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Moblogging

MObile weB LOGGING - how to post your thoughts, news and images to the Internet in seconds from your Nokia Communicator (or S60 smartphone or Psion palmtop).


Blogging is a great way to both share your thoughts and post your news to the Internet at large, perhaps to friends, family or even complete strangers, without having the hassle of making up HTML pages and messing around with FTP to upload them to a web site.

And now, in 2006, you can even post your photos and videos as well (bandwidth permitting). But how much will it cost, how do you actually get started, and what do you have to do to make a new post to your blog from your Communicator (or S60 smartphone or connected palmtop)?


How much does it cost?

Absolutely nothing. It's true that there are paid-for blogging hosts (e.g. TypePad), but it's equally easy to use one of the free services, such as the Google-owned Blogger.

For photo-focussed blogging (photo-blogging), perhaps use the free UK service Moblog.co.uk.

How do I get started?

You'll need to use your desktop computer to set up your free account with either of the two services above, setting the look and feel of your blog. For Blogger, once set up, you'll need to go into your blog 'Settings | Email' and set up a 'Mail-to-Blogger' email address that can be used to post your blog entries to. This will be of the form yourname.yoursecretcode@blogger.com. For Moblog.co.uk, the address to email to is simply mb-username-password@moblg.net.

Whichever service you go for (depending on whether you mainly want to post text or images), set up the posting email address in your Contacts, so that you don't have to remember it or type it each time you post anything.

Making a new blog post

The huge, massive advantage of using blog hosts that accept posts by email is that you can send them easily from your mobile device, without having to struggle with Javascript-heavy posting web forms.

Choosing your blog host as recipient

Blogger: Essentially, you pick the blog email address from your Contacts as the recipient and then write an email as normal. The subject of the email becomes the title of the blog post and the body text forms the main part of the post.

Composing a Blogger post in Messaging

Moblog.co.uk: Because photo blogging is driven by the images you take, you'll usually start a new post from within Images on your Communicator (Gallery, on S60 devices). Just pick the one you want and use 'Send via email', choosing the 'Recipient' from your Contacts store and filling in the subject and body text as above.
(If bandwidth is a problem and you want to keep your GPRS bill down, you could always resize or crop the image. On the Communicator, use 'Save as', using lower JPG compression, and then sending the new image instead. On S60 smartphones, use the shareware PhotoFix first, perhaps downsampling your megapixel image to a 640x480 pixel version with higher compression and saving with a new filename, perfect for emailing in to your photo-blog.)

Photo blogging by email

The blog email can go off with your usual 'Send/retrieve email' cycle, or you can send immediately by switching to your Outbox and using 'Send now'. Within a few minutes, your wit, wisdom and photographic artistry will be up on the Internet for everyone to wonder at!

Starting to blog

Examples

AAS's Ewan has a good text blog. And I've started a photo blog.

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