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Posts Tagged ‘WordPress’

WordPress App Tip: The Difference Between “Phone Draft” & “Draft”

August 30, 2011 5 comments

This is something I learned myself when I started blogging regularly and used my phone to blog when I was out and about – like tonight.

There are two options for saving a draft in the WordPress app for BlackBerry or Android and I’m pretty sure any other version of the app. There’s “Phone Draft” (as seen below) and “Draft” (as seen in the second picture).

You may be wondering what the heck is the difference between these two. Read more…

Blogging From Your Phone With WordPress Apps

August 28, 2011 1 comment

wordpress for blackberry writing screen torch 9800 phone draft

The above is what the screen on my BlackBerry Torch 9800’s WordPress app looks like. Pretty basic interface right?

What my way of doing thing with this basic app is that I will often start the post with a title and pictures and tags and then, usually on the subway, I will load up the post that doesn’t have words and fill in my thoughts.

That’s my tip for all you bloggers using the WordPress apps be it BlackBerry, Android, or iOS. The apps themselves aren’t great especially for embedding pictures and posting around them. The apps also do a bad job of setting up your title for SEO purposes and using the full version to do a quick setup makes things end up looking so much nicer.

WordPress, Blogging, & Archiving – BlogBooker FTW!

June 27, 2011 Leave a comment

I have mentioned before how I temporarily lost a post I wrote for another, now defunct, blog and then found it in a random file on my computer so I was able to re-post it here. It was when that happened that I realized the importance of archiving my work that I post on this blog and any other blog on my computer or on some form of removable media. Not that I don’t love The Cloud, I do. In fact, my personal Microsoft Word has the Google Docs plugin installed which syncs all my Word documents to my Google Docs account.

So you can be sure that before I hit the “Publish” button on this post I am going to be saving it in Word as a separate document for future reference. In fact, I have decided to move the bulk of my blog writing to Microsoft Word and then copy/pasting the words in to a “New Blog Post” in WordPress. It is then fairly simple to add in all the pictures and go from there.

But what about all the posts I (or you) have already done? Can you get those off of your WordPress account easily and with no hassle? If you google “wordpress export” you will be given as the first hit the WordPress tutorial on how to export your blog. Seems simple right? The problem with the Export tool that WordPress provides is that it assumes that you are going to be using the exported data as part of a new blog. As such, it only spits out an XML file of ALL of your blog’s content. Useless to someone who wants to be able to show all the writing they have done or be able to recover a post later if it gets deleted for one reason or another.

Of course there is the option of manually going through each and every post you have ever written, highlighting all the text, copying it, and pasting it into individual Word documents (or whatever word processing program you use). That is quite the arduous task so I figured there HAD TO BE a better way. Thankfully, I know the awesome tweeps Laura aka @lmmandell and her husband Sam aka @SamTitle. I was randomly speaking about this quandary of mine with Laura when she mentioned that Sam had faced a similar issue a little while back and she remembered he had found a way to resolve it. I got in touch with Sam via the interwebs and he pointed me to an amazing website called BlogBooker at http://www.blogbooker.com/. The best part about this site? It is completely FREE! (Although they always appreciate donations!)

Crowdsourcing FOR THE WIN!

What BlogBooker does is it takes the content from a WordPress, Blogger, or LiveJournal blog and turns it into a “PDF Blog Book”. Originally, what I wanted was each of my posts to be individual Word documents but this works just as well in my honest opinion and I can always separate them into individual files later quite easily. For my WordPress blog all that BlogBooker required me to do was download the aformentioned XML file (a whopping 2.46 MB) from WordPress and upload it into BlogBooker. Once that finished, BlogBooker started processing it and within a few short minutes it spat out an 18.6 MB PDF file for my saving pleasure. Fantastic!

The file comes complete with a Table of Contents which is clickable to jump to each post.

It makes each year’s worth of posts into a chapter and each month’s worth of posts into a sub-chapter. Because it is a PDF you also have the option of – if using Adobe Reader – jumping easily between posts with the lists in the sidebar. Truly amazing if I do say so myself.

If you are a blogger and are reading this and realizing that you too never backed anything up from your blog and feel that now might be a good time to start I highly recommend checking out BlogBooker. This blog’s BlogBooker blog turned out to be a whopping 503 pages (even I am amazed by that) and I could only imagine the horror that I would have felt if I ever lost all of that hard work writing. I feel like a broken record here but I really cannot stress enough how much I endorse checking this site out and backing up your blog to a BlogBooker PDF file.

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.

Social Media & The Shrinking World

June 13, 2011 2 comments

You may remember that I mentioned in my March 28, 2011 post “Review: The Thank You Economy By @GaryVee & An Open Letter To Gary“. In the open letter portion of the post I began by saying:

Really enjoyed your book as it goes in-depth with a concept I have been espousing for quite a while. In fact, I even wrote a blog post about it – although, as I said, not near as in-depth as your book. However, I think the over-arching idea remains the same and that is of the changing nature of the market (due to social media) back to what it was before the 20th Century. I wrote the post long before your book came out and, honestly, before I had even heard your name…although probably while you were writing the book.

The blog I mentioned was taken down and I thought I had lost the post but I didn’t! I found a copy of it on my computer and as such have posted a copy of it below. I have included screen shots of the Properties for the file which is really the best I can do to prove that I wrote the document well before Gary Vaynerchuk‘s book “The Thank You Economy” came out.

The post below has been posted directly from the Word document I had saved on my computer. I have made a few minor edits to it to be honest but I have not inserted any new ideas just changed a few words around to make it flow better. Remember when I mentioned tips for writing and editing? Well, this post was originally written in September so I’ve had 9 months to ‘forget’ what I wrote and now I am re-reading it with ‘fresh’ eyes.

Now back to your originally scheduled post! !!

Social Media & The Shrinking World

Ever since the advent of social media we have made a shift back to the old days of marketing. Read more…

Writing & Editing: A Little Time Makes A Big Difference

June 4, 2011 1 comment

Writing regular posts to this blog in the Post A Day Challenge has driven home a lesson that I learned in an OAC (Grade 13) Canadian History class a long time ago during the summer of 1998 at Earl Haig High School in North York, Toronto:

The more time you leave after you write something the better you will be able to edit it. Try to leave at least 24 hours after writing a paper before you go to review/edit it and then hand it in. If you can leave longer that is even better.

God, I wish I could remember the name of the teacher who taught us that.

That lesson has been one of the lessons that has really stuck with me over the years being the kind of person who almost always wrote his papers and essays at the last minute in school. My educational career’s essay writing experiences and attitude could be summed up in a quote from one of my high school friends:

The best minute is the last one.

I would tell you who it was but I don’t know if wants to be quoted on that and he is a twin so I don’t 100% remember which one of them said it – although I am somewhat sure I know which, but I digress. Read more…

Yesterday’s “Audio Post” AKA A “Post By Voice” – My Thoughts And I Want To Know Yours!

April 17, 2011 2 comments

Yesterday’s post as part of the Post-A-Day 2011 Challenge was a new type of post for me – and I assume for many of you who read this space every day.

I tried an Audio Post (what it posted as) which is also known as a “Post By Voice” and as you probably heard it was completely unscripted. It was live from the Foursquare Day 2011 Toronto event at the Firkin On King (well, technically outside of it in the lane way patio to the east) and it went well considering.

My Thoughts On It:

Pros

  • Came out extremely well.
  • I think it was a nice change in the way I blog every day.
  • The system is ridiculously easy to use. I just dialed in, dialed a code and I was off to the races with the post just talking into my phone (and getting some other people to talk as well).
  • Getting people to say hi on my blog is sort of like having guest bloggers! Good work by Courtney @CourtSweet Sweet, Jorge @RosalesJ Rosales, and Sacha @SachaSayan Sayan my “guest bloggers”
  • My energy was GREAT (I think so at least).

Cons

  • I wish WordPress gave me the option to choose to save it as a draft so that when I finished the post it didn’t just post with the bland name “Audio Post” and no tags or anything. I also would have liked to add pictures & some text before it posted but now – aside from adding a few “Post Tags” – I am letting the post stand as is.
  • It came out remarkably clear and except for a slight breakup of the audio at one point (alas it was when I said the name of Toronto’s mayor, Rob Ford) it was a near perfect audio via my BlackBerry Torch on Fido.
  • It is a long distance call for Canadians, it is a good thing I have long distance minutes to the USA as part of my plan but WordPress should look into 1-800 number for at least North America.
Things I Should Think About For Next Time:
  • Definitely have some sort of script or notes before starting the whole post because I think I could have done a MUCH better job on the whole thing if I had something in front of me.
  • The above goes double for when you have been partying all night – and have consumed any alcohol – both things which I did do that evening.
  • Walk through said notes a couple of times beforehand so I can cut out all those “‘uuuhs’ and ‘ummms'”.
I also would love to hear your thoughts on that audio post!
  • What’d you think?
  • Did you like it & should I do it again?
  • Assuming you liked it should I make it a weekly or monthly thing?
  • Was it enough of a post for the day to stand on its own or did it need to be supplemented with a post that included text?
  • Any other thoughts on it at all would be very much appreciated.
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