Why MarsEdit Makes Sense for Operation Gadget

It took me about half a day to convince myself that MarsEdit is a must have for blogging on Operation Gadget. Here's why.

Operation Gadget talks a lot about electronic gadgets, computers, and software. I often provide links to these products that point to a place where you can buy them, such as Amazon.com. Links like this tend to make the blog a few dollars which pays for hosting and what not.

Building these links takes time. In the half day since I downloaded MarsEdit, I figured out how to adapt an AppleScript that came with MarsEdit to lookup on Amazon.com the selected text in a post I'm writing. I select the text of a product name in the post I'm writing, invoke the AppleScript, and quickly find a page referring to that product on Amazon.

From there I find the Amazon Standard Identifier (ASIN) which is the way to uniquely identify a product in the Amazon catalog. The ASIN is always in the URL of the product's page on Amazon.com. Once I have the ASIN, I can build a link using a MarsEdit markup macro that I wrote for myself.

I haven't had a chance yet to benchmark the actual time difference between writing an Operation Gadget post in the Movable Type web interface and locally on my Mac in MarsEdit, but I'm guessing that I cut my editing time down by two minutes per story using the AppleScript and the macro that I described above. That's well worth the $29.95 licensing cost of MarsEdit, so I'll be paying for my license this weekend.

I can see other opportunities to develop AppleScripts and MarsEdit macros for similar productivity improvements on the RinkAtlas Blog. I'm sure I'll think of other uses for this technology as well.

I highly recommend MarsEdit to anyone who links their blog posts to reference information on other websites. I think you'll find it measurably increases your productivity.