Friday, January 28, 2011

I’ll let you in on a secret – I Cheat! (Challenge #6)

The most recent blogging challenge asked us to embed some media (e.g a video, a prezi, voki, voicethread) into our blog. Now, I’m pretty confident with my media embedding skills, and I have even gone so far as to develop a rudimentary understanding of the HTML code which underpins my blog posts.

I’m not some incredible blogger, able to create amazing media-rich posts out of thin air. I have a little secret ... I cheat …


For all my fellow Windows users out there – while we may moan and complain about Microsoft, Windows Live Writer 2011™ is a powerful, and FREE blogging tool (unfortunately, only available to Windows users). I started using this software about 6 months ago, and I’ve never looked back.

The Secret to Creating Media Rich Blog Posts

Windows Live Writer 2011™ is my secret weapon when it comes to embedding media into A Relief Teacher’s Journey posts. It supports most blogging platforms, including Blogger™, Wordpress™, and Windows Live™ spaces; and it’s simple to set up, intuitive, and very easy to use.


Embedding media, such as images, pictures, maps, and videos, into your blog is a breeze with Windows Live Writer – simply use the ribbon menu ...


To embed HTML code for Voicethread, Animoto videos, etc you simply copy and paste the code into the Source code view at the bottom of the main page.


For More Information

I was going to create a video tutorial to explain how I use Windows Live Writer™, but I had the bright idea of tapping into YouTube™, and came up with this excellent instructional video. While it is based on the older 2008 version, it’s well worth a look.

I also highly recommend the Make Tech Easier™ Guide to Windows Live Writer 2011.

You can Download Windows Live Writer 2011™ here


  1. It's great to find another useful tool! Thank you for sharing - does Windows Live Writer 2011 work with Office 2003 products or does it matter?

  2. Michael
    I don't think that's cheating! I think that's a great tool. I am going to come back after Monday and download it. On Monday my school computer is being updated to Windows 7 so will wait till after all thats done. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Hi Theresa and Kathryn.

    Windows Live Writer works independently of Microsoft Office; however, it only runs on the Windows OS. Sorry to all the Mac users out there.

    I've certainly found it to be a huge improvement on the basic blog creator on Blogger. I've never used Wordpress (edublogs), so I'm afraid I can't compare.

  4. Hi Michael,

    Great informative post. I just switched to Mac at home and still feeling my way around. I use Windows at work though so will definitely have a look at this tool. Word to Sharepoint has a similar setup so will be interesting to compare.

    btw, I don't call it cheating. When I worked as a programmer, we called it "saving time". It's also been called sharing and "standing on the shoulders of giants".

    Thanks for sharing your secret.

    My post for challenge 6 shows how far I’ve come and how much further I’ve really got to go.

  5. Thank you for posting this. While I use a Mac at home, we have Windows at school. This an especially great tool for those who are just starting in and want a WYSIWIG to take care of details such as pictures or embeds.

    There is a fine line between "cheating" and "working smart." I log you in as "working smart" in my book.

  6. Windows Live Writer is a fantastic offline blogging tool with a WYSIWYG editor. It interfaces with just about any blog service [Blogger, LiveJournal, TypePad, WordPress, etc.] If you're a blogger you'll find this tool incredibly helpful- and it's refreshingly free from Microsoft.

    Expanding the functions of Windows Live Writer is easy with the use of plug-ins; here's a link to the main Windows Live Writer gallery...


    And Windows Live Writer is far from cheating; but it is really smart to use it.

    Happy blogging!
    Until next time,
    Larry Henry Jr.

  7. Well, this post seems to have attracted far more attention than I'd anticipated. Thankyou for all the comments.

    I must admit I had to Google "WYSIWYG" - & discovered it the a computing term for "what you see is what you get".

    Thanks for the comments about "working smart" - I agree that it is better to "work smart, not hard", and am glad to know I'm not "cheating"!

    A particular thankyou goes to Larry Henry Jr for his reference to the plugins page for WLW. I've used this extensively, but couldn't remember the link.

    It's well worth a look, and I highly recommend the Tweetmeme and Twitter Notify plugins for sharing blog posts on Twitter. There is a Creative Commons plugin there as well, but it doesn't work in Blogger.