Cool Tool Alert: ecto
I have been using a little program called ecto for almost as long as I have been blogging--around May, 2004. ecto (yes, properly not capitalized) is a little desktop application (Windows and Mac) that links to a large number of the most popular blogging platforms and allows users to quickly and easily post content.
The program has many very convenient features. For example: the Mac version links directly to your iPhoto library to upload pictures from that source with just very little effort. From within ecto, you can also easily search Amazon.com for specific books which can then appear in your post as a picture of the book cover which can serve as a link to the book review at Amazon.com. (Teachers can use this for summer reading lists, recommended reading, top reads in the media center, etc.)
To make matters even better, the guy who writes the program, Adriaan, is just a really nice guy. He sold Mabry Middle School a very reasonably priced site license for his program because he said he values education. Now, that's just nice!
At any rate, he has been rewriting the program: ecto 3. The new version, rewritten from the ground up I believe, features many improvements and has a nice, new, clean look. For an example of a new feature: you can now save a pdf document in your pdfs folder on the server and save the thumbnail (a tiny picture of the actual pdf document) in your images folder on the server! You now have access to all of your media (audio, photos, and video) for quick and easy posting. You can also easily post straight to your flickr account from ecto 3.
Why would you use ecto? I've always found it to be an easier, faster, more convenient way to post content to my blogs. And it's very inexpensive, less than $20. By the way, I don't get any money for the recommendation. I have just found this to be a very useful, practical tool and highly recommend it. And for those who post to many different blogs, ecto is all but essential as access to posting to any and all of your blogs appears in just one place: ecto. In fact, I literally can't imagine blogging without it.
And yes, all of the blogs that make up drTimTyson.com are powered by ecto!