In"Lesson learned",my colleague Robert Berry recounts 'losing' a blog post he wasediting. Not the first time I've heard this recently. I thought I'd document my process of creating blog posts, in caseit's of any use to anyone. Because I don't lose blog posts.
My secret: I use files.
Although many blogging systems let you edit your blog posts 'online',and even let you save them as drafts, I don't actually go into myblogging system to enter a blog post, until it's complete. Theprocess is:
Create a new blog entry by going into the Documents/blog-posts folderin my home directory of my primary computer, and creatinga new file, the name of which will be the title of the blog post. The 'extension' ofthe file is .html.
Edit the blog post in html, in a plain old text editor.
While editing, at some point, double click on the file in my file system browser (Explorer, PathFinder, Nautilus, etc)to preview it in a web browser.
Churn on the edit / proof-read-in-a-web-browser cycle, for hours or days.
Ready to post? First, check all links.
Surf over to blog editing site, enter the body of the post into the text editorvia the clipboard, set the title, categories / links, etc.
Preview the post on the blog editing site. Press the "Publish" button.
Move the file with the blog post from Documents/blog-posts toDocuments/blog-posts/posted .
HTML TextAreas are an extremely poor replacementfor a decent text editor. Using HTML is handy, since some (most?) blogging systems will accept it as input, and you can preview it yourself with your favorite web browser. Saving the files,even after finished posting, is a convenient backup mechanism, should you ever lose yourentire blog.
Besides these obvious advantages, I noticed some behaviours of other blogging systems thatI really didn't like, when saving drafts of posts 'online':
On one system I used, the title saved with the first draft was used as the slug of theblog URL. Even if I later changed the title, the slug remained some abbreviated version ofthe first saved title. Ick.
On one system I used, tags I saved with a post ended up showing up in the global list of tags on the blog. Even if there weren't any published posts that had used that tag. Ick.
I should note that I also have a directory Documents/blog-posts/unused for postswhich I've started, and decided not to post. The "island of misfit blog posts", as it were,but "unused" was shorter.
There you have it! Since you religiously backup files on your primary computeryou'll have no concern about ever losing a blog post again!