by Michelle Lentz
I’ve been using ScribeFire for about a week now, and I positively love it. To be succinct, it lets me blog within Firefox, on whatever page I’m citing.
ScribeFire is a Firefox extension. You can easily set up all of your blogs in ScribeFire. I currently have it set up to post to my four Typepad blogs and Bub.blicio.us on WordPress. ScribeFire also supports LiveJournal, Windows Live Spaces, Performancing, Jeeran, Tumblr, and MySpace. In addition, it supports custom blogging platforms hosted on your own server, including WordPress, Moveable Type, Drupal, TextPatter, Roller, Blogger, and any software that implements the MetaWeblog API.
When I’m ready to blog I can select ScribeFire from the Tools menu, click F8, or just click the icon in the status bar.
The ScribeFire panel displays at the bottom of your browser. You can adjust the size by pulling up or down on the top. The main toolbar displays the WYSIWYG things we all love, from font styles to hyperlinks. When you click the hyperlink button, it automatically fills in the URL of your current displayed tab. You can fill in whatever you want, but I found this to be a handy trick.
There are two extremely nifty buttons on the toolbar: Flickr and YouTube.
The YouTube and Flickr buttons open up a dialog box that allows you to search either site. The dialog then displays your search results. Select an image or video and it automatically appears in your post. You don’t have to mess around with embed code or anything else. The Flickr option even includes a spot for a caption so that you can give credit to the photographer.
Enter your post. You can keep opening new tabs without disturbing ScribeFire. If you close ScribeFire, it will retain your post until you come back to it. As far as I can tell, your text stays in the display panel until you explicitly tell ScribeFire to clear it.
To the left of the text panel, you’ll find four tabs. The Sharing option allows you to share the tab you have open via standard sharing sites (Digg, Reddit, etc), post your current find to del.icio.us, and pull information about the site, including incoming links and a Technorati search. The Preferences option allows you to customize ScribeFire, including where you want the display window to appear and whether or not you want to post as draft to your blogs. The final tab, information, fills you in on ScribeFire.
Over on the right, your blogs displays. I currently have 5 blogs listed. Depending on the blogs you have selected, you can view the most recent posts (even ones not created in ScribeFire), your categories, and appropriate options including timestamps and trackbacks.
Perhaps one of the niftiest features is the QuickBlog toolbar. Whenever your tab is opened to one of your own blogs, a toolbar appears in Firefox. You can then edit your post live, without having to open up and log into your blogging application.
I’ve used everything from Notepad to BlogJet to blog outside of online blogging apps. ScribeFire is the best solution I’ve found, and at the best price – free. You can use it as an online blogging tool or an off-line tool. Learn more about ScribeFire on their web site and read their blog, which is currently filled with guest posts from several authors, including problogger Darren Rowse.
If you have any cool apps, news, or gadgets you’d like to see reviewed, let me know via email michelle[at]writetech[dot]net or via Twitter.