Testing the iPhone WordPress app

Writing this from my iPhone to test out what is possible using the WordPress app.

The application takes you through step-by-step setting up posting, allowing you to post from multiple blogs via one username. Once through to the admin area you have three tabs – Comments, Post and Pages.

Using the Post page to add and edit a post you are taken through the title, tags, categories post status (local draft, publish, draft etc.) and then there is a large area for writing. In many ways this layout and process is much easier to use than the browser interface.

To add media such as the photos above or video, users need to save the post and then select the media tab. Once again the interface is easy to use for anyone familiar with photo applications. (By the way to take a screen-shot on the iPhone press the main centre function button at the same time as the top ‘off’ button.)

The only downside with the Post tool is that you will need to know some HTML to make text bold, italic or add links as there are no appearance functions. Even if you are familiar with HTML this is rather tedious, as you have to flick between the third and first keyboards to find the correct keys and write the code.

Would I use this application again? Quite possibly. I can see it useful for drafting posts when an idea strikes whilst on the move or not near a computer. I can also see it would be useful for quick posts and pics when at an event or outside, particularly places where there is a 3G connection but not wifi or where there’s no room to get out the laptop.

And now to press Publish and see if this has all worked.

Social media and the law: neat move by WordPress

I missed this when it was first announced but WordPress have recently joined forces with PicApp to offer users free access to premium images, such as those below.

What a sensible move. In doing so they have made a positive step towards solving the breach of copyright problem that plagues the web.

[picapp src=”1/0/3/1/Red_umbrella_amongst_24c5.jpg?adImageId=6196216&imageId=5065436″ width=”380″ height=”285″ /]

[picapp src=”3/2/8/4/Obama_Holds_Presidential_c50f.JPG?adImageId=6196328&imageId=6827587″ width=”500″ height=”246″ /]

PicApp stock images are categorised into two types – editorial and creative. The umbrella came from the creative category, and the Obama from the editorial section in which news, sport and entertainment photos can be found.
Pic App screen shot
To use the service simply enter a search term or keyword into PicApp and select the photo you wish to use. A dialogue box then appears helping you select the size and placement together with additional information about the photo and further related images. Copy the embed or image code and paste it into your blog post. See below:
Pic App embedding options

The service importantly solves two problems:

1. For bloggers, publishers and website owners – helps you find quality images easily to illustrate blog posts without breaching copyright or paying royalties. Therefore keeping them on the right side of the law. In the past I have used services such Stock Exchange royalty free photos, used my own photos or screen shots. Yet sometimes you want that newsy image or there are limits to those three options. PicApp claim to have over 20 million images. Whilst the bias seems to be towards the US this is a massive resource to add to the illustration tool box.

2. For photographers and copyright owners – a monitored distribution channel. PicApp claim they ensure copyright owners are paid for their valuable content. It would also seem that PicApp will enable photographers to join the service and monetize their photos in the future.

However, two complaints:

  1. Get rid (or make much smaller) the “Click on the PicApp images for more. Embed” element. It takes up too much space on smaller images.
  2. Resolve how the WordPress.com embed operates – as currently selecting an alignment or ‘wrap’ does not alter the code given and thus doesn’t enable very simple image functionality.

Testing how to embed SoundCloud files to WordPress

WordPress announced late last week that they are now supporting SoundCloud (the music file sharing site that’s a bit like Flickr). What’s great about this latest development is that it makes it easy to add and play podcasts, music or other audio files on your site easily. I thought I’d test things out to see how it works.

Step one: Select a file you’d like to embed onto your site from SoundCloud (for testing purposes I browsed the tracks area of the site). Press ‘Share’ and a pop-up will appear with a selection of places to share your file. Select WordPress.
Sharing in SoundCloud

Step two: Either copy the embed code, or press on the “customise” link:

Customising SoundCloud embed

Step three: Customise the colour of your embedded file.
Customising Sound Cloud

Step four: Finally copy and paste the special WordPress.com embed code if you have a hosted site (it uses square brackets) or the normal embed code if you self-host.

Simple.

Here’s the embed I made earlier, music from Curtis Mayfield. Enjoy!