furthermore, it allows you to open or create multiple posts, which are all conveniently tabbed and easily accessible.

Overall, I have found the blogging client very reliable and feature-rich. I have corresponded with the developers on more than one occasion and found them to be easily approachable and willing to quickly fix any of the early bugs. With this official KDE release, Blogilo seems more than ready to take on any new tasks that come its way, even if that includes changing its name a second time.