jkOnTheRun review- RocketPost blog editor

17 Comments

A good blog editor is one of the most useful tools a blogger can use if it is a good one.  The ability to create blog posts offline is a good thing but if the offline editor has some additional utility integrated then the experience is awesome.  I have used BlogJet for a long time and even wrote about it here on jkOnTheRun.  A few weeks ago the developer for a new blog editor, RocketPost, contacted me and asked me to give the program a fair shake, and this review is the result.

Blog Central

RocketPost has two main parts- the main blog window and the post editor.  The main window provides a listing of all posts on your blog, and this list can be refreshed manually at any time.  A handy preview window shows you any post you click on in the upper window, and a simple double-click on any post opens up the editor.  You can make changes to any post in the editor and republish a post with just a click of the mouse.

Setting a blog up in RocketPost is very straightforward and once done you are given the option to download existing blog posts into the program.  You have complete control over how far back you want to go to grab existing posts.  You can also use RocketPost to handle multiple blogs, even if you have different blog engines.  This makes RocketPost a “Blog Central” for all your blogs which is a real convenience.  RocketPost works with all major blog engines.

Editor

The editor is where RocketPost really shines.  It is invoked by clicking on the NEW button in the main window and once the editor opens you can see all the functionality that RocketPost offers the blog author.  In addition to all the standard editing buttons on the toolbar (bold, italics, underline, etc.) there are some really cool function buttons too.  There are buttons for Quote indent and outdent, numbered list, bullet list, font color, justification, horizontal line, hyperlink, web service tag, insert picture, insert table, drop cap, and right and left pull quotes.  The editor also provides easy category control and publishing options.  The WYSIWYG editor is very easy to use and has some advanced features I haven’t seen in other editors.  One of the most useful innovations in RocketPost is in inserting hyperlinks.  Copy the hyperlink you want to assign to text and hit the hyperlink button and the copied link is automatically inserted in the hyperlink field in the dialog box.  This means you can assign a hyperlink with just two taps.  Nice.

Working with pictures

Inserting pictures into posts is as simple as clicking the appropriate button and selecting the picture on your computer.  The picture will appear wherever the cursor is in the blog post and aligned however you select in the drop down box in the insert dialog box.  You can align the picture left, right and baseline, along with several other alignments giving you complete control over the appearance of the picture in the post.  RocketPost does automatic thumbnails for your picture insertion- insert the picture and click on it to select it in the post.  Once you select THUMBNAIL from the tools menu the selected picture is resized to a thumbnail that will show a full-sized picture when the reader clicks it on the blog.  It would be simpler if the thumbnail control was in the Insert Picture dialog box, something the developer says they are considering for a future update.

RocketPost has a unique and useful “photo album” feature that some bloggers might find to be cool.  Drag any picture into the editor and RocketPost automatically inserts a thumbnail.  No buttons, no dialog boxes.

Developer response

RocketPost is a new program and support is always important for such apps.  I am happy to report the developer has been very responsive to my concerns with the first version and the current version has some features included that I requested.  There are several authors contributing posts to jkOnTheRun and at my request the developer added support for this so I can see posts that others make to the blog.  I also requested the thumbnail capability that is also now in the current version. 

The scoop

Anconia RocketPost will set you back $149, a price I am sure will come down substantially if the developer wants to make very many sales.  There is a trial version available on Anconia’s web site.  I have been very happy with RocketPost (other than the price) and use it for all the posts on jkOnTheRun.

 

 

17 Comments

Matthew Breston

I am curious if anyone has a way of reaching Manish at Anconia. I am having serious problems with getting anyone at the company to respond to me. I have contacted several people who Anconia lists on their websites as providing testimonials who have indicated that they requested Anconia to remove their names from the website and have received no response. It appears Anconia is not responding to more than just me. If anyone has any suggestions or has a phone # for Anconia or knows Manish, I would greatly appreciate you contacting me at mbreston@IronHarbor.com . Thanks!!!!

Manish

However, I would note that with free vs. non-free software, sometimes you get what you pay for ;)

Arieanna

What a heated discussion! Of course, I’m here because I saw the word ‘Qumana’ come up in my feed, and we like to stay on top of reviews so we can see what the market wants out of a blog editor.

So, while I’m a part of Qumana, I’m also a pro blogger. And I would never pay that much for a piece of software either! I am cheap, and I know it. While Qumana is free, I don’t think that makes it a ‘light’ application.

Ok, back to marketing-me ;) Qumana is actually a free application built for experienced bloggers – it has the features such as the DropPad and image handling and WYSIWYG capabilities that make it a very advanced piece of software. We could charge for it, but that’s not our business plan. And bloggers hate paying. Heck, we understand that. But that doesn’t stop us plugging away at making Qumana better :)

I would really love to see you try it and if you hate something or think something is wrong, tell us. I’d love to see some comparisons to see how we are doing.

Anyway, just my two cents. Molly – thanks for all your feedback in there too, great stuff!

Manish – it’s nice to see you making improvements to RocketPost. Great to have some more drive to our market.

Manish

We just released a new $37 version:

http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/pricing.asp

Have a look.

Molly: The other tools do not in fact create and download to a persistent local database. See:

http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/comparison.asp

It’s been expanded.

The app should work fine with multiple blogs on a Blogger account. Make sure you have the latest update (Help/Check for Update).

We’ll post a RocketPost blog shortly.

The Word comparison is legit because a) RocketPost has a ton of automatic features designed to make writing easy, e.g. auto list and bullet formatting, and b) I used to be on the Word design team. That’s the direction RP is headed.

FYI, Word and FP go for $129-179. I wouldn’t say they’re losing share to free tools, rather that FP is struggling against Dreamweaver (last I checked).

Phillip Molly Malone

Manish,
When you say “the comparison is designed to be a simple summary” do you really mean the Comparison is designed to be miss leading?

The inaccuracies I refer to are that some of the things in the Comparison are just plain wrong as other tools do them and you don’t mention this!

To be honest, I think the bug was probably user error as I guess the product doesn’t work when a blogger account has multiple blogs. I thouhgt you just limited the use to one of those bloggers if a user has multiple blogs. My appologies.

As I mentioned on the blogjet blogs comments, no good having blogs if your potiental users don’t know about them!

I am not sure what WOrd and Frontpage going for, but:
A) I don’t think you should be comparing your product to word just yet
b) they are both losing market share to free tools!

JMTC
Molly

Manish

Molly: the comparison is designed to be a simple summary. For features details, go to:

http://www.anconia.com/rocketpost/features.asp

Not sure what you mean about inaccuracies re: Qumana and Zoundry, can you be more specific?

Feel free to mail me about bugs directly.

We have multiple blogs on multiple blogging systems, which is why we built this product. However, none are primarily about software.

Re: price, what are Word and FrontPage going for these days?

Phillip Molly Malone

Further to last comments. The Blogger version seems to be crashing for me.

Also checked out their website. One important question: Where is the blog? Golden Rule number 1: If your selling a blog tool, you need to have a blog easily findable on your site! Why am I going to spend $150 when the developer doesn’t even have a blog (by the way it would have to come with gold plating to spend a $150 dollars anyway (well actually it would be closer to A$200+ wouldn’t it).

Molly

Phillip Molly Malone

Manish: Ah, your comparision is extermely week! You need to beef it out a lot and use the names of other products (if you feel comfortable that yours is the best product for the price).

Also apart from Qumana, there is also Zoundry that seems to meet some of the points you don’t have your competitors supporting. Lastly, you probably want to beef out what you mean by some of the points in the comparison.

The price is extremely big seeings the amount of free products.
Molly

Tim Verpoorten

JK,
I miss your podcast, looking forward to the new one. As for third party blogging tools, I have 4 blogs and I work off a PC at the office and Mac at home, I like ecto for both ends, but I have to say Blogjet is a great tool. We obviously agree that $149 is ridiculous even with $50 off that they are offering, $99 is way too much for this tool. Thank you for the article, at least we know what’s out there now.

Nitin

JK,

Have you given Qumana (http://www.qumana.com) a try? Qumana also has offline capabilities, and is free.

I still prefer BlogJet, although I hope BlogJet soon updates the application for both offline support, and tag insertion for flikr-technorati type tags

Mike

Thanks for this review of the new blog editor. It sounds and looks like a great product but $149 is close to FIVE times what I would pay for soemthing like this. I think the most would be $29.99. And maybe up to $49.99 after a trial and it REALLY impressed me.

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