The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog

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The Microsoft MVP Award Program Blog

Independent Experts. Real World Answers.

MVPs for Windows Phone 7: Blogging While on the Move with a Windows Phone

MVPs for Windows Phone 7: Blogging While on the Move with a Windows Phone

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Editor's Note: The following is a guest post by Windows Phone MVP Todd Ogasawara as part of the MVP Award Program Blog's "MVPs for Windows Phone 7" series. Todd Ogasawara is a technology analyst/developer and freelance regular contributing writer for BYTE.com (part of UBM TechWeb) and a co-editor for SocialTimes.com Mobile (part of  mediabistro.com family of sites). He has been annually named a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Windows Phone category for the past decade. You can find him on Twitter at @ToddOgasawara.

Blogging has been declared dead at least once a year for the past five years. And yet, hundreds of thousands and perhaps millions of people write blogs daily. Some even make a living doing so. Blogs, like this one, can be thought of as a reverse journal where the most recent item sits at or near the top of the visible page. Despite the rise of stream of consciousness social networks like Twitter and Facebook, blogs are still popular because of the detailed multimedia information that can placed in a single post and, more importantly, the historical context they can provide over time. Blogs serve as a kind of temporal anchor for shorter form more ephemeral social network text streams.

If you currently have a blog or are thinking about creating one, you will be happy to know that you can blog while on the go using a smartphone running Windows Phone 7. If you are planning to start a new blog, you’ll be even happier to learn that all of the blog services discussed here can be used free of charge. We’ll cover three very popular and free blogging services: WordPress.com, Tumblr.com, Posterous.com.

 

WORDPRESS


Let’s start with the most popular blogging platform in the world: WordPress. Millions of blogs and even entire websites are built using WordPress. When Microsoft decided to close down its Spaces personal site service in 2010, it chose WordPress as the place its customers could chose to migrate to.  You can create a free account and blog by visiting WordPress.com. WordPress provides a reasonably simple but very powerful web-based editor to create blog posts that can include photos and other media. However, this web-based creation process is not well-suited for the relatively small screens on smartphones. There is, however, a free Windows Phone app that lets you manage a one or more blogs based on WordPress.

 

WordPress for Windows Phone actions menu

 

The free WordPress for Windows Phone app lets you add a blog post, moderate comments, or add a static web page.

 

WordPress for Windows Phone blog post creation screen

 

Adding a new blog post takes you to a screen that asks for a title, text content, and optional media. You can also choose to categorize blog posts. This helps organizes things for your readers but is not mandatory.

 

You can choose to have you new blog item published and be visible right from your phone. Alternatively, you can leave it a draft state and go back to it later on a desktop or notebook computer to complete the blog item. You can see a blog entry created entirely using a Windows Phone (including the photograph) on a Windows phone in the desktop screenshot below.

 

Blog hosted on WordPress.com

 

There are two other ways you can post a new blog item from your Windows Phone to your WordPress.com blog. First, you can send an email to a special email address that will post the contents of the email to your WordPress.com blog. You can read all the details about this option here:

http://codex.wordpress.org/Post_to_your_blog_using_email

 

There’s a third way to post a blog item to WordPress that does not even require any typing. You can call a number provided by WordPress.com, enter an authentication number and create an audio blog item. You can record a message up to one hour long. A web audio player is embedded in your blog item to let people listen to what you recorded. You can learn more about this option here.

http://en.support.wordpress.com/post-by-voice/

 

TUMBLR


Tumblr is an extremely popular micro-blogging platform. But, don’t the term micro-blogging confuse you into comparing it to Twitter. Tumblr provides a quick, easy, and brief blogging style they call tumblogging. Add a web link, photo or video and a sentence or two to share something or express a thought. If you want to write more than a couple of sentences, go right ahead. Tumblr doesn’t constrain you in that way. However, it also doesn’t force you into thinking you have to write a term paper length blog to express yourself. You can sign up for a free account to create one or more tumblogs at Tumblr.com.

 

Tumblr does not have an app for Windows Phone. However, there are two ways you can post from your Windows Phone to your Tumblr blog. The first way is using email. You can learn the details here. http://www.tumblr.com/docs/en/email_publishing

 

Tumblr provides a unique email address for each of your tumblogs (you can have more than one). The email subject line becomes the blog’s title and the email text body becomes the blog text body. You can also email one or more digital photographs to your blog. Here again, the email subject line becomes the blog title. You cannot, however, include a text body.  You can edit your blog entry later from a desktop PC to add text.

 

Tumblr blog item created by email from a Windows Phone

 

Tumblr, like WordPress.com, lets you make a voice call to their server and leave an audio blog. This requires a little bit of configuration by providing them with your cell phone’s Caller-ID information and creating a PIN.

 

POSTEROUS


Posterous is another free, simple and immensely popular microblogging service. It does not provide a Windows Phone app. However, like WordPress.com and Tumblr, it lets you create new blog items using email. The details can be found here. http://posterous.com/help/email_tips

 

Posterous has one advantage when compared to Tumblr: A photo blog item can include both a blog title and blog text body. Like Tumblr, the email subject line becomes the blog title. Posterous can also transform text in the email into the blog text body. You can see a blog item I created on Posterous with a photo, title and text body in the screenshot of a desktop browser below.

 

Posterous blog item created by email from a Windows Phone

 

POSTEROUS & HOTMAIL


Posterous has one more interesting feature if you use Microsoft’s Hotmail email service. Readers of your Posterous hosted blog can choose to have blog items delivered to their Hotmail email inbox. If they do that, comments to your blog will also appear in their email and they can respond to comments directly from Hotmail. http://blog.posterous.com/sharing-content-via-email-takes-a-big-step-fo

 

CONCLUSION


Blogging on the go is easy with a Windows Phone and any or all of these great free blogging services. All of them provide blogging via email which can include photos. The WordPress for Windows Phone app lets you manage your blog right from your phone.

 

A final piece of advice: Don’t feel that every blog item has to be a work of art. One of my blogs, for example, consists of photos of lunches from different places. It helps me answer a frequent question from friends: What is that you are eating and where did you get it?

  • A very good information for us, end user of Windows Phone.

    Thanks.

  • Very well written article, but blogging via email is like tweeting via SMS. Native app or it doesn't count.

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