Tag Archives: Typepad

Flickr for Bloggers

Flickr is an awesome and affordable place to build your photo archives and the recently announced 1TB storage limits for free accounts make it even more attractive. But, how good is its blogging support? Let’s take a look.

The easiest way to blog a photo is right from the photo’s page on Flickr. The Share icon at the bottom of each photo will open up the Share menu – displaying your active options and allowing you to include others. Each major blog platform is included along with a number of social networking platforms. The photo gallery below walks you through that process.

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Notice that you can set up multiple blogs within a platform – like the two WordPress blogs shown in the above sharing pane example.

Thanks to the many plugins available for Flickr, self-hosted WordPress bloggers can do even more with their Flickr accounts. For example, the  Media Manager Plus plugin adds access to Flickr, Instagram, 500px and Dribble right from your editor’s Media component, making it easy to find and insert images into your blog posts.

Viewing Flickr photos from within the WordPress Media Manager using the Media Manager Plugin.

Viewing Flickr photos from within the WordPress Media Manager using the Media Manager Plugin.

You can access Flickr photos by user (any user), tag or most recent. Images matching your results appear quickly and can be selected and inserted in your post from this screen. Caution: this plugin doesn’t display copyright information about the images so if you’re using photos from other users in your post, you may want to visit the actual photo page and check this before you publish.

I like that the share option lets me use the photo’s description since the photo page’s editor has more “space” to edit and it allows me to include content on both the photo page and my blog post with minimal effort. Unfortunately, the Flickr widget doesn’t include functionality for including tags and categories so I do have to visit the blog and add those myself.

Even that problem can be solved quite easily by using WordPress’s PressThis bookmarklet. You’ll find it on the Writing page within your blog’s Settings section. Just drag the Press This icon to your browser’s bookmark bar and you’re ready to go. If you have more than one WordPress blog, you’ll need to drag the bookmarklet from each blog site. Fortunately, you can rename the bookmarklet to identify which is which. I use “Press Gazette” and “Press Journal” to differentiate between blogs.

PressThis bookmarklet

A view of the posting pane created by the Press This bookmarklet. Note that it takes a few seconds for the photo images to appear. They come from photos related to the Flickr image displayed in your browser when you clicked the bookmarklet.

As you can see, there’s a lot more functionality available to you from this mini editor.

WordPress isn’t the only blog platform offering a bookmarklet feature. Tumblr is very media friendly and their bookmarklet not only supports media like Flickr photos, you only need one bookmarklet for access to all your Tumblr blogs. TypePad also has a bookmarklet and I’m hoping to see one on Posthaven soon. Here’s a look at the Tumblr bookmarklet in action.

The Tumblr bookmarklet capturing a Flickr photo.

The Tumblr bookmarklet capturing a Flickr photo.

As you can see, there are a number of ways to easily include your Flickr photos in your blog posts. Do a bit of experimenting and see which one works best for you.

Mobile Blogging

Blog Bytes BadgeI’ve talked a lot about the Posterous blog platform where you post your articles by email, but you may already be able to do that with your current blog platform. Blogger, TypePad and WordPress.com offer email posting once you set up a special mailbox for your blogs. Like Posterous, the subject line in the email becomes the post title and the body of the message is the body of the post. All services accept rich text messages with images although they might “adjust” the underlying HTML to suit their posting format.

You can find instructions for posting by mail at the WordPress and Blogger support sites. TypePad has a comprehensive help system but it is behind the user login so I cannot provide a direct link.

As phones – and now tablets – offer more capabilities in the form of apps, you’ll find all kinds of apps to support your blogging. WordPress has built apps for both iOS (iPhone/iPad) and Android devices that has most of the editing and organizing features you find in the online editor. They will also let you work in multiple WordPress blog sites [both hosted and self-managed]. The iPad version of this app is impressive and an easy adjustment from the online editing platform. These are all free apps.

TypePad offers an older mobile app for Palm OS, Windows Mobile 5 and Symbian Series 60 devices. They are free downloads from their site.

In the iOS market, you’ll find apps with blogging features. One good example is Mariner Software’s MacJournal – available for both iPhone [$4.99] and iPad [$5.99]. It posts to all the major blog sites. If you’re already a MacJournal fan using the desktop version, you’ll be right at home with the mobile versions.

If you’d like to browse the apps markets, you’ll find these sites useful:

Note that unlike the iOS market which is totally controlled by Apple, the Android market is wide open. You’ll find many sites in addition to the one listed above offering apps. There are many benefits to this, but also many concerns. Be very cautious when buying/downloading apps from unfamiliar sites. This is true for all desktop and mobile apps – not just Android.

Apple iTunes

Announce your blog posts on Twitter

Blog BytesI’ve talked a lot lately about how Twitter is being used to create interesting reading experiences. The more I see, the more impressed I become and the more I want to insure my blog posts are available to those who are getting their news through Twitter.

TwitterFeed (@twfeed) is a free service which automatically publishes your content to Twitter and Facebook. It doesn’t matter which blog platform you’re using as long as you can generate an RSS feed. It’s easy to set up and provides some basic stats on usage.

Self-hosted WordPress users will find the WP to Twitter plugin very handy. It offers many customization options and even includes a custom field similar to the Excerpt box where you can create a custom message to announce each post.

Both the Posterous and Tumblr platforms include options for announcing each post on Twitter. TypePad blogs support announcing posts to Twitter, Facebook and LInkedIn.

Oh, and don’t forget services like Share This or addtoany which give your readers the opportunity to share your post on their favorite social networks – expanding your reach even more.

Taking advantage of Twitter to announce your articles will expand the reach of your blog. In addition to taking advantage of the many new news reading apps, you may also attract a new research cousin or two. It only takes a minute to set up and who knows what benefits will result . . .