Essential Tools – Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei StyleBy
Today’s Essential Tools post features a blogging Superwoman of sorts, Dr. Hsien-Hsien Lei (pron. shen-shen). Hsien is a channel editor for b5media, writes at b5 blogs Genetics and Health, A Hearty Life, and Play Library, as well as her personal blog, Cottontimer.
The following are Hsien’s essential tools for managing four blogs at once:
- Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird – A web browser and email client are often taken for granted so Hsien wants to give props to Mozilla for creating a kickass browser and email client. While many people use Firefox already – fewer use Thunderbird, preferring to use Gmail instead. Hsien has found that she still likes the traditional ways of sorting mail and there are threaded functions within Thunderbird that simulate the “conversation” type of organization of Gmail. She was also burned once because Gmail went down for almost a day and was unable to retrieve any emails. She figured getting email straight from the source with an email client was the safest solution, especially since they’d all be downloaded onto her computer as well instead of being locked up under Google control. (I am totally with you on this one Hsien!) Did you also know you can select a Firefox theme? Hsien uses the Red Cats (green flavor) Firefox theme.
- BlogDesk – Hsien switched from Performancing (now Scribefire) for Firefox a few months ago after much promotion from b5media Project Manager Christina Jones and it’s the classic case of why didn’t she do it sooner?! Blogdesk provides an excellent WYSIWYG interface that can be switched to source view if desired. More importantly, Blogdesk makes it super easy to edit photos, insert them into posts, and upload them together. For people who write more than one blog and for those who are blogging professionally, BlogDesk is a MUST.
- Flickr and the Amazon plugin for WordPress – Hsien primarily uses these two sources for images on her blogs. She often post pictures she takes herself but if she doesn’t have anything suitable, she looks to see if Amazon has a product image that would illustrate the point or goes to Flickr images that are marked creative commons.
- Skype – Because all her work is done online, it’s imperative that she has a reliable way of contacting people either via voice or IM. Hsien chose Skype because b5media relies on it a great deal and she uses it for its cheap calling charges. Best of all, Skype has the most adorable emoticons! Here’s a list of all of them including the secret ones. (Ooh, thanks Hsien – didn’t know about those)
- Google Desktop – There are loads of fun widgets available for for Google Desktop but the two Hsien uses most frequently are the calendar and the to-do list.
How many blogs do you manage and what are your tips for keeping it all straight?
Previously featured: Daivid Airey (Creative Design), Wendy Piersall (eMomsAtHome), Randa Clay, Ingo Scheusse (stixster), Jason Kaneshiro (Webomatica), Ben Yoskovitz (Instigator Blog), Phil Gerbyshak (Make It Great), Jason Alba (Jibber Jobber), Tony Clark (Success from the Nest), Gayla McCord (MomGadget), Mike Sansone (Converstations), Jennifer Hadorn (Bloggertunity), Robyn Tippins (Practical Blogging), Liz Strauss (Successful Blog) – you could be next – just drop me a line at charlene [at] keystrokes [dot] net!