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WordPress Moblog

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August 15th, 2007
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Cool Scripts, Photolog Script, WordPress Hack

I recently bought myself a Treo 755p with an unlimited data plan and had the itch again to resurrect my moblog. Since I had hacked up scripts in the past to be able to directly moblog to WordPress from SprintPCS phones, I thought about recurrecting them again. However, I also had purchased a Flickr Pro account a couple of months ago and I figured that I would look into Flickr before I went any further. Sure enough, Flickr had something in place already, though the instructions were a little scattered and hard to find.

So here is what I used:

  • Flickr account
  • Latest WordPress code on a blog that is setup already
  • Camera phone with data plan (Sprint in my case)

Steps to setup your moblog:

  • Visit your Flickr account, log in. Sign up for a free account if you do not have one.
  • Visit http://www.flickr.com/blogs.gne and setup your blog. You will need your admin username and password and the URI of your blog. Choose WordPress as blog type is that is what you are using. Flickr should find the MetaWeblog API for your blog.
  • Visit http://www.flickr.com/account/uploadbyemail/ and verify that your account is setup to accept photos via email
  • At the bottom right hand corner of the page, look for the “Upload to Blog?” column and activate that service. This will give you a final email address
  • Visit http://www.flickr.com/account/uploadbyemail/blog/ and setup the actual post preferences for your blog through Flickr
  • Setup a contact on your phone with the last email you get and email all your photos, one at a time, to that email. The subject of your email is the title of your picture and the text of the email is appended to the post.
  • Post away. Flickr recognizes the email, sender and type of message and parses everything to make life a lot easier.

Caveats:

  • No caching of pictures. Photos are stored on Flickr and hotlinked on your blog. That might be a good or bad thing depending on your purpose.
  • Posts are published on your blog and Flickr when you send the email. Donncha (pronounced donn-ah-ka, thanks Andy) has a Flickr Blog this to Draft solution that is pretty cool. Check out InPhotos if you have not already.
  • No categories support. Tags might work but I have not figured that out yet.
  • Cannot email multiple pictures. Flickr just sees the first one.
  • Videos cannot be posted.

I might write a plugin that allows videos to be embedded automagically into WordPress and even come up with a caching mechanism to archive photos directly on the blog. In spite of the fact that there are many existing plugins that use Flickr functionality in WordPress, I find the above method to be much more elegant as a moblogging solution.

This is the link to my moblog. The wonderful thing about a moblog is that it is quite candid and the photos are worthy of being saved. The situations and the memories are absolutely delightful to browse through in the future. If you have a moblog or have come up with a different solution, please leave a link and a comment for others to enjoy.

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Comments

  1. BillSaysThis (5 comments.) says:

    Tags are supported, see the FAQ page.

  2. shoemoney (2 comments.) says:

    Nice dude just picked up a 755 myself. I thought about writing a quick simple form to post from my phone but this might be the win ;)

  3. Jonathan (83 comments.) says:

    I have one too! Recently started using it. Switched over from my 650 to my 755p, I’m pretty happy with it so far. The battery life seems to be REALLY short still, so I need to figure out a couple tweaks to make it last longer.

    any tips?

  4. Mark Ghosh (386 comments.) says:

    Jonathan, juice on my phone is good till the last drop. I run it all day and since it is new, I do play with it a lot. I suggest turning off bluetooth when you don’t need it, a USB charger for work and an extended batter/cover if you really run out. I love my Slingbox client on the phone and use the hell out of my hacked GMail client.

  5. Donncha O Caoimh (8 comments.) says:

    Thanks for the link and recommendation Mark! Glad you like the plugin too. Ever since Flickr changed their filename structure to hide the original image I’ve had to rely on my plugin even more so I don’t post a “This photo is unavailable” image.

  6. Jon (2 comments.) says:

    I’ve been using Dr. Dave’s wp-keitai-mail for several years to power my moblog postings. It works well and can be entirely self-hosted – eliminating the dependancy on a 3rd party like Flickr.

  7. nanio (3 comments.) says:

    I came to basically the same solution at our moblog but extended it a bit for videos by using blip.tv. You can get a free account there, then go to publishing->mobile upload to set up a similar email address to the flickr2blog one. We don’t use this much since the videos straight from the phone usually look like crap, but it works.



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