As we saw in Chapter 1, most blog systems provide web-based interfaces. Browser text fields, though, are primitive, constrictive, and awkward to use. It's very easy to accidentally delete a post you're working on, and there are no autosave or "Are you sure you want to lose this message?" prompts.
Desktop clients are a more convenient way to blog. A desktop client is an application that runs on your desktop PC and communicates with a blogging system using a protocol called the Blogger API. Many blog systems understand the Blogger API, including Blogger, Radio UserLand, and Movable Type.
The typical desktop client features a text editing window with buttons to add images, mark sections as bold or italic, create headings, etc. Most support two commands: Post, which sends the post to your blogging system but doesn't make it appear on your blog; and Publish, which sends the post and makes it visible on your blog.
This chapter provides a quick survey of six popular blogging applications that make use of the Blogger API. While they do vary in completeness, compliance, and usability, they're all simple to install, configure, and use; you should make use of the same handful of settings and sport a range of features designed to take your blogging experience beyond that cramped browser window and into an environment better suited to writing.