I am all in an experimentation mood these days. I guess I am all bored with writing about same old visits to restaurants and I had run out of ways to say things like “the meat is tender and juicy”. I guess I want to push some boundaries of in food blogging. One of the things that I want to do is to find ways to make things interesting so that I can engage you on the blog.
A few days ago, I was having breakfast with Suanne in Lido. I came across an item on the menu I had never noticed before. I ordered that and I wanted to share with all of you what it looked like because I thought it would be a conversation maker.
Naturally I thought of using Twitter or Facebook but I wanted to do something different. So I whipped out the iPhone and tried to blog from it. I was doing it for the first time and so it was a lot of slow pecking and fumbling around. That 20 minutes breakfast turned out to be 40 minutes! Poor Suanne had to sit patiently while waiting for me to blog about it on the small device.
I am getting a hang of it. Each post I made gets easier and faster. However, this is just experiments. I don’t foresee I will blog a lot on-the-go. This is because these sort of posts are sort of quick and dirty — short sentences, poor quality pictures and all. I guess it will be useful for those “breaking news” type of posts or a single-dish-dining-alone restaurant visits.
I had been using the WordPress app on the iPhone a lot already. However, I was just using that app for checking new comments (above, right) and I use that feature a lot.
Chowtimes.com is written on WordPress and there is an iPhone app for WordPress. For those of you who blogs on Blogger, there should be an app for that. You just need to search the Apple AppStore for it. I am not familiar with Blogger and so will just cover WordPress on this post.
Talking about Blogger, I would like to encourage those of you on Blogger to consider moving to WordPress. Chowtimes.com started as a Blogger site but over the years we moved to WordPress and I am glad we are on it. There are pros and cons with moving to WordPress. The key thing is that WordPress … does appear to be more technical and complicated than Blogger. However, with WordPress you can make your site to do virtually anything you want because there are over 13,000 plugins you could use to customize your site.
The iPhone is mine which is a 3GS. I used that mainly for emails, WordPress, Twitter, Facebook and browsing. Arkensen, a self-professed geek, out-tech’d and out-spec’d me with his Android phone. There is also WordPress app on Android (last row, second from left).
To write a post on the iPhone is straightforward. About the most difficult thing to master is only to peck at a speed fast enough. At the bottom of the screen above is where the features are, from left: Write, Settings, Preview, Attach, Video, Picture.
What I like best about this app is the two right most buttons: the video and picture. You can record a video and take a picture without leaving this edit mode.
With the video recording, you can instantly upload the video to youtube and once uploaded, it will attach the appropriate codes to the video. Likewise for the picture.
The only thing is that it will attached the html codes for the video and pictures to the bottom of the post. So if you want to reposition it, you gotta do a cut and paste.
There … there is all there is to it. Simple.
The above is the Android version of the WordPress app. I thought it would be similar but it looked like it has richer features.
On the top left picture you can see a Stats option. This is not available on the iPhone. I check the site stats often and will certainly wish that WordPress will add this on the iPhone version one of these days.
Even on the Post edit screen (above right) is vastly different. It looked more like the native WordPress interface with preset html buttons. I think this will be feel more technical compared to the iPhone version which is more user-friendly.
As you can see, our traffic dropped drastically last week when I only made 1 post for the whole week.
Any questions on this post above? I am new at writing this sort of posts and I realize may not make much sense.
Can you give me some feedback please? Do you find quick-and-dirty, on-the-go and short-and-simple poor-quality-picture sort of posts is what you want to read more on chowtimes?
This Post Has 27 Comments
Ben – For posting, have a look at BloggerPlus http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/bloggerplus/id382028256?mt=8
Much better than the WordPress app in that context, IMO. You can still use the WP app for moderating, etc.
Hi fmed: The screenshots looks promising. I’ll give that a try. Thanks a lot! Ben
Hey Ben, do you have a preference for the iPhone or Droid? I’m finally getting to the end of my current phone contract and wanted to get a feel for the smart phone options. Just about everyone I know has an iPhone and although I like it, I’m not crazy about signing on to either AT&T or Verizon. I was able to test drive the Dell Streak, which is a droid, but it’s a bit clunky and huge. 🙂
Hi Nong: Although I have an iPhone I covet Arkensen’s Android. He has the latest Motorola Atrix and it is pretty cool. It takes better pictures, very fast and certainly out spec’d my iPhone. I have quite a number of months more to go in my current contract but if I get a new one, I will seriously go with an Android. I think Apple is getting evil. Ben
i think it’s cute how when u eat with suanne, you’re mister-high-tech-gogo-gadgety and suanne takes notes with *gasp* a pen and notepad!!
I had an Android and I like the iPhone4 so much better now though…
I have been “planning” to move to WordPress but have always been so lazy ><
You should move to WordPress! It takes time but its definitely worth it!
Hi Elaine: If only I have all the time in the world, I would love to organize a workshop to help people migrate from Blogger to WordPress. It is not difficult but I must admit it is daunting to those who had never done it before. You just gotta pull the trigger! Ben
I feel so behind, even your kids have smartphones.
Have you seen that video of the bully & victim in Australia? A local news channel did an interview with them, and the bully, about 12-13 years old has a frigging blackberry.
Here I am with a simple Sony Ericsson candy bar phone. -_-
One day though, when these data plans get cheaper. Like under $40/month all included cheaper. Otherwise it’s just not worth it..
I too have an old Samsung flip phone. I’ve been tempted to join the band wagon and get a smartphone but the price of the data plan is too high for what I would use it for. Why cant we just get a smart phone without signing into a data plan? I dont need to browse the web or do facebook/twitter on my smartphone. I just want to be able to use it as a PDA and mp3 player or even play cool game apps on it. Oh well…
I can’t live without smartphones anymore T_T Before my iPhone4 and after my Android died, I was smartphone-less for a week. Hell week of my life ><
Hi Crispy: I think you can get a smartphone without any contracts at all. You can use the wifi and many places already have wifi signals. The thing is it is crazy expensive without a plan. At $500, some of them costs as much as a notebook! Ben
Yes, unless you’re going with Sprint (which rolls their minutes and data plan into one), data packages can run anywhere from $25-$50. It’s crazy that you can easily spend $100 a month for just one line with a smart phone. LOL. I have an old BB, no internet though because my current carrier not only charges for data package, but they also charge a “blackberry” phone fee. It’s really ridiculous, so I’ve gone without internet on my phone for 2 years now. LOL. 😀 I’ve survived, but would really love a good upgrade. 🙂
Hi Nong: I would have thought the voice and data plans in the US is much cheaper than in Canada. These telcos are making a killing with the explosive adoption of smartphones and mobile devices. Who said that the internet will spell doom to the traditional phone company 10 years ago huh? Ben
Hi Kevin: Yeah, my boys showed me the video (did not catch the part about the BB). My boys were for the big boy and said the smaller boy deserved it. LOL! I know, the data plans are what preventing more people getting a smartphone. The telcos are making a killing with the explosive adoption of smartphones as it is. Ben
I got a cheaper Data plan w unlimited w rogers…$50- cheqp for me bec we dont hv home phone since we qll hv cp, so why bother w landline ?
You can get iphone w/o data plan, u just hv to pay $200 or was it $250 to not get it… My friend did that, shes w fido ang she is only paying $30 monthly for her plan
I think whether the posts are detailed or quick-and-dirty doesn’t matter so much. As long as the posts are personal and from the heart, it’s fine. I love how some of your posts show passionate you are about the food and your little stories / history behind them.
Thanks! I just download the iphone app. Also got a $50 all inclusive plan (with data) from Fido. I never use “enough data” to justify this plan. May be I should start utilizing it by blogging on my iPhone.
Hi Winnie: For the past few days, I find that it gets easier blogging on the iPhone. In the beginning I took forever to write that 1-photo post. Still blogging while eating means the lunch time will take longer. My estimate … today’s post added 15-20 minutes to the average mealtime. It was a good diversion from work for me anyway. 🙂 Ben
That sounds promising! 1 photo lunch blog sounds like a good start. I am really behind with my blogs. Still really upset with earthquake in Japan. But things have changed (improved) a bit on my side and I think I can now start blogging again. ^_^
I tried using the WordPress app a few weeks ago, but I was so scared of using it because I was afraid the formatting would turn out really weird.
I’m loving your “on the go” posts! That means more reviews to read =)
Hi DesignGirl: Yeah, I was worried about the formatting too. My solution is by making sure that I standardize on landscape orientation and always load the pictures 600px width (that is the width of my blog body). So, I end up with is just pure text and the &lst;img> html tag. I clean it up once I get to a computer. Give that a try and share with me your learnings. Ben
Bulakz and Winnie, I’m curious about the Fido all inclusive for 50 bucks. Is it unlimited data too?
Mine is signed for 3 years with Fido back in Sept. I think it’s $47 (+tax) for 200 day time min, 1000 text messages, unlimited weekend and weeknight, early weeknights, voicemail, and 6GB data (which is eqv to unlimited to me). It was negotiated as a retention plan with an iPhone4 back then. I know some people got even better deals (with more mins and some long-d calling time) but I don’t really need more min.
Hi Crispy: My current Fido plan is $50 with unlimited data. I have the smallest voice plan along with that because I don’t need the voice since I use my company’s cell. They had a special deal with the iPhone back then. Ben
Maybe you can try blogging by voicemail..WP is offering that feature. But I’ve never tried it before. Let us know it goes. Of course, as you know you can send emailed blog text to your blog and it will be published.
I don’t even have any portable cell phone. Right now the urge to blog on the fly like that, is not there.
Hi Jean: Blogging by voicemail? Hmmm … I am not sure about that. I hate listening to my own voice. I think I sound weird. Also I have a string Manglish accent too-lah. Ben