I’ve been blogging for almost 12 years now. I’ve got multiple blogs on multiple platforms – and have moved my blogs more often than I care to admit. One of the wonderful things about geneablogging is how quickly those “little stories” we post about our family history grow into substantial story collections. Some years back I started copy/pasting them into different publishing projects to share with my family.
I got a real wake-up call when the Posterous blog platform was shut down. I had our family’s “news center” there along with several other blogs. Try to imagine the scramble to save all that content and then find a suitable new home for those sites. It was almost a year before the news center was fully operational again.
Sure I back up my blogs regularly and even save export copies of them every quarter. That protects me from disaster, but doesn’t make it any easier to organize and repurpose my story collection when I want to build a new family history project. I also want to “future-proof” those stories by saving them in Markdown format.
Today I use Byword [Mac – $11.99, iOS – $5.99] as an offline blog editor. Byword will publish to WordPress, Tumblr, Blogger, Scriptogram and Evernote (requires a $4.99 in-app purchase to add this publishing capability). Byword supports both iCloud and Dropbox for cloud storage and it also makes a nice mobile writing solution for Scrivener. I have multiple writing projects in Scrivener and each syncs to a different Dropbox folder. By creating each new blog post in the appropriate folder, I’m automatically adding it to that Scrivener project. Oh, did I mention that Scrivener imports from and compiles to Markdown files?
Mac users can now take advantage of the Ulysses writing platform app [Mac – $44.99 and iPad – $19.99] to develop their blog-to-book workflows. Ulysses uses a library package (similar to the Photos library) for managing manuscripts, but also supports external files. It doesn’t have a blog publishing capability so I continue to use Byword as my blog editor. Each Byword blog post is saved in a Dropbox folder which is set up in Ulysses as an external folder. Copies of those posts are easily dragged into any Ulysses writing project.
I’m still learning Ulysses, but it’s quickly becoming my writing platform of choice. It’s much easier to use that Scrivener, but while Ulysses does support research notes and attachments within the platform, it isn’t as robust as Scrivener’s. However, having the companion iPad app does a lot to mitigate that shortcoming.
I’m still working in Scrivener to separate the posts I imported via BlogBooker. Once that’s done, I’ll perform a synch to a Dropbox folder and then set it up in Ulysses as an external folder. I will then have access to my entire blog archive for whatever projects I want to create with them.
Life is good.