So, it turns out you can use Google Docs to write and post to your blog. And it’s pretty dang easy! Now, I did run into some limitations (as I mention below) but this is a great way to publish Google Docs information to your blog.
To test it, this post was done completely from Google Docs.
How to Set It Up
Just fire up a Google Doc and type some stuff up.
When you’re ready to publish, go to the “Share” button in the upper right area of the screen and select “Publish as web page…”.
The screen that pops up lets you share your document with other Google Docs users (the upper half) and also lets you publish to a blog (the lower half).
If you’re using Wordpress, the API for Blogger.com and Movable Type API both work fine. Although Google says the Movable Type API will work better, so use that.
Then just enter the login information for your blog and the path to your xmlrpc.php file. That is usually just http://www.myblog.com/xmlrpc.php
Google will remember the settings, so the next document you create can easily be published to your blog too. No clue how well this would work if you were trying to manage multiple blogs with Google Docs.
Things That Worked Well:
Updating: Once you have published your post, if you want to push out the latest changes from the Doc to your blog, you have to go back and click “Republish Post” on the “Publish this Document” screen. The process worked smooth.
Formatting: Different formatting like bold, italics, underline, colors, links, tables and images all work. (How images work is explained more below.)
Glitches and Weird Stuff:
So I ran into a couple things while playing with this:
Images: The Google Docs image you see at the top of this post was inserted into the my Google Doc. Publishing the post just created a link to that image on Google Docs. So the image isn’t actually hosted on my blog. So what happens after you delete your doc? I tested it, the image link was still good. Wonder if it will always work…
Categorizing Posts: An interesting note about categories. I guess Google Docs can automatically add your post to a category too. It does that by using “Tags” (folders?). I couldn’t find where to tag the document and using the same folder as a category name didn’t do anything. So my post ended up as “Uncategorized”. Boo.
Titles: My post didn’t get a title. Which would seem to be a major drawback.
Updating: I wish you could make it auto update your blog when you saved the document.
Extra Formating Code: I checked the code that Google Docs added to this post. No where near as bad as what Word would do, but it had a
around each line. The post initially displayed just fine on my blog. But after going in to add a title and a category, the process of saving the post messed up that formatting. Wordpress is notorious for not liking divs. So I had to go in and clean them all out to make everything display correctly again.
So, kinda a cool feature. If you’re way into Google Docs it might be a nice way to do occasional posts or a quick way to push a document to a blog. But there are just to many things that don’t quite work right and pretty much kill the idea of managing your blog from Google Docs.