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Sunday, December 11, 2011

(I) How to Blog with an iPad

So you wanna Blog...

With the recent IOS 5.0 and 5.1 upgrade to my iPad, which broke all my blogging apps (BlogPress, Blogsy and Blogger+), I had to resort to the old fashioned way.. use a browser.  Well I don't like to blog at my desk at home, I rather capture my thoughts over lunch or while watching a show or a football game... "GO PACKERS!".

Since I got my iPad I have been blogging 100% on my iPad, with only a few exceptions where I opened the browser to correct the Blog site or add a file or page, something not easily done from the iPad.  By the way, I use Blogger for my Blog, so no WordPress info here, except many of the manual steps would apply for any Blogger.

When the Apps broke, and I mean can't use them broke, who knows why (IOS 5 upgrade obviously), but I was unable to post a single thing via the iPad, and with BlogPress breaking I had to find a more manual way to Blog and post items.  Using your browser you still have to take your Blog entry and copy it into Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ or use an aggregator link Ping.FM to replicate it quickly.

With the Blog Apps broken, I set out wondering how to do this manually using multiple tools vs. relying on BlogPress like I had up to this point.  Let's first look at what my, and I am sure others requirements are to Blog and post.

1.  Write the Blog of course - All the Apps do this, write it in whatever you want 
2.  Add pictures
3.  Resize pictures so you get a consistant size in your posts
4.  Add links
5.  Text formatting
6.  Some sort of upload to a picture repository like Flickr or Picasa
7.  Post to Facebook
8.  Post to one or more Twitter feeds
9.  Post to LinkedIn
10.  Post to website
11.  Post to Google+

Simple right?  Apparently not...  Up until the last month when I updated my iPad to IOS 5.1, BlogPress did it all, well most of the above anyway.  By far BlogPress is the best Blogging App available, but alas, since it is dead I cannot use it anymore...  So how was it done before BlogPress ?

Via the Browser and the middle of the road iPad blogging Apps I guess.  The only App that works now is Blogsy.  Blogger+ was updated in the last couple days, but it is so limited you might as well use the Browser to create your Blog entry.
So what is the process to Blog and publish manually ?

Well first you need pictures...  Every Blog post needs a picture to help grab the eye and attention of the reader.  On the iPad you just search Google Images and take a snapshot (press both buttons) to add the screen to your Saved Photos Library.  Next, you use a killer app called 'PhotoPad' to crop and resize your photo and then save it.  I use a 100 pixel width for my blog pics and I do not size them in PhotoPad, I do it in the Blogging App, BlogPress or Blogsy.

Second, you need to upload the pictures to your Cloud based repository like Flickr and/or Picasa.  Now this is where BlogPress shines... It does it as a part of posting your blog.  Blogsy does not and you have to upload them before writing your blog entry.  For uploading cropped and rotated pictures to Picasa and Flickr I use Web Albums for Picasa and FlickStackr for Flickr.  Both of these Apps manage your Cloud Photos really nicely for viewing or uploading.  Once you do this you can delete the pics from your Saved Photos library and keep your iPad memory freed up.

Third, you need to save your URL's and links that you will reference in a Blog entry so you can just cut and paste them into your Blog Post.  All I do when I read something worth saving on the InterWebbings or in RSS is send them to one of my email addresses with a subject.  Now when I want to Blog I have the link to copy and paste.. easy.  The email also acts as a ToDo list for Blogging.

Forth, write your Blog Entry.  I am currently using Blogsy and it is the 2nd best App for Blogging since it does NOT post to facebook and Twitter like BlogPress used to do or does Blogsy upload pics to Picasa like BlogPress did as part of posting.  Hurry up #BlogPress and update your App for IOS 5... PLEEEEAAASSEE !!!!  Blogsy does have some nice formatting tools to color your text and format it.  I am not a fan of Drag and Drop pictures from your Picasa or Flickr accounts as I can't get them quite where I want them and often it kills links I have at the end, an odd bug...  But it is what this entry was made with.
Fifth, it is time to post....  I publish the blog entry and while I am there I select and copy the title for posting to the other sites...

Sixth, Send to the other sites...  I use Seesmic on the iPad which has a profile for my Ping.FM account that allows me to post to my website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn with one post...  I paste the title that I copied in Step 5 and then I open Safari, go to my Blog and copy the URL to the specific post, and paste it into the URL shortener (OW.LY website) and then paste it into Seesmic for the Ping.FM profile to send out since you are still limited have the 140 character limit Twitter imposes you want to use short URL's.  Before I hit send, I Select All and copy it for Step 7.

Seventh, Post on Google+...  I open the Google+ App on my iPad (iPhone App really 2x) and paste the entry from Step 6 and send...

Now I have made my Blog entry....

Simple huh?

Come on BlogPress....   Update your App.  I would only need to post to LinkedIn and Google+ when I use BlogPress and skip the Sessmic step since Google has yet to allow API posting to Google+ via apps like Ping.FM.

Tips and Tricks?  Send me an email... you know how...