Tip o’ the Week 479 – Tipping in Public

clip_image002Tip o’ the Week started back in December 2009, and a year later the content started appearing on a public blog, hosted by the TechNet blogs platform. Readers asked if they could share the Tips with their customers outside of Microsoft, so most were published online for any and all to see. At the time, the TechNet and MSDN blogs were hosted on a customised version of an off-the-shelf blog environment.

After some years, the Technet/MSDN blogs moved to WordPress, an open-source blog platform based on PHP and MySQL (the P & M, and mostly, on the L & A in the LAMP stack, that was once seen as antithesis of Microsoft, before Linux Love settled in).

clip_image004Nowadays, with open source and Linux being fully (?) embraced by Microsoft engineering teams, it’s no surprise that a staple offering on Azure, is the WordPress blog platform. You can link a custom domain to your blog, too.

Not all the Tip o’ the Week content moved online, mind. Some Tips were basically internal-only, or were slightly edited from the version sent in the Friday email. By and large, though, the weekly mail content went onto the blog – sometimes delayed by a few weeks.

The time has come the Tip o’ the Week public blog to move – here on www.tipoweek.com.

Running on WordPress, on Azure, obvs. Share widely, as you see fit.

Tip o’ the Week 313 – Live Writer lives!

clip_image002At one point, blogging was changing the world. Politics, household economics, technology; you name it, there was someone writing a blog about it. Blogging was the great democratization of opinion, where anyone could set up a place to spout their own unique form of drivel, and hope that the masses would come.

Of course, most blogs didn’t get that many regular readers, and most couldn’t make any money – so the fad declined somewhat, with only the well-read (and generally well-written) or the persistent loonies sticking around. Tools used are/were largely web-based blog editing and authoring tools.

Even though there are still plenty of proponents out there, some say that the blog is basically dead. Popular content reporting site Technorati ditched their blog ranking report, and many other influential sources have flocked to Twitter/Instagram/Facebook etc as a way of getting noticed.

Blogging software

Windows Live Essentials is/was a package of software that added capabilities to Windows, including a really neat blog post composer called Windows Live Writer. WLW was well received at the time and gathered a legion of fans as it offered offline blog writing capabilities, as well as an easy way of posting images & other content into blog posts, without the aggro of uploading the pics to some staging area and then linking to them.


Development of WLW pretty much ceased after the 2012 release, and after a couple of glitches caused by supported blog services changing the way they authenticate users (which broke the publishing process), the decision was taken to fork the WLW codebase and spin out an open-source variant called Open Live Writer.

There aren’t many visible differences between OLW and WLW yet, apart from the former now supporting Google’s Blogger.com platform. Keep an eye on openlivewriter.org if you’re an active blogger, as the web’s best offline blogging tool looks to be getting a new lease of life.