Qumana re-visited #

Having mentioned Qumana in a recent post, the ever-vigilant Qumana team picked up on my comment and asked if I’d look again at the tool. As I promised, here is a note of my re-visit. In the spirit of the thing, this post is written using the tool (3.0.0-b2 Beta).

The two things that put me off Qumana before were its inability to post via a web proxy (not tested this time), and the lack of control over the HTML it was creating. The second thing has been fixed now, with a “Source View” tab.

Things I like

The drop-pad – this makes it really easy to grab links and bits of content as you work and park them in a scratchpad for blogging later. This was the key part of the workflow that Earl Mardle described.

The writing interface is really clean, with the minimum of interferences to get in the way of the words you want to write, and really clear, so you can review your words easily. Being a beta there are a couple of funnies – for example "Insert Link" and "Align Left" seem to share the same keyboard shortcut as described in the menu (actually it applies "Insert Link") – but those are trivial things that I’m sure will be fixed in the release version.

Integrated speeling chocker – definitely a requirement for those fast posts!

Things I don’t like

Unless I missed it in my exploration of the configuration, there is no way to post to your blog as draft. For me this is the killer feature-lack that makes it difficult for me to integrate Qumana into my preferred workflow. I can see an argument that says this tool is for creating fast posts, but I’m sure that many people would like the ability to post in draft. If nothing else, this makes it easy to capture thoughts when they happen, for later access and editing from another computer.

There’s another reason that I would want a “post to draft” facility, which is more to do with my specific blog setup – I make use of the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin to create tags on my blog, and this requires access to the online WordPress editing screen. If when you read this post it doesn’t have any tags, that’s because I’ve only just posted it and haven’t time to go into WordPress and add them. In fairness to Qumana, this is not something they could realistically accomodate as a specific requirement because it lies outside the XML-RPC interface to WordPress, however a “Post to Draft” feature would enable it. And of course, they do include an easy shortcut for inserting Technorati tags “the normal way”.

Things I don’t really care about

A key part of the functionality of Qumana is the ability to easily include adverts in your posts through the close integration with Adgenta. As this isn’t something I particularly want to do on my blog (unless the ISP fees go up!) then it isn’t a selling point for me – nor did I test this aspect to see how well it works.

Summary

A nice tool, and if it had the ability to post in draft I would probably use it. If that isn’t a requirement for your own preferred style of blogging, then give it a go!

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Julian Elve
Proactive application of technology to business

My interests include technology, personal knowledge management, social change

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