The Answer to Blogging Friction

Although regular readers are familiar with it, here is a quick review of the history of my blogging work flow. In my old blog on Blogger, I was already using Org-mode but I exported the Org to HTML and pasted it into the Blogger editor. That worked OK except for embedding pictures. That process was sufficiently complicated that I posted a couple of essays explaining how to do it. I couldn't get the code block scrolling to work either so it was a constant effort to juggle line and display size.

A bit later I moved to WordPress and starting using org2blog. I can't tell you how much easier it was. I can still remember the first time I posted a jpeg and was amazed that it just worked. org2blog took care of transferring the jpeg to my hosting site and changing the links in the blog post to reflect the jpeg's new location. It really did make blogging much more frictionless and I haven't looked back.

As I've said many times, I like to read about how other people handle their writing and blogging work flows so of course I had to check out a post entitled Writing For Hypotheses in Org-mode by Michael Piotrowski. He starts out recounting how he didn't really like blogging and put off writing a post he had been thinking of for months because he couldn't face all the overhead. Now, Piotrowski says, he's blogging up a storm and the reason is that he's using org2blog. Like me, he's found that it removes much of the friction involved with blogging.

If you're blogging with WordPress1 and not using org2blog, you really should give it a try. Even if you're not an Emacs user, you should give it a try. I've been blogging everyday for two and a half years and I know I couldn't do it if I had to use something like the WordPress editor.

The point is, for most people writing is hard enough without making it harder by using suboptimal tools. Org, of course, is a go-to tool for most types of writing. Add org2blog and you have the perfect blogging tool.



If you're using Blogger, there's an org2blog for you too. It's not by the same author and is completely unrelated except for the name. I haven't tried it but hear good things about it. If I were still on Blogger I'd almost certainly be using it.

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  • I suppose if you want to edit a previous entry you would have to user WordPress web interface.

    Does org2blog support adding title, tags, and categories, post types and saving drafts?

    • jcs

      When I have a change to a post, I just edit the original Org file and repost it. After the first posting, the Org file has the post-id, date and time in it so everything gets put in the right place even if the update is days later.

      Titles, tags, and categories are specified in the Org file and org2blog automatically takes care of setting them in WordPress. It really is almost completely frictionless.

      org2blog allows you to post either for publication or as a draft. As I said, frictionless.

      • Good, I will give it a try. It is a lot easier to write in plain text in your favorite editor then mess up with a web interface, however good that might be. If I like it, it might solve static-site vs WordPress conundrum in favor of WordPress for me. Thanks.

        • jcs

          If you're interested, here is my org2blog work flow. Lots of people are using Org to blog to static blogs too so you can use either WordPress or a static site.