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WordPress For Android App Is Way Better Than The BlackBerry App But Missing 1 Important Feature

June 14, 2011 1 comment

I love that I can write blog posts from my devices – Android or BlackBerry. It makes life so much easier when you are on the go as much as I am that I can write a blog post from virtually anywhere so long as I have cell phone service. I can even write a post where I do not have cell phone service and then post it once I get into an area where the cellular network reaches – as long as I load the post up in my app before I go into an out of service area (usually underground on the subway).

When I started writing here for the PostADay Challenge I was using the WordPress for BlackBerry app – which is available in BlackBerry App World here and WordPress has a blog about their BlackBerry app here – and for the most part it was sufficient to accomplish my needs in terms of actually being able to publish posts. The BlackBerry apps has its quirks to be sure but it works and it gets the job done and to me – especially within the confines of this challenge – that is all that matters.

One huge aspect which I loved about blogging from my BlackBerry, or writing long items in general, was the keyboard. Still nothing I have found beats that physical keyboard that BlackBerry puts on their devices. Maybe this is indicative of me becoming an old fogey, set in his ways but I think it is a personal preference thing. Maybe I should interview some kids and ask them but I don’t think we have a sampling old enough yet to really give an opinion…maybe in a couple of years.

Moving right along, about a month ago I started testing an HTC Incredible S from Bell for another blog I write for and that phone uses the Android OS. Naturally, one of the first things I did was look in the Android Market to find the WordPress app here and I have also found and WordPress for Android blog here. I found this app to be MUCH more user friendly than its BlackBerry counterpart. You could do more with it, publish easier and the whole thing just seemed to work better. One huge thing was that the way it interpreted the menu structure when searching for media actually made sense vs the BlackBerry app where finding an image is darn near impossible. Also, as I mentioned above, typing on a non-physical keyboard just doesn’t compare to typing on my good old BlackBerry keyboard – but then again, maybe I will get used to it sometime soon, although my friend never did with his iPhone.

There is one thing that seems to be missing from both of these apps and I think it something that is somewhat important – URL customization. This is important for the purposes of driving traffic to your blog via SEO (Search Engine Optimization). What does that mean? Why did I suddenly start speaking gibberish? Why does a blogger care? I will explain:

If you look at the title of this post it is “WordPress For Android App Is Way Better Than The BlackBerry App But Missing 1 Important Feature“. If I were to let WordPress make up its own URL for my blog post – as I am required to do when I post from either of my phones – the blog url would read https://levynewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/WordPress-For-Android-App-Is-Way-Better-Than-The-BlackBerry-App-But-Missing-1-Important-Feature not https://levynewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2011/06/14/wordpress-app-seo. So what’s the difference between the two? Well, a friend of mine who is an SEO specialist once explained to me that if you set you URLs to the latter then it will rank higher in Google because now when someone searches for: WordPress app SEO my post is more likely to come up because Google reads the URL to help decide what results to show you.

OK, so what does this mean? It means that my post titles are either going to have to be insanely boring and not as descriptive as I would prefer them to be when I compose/post from the road OR I am forced to just hope that random people find my blog anyway even though the posts are not optimized for search engines OR I have to set up a post before going out, manually set up the URL before I leave and then write it from the road. This isn’t to say I do not do that already – especially when it comes to inserting pictures in my post because doing that from WordPress apps is a massive pain (although it is possible) – but I think the whole app should be more user friendly and helpful to bloggers in this regard. Maybe there is a specific reason why WordPress doesn’t allow for it to happen from an engineering/programming standpoint but I do not know of such things. I am just a simple, humble, geeky bloggger.

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Dear RIM: What Is Up With Your Photo File Structure On BlackBerry?

March 18, 2011 2 comments

My pictures from my BlackBerry in a folder on my Windows 7 PC. Notice how the dates of the pictures (based on the naming of the files) are completely out of order.

I am a BlackBerry user. I love my BlackBerry Torch which I won during TIFF from the good folks at RIM but one of the things that most annoys me about BlackBerry’s OS – and this has been every variation I have used of the OS, OS, 4.6, 5.0, and now BlackBerry 6 – is the way that the BlackBerry names and organizes the photos. It even affects the pictures once they’re on your computer! Check out the picture to the right and you will see what I mean on this. See how the dates of the pictures are completely out of order? It is because the BlackBerry names pictures based on some seemingly arbitrary picture number – also attaching the name of the city where it was taken in front of image number if a GPS lock was available when the picture was taken – BEFORE the date of the picture? This obviously isn’t such a huge problem on a full computer where it is easy to choose how you arrange your photos but on a BlackBerry itself it can be a huge problem when you aren’t in the “Pictures” app.

If you have ever tried to compose an email or blog post on your BlackBerry and then click on the “Attach A File” or “Attach Media” option you know what I’m talking about. If not check out the picture I have attached to the left. I was trying to write the blog post about my first caesar and I was doing it from my BlackBerry. While it is one hell of a device for actually typing out the text, having an unrivaled physical QWERTY keyboard for a cellular device, the media options are terrible. Essentially, the only way to add a picture to a blog post or email would be to go to the pictures app on your BlackBerry and select a picture then click the “Send to WordPress” or “Send via Email” option. So why don’t I do this? Well…what happens when you want to attach more than one picture to an email or blog post? You have to then use the photo browser to I pictured. Look how disorganized it is…the organization of the list makes no rational sense that I can fathom. starting from the top of that list (this wasn’t the very top just the part where I took the screen capture) we have a picture taken in Toronto in on January 30. 200; then comes a picture from February 3, 2011; a picture from February 20, 2011; 2 pictures from March 13, 2011; then finally the cut off one from February 24, 2011.

WHAT.

THE.

HECK?!?!?!?!

RIM, I do not and cannot understand how you set up this file system. This is something I really, really hope you fix soon. I don’t know how it has gone on this long and no one has said anything about it to you. I don’t know how no one in your company has noticed this yet. Every Blogger I have ever spoken to about it who uses a BlackBerry talks about how crappy the system is. The issue is such a huge FAIL for any device in the modern age it has to be taken care of immediately. There isn’t even a search option for adding media files on the BlackBerry you have to manually go through the entire list to find anything and attach it to a blog post – if there was I could at least forgive RIM the organization of the files.

My Free Saturday Night At PodCamp Toronto 2011 #PCTO2011

February 26, 2011 2 comments

I kan haz drink tickets?

Tonight I finally made it out to a PodCamp Toronto 2011 event in real life (IRL). I came to the PodCamp Toronto Afterparty at the Ryerson University bar The Ram In The Rye and met many of the usual suspects and a lot of new faces too!

I didn’t make it to anything IRL today because it was my grandfather’s 90th birthday on Thursday. Because of that there was a big thing in my Shul (that’s a Yiddish word for Synagogue) as well as my two out of town brothers being in town along with one of my nephews in town. That’s why I had to live stream many of the talks today from home. Tomorrow, however, I will be in attendance IRL.

There has been free drinks all night (drink tickets pictured, ya I have a lot of them, #FirstWorldProblems) and I got free parking on Queen Street East courtesy of Autos.ca which is pretty sweet.

Thanks muchly to Chris @Canadian88 for the blog post title and for telling me where the nearest free parking lot is! So much win tonight!

Gotta go use those drink tickets!!!

Hooray Free Parking Day!

UPDATE: Totally thought this published last night. Damn you WordPress For BlackBerry. It should have published at 11:50pm last night so I am changing the published date to reflect that.

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