COMPLEX TECH: Windows Live Writer is an impressive blogging tool worth testing

While listening to one of the many podcasts I subscribe too, I hear a recommendation for the Microsoft blogging tool, Windows Live Writer.  The recommendation was from Paul Thurrott, of SuperSite for Windows fame, so I took the suggestion seriously and downloaded the tool.  The one word review: amazing.

What's the relevance to complex litigation practice?  Technology-assisted efficiency.  If you are reading this site, you know that technology is one dividing line between success and failure in modern law firms.  Within the huge topic of technology are the many sub-parts:  practice management tools, document management tools, billing programs, contact management programs, and so forth.

Marketing by law firms is now stepping across that digital divide, creating another segment of "haves" and "have nots."  The "haves" understand that an Internet presence is critical.  A subset of those understand that a web site, alone, is insufficient, because relevant, frequently refreshed content is king in the eyes of Google (and what Google decrees, the rest of the search Internet follows).  Hence, blogs.  Blogs are one publishing platform and paradigm that encourages frequent, topical content publication.

Having decided to blog, attorneys can still benefit from efficiency tools.  That's where Windows Live Writer joins the mix.  Windows Live Writer is a local application that is dedicated to content creation for blogs.  When you first install Windows Live Writer, and assuming you have an existing blog, it asks for the url of the blog and your logon information.  The software quickly analyzes the blog, the service it resides on, and its settings.  It then downloads all of the customized settings into Windows Live Writer.  In my case, it correctly detected my blogging service (TypePad), my customized styles settings, and my customized categories.  Once the analysis is complete, you can then compose posts, complete with the blog's customized settings in place, save drafts of a post, and upload the post when finished (or save drafts to finish later).

Windows Live Writer works with Microsoft Spaces, Sharepoint, Blogger, TypePad, LiveJournal, Movable Type, WordPress, Community Server, dasBlog and Radio Userland, among others.  The beauty of this niche application is that it does what it sets out to do incredibly well, without getting in the way of itself.  The User Interface is clean and intuitive.  You can even add more than one blog to the program - a boon if, for example, you manage multiple blogs.

For those users suffering misery with the TypePad editor update, this may be a truly welcome relief.

Download Windows Live Writer at the Windows Live site.