February 15, 2008

Setting up Word 2007 for Blogging using the MetaWebLog API

In the past I’ve used Blogjet and Windows Live Writer (WLW) as blogging software clients. I prefer using blogging software clients rather than writing an article from scratch as I’m no HTML expert and once they’re setup they are fairly easy to use. They also seem to give you more control and flexibity when it comes to performing advanced functions such as picture manipulation and formatting. If you want to look at potential blogging clients you could make use of then take a look at this review and comparison of 10 different blogging clients.

Microsoft Word 2007 now allows you to use it as a blogging client and I’m looking at using it more frequently as it allows you to do fancy stuff such as tables, clipart, shapes, smartart and charts. For a good comparison of Word 2007’s blogging features with those of Windows Live Writer read this blog entry. Other useful Word 2007 blogging resources and links from Microsoft are:-

I’m also an avid user of Microsoft OneNote 2007 and you can now blog from OneNote using its integration with Word 2007. To blog a OneNote entry all you have to do is right hand click and choose the Blog This option which will then drop the entry directly into Word ready for publishing to your blog.

Word 2007 allows you to blog on the following platforms and services: -

If you don’t use any of the above blogging services then you make use of the Metaweblog or Atom API which is what I’ve had to do since I run both my blogs using ExpressionEngine. When I first started using Blogjet I penned a blog entry on Setting up Blogjet for ExpressionEngine as there are a few tricks involved especially with setting up the ftp connection to upload images. Setting up Microsoft Word 2007 for blogging is also a process of trial and error and I’ve written this entry to outline how I finally managed to setup Word 2007 for use with ExpressionEngine via the MetaWebLog API.  The main steps involved are outlined below, including the setup of picture options which allow the upload of images to your ftp server.

Step 1 - Register a blog account

Open Microsoft Word 2007, click on the Office Button, then choose Publish > Blog

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Publish > Blog

If you haven’t already setup a blog you will be given the option to register a blog account and will need to click on the Register Now button. In the instance where you’ve already registered a blog account Word will go directly to Step 2.

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Register a Blog Account

Step 2 - Manage Your Blog Accounts

Once you have reached the Manage Your Blog Accounts screen select New to setup a new blog.

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Manage Your Blog Accounts

Choose other for your blog provider

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Choose your blog provider

Choose the MetaWebLog API and enter the blog post URL. Within ExpressionEngine the Blog Post URL can be found in the modules section under the MetaWebLog API. You should also specify the username and password used to gain access to your blog.

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Enter New Account Information

Following completion of your new account information and successful communication with your blog (including acceptance of your username and password) the following message should be presented to you: -

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Successful Account Registration

Step 3 - Manage Picture Options

Should you wish to add pictures, tables, clipart, shapes, smartart and charts to your blog entries within Word then you will need to setup the Picture Options in a manner that will allow the files to uploaded to an ftp server. The first step is to click the Picture Options button seen in the New Account screen shot above and then select my own server as illustrated below.

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Picture Options, my own server 

After selecting your own server you will need to specify the details of your Upload URL and Source URL as outlined in the example below (note that certain information has been blanked out for security reasons)

Setup Steps Word 2007 Blogging - Picture Options, source and upload URL

Having completed these steps you will now be ready to publish your blog entries using Word. Note that at the point of publishing pictures you will be asked to specify a username and password for the ftp server.

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January 16, 2008

Richard Byrom Consulting

Last year I left my permanent job and I am now going to be contracting as an Independent Oracle Applications Consultant and Solutions Architect. I’ve formed Richard Byrom consulting and the consulting tab on my site outlines the type of services I intend to provide which can broadly be categorised into the following areas: -

  • Bids and Proposals
  • Business Consulting and Analysis
  • Information Technology (IT) Strategy
  • Solutions Architecting
  • Enterprise Resource Plannning (ERP) Implementations
  • Writing and Presenting

I’m looking forward to this particular venture and am interested to see what its like working as an Independent contractor. I also see it as an opportunity to breath some life back into my blogs. If you’re interested in my services or want to talk to me about potentially working together then please don’t hesitate to contact me.

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May 22, 2007

Take Back Your Life (TBYL) Using Microsoft Outlook

I’m currently reading a really good book entitled Take Back your Life - using Microsoft Outlook to get Organized and Stay Organized by Sally McGhee. Like most people I get a lot of e-mail and I’m looking at ways to manage my time in such a manner that I can get the chance to deal with e-mail effectively. I’m hoping that by using the techniques in this book as well as the ClearContext Information Management System (IMS) I will be able to more productive.

The book synopsis reads as follows:

Take Back your Life using Microsoft Outlook by Sally McGhee

Unrelenting e-mail. Conflicting commitments. Endless interruptions. In Take Back Your Life!, productivity expert Sally McGhee shows you how to take control and reclaim something you thought you’d lost for ever your work-life balance. Now you can benefit from Sallys popular and highly regarded corporate education programs, learning simple but powerful techniques for rebalancing your personal and professional commitments using the productivity features in Microsoft Outlook.

Learn the proven methods that will empower you to:

  • Clear away distractions and loose ends and focus on what’s really important to you and your business. 
  • Take charge of your productivity using techniques and processes designed by McGhee Productivity Solutions and implemented in numerous Fortune 500 companies. 
  • Customize and exploit the productivity features in Microsoft Outlook to help you create balance at home and on the job.

When you change your approach, you can change your results. So learn what thousands of Sallys clients worldwide have discovered about taking control of their everyday productivity and start transforming your own life today!

About the Author

A recognized thought leader and innovator in the field of productivity management. Sally McGhee has trained thousands of people in the corporate environment. She has 25 years’ experience as a consultant and an executive coach, and is the founder and managing partner of McGhee Productivity Solutions 

Book Contents at a Glance:

Part One: Laying the foundation

Chapter One: Change your Approach, Change your Results

Chapter Two: What is Personal Productivity?

Chapter Three: The Three Phases for Creating an Integrated Management System

Part Two: The collecting phase

Chapter Four: Setting up your approved collecting points

Chapter Five: Clearing the mind

Part Three: The Processing and Organizing phase

Chapter Six: Introducing the Planning and Action Categories

Chapter Seven: Processing and Organizing your Task List

Chapter Eight: Setting up your reference system

Chapter Nine: Processing and Organizing your e-mail

Part Four: The Prioritizing and Planning Phase

Chapter Ten: Prioritizing and Planning

The first concept I’ve learnt about is the 4 D’s for decision making, which outline 4 possible options you have when it comes to e-mails as listed below:

  1. Do it
  2. Delete it
  3. Delegate it
  4. Defer it

Will certainly be blogging about the key concepts I come across in the book as I continue to go through it.

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